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06 Mar 2017 | Text and Photos by Julian Kho

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High Five and Alive

The all new BMW 5 Series continues to be a refined and desirable executive sedan that's sterling to drive.


The saying 'things get better with age' must be true because it has been some 45 years since the first 5 Series was born and the current seventh generation G30 5 Series that you see here still remains to be an absolute hoot to drive.

Despite going head on with strong and steady competition such as the Audi A6, the Lexus GS, the Jaguar XF and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, the BMW 5 Series still manages to lead the way in terms of its driving dynamism and technological forefront.

The eight-speed gearbox is creamy smooth and precise

It's all automotive, not locomotive

More often than not, certain power-heavy cars tend to feel more like locomotive than they should automotive. Not quite so with the 540i. Fitted with a 3.0-litre in-line six-pot powerplant that will send 340 horses and 450Nm of twisting force to the rear wheels from the word go, there is a sense of linearity in which the Bavarian executive sedan delivers the goods.

It could be the way we choose to pilot the Bimmer or the sense of gentlemanly behaviour the car influences you to conduct when behind the wheel. Regardless, it's crystal clear that such a creamy distribution of power and torque has to do with the precise eight-speed gearbox. Cogs are swopped with a perfectly modulated transfer while preparing for the surge of the next suitable gear.

While it's true that fast doesn't equate to fun, it's plain to see that the car that's capable of a lightning quick 5.1-second century sprint can be quite enjoyable, too. Around corners, the 5 Series will cover the tarmac with startling accuracy and aplomb. That's nothing short of remarkable considering the car measures over 4.9 metres tip to tip.

The 3.0-litre in-line six cylinder engine is a fun-loving unit

There's so much feel from the communicative steering that every turn meets your requirements as well as expectations while the chassis is so well-sorted that the sizeable car shrinks as your confidence grows. Force it out of a bend too early and the nannies will kick in to remind you that road discipline needs to be in order.

Strangely, however, the car lacks a certain drama that was previously offered in the F30 5 Series 535i, which we suspect could be due to the lack of an aural pleasure that will otherwise induce excitement.
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