BMW calls its 5-Series four-door the most successful premium sedan. For 2017 it arrives in its 7th generation form that is loaded with state-of-the-art technology and is every bit as dynamic to drive as the models that have come before it.
We recently spent a week with the all-new 2017 BMW 530i, the luxury mid-size sedan from the Bavarian automaker. For 2017, engineers and designers have worked tirelessly to deliver a car that is worthy of the BMW badge while also demonstrating technology that will amaze and impress the masses. There is Integral Active Steering, Driver and Parking Assistance Systems (including remote control parking), iDrive 6.0 with Gesture Control, and even 20-point massage for both front seats.
Let’s first take a look at design as the 2017 5-Series grows in size ever so slightly. The signature kidney grille grows a bit larger and is flanked by twin circular Adaptive Full LED Headlights. Behind those kidney grilles are new active grill slats for better aerodynamics at speed when less air circulation for cooling is required. Two traditional BMW side design elements come together for 2017, those being the swage line and the Hofmeister kink, to offer a bit more masculine look. Rear fascia is also new including exhaust tailpipes arranged symmetrically on both sides with turbo-four cars getting round tips and turbo-six cars getting trapezoidal finishes.
The aforementioned powertrains are the new turbocharged and direct injected 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine generating 248hp or the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder with 335hp. Both engines are mated to the Sport variant of the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and include steering wheel paddle shifters. The 5-Series sedans are offered in rear- or xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive with Driving Dynamics Control featuring selectable drive modes of Eco Pro, Comfort, or Sport settings.
New front and rear suspension systems make for a more nimble and well-controlled ride experience. The new Integral Active Steering technology allows electromechanical steering of the rear wheels for even greater handling and control, both at low speeds and high. At lower speeds, the rear wheels turn in the opposite direction of the front but be careful as you may find the car turning more sharply than you may be used to. At higher speeds, the rear wheels turn in the same direction as the fronts for more control and stability. Braking is exceptional thanks to oversized rotors front and rear. All new 5-Series sedans ride on variations of 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels and tires. Our 530i tester arrived with 19-inch light alloy wheels with run-flat tires. The run-flats do add a bit of noise and harshness but the tradeoff for the piece of mind of being able to limp home safely on a flat is a good tradeoff.
Our tester also arrived with the Dynamic Damper Control that offers improved stability thanks to electrically controlling the anti-roll bars. Dynamic Damper Control also adds an Adaptive setting to the Driving Dynamics Control system. This setting allows the driving systems to automatically adapt to the each driver – and also to the route thanks to integration with the Navigation System Professional that accounts for the road up ahead.
Don’t like driving in stop and go conditions? Let your new 5-Series do it for you. In addition to the standard Dynamic Cruise Control system, BMW offers Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go mode that can basically drive itself. And speaking of driving itself, you can now drive your new 5-Series by remote control from outside of the vehicle. Right now that only works in forward and reverse parking situations but it is quite the sight and will really impress your co-workers. This is the perfect technology for when jerks park too close to your vehicle. Simply pull your vehicle forward or drive it in reverse via the oversized keyfob until the doors clear the other vehicles and you have ample room for access.
Some of the other technologies included or available are Active Lane Keeping Assist and Active Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, Side Collision Avoidance, Evasion Aid, Traffic Jam Assistant, 3D Surround View, ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information, and Wireless Charging that is also used for charging the flip-phone sized vehicle remote.
We finally make our way inside the 2017 BMW 5-Series and we find just as much technology and craftsmanship here as we did outside and under the hood. First on my favorites list is the massaging front seats with heat and ventilation. These are almost as good as a trip to the spa (and yes, you can get the Spa channel on the satellite radio). Next up is the gesture control that operates numerous items in the infotainment system including audio system volume. Simply spin your finger clockwise in front of the center console and the volume goes up – counterclockwise to reduce volume. Atop center dash is the new 10.2-inch high-resolution display for the iDrive 6.0 where nearly all electronic systems in this vehicle can be set or controlled.
We enjoyed the mid-range Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system in our 530i tester. Buyers can also opt for the range-topping Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system and there is an optional rear-seat entertainment system available as well. Seating is comfortable for up to five adults with very good leg and headroom in both front and rear seat areas. Trunk space has been increased for 2017 as well and the trunk lid is power operated. Overhead is a nicely-sized power moonroof and a power sunshade is offered for the rear window with manual shades on the rear doors.
Let me say a word or two about pricing and packaging for the 2017 5-Series. Our 530i tester arrived with a base MSRP of $51,200, which is not bad considering this is a Bimmer. That, however, quickly rose to over 72 grand on our window sticker thanks to so many options loaded onto this vehicle – and most of those really fancy items I mentioned above are optional. Fuel economy is rated at 24 mpg city and 34 mpg highway.
The new 5-Series from BMW is spectacular and some of the technologies are just mind blowing in a vehicle. Ole Henry Ford would probably run scared hollering about witchcraft or something were he to see this 7th-generation 530i. The car rides and drives excellent (as it should) with the little turbo four offering good power and acceleration while doing it very quietly and smoothly. And an impromptu cone course set out for a bicycle rally proved to be no match for the handling skills of our tester (or its driver). BMW calls itself “The Ultimate Driving Machine” and this car proved it is worthy of that moniker while also being a showplace for the latest advancements in automotive technology.