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11 May 2017

What We Dislike
Remote Control Parking not a standard feature

The 2.0-litre four-cylinder BMW 530i is nothing short of impressive, thanks to its sorted driving dynamics and high comfort levels.

Since its inception in 1972, the BMW 5 Series is one of the world's most successful business automobiles. The outgoing F10 model set the benchmark in its segment, having sold two million units alone.

Earlier this year, BMW launched the new G30 5 Series and we had a chance to try the higher-ranged 540i M Sport, which is driven by a solid turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six.

But in Singapore, at least, the money-maker is going to be the more practical 2.0-litre 530i M Sport. The 530i may be down in power compared to the 540i, but costs $61,000 (as of 2nd May 2017) lesser and isn't any less of a leading business sedan.

The BMW 5 Series exceeds expectations with each new generation and the G30 goes further above and beyond

Lighter, more frugal, brisker

If our guesses are right, the average 5 Series owner isn't going to drive his car like he stole it. While the 540i's 335bhp and 450Nm of torque is absolutely nice to have, it may not at all be necessary for day-to-day travel.

What's just right in our book is the 530i's 248bhp and 350Nm, which are enough for the occasional traffic light races and last-minute overtaking manoeuvres.

Should you decide on a little naughty driving, the turbo four-pot 530i will go from 0-100km/h in just 6.2 seconds, which is already quicker than a modern hot hatch like the Volkswagen Golf GTI.

The 530's turbo four-pot isn't anywhere as powerful as the 540i's turbo six but is much more frugal and buoyant

You won't have to constantly watch your speed limit, too, unlike in the 540i. And the best part of it all, the 530i isn't as nose-heavy as the 540i and that makes for a more agile car.

While its undeniable the 540i will smoke the 530i in a drag race any day of the week and twice on Sundays, the latter does feel lighter on its feet, sharper in response and more eager to dive into corners. It's equally happy to be dancing around them, too, as we've tested on a famous stretch of road along South Buona Vista.

The 5 Series is a joy to drive and super easy to park, thanks to BMW's Surround View and Remote 3D View

Given its size, the car's ability to dance is delightful. Having a sniper-sharp and well-weighted steering setup helps. And because the chassis of the 5 Series has been so superbly developed, the car's suspensions are allowed to work their best, providing both stability and comfort on any road conditions.
A feel-good place

If you've had a bad day at the office, the cabin of the 5 Series is one of the most comforting places to be on a drive home. It's luxuriously flourished in high-quality 'Dakota' leather and plastics, with rich sound-proofing for an undisturbed journey.

Even though the sun roof and Harman Kardon sound system aren't standard features in the 530i, there are enough comfort amenities that would satisfy a Wall Street banker.

High-quality materials and attention to detail underline the premium ambience in the 530's quiet cabin

For example, you get BMW's Ambient Air Package, which fills the interior of the car with subtle fragrances, Ambient Light for a soothing atmostphere, BMW Gesture Control, doors with auto soft-closing function, a motorised tailgate and a BMW Display Key (Remote Control Parking feature standard only on the 540i).

However, our favourite bit is the 530i's two front seats, which are what BMW calls its 'sports seats'. They aren't as plush and sofa-like as the 540i's 'comfort seats', but provide more support for the discerning driver. They also help you look and feel younger, as opposited to the 540i's aforementioned towkay thrones.

The differences on the exterior are subtle, with the 530i getting 19-inch rims instead of the 540i's 20-inchers, for example. But that's barely an issue anyway.

No funky smells in the 530i; select your favourite fragrance and keep your cabin smelling fresh with Ambient Air

Segment top-dog

Given how unlikely you'll get to employ all of the 540i's 335 horses, the more affordable 530i makes perfect sense in Singapore. Plus, the lighter car's brisk performance is enough reason for enthusiastic drivers to want one. In this segment, nothing drives like the BMW. And even for $61,000 less, you aren't void of all pampering comforts, too.

While the 5 Series may not have the futuristic simplicity of Audis or the absolute comfort of a Mercedes, it takes just enough of those characteristics and throws a healthy dose of driving dynamics into the mix.

In that respect, the 5 Series hasn't just proven itself as a leading business automobile. Instead, it's quite frankly, upgraded itself into first-class territory.

Or why not check out just how luxurious and spacious the interior of the 5 Series is in our video feature!

Car Information
This model is no longer being sold by local distributors


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Engine Type


4-cylinder in-line 16-valve Turbocharged

Engine Cap





185kW (248 bhp) / 6500 rpm



350 Nm / 4800 rpm



8-speed (A) Steptronic

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)



Top Speed



Fuel consumption



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