Home / Reviews / First Drive / All-new BMW 5 Series Long-wheelbase First Drive Review

 

The all-new BMW 5 Series L comes to India in an exclusive, long-wheelbase, right-hand-drive form. We had a brief go in the eighth-generation 530Li in Gurugram.

new BMW 5 Series front action


The new BMW 5 Series has grown up and how! Unlike their primary competitor who brought in a globally new SUV model as a long-wheelbase model even though it was the standard car in Europe (simply because it had a longer wheelbase than its predecessor), BMW have brought in a long-wheelbase 5 (the “G68”) which is actually 115 millimetres longer than the new G60 5 Series (5,060 mm long and 2,995-mm wheelbase) in Europe (and new i5 sold here), and 202-mm longer than the G30 (4,973 mm long, 2,975-mm wheelbase) it replaces. It is also longer than the 6 Series Gran Turismo with the wheelbase matching the X7’s down to the last millimetre! Master stroke? Sure seems like one considering said primary competitor has done the same with their star-studded bestseller. Like the Mercedes E-Class, which is also sold as a long-wheelbase model in China but is exclusively right-hand-drive in India, Munich seems to have pulled one over on Stuttgart with a first-mover advantage. Yes, the new W214 E-Class is yet to arrive and BMW will formally launch the 5er on 24 July.

new BMW 5 Series f3-4

So, what’s new? The new BMW 5 Series styling echoes the G60’s with a bold new face, a sort of Frozen Bronze Metallic finish for the accents that aren’t just on the grille—which now has the “Iconic Glow” surround lighting—but also on the window surround and on the rear end. BMW want us to emphasise the style and the interior, but this is a 530Li and I do want to talk about the powertrain, too, since I didn’t sign anything that said otherwise. I will, however, refrain from referring to it as a “530” because it only has four cylinders and, after all these years, it is still down on the nat-asp E60 530i’s 272 hp.

new BMW 5 Series turn

The new BMW 5 Series looks a lot like the 6GT. In fact, the Gran Turismo vibe is more than evident. It seems—and indeed is—heavily inspired by the 7 Series and brings a load of kit to raise the game in the executive/business saloon segment. There is no denying the Audi A6 is ageing, as is the Volvo S90, though the latter is still stunning to look at and packs a boatload of additional safety kit. Jaguar’s non-existent XF is best not spoken of and the only genuinely competitive remnant is the Lexus ES; but that caters to a different class of buyers.

The new BMW 5 Series addresses the need for greater luxury and now has a more business-class experience. The cabin is far more spacious, there is a gigantic fixed panoramic glass roof and the seats are designed to be just as cosseting as they are supportive. The upholstery is now vegan artificial leather. There are a bunch of big changes inside which include the large BMW Curved Display, with touch, angled towards the driver and rounding off what seems like a digital touch to the cocoon without being overly hyper about it, if you know what I mean. A neat touch is the one-touch function in the new BMW Operating System 8.5 which prioritises functions used oftener and can be customized to include what you need most. The voice assistant can also be given a name. Oh, and the new 5 runs on 18-inch wheels with 225/55 Pirelli Cinturato tubeless—and not run-flat—rubber.

The 5 still feels like a sport-luxury BMW but does it embody the essence of the fünf-er? That’s what we need to establish.

More on page 2 >

 

About the author: Jim Gorde

 

Deputy Editor at Car India and Bike India.
Believes that learning never stops, and that diesel plug-in hybrids are the only feasible immediate future until hydrogen FCEVs take over.

t: @CarIndia/@BikeIndia
IG: @carindia_mag/@bikeindia/@jimbosez

 

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