What is it?
In the battle of the boots, the BMW 5 Series has traditionally lost out to its Mercedes-Benz E-Class arch-rival. This facelifted 5-er is no different, because the Merc still boasts the bigger cargo bay by either 80 or 120 litres, depending on how you’ve arranged the seats.
But if your personal tick list extends beyond a simple load bay comparison, then the 5 Series has always been right up there with the big Merc. The version we test here is the 530d Touring, running the Bavarian firm’s straight-six diesel, with 282bhp and 479lb ft. The 0-62mph sprint takes 5.6sec, another figure that’s a smidge down on the E-Class.
It now boasts mild-hybrid technology - previously, this was offered on only the 520d - with a 48V starter-generator so the car now coasts into a junction with the engine off. It also gives a temporary boost of 11bhp.
The 5 Series’ looks have been breathed on, with a wider and taller grille, reworked lights front and back, and trapezoidal tailpipe finishers. The most popular trim level - M Sport - gets new alloy wheels. Inside, the infotainment screen has increased to 12.3in and it comes with new connectivity, including over-the-air updates.
One tip: avoid white paint if you spec the Shadow Line with extended contents, because it makes the black grille look too pronounced and snouty, and we all know where that particular BMW styling argument ends.