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2017 BMW 5 Series Overview
The BMW 5 Series goes back over 40 years, and for 2017 the much-awaited seventh generation (or G30, in BMW code) finally makes its debut. With styling similar to the 3 Series’ and tech borrowed from the 7 Series, this midsize sedan is available to U.S markets in two trims for 2017—the 530i and 540i, each of which is available in either rear-wheel drive (RWD) or the all-wheel-drive (AWD) xDrive configuration. Overall dimensions are slightly larger than those of the outgoing model, with 1.2 inches of extra length, a little more legroom, and 18.7 cubic feet of cargo space. An available M Sport package adds a touch of sportiness with a revised front fascia, eye-catching rocker panels, trapezoidal exhaust tips, and 19-inch M Sport wheels.
Under the 5 Series’ hood, the base 530i (which replaces the old 528i) gets the 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder B46 engine from the 330i for an output of 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. With this powertrain, the 530i can reach 60 mph in 6 seconds flat with RWD and 5.8 seconds with xDrive. The 540i, meanwhile, will please longtime BMW fans with its 3.0-liter turbo 6-cylinder engine good for 335 hp and 332 lb-ft. The 540i achieves 0-to-60 times of 4.9 seconds with RWD and 4.7 seconds with xDrive. The only available transmission for either engine is an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.
Serious driving enthusiasts with a little extra cash will want to wait for the full-blown M5, but in classic BMW tradition, the 5 Series is designed to be both rewarding and comfortable to drive. While it’s no lightweight and doesn’t get the carbon fiber of the new 7 Series, an aluminum roof, trunk lid, and doors help shed a few pounds. Optional handling features include Integral Active Steering, which is BMW’s 4-wheel steering system, and active dampers. Run-flat tires come standard and are wrapped around 18-, 19-, or 20-inch wheels. The M Sport package, now available with either drivetrain, lowers the car’s ride height and tightens the suspension.
The 5 Series has long been a benchmark for the luxury car segment, setting the standards for technology and convenience features. The 2017 model ups the ante with even more high-tech goodies, particularly in terms of parking assistance. The 5 Series is equipped with a function that allows the driver to stand outside the vehicle and direct it into a parking space via smartphone, and the car’s surround-view cameras can send your smartphone images of where it’s parked if you lose it in a lot.
Standard interior features for the 5 Series include multi-color ambient LED lighting and 16-way power-adjustable sports seats with available multicontouring, ventilation, and massage functions. The 5 Series is still equipped with the iDrive rotary controller, which feels like it has been around forever since its debut in the 2001 7 Series, as well as a 10.3-inch touchscreen to access the infotainment system. An optional gesture control feature, which is a bit of a novelty, uses a 3D sensor to translate hand or finger movements (like pointing at the screen) into commands. Apple CarPlay, a Wi-Fi hotspot, wireless charging, and a premium 1,400-watt, 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Surround Sound system are available for an extra charge. Cars outfitted with the M Sport package get aluminum pedal covers, an M Sport leather steering wheel, and optional black leather seats with blue stitching.
The 2017 BMW 5 Series comes with adaptive cruise control and an evasion aid system, which adjusts the car’s steering for sudden maneuvering around hazards. Other available safety features include lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist, blind-spot warning with side-collision avoidance, and automatic emergency braking.
Andrew Newton first got into cars through vintage racing a Formula Vee. After receiving history degrees, he followed his passion for cars and became a contributor for sites like Sports Car Digest, BoldRide.com and JamesEdition.com in addition to serving as Education Manager at the Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline, MA. Andrew currently covers the collector car market full time as Auction Editor for Hagerty Classic Car Insurance.
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