BMW has given its Five Series luxury sedan a midlife update, perking it up with fresher looks and upgraded technology.
The firm’s “business athlete” is imbued with more presence and modernity with its updated exterior design, while the interior has an enhanced premium feel. Innovations in driver assistance and connectivity make the Five Series a “digital flagship”, says BMW.
The external facelift to the world’s most successful business sedan sees the front adopting a wider and taller BMW kidney grille, although the Bavarian company has resisted giving it a “mega grille” as on the 7 Series and X7.
Also new are LED headlights with slimmer contours, Adaptive LED Headlights with matrix technology added to the options list, and Laserlight now available as an option for all models. At the rear are new three-dimensional sculpted tail lights and trapezoidal tailpipes.
The Five Series is offered in two flavours: a base model and M Sport package with more muscular design features.
Inside, the upgraded car comes with a wide range of digital services including remote software upgrades and an upgraded digital assistant, an “onboard buddy” that responds to intuitive voice commands. A fully digital instrument cluster has an improved user interface, and smartphone integration now also features Android Auto (in addition to Apple CarPlay).
Making its debut is BMW Maps, a new cloud-based navigation system offering extremely fast and precise calculation of routes and arrival times, and is designed to better take on services like Google Maps and Waze. It offers real-time traffic data updates at short intervals, and the driver can send the destination address to the car from a connected app outside the car.
Extended driver assistance systems pave the way for automated driving, including a lane-keeping feature and Active Navigation with a Lane Change Assistant. An optional reversing assistant function automatically steers the vehicle over exactly the same route it has last been driven forward — great for reversing out of tight and tricky parking spots.
Optionally available is Integral Active Steering which improves low-speed manoeuvring and high-speed stability by steering the rear wheels.
The plug-in hybrid range expands to five models but none of these will be available in SA. When it arrives here near the end of the year the local range will comprise the four-cylinder and rear-wheel drive 520d and 530i, and the V8-engined and all-wheel drive M550i xDrive and M5 Competition. New 48V mild hybrid technology on the four-cylinder engines improve fuel efficiency and boost power.
Power ratings are 520d (140kW/400Nm), 530i (185kW/350Nm), and M550i (390kW/750Nm). BMW hasn’t confirmed whether the M5 Competition’s 460kW and 750Nm outputs will be changed.
“The updated Five Series raises the benchmark in terms of design, efficiency, driving dynamics and digitalisation,” said Pieter Nota, BMW’s board member for Customer, Brands and Sales, during the virtual global launch of the new Five Series on May 27 2020. “It’s younger, smarter and more sustainable.”