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2017 BMW 5 Series

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2017 BMW 5 Series Expert Review

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The BMW 5 Series enters its seventh generation for 2017, evolving the driving dynamics, premium amenities and stately style that have made it the benchmark among midsize-luxury-sports sedans for over 40 years. As is the norm, this all-new model has more power, less weight and has grown slightly. Just as relevant as the physical is the digital in BMW's executive sedan. Gee-whiz technology such as gesture control that recently debuted in the 7 Series flagship is now in the new 5 Series, and this model introduces cutting-edge features like the ability to park itself, no driver needed. If you still relish the act of driving, take comfort: The 5 Series offers more involvement than a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS and Audi A6.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you want a midsize-luxury sedan with all the expected premium trappings, loads of technology and an edge for drivers who enjoy engaging manners, the 2017 BMW 5 Series remains the one to beat. A pedigree spanning over four decades doesn't hurt, either.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Subjectively speaking, you might find the 5 Series' styling too conservative. If you eye a Volvo S90 or Lexus GS instead, you'll also benefit from a lower starting price and, in the case of the Lexus, higher resale value. Those seeking a V8 luxury sedan will have to wait or go elsewhere.

How It Ranks

#16

out of 26

Fuel Economy

#23

out of 27

Horsepower
View all rankings
2017 BMW 5 Series Low/wide front photo What's New for 2017

The BMW 5 Series sedan is all-new for 2017. Arriving first are 4-cylinder 530i and 6-cylinder 540i variants, to be followed by the 530e plug-in hybrid and V8-powered M550i as 2018 BMW 5 Series models. The largely shunned 5 Series Gran Turismo hatchback carries over.

Driving the 5 Series
2017 BMW 5 Series Front angle view photo
Driving Impressions

For now, the new 5 Series sedan comes in two flavors, but whether you go with the 530i or 540i, you'll get a rewarding and engaging experience. Though small in...

... size, the turbocharged 4-cylinder in 530i models does a commendable job propelling this substantial sedan, enabling 0-60-mph sprints in six seconds or less. Drivers desiring more grunt will find it in the 540i and its turbocharged 6-cylinder that cuts that acceleration benchmark to under five seconds. Whichever you choose, the latest 5 Series is a testament to BMW's credentials: This German luxury sedan is highly satisfying thanks to great steering feel, a quiet cabin, and the ability to strike a balance between agile handling and overall comfort. Sport and Comfort driving modes optimize the car's chassis and powertrain for the task at hand. Befitting a true sports sedan, the 5 Series is rear-wheel drive (RWD), with BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) system optional.

DIAMOND SPEAKERS
The optional Bowers & Wilkins audiophile system in the new BMW 5 Series uses diamond tweeters, which are said to be exceptional for re-creating higher frequencies. The concept may sound extravagant, but the actual sound is fantastic. On your test-drive, be sure to take a test-listen.

REMOTE CONTROL PARKING
Wanna impress friends and strangers? Step outside your car and have it park itself. Once fantasy, it's now reality in 540i models. This feature -- commanded by you via the key fob -- is especially useful for fitting the car into tight spaces where it'd be difficult to open the door.

2017 BMW 5 Series Details
2017 BMW 5 Series Dashboard, center console, gear shifter view photo Interior

This latest 5 Series' elegant dash is covered in SensaTec faux leather or the real thing, has a horizontal layout, and controls for climate and audio are sensibly laid out. A 10.25-inch screen relays navigation, audio, car data and more. The jet-fighter transmission lever looks cool but can be awkward initially. The new 5 Series uses BMW's latest iDrive 6.0 system, whose rotary control also has touch-based operation (and optional gesture control). The rear seat is roomy, and at 18.7 cubic feet, the trunk is huge. The main motivator for the carryover 5 Series Gran Turismo is a sizable hatch.

Exterior
2017 BMW 5 Series photo

We'll call the new 5 Series' exterior styling an evolution rather than a revolution. Dimensionally, it's only slightly bigger than the model it replaces -- 1.2 inches longer and just fractionally wider and taller. The 2017 5 Series remains quite conservative, and we for one don't mind that. Mercifully, there's no gaping grille up front, just the latest treatment of BMW's signature twin-kidney design, flanked by headlight housings that now meet each grille's edge. Overall the 5 Series' message is one of maturity and strength. The carryover 5 Series Gran Turismo hatchback, meanwhile, remains rather awkward and bulbous.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Befitting a $50,000-plus luxury sedan, even a base 2017 BMW 530i is a well-equipped machine. You'll get mighty fine 16-way-adjustable front seats, moonroof, navigation system with real-time traffic information, 18-inch wheels, universal garage opener and LED headlights. Standard audio is a 205-watt/12-speaker system with AM/FM/Bluetooth, USB and something that's becoming optional or nonexistent in others -- a CD player. As is oft the case with German luxury cars, a rearview camera is extra, as is a genuine leather interior. In addition to its more powerful engine, the 540i does include leather upholstery and opens the door to more options.

Optional Equipment

Another BMW trait is a plethora of options, ranging from advanced safety systems to that diamond-infused Bowers & Wilkins audio system (see Favorite Things). A variety of driver-assistance systems brings the 5 Series another step closer to semi-autonomous driving. In addition to active cruise control and safety features like blind-spot monitoring, the Side Collision Avoidance system can steer the car to evade a vehicle drifting into your lane. The Luxury Seating Package adds ventilation and massaging functionality to the front seats. If you routinely drive in snowy, slick conditions, consider the xDrive all-wheel-drive system. Apple CarPlay compatibility is available, but $300 extra.

Under the Hood
2017 BMW 5 Series Engine photo

Initially, two new turbocharged engines will be offered in the new 5 Series sedan. The 530i picks up where the 528i left off, with a 4-cylinder that gets a modest bump in power. The 540i, replacing the 535i, gets a new inline-6 with 35 more horsepower. A V8 will join the sedan lineup a few months later in the M550i xDrive, technically a 2018 model. Another 2018 BMW, the 550e plug-in hybrid, is also to arrive later. As for a new diesel 5 Series, none has been announced as yet; ditto for a new BMW M5. The 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan is connected to a refined 8-speed automatic transmission. The 5 Series Gran Turismo models carry over with the previous-gen powertrains.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (530i sedan)
248 horsepower @ 5,200-6,500 rpm
258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/34 mpg (RWD), 23/33 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (540i sedan)
335 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
332 lb-ft of torque @ 1,380-5,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 mpg (RWD), 20/29 mpg (AWD)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (535i & 535i xDrive Gran Turismo)
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/27 mpg (RWD), 18/26 mpg (AWD)

4.4-liter turbocharged V8 (550i xDrive Gran Turismo)
445 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 2,000-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/24 mpg

Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

The 2017 BMW 5 530i model has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just over $52,000. The 6-cylinder 540i sedan begins over $57,000. Adding the xDrive AWD system is an extra $2,300. As is the norm for a European luxury car, prices easily zoom upward -- an extra $700 for an exterior color in anything other than basic black or white. A loaded 540i can reach $80,000. The carryover 5 Series Gran Turismo starts over $62,000. At these prices, the 5 Series sedan starts just shy of its Mercedes-Benz E-Class rival. Other competitors, from the Audi A6 and Lexus GS to the Jaguar XF and Volvo S90, all have a lower starting price. Before buying, check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others near you are paying for their new 5 Series. The BMW 5 Series' resale value has traditionally lagged behind that of the segment-leading Lexus GS.

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