If things keep progressing in this direction, it won’t be long before BMW 5 Series needs a new slogan. “The Ultimate Driving Machine” only makes sense when the ultimate vehicular achievement is a car tailored solely for driving enjoyment. These days, BMW is just as intent as any other automaker on cars equipped with technology to take control beyond the driver putting it into the hands of high-tech computers, sensors and software code.
But the industry currently only has one foot into the automobile revolution pool. For now, all those fancy self-driving aids still have buttons, which means the driver must choose to turn them on (or at can at least turn them off). The challenge for car companies, then, is to be at the lead of technological advancement while still building cars that appeal to driving enthusiasts.
BMW 5 Series Features
In several ways and with differing degrees of success, BMW’s latest new 5 Series sedan leads a fine line between action and for lack of a better term, disengagement. BMW didn’t make this 7th generation 5 Series any larger than the model it replaces. It’s also up to 137 pounds lighter than the 6th generation car, thanks to the use of magnesium and aluminum in the structure.
That chassis is covered in bodywork that makes the 5 Series look like a slightly shrunken 7 Series, except that the 5er’s deeply creased shoulders attract our eyes up and from the lower hockey stick, which is a good thing. The head- and tail-lights are discreetly designed, with eye-catching LED lighting elements. For $52,195, the 2017 BMW 530i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that position out 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque.
An eight-speed automated is geared to perform the most out of those ponies, getting the engine into the meat of its power quickly from a dead stop. The run to 60 takes 6 seconds flat, which is abrupt enough. Filling power, on the other hand, can sometimes lag as the turbos spool up. Those wanting smarter can step up to the 540i and its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six for $57,445.
BMW 5 Series Performance
That engine’s 335 hp and 332 lb-ft push the BMW 5 Series to 60 in 4.9 seconds, and its additional displacement over the 530i makes it feel more responsive at highway speeds. There’s a marked difference between the amenity, Sport, and Eco modes of the Driving Dynamics Control system. Steering feel and throttle response immediately tighten up in Sports mode and that couples well with the transmission’s own Sports mode that quickens shifts and holds onto gears nicely.
Naturally, propelling on the steering wheel allow manual control of the transmission. Here’s assuming BMW can perfect its self-driving tech by 2021, which is when the German automaker plans to launch its first fully autonomous vehicle. But we also hope that all these appliances do not spoil the actual driving experience of mainstream models like the 5 Series.