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2018 BMW 5 Series Overview
BMW’s lineup seems to be constantly expanding, and 2018 brings some significant new choices for those interested in the company’s signature 5 Series midsize luxury sedan. Two new trims are available—a plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance trim and a performance-oriented M550i trim, which is not to be confused with the more hardcore M5 model. Both feature a reworked lighter-weight chassis, similar to the Cluster Architecture Platform (CLAR) found on the current 7 Series, that’s made of high-strength steel, magnesium, aluminum, and even carbon. Visually, the new cars look quite similar to the 2017 model, with a few small aerodynamic body tweaks, a slightly longer overall length, optional adaptive LED headlights, and new high-tech bits on the interior.
The 2018 5 Series 530e iPerformance trim combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor that’s integrated with the standard 8-speed automatic transmission for a total output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. Available in rear-wheel drive (RWD) or BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive (AWD), the 530e iPerformance has an all-electric range of about 14 miles and can even reach 60 mph in 6.0 seconds, so it’s no slouch in the performance department. If it’s performance that you’re looking for, however, the M550i comes equipped with a twin-scroll turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine good for 456 hp and 480 lb-ft. Exclusively offered with AWD, it boasts a pretty astonishing 0-to-60 time of 3.9 seconds, which is actually quicker than the outgoing M5.
The 5 Series blends luxury-car comfort and convenience with a taut and fun-to-drive chassis and electronic power-assist steering, but plenty of equipment is available to turn it into an “Ultimate Driving Machine.” An M Sport package, optional for the 530e iPerformance and standard on the M550i, adds a lower and stiffer suspension, 19-inch M wheels, and an aerodynamic kit with a rear spoiler. The M550i comes with M Sport brakes with blue calipers and M badging as well as an M exhaust system with unique black chrome tips, and the standard wheels can be upgrades to 20-inchers. As for driver settings, the M550i offers unique performance-focused Sport and Sport+ modes while the 530e iPerformance trim features energy-saving Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Battery Control modes.
The premium-feeling and roomy cabin of the 5 Series offers all the latest in high-tech equipment, from the iDrive touchscreen infotainment system to a variety of driver-assistance features. An available parking-assist system can park the car in a spot without a driver inside the vehicle, and the BMW Connected system allows the driver to access navigation and a surround view of the car via a smartphone app. Other new options include wireless device charging and a BMW “Activity Key,” which is a wearable car key that unlocks the vehicle without having to press a button. As for unique styling features, the M550i gets M sports seats with special black leather upholstery and handsome blue contrast stitching, an M steering wheel, M floor mats, various wood interior trims, and aluminum pedals.
The new 5 Series hasn’t been crash tested yet, but its abundance of safety equipment ensure that BMW will stay at the head of the pack as far as safety is concerned, even if many of the more appealing items are optional extras. Among the available features are adaptive cruise control, surround-view cameras, Intelligent Speed-Limit Assist, and an active lane-keeping assistant with side-collision avoidance.
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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