36.2 - 128.4
49 - 176 g/km
Very quiet cabin
Fantastic interior design & quality
Roomy back seats
Buttons in car feel cheap
A little too similar to the 7 series
Some key features cost extra
The BMW 5 Series is a stunning and powerful executive saloon that is definitely sportier than a Mercedes E-class and comes with so many high-tech features that for now it's not even comparable to an Audi A6. The 5 series is also available like most other german automobile manufacturers in the more practical estate, called the BMW 5 series Touring which will reviewed separately.
The new 5 Series’ intelligent and well balanced exterior styling is mirrored in its cabin. It’s not quite as elegant as an E-class’ swooping interior but it is more aggressive and stylish in it's own way. If we need to put it one way I would say that the E-Class is a chaffeur level elegance and for more of the relaxed person while the bmw 5 series is full of dynamic lines, sharp corners and in general younger , fresher and bolder feel.
From the very comfortable driver’s seat you can easily reach all the key controls and BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system really is the best in the business. I changed from my daily car an Audi A5 to the 5 series for the week and found out that my Audi which I considered as being super technologic as being a prehistoric car from the 1800. The new 5 series comes with satellite-navigation as standard and now sports a second digital display for the driver instead of old-fashioned dials.
It’s quick and easy to navigate your way through its numerous menus using the knob on the centre console, and you can also use voice and gesture control features. The latter might be a bit gimmicky but overall the system itself is far easier to use than what you’ll get in either an E-class or an A6.
There’s loads of headroom in the front and enough seat adjustment for six-footers to get comfortable. Unfortunately, lumbar support for the driver and passenger will set you back £225, even on top-spec cars but to be honest I have it in my Audi and never really used it unless I want to look like a yoga instructor at the wheel.
Space in the back is nearly as generous as in the front. Your passengers get a decent amount of headroom and plenty of knee and legroom – even for tall people. There’s more shoulder room for carrying three abreast than you’ll find in a Mercedes E-Class but the BMW’s rather hard, raised middle seat and huge lump in the floor mean the Mercedes will still be more comfortable with three in the back. I personally collected 4 clients while having the Bmw 5 series and had a packed car with people and luggage and found that we all fitted very well within the interior .
You can fit two large and two small suitcases in the 5 Series’ 530-litre boot, and the rear seats fold down in a two-way (60:40) split if you need to carry long items and a passenger at the same time. You can fit a bike in the boot with the rear seats down, so long as you remove a wheel from the bike, but the boot floor’s slightly awkward shape means it’s a little trickier to load bulky luggage than in an E class but possible with a little fiddling.
The new 5 series is bigger then it’s predecessor and even tough that might seem like a ridiculous move for a car of such size already, I must admit that the new space inside is not something I hate and ecstatically from the exterior gives the car a more dominant look and a well balanced aesthetic.
I own a new Audi A5 and I must admit that going from that to the new BMW 5 series was overwhelming at the beginning. I couldn’t even get the car to move from dealership but after my week with the car I could not imagine my life without it. The entertainment system , navigation system and in general on board technology is years ahead of other luxury automotive competitors. Like anyone I find touch screen as being the way forward but sometimes I understand that it's not the best method of control, and BMW did too. It's easily controllable in the old fashioned method through the buttons and knob but I retain that the touch screen could have been made easier to use if the screen was positioned better as at the moment quite extensive reaching is involved.
Car play is a feature that I think I could no longer live without in my Audi. I found that even tough it looks beautifully laid out and easy to use in the new entertainment system, the BMW stock menu and car play did not merge together well and functioned strictly as two completely separate systems within the car. I would have expected the two systems to communicate and co exist but instead they seemed to shift from one to another as if shifting from Mac operating system to a windows. This made it a little confusing to utilise at times but is something once you get used to will no longer bother.
In the likely event that this is the first time you are hearing of this let me explain it to you. It’s the new feature BMW is integrating in their new BMW’s such as the new 5 series and 7 series as long as I know. A small camera hidden in the ceiling between the ceiling lighting reads your hand movements so you can gesture to your car any commands so that you can control the entertainment system. Gesture control can become very useful in my opinion if you put time and practis and is absolutely an incredible feature to have which will definitely make your passengers look at you in disbelief. I find it easier to just use the knob or the touch screen but if you want to practise your dance moves while driving this could be option for you.
The interior not only looks premium but feels premium too. Throughout the cabin it was difficult to find any piece where attention to detail was not given and that felt cheap. Every part within felt stable and solid. luxury quality. In this particular model colour matching was done perfectly and the blue exterior and white interior looked stunning both from outside the car and inside.
There was anyhow just some very minor details that I just could not comprehend why BMW would ignore when they put so much care in everything else. The biggest example of this was example the window buttons which for any BMW passionate was obviously directly taken from production line of the old gen 5 series and re-used in the new one. For loyal BMW customers this will not be something to deter them off this car but is definitely something that would be best to be looked into. In this case such buttons like the window buttons or radio could have a more premium feel like in the new A5 where they are a mix between aluminium and hard plastic with chrome borders.
Storage bins and sides of the doors do scratch easily but are well concealed making it not too visible. Premium materials in those places look great when the car is new but when they age they create problems. BMW did a good job with that in this model.
Trying to take control of my emotions here is difficult. The ambient lighting in the new 5 series is absolutely unbelievable! The ambient lighting package which is standard in the new 5 series is the coolest feature inside a car I have yet seen. Yes , my Audi has it but my god BMW... the intensity , the colours and just general design of your ambient lighting is incredible and a winner in this category. In no car before have I ever gotten thumbs up and people complimenting the ambient lighting from passing cars and pedestrians. The options for dual colours, intensity settings and driving adaptation options for the lights are well thought of and a perfect touch to making the ideal driving condition.