Facelifted 5-series gets better economy, lower emissions and is now sharper to drive

What is it?

The mainstream 5 Series saloon facelift. It gets remodelled lights front and rear, indicators in its door mirrors and a resculpted nose to mirror the 'hooded-eye' look of the 3 Series

Some versions flaunt modest dashes of extra brightwork, while inside the instruments appear on a digital, reconfigurable screen and there are detail decor improvements. Equipment improves with the standardisation of Business Navigation (about time) Bluetooth connectivity (ditto), a USB port and xenon headlights. 

And the infotainment system’s capabilities can be deepened with an i-Drive controller that doubles as a mouse, and facilities for dictating texts and emails. Later this year there’ll be an optional self-parking system requiring no control inputs of any kind, and a traffic jam assistant allowing the 5 Series to steer, accelerate and brake with no intervention from the driver at up to 19mph. Which is probably just as well given that the mouse also allows web surfing.

What's it like?

Mechanically the changes are slight, but useful. All engines are now Euro 6 emission compliant and have improved aerodynamics. There's also an engine-decoupling coast facility to help reduce CO2 emissions, and there’s an-all new, Valvetronic-equipped 4.4-litre twin-scroll turbo 550i V8. More significant to most 5-series buyers, however, will be the introduction of a new entry-level 141bhp 518d, although its 119g/km emissions are the same as the new 520d’s.

The 5’s chassis has also seen a light rethink in the form of retuned dampers for improved comfort and reduced roll, and the electric power steering has been remapped for improved precision. 

These dynamic improvements are mildly apparent, although we still consider the optional electronic dampers to be a 5-series essential for a pliant ride. The revised steering is a little more precise, but you’ll need the Sport setting for the most consistent, confidence-building rim resistance — this brings with it firmer suspension and a much livelier transmission. Configuring these settings individually, Audi-style, would be better.

Should I buy one?

There’s no question that the 530d is a very accomplished car. It’s impressively fast, quiet, slightly more economical and delivers the effortless journeying that cars like this are supposed to be about. It also has a beautifully crafted cabin that can be packed with electronic convenience items if your wallet is fat enough. So no major changes for the 5-series saloon and Touring, but then, these class best sellers don't need them.

BMW 530d Luxury

Price £43,415; 0-62mph 5.8sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 55.4mpg (combined); CO2 134g/km; Kerb weight 1785kg; Engine 6 cyls in line, 2993cc, turbodiesel; Power 258bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 413lb ft at 1500-3000rpm; Gearbox 8-speed automatic


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405line 9 July 2013

Sign 'O' the times

Old dated E39 3.0i (sport) sublime steering feel (rack and pinion) and driver controls...pure drivers car not some sort of mini limo as this 5 appears to be, since when do you have to spec driver "parts" in a BMW, the self proclaimed "ultimate driving machine" that means leaving out the fancy gizmos and giving the "driving related spec" or any driver related innovations as "standard". Despite my rantings this  BMW seem to be selling very well from what i understand, maybe a sign of the times that many areas no longer have the space to allow spirited driving and with speed cameras etc taking the last driving pleasures away and people, likely BMW have realised this and started to dumb down the cars generally.

Will86 30 June 2013

If it ain't broke don't fix it

I've always liked the styling of this generation of 5 series, understated and elegant. For me the A6 tries too hard and the E-Class just looks dated and awkard even after the recent facelift (perhaps that should be especially after the recent facelift). The XF is nice but I still prefer the 5 series. And I suspect the 5 series will date much more slowly than it's competitors given the E39 5 Series still looks good today.

iant 27 June 2013

So far this year I have

So far this year I have rented four of these each for a week and used for the same route, 400m iles across Germany and back with a few days of city driving between. Models were a 520D,525D,525D Xdrive and a 530D Xdrive,all were Touring with 8 speed auto and fairly fully laden.  The 525 x averaged 27mpg,the 530 some 33mpg and the other two 32mpg. I assume this was because more powerful car did not have to work so hard for 120mph cruise, it is a very nice car. They seem to be rather affected by side winds between trucks, far more so than an E class or A6. I still like the 5 series best though.