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With sharper exterior styling, new equipment and mild-hybrid technology, the facelifted BMW 5 Series continues to deliver a sublime and luxurious experience.

31 Dec 2020


Since the first generation model was launched in 1972, the BMW 5 Series led the way in offering a sweet combination of luxury and dynamism within the executive sedan category. Seven generations on, BMW has only continued to improve on its formula.

Now, the seventh generation G30 model, first launched in 2017, has been given a mid-cycle refresh, otherwise known in BMW-speak as a LCI (Life Cycle Impulse).

Lean and clean

Slimmer head lights and a redesigned kidney grille make the front of the car look sleeker
Exterior changes are subtle. The kidney grille is now connected in the middle and shaped slightly differently. The head lights are of a slimmer design, and the rear end has been lightly reconfigured too.

It's a slightly leaner and more muscular-looking car, which is pretty much in line with the rest of BMW's evolving design language.

Move into the cabin and the first thing you will notice is the massive screen - it's been upsized to 12.3-inches, and now runs the latest Operating System 7.0. It's a sleek, intuitive and easy to use interface. The car also now has the Intelligent Personal Assistant, with which you can operate a host of features by simply talking to the car.

The massive 12.3-inch touchscreen now runs the latest BMW Operating System 7.0
Admittedly, the 5 Series doesn't get the new centre console interface found on many other new BMWs (it's running on an older platform). The older design is a little busier and more cluttered, but at the same time lends a more cocoon-like feel to the cabin. Some may prefer that.

One very handy feature is Comfort Access. Basically, walk up to the car with the key fob on you, and the car will automatically unlock. Walk away, and it automatically lock itself. You don't even have to take the key out of your bag/purse. More cars really should have this feature. 

Pristine power

The 2.0-litre engine is now fitted with a 48V mild-hybrid system
Look closely at then engine start button, and you'll realise that there is no longer a switch to turn on or off the engine start/stop function. This is because there is no longer the option to turn it off. One key change on this LCI 5 Series is the addition of a 48V mild-hybrid system.

With the mild-hybrid system, the car always cuts off the engine when you're at a standstill, as long as there is charge in the battery. When the engine is re-engaged when moving off, it's little more than a quiet mumble. This helps to improve overall fuel efficiency, and also to augment the overall refinement of the car - one of the best implementations of such mild-hybrid technology we have tried.

The mild-hybrid integration, allowing seamless engine start/stop and freewheeling, is one of the best we've experienced 
And, BMW says, it also helps with performance. Is the car noticeably quicker? Not really. Yes, there is an eBoost function where the battery provides a bit more juice on hard acceleration, but you're not going to feel it in your buttocks. On-paper numbers are the same as before (244bhp and 350Nm of torque), but the car is actually 0.2 seconds slower to 100km/h. Important? Not at all. 6.4 seconds isn't tardy by any means, but that isn't what a 5 Series is for.

What it is for, is easy serenity. And the 5 Series is lovely - light on its feet, really quiet, comfortable riding, and always feeling smaller than it actually is. And with the mild hybrid system, power delivery feels a tad smoother at all engine speeds. The overall cruising comfort and refinement are outstanding. 

On the road, the 5 Series continues to delight with its combination of comfort and dynamism
On the dynamism front, the 5 Series does not disappoint. It feels agile and more compact than its size suggests, and still delivers class-leading handling.

As far as driver aids are concerned, the 530i comes standard with the Driver Assistant package, which allows steering intervention when you drift out of lane. If you want more comprehensive equipment like Adaptive Cruise Control and Lane Control Assistant, you'll need to plump up for the more comprehensive Driving Assistant Professional package.

Tried and true

The facelifted 5 Series brings several qualities of life improvements, further enhancing the car's overall refinement, comfort and luxury
The 5 Series formula is a straightforward recipe for success. It always has been. And through seven wildly successful generations, BMW hasn't meddled around with the formula (thank god).

This mid-cycle update delivers added refinement, technology and quality to a car that's already impressively well-rounded and hard to fault. It manages to provide a sleeker overall user experience (thanks to subtle upgrades), as well as a cleaner and more refined drive (thanks to mild-hybrid technology).

So, the 5 Series continues to deliver a delightful blend of luxury, comfort and dynamism, though that comes at a price - at just a hair under $300,000, the 530i M Sport is pricier than its key rivals. Is it worthy of that premium? We'll know once we get our hands on the Audi A6 2.0 and the facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class and compare all of them side by side.

Car Information

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Price

: $343,888

Engine Type

:

4-cylinder in-line 16-valve TwinPower Turbocharged

Engine Cap

:

1998cc

Horsepower

:

185kW (248 bhp) / 6500 rpm

Torque

:

350 Nm / 4800 rpm

Transmission

:

8-speed (A) Steptronic Sport

Acceleration (0-100 km/h)

:

6.4sec

Top Speed

:

250km/h

Fuel consumption

:

17.9km/L

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