The impressive tech; the exquisite balance between comfort and control
Electric-assisted steering imparts a somewhat artificial feel, but that's the case with almost every manufacturer's EPS system
More variants join the lineup. One with diesel power, a plug-in hybrid and a couple of speedier models, the M550i xDrive and the M5 (this latter car is reviewed separately). There's also been some reshuffling of option packages.
BMW's decision not to charge a premium for the plug-in hybrid version is commendable. To have the extra torque and save fuel seems incredibly tempting. A BMW with an inline-6 engine, though -- like the 540i -- has the widest appeal. As always, driver assistance features are a great idea and, if the budget is there, that amazing Bowers & Wilkins audio system.
The 2018 BMW 5 Series comes in 530i, 530e iPerformance, 540i, 540d xDrive and M550i xDrive forms. Where it's optional, all-wheel drive is an extra $2,300.
The 530i ($53,645) has 18-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof, all-LED exterior lighting with adaptive headlights, rain-sensing wipers, heated/self-dimming/power-folding side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, 16-way power-adjustable front seats with driver's-side memory settings, a power-adjustable tilt-telescopic steering column, a rearview camera, parking sensors front and rear, simulated leather upholstery, LED ambient cabin lighting, selectable driving modes, driver fatigue and focus alert, iDrive infotainment interface with a 10.3-in screen, Bluetooth, navigation, a 12-speaker/205-watt audio system, HD radio, two USB ports, 20 GB of music storage and an auxiliary audio input.
The 530e iPerformance ($53,645) has the plug-in hybrid powertrain and a few dedicated gauges, but is otherwise equipped in a similar fashion to the 530i.
The 540i ($59,195) and 540d xDrive ($62,995) have their own engines and leather upholstery, but follow that same formula for the most part.
The M550i xDrive ($74,895) comes with 19-in alloy wheels, a more powerful engine and has its own chassis modifications for a sportier driving experience, plus several features that are optional in the lower models, like the powered trunk lid.
A Premium package brings keyless entry/ignition, satellite radio, a powered trunk lid and gesture control. The Executive package includes the Premium bundle, then adds automatic high beams, parking assistant plus, soft-close doors, a 360-degree camera system and an 8.8-in configurable driver information display.
An optional M Sport package comes with 19-in wheels and a lowered, sportier suspension. Add this to the 540i and 20-in wheels become available. A Dynamic Handling package includes an adaptive suspension, stronger brakes and rear-wheel steering.
Advanced safety features come in the Driving Assistance and Driving Assistance Plus packages (see the Safety section below).
There's a choice of audio system upgrades: a 16-speaker/600-watt Harman Kardon surround-sound setup or a 16-speaker/1,400-watt system from Bowers & Wilkins.
Other options include Wi-Fi, wireless smartphone charging, a heated steering wheel, a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system, Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, night vision with pedestrian detection and 20-way adjustable multi-contour front seats with massaging and ventilation functions.
Trunk space is 18.7 cu ft. Assuming one set of golf clubs is around four cu ft., then there's room for four sets. Except in the 530e, whose battery pack reduces cargo area to 15 cu ft.
|Basic||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Drivetrain||4 Years/50,000 Miles|
|Corrosion||12 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Roadside Assistance||4 Years/Unlimited Miles|
|Maintenance||3 Years/36,000 Miles|
2019 Audi A6 -- A new generation is due later in 2018.
2018 Cadillac CTS -- Home-grown luxury and handling, world-class car.
2018 Jaguar XF -- Winner of a "best sedan" award from Germany.
2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class -- Offers an array of semi-autonomous technology as well as many other autobahn-worthy talents.
Used Porsche Panamera -- Even greater prestige and driving abilities than a 5 Series. A certified pre-owned (CPO) example of a first-generation model (a new generation debuted for 2017) could be about the same as a well-stocked 5 Series.