As the driver of a current 5 Series, an E61 520d Tourer, yesterday’s reveal of the new saloon has an extra edge of intrigue on top of my usual professional journalist’s interest.

From what I’ve seen so far, I’m pleasantly impressed with the price/equipment details on the 520d, the best-selling model in the UK.

Standard leather as standard is a welcome step forward. Dakota leather is currently a £1315 option on the SE, even though the new list price is only going up by about £600 more. So that’s good.

But as every 5-Series driver with his/her car on a company lease like ours, will know the devil is going to be in the detail of the rest of the spec.

On that basis, my back-of-a-fag packet calculation reckons standard leather will save around £17/month on a 36 month lease. Very good.

There’s also talk from BMW of better residuals on the new 5, which will also have a beneficial effect on monthly rates. Although as yet my fleet contacts can’t get exact residuals.

Not so good is the news that the bundled sat-nav offer — tied to the E60/61 run-out — will end. Not surprising of course, but the net effect will be to push leases upwards.

Instead of paying £350 for this - the equivalent of £8 on the monthly lease - it’ll be either £1500 for Business or £2000 for Professional. That’s £35 or £47 per month extra. Munich gives, but it also takes away…..

It’s also unclear how much the new eight speed ZF will be as an option. The 5GT has it as standard and on the outgoing saloon it’s £1465. My guess is that it’ll probably be around £1500. So that’s about the same.

At least the hike in the cost of sat-nav will be partly cancelled out by the lower C02 numbers to keep the P11D cost and company car tax down.

The CO2 for the auto is 137g/km, which puts it in the 16 per cent, plus 3 per cent diesel penalty bracket in 2009/10, equal to 19 per cent. That jumps up one per cent in 2010/11 as the government tightens the Benefit-In-Kind bandings to 20 per cent. The current 520d auto rates 21 per cent this year and next and would go to 22 per cent in 2010/11, so there are welcome savings to be had here.

Also stop/start will come on the eight-speed ZF in the future, possibly 2011, which should push the car down another bracket or so.

It would have been good to get price/equipment on the M Sport model, which is the spec of my car, but BMW GB reckons that will come towards the end of next year. So the only sporting 5 next year will be the SE equipped with a dynamic pack.

The next interesting step will be lease rates. There are signs that the entry-cost cost will be kept below the key £500/month level, although we’ll know for sure in a week, or so, I’m told.

Anyone else out there with a lease 5 Series with a view on any of this?