Slightly larger than the outgoing model, the latest generation of the highly regarded BMW 5 Series executive saloon range is set to arrive in October. As expected, there’s also an electric model called the i5.
Unveiled ahead of the new Audi A6 range that’s expected to debut later this year, the exterior design of the new 5 Series follows the squared-off and sharp-edged styling of the new 7 Series saloon and iX SUV models, although without quite such a ridiculous oversized grille.
The engine range for the new BMW 5 Series will consist of mild hybrid and (eventually) plug-in hybrid petrol units, as well as the electric BMW i5 versions. Diesel engines have been banished, which is no great surprise anymore.
Standard specification for the UK includes BMW’s ‘M Sport’ package, which includes 19-inch alloy wheels. 20-inch alloy wheels are part of the optional ‘M Sport Pro’ bundle, which also adds an illuminated front grille, red brake callipers and a rear spoiler.
The saloon is ten centimetres longer and three centimetres wider than the current model. Most of this added length can be attributed to the longer bonnet, but there is also two centimetres of extra legroom in the cabin too.
The new BMW 5 Series range will begin with the entry-level 208hp ‘520i’ petrol mild hybrid model – the diesel models have all been discontinued. The most notable change to the 5 Series line-up is the introduction of the all-electric i5 saloon, of which there are two different versions.
Offering a reported battery range of 361 miles, the ‘i5 eDrive40’ model can muster 340hp and a 0-62mph sprint time of six seconds flat. The more powerful (and more expensive) 601hp ‘i5 M60 xDrive’ comes with all-wheel drive, and can complete the same sprint in under four seconds – the trade-off being that it has a shorter maximum battery range of 320 miles.
This three-model range will be the initial offering when orders start in October, but more variants are on the way. Plug-in hybrid models are scheduled to arrive next year, as well as an estate car ‘5 Series Touring’ range.
The ‘520i’ has a storage capacity of 520 litres in the boot. This has reduced slightly in size compared with the current car. Boot space for the i5 models is reduced further to 490 litres. For caravan and trailer owners, the 5 Series options list includes a tow bar that can pull up to up to 2,000kg of weight.
In the cabin, a curved dual-screen display sits on the dashboard, pairing a 12-inch digital instrument cluster behind the steering wheel with a larger 15-inch infotainment display. Below that sits what BMW is calling an ‘Interaction Bar’. Also available in the 7 Series range, this is an ambient light strip that features touch-sensitive control panels for controlling ventilation and air conditioning.
Moving to the controls on the centre console, the more traditional stick shifter has been replaced by a smaller toggle gear selector, and a wireless smartphone charging tray is included as standard on all models.
The centre console, and the rest of the interior upholstery, is trimmed in the brand’s ‘Veganza’ vegan leather-free material as standard, but a ‘Merino’ leather trim is also available for an extra fee.
A rear parking camera comes as standard, as well as a ‘Reversing Assistant’ function that can park the car for you in narrow environments such as multi-storey car parks by memorising previous parking manoeuvres. Sports seats, powered folding mirrors and automatic air-conditioning also feature on the entry-level model.
Finally, BMW says that the new 5 Series can offer a ‘in-car gaming’ experience when the car is stationary. Thanks to a partnership with gaming platform AirConsole, the driver and passengers can play casual games by using the curved display as a monitor and their smartphones as controllers.
Prices for the new range will begin at £51k for the ‘520i’ saloon, rising to almost £98k for the range-topping ‘i5 M60 xDrive’. You can now configure and reserve a model from this new range on the BMW website.