The M550i xDrive and the electrified 530e iPerformance join the 5 Series lineup for the 2018 model year. Full Merino leather and an Anthracite Alcantara headliner are now available and a leather dashboard is now a stand-alone option. BMW also revised and added some equipment packages to the lineup.
The 5 Series sedan slots right in the middle of BMW's sedan lineup, above the 3 Series but below the flagship 7 Series. In price, the 5 Series is positioned above the 4 Series lineup but below the more expensive 6 Series Gran Coupe and convertible.
The entry-level 530i and 530i xDrive (AWD) come powered by a 248-hp, 258-lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 engine that delivers an EPA-rated 24/34 mpg city/highway and 23/33 mpg respectively. The 530e and 530e xDrive plug-in models are rated at 29 mpg combined and 28 mpg combined and can drive up to 16 miles and 15 miles on all-electric power respectively. Both plug-in models are equipped with a 180-hp, 255-lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter turbocharged I-4 paired to an electric motor that produces a combined power output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft. A 335-hp, 332-lb-ft 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6 powers the 540i (20/30 mpg) and 540i xDrive (20/29 mpg). The M550i xDrive model packs a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 that churns out a potent 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque and delivers 16/25 mpg. All engines are backed by an eight-speed automatic, and an M5 model is on the way.
Standard features for the 2018 5 Series include 18-inch double spoke light alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights and LED fog lights, 16-way power adjustable driver's seat, an 8.8-inch digital cluster, a 205-watt 12-speaker audio system, iDrive 6.0, BMW navigation with a 10.2-inch touchscreen, and interior ambient lighting with 11 colors to choose from. For driving enthusiasts, the available Dynamic Handling Package on the M550i includes Integral Active Steering, an adaptive system that increases steering speed at low speeds and decreases it at high speeds in addition to rear-wheel steering. The package also consists of the Active Roll Stabilization system and the Adaptive M Suspension plus that delivers a great combination of comfort and handling.
The BMW 5 Series received a five-star rating from the NHTSA for the sedan's overall score (out of a possible five stars) and the IIHS' top honor of a 2017 Top Safety Pick+ for scoring the highest rating of Good in all five crash tests (small overlap front, moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats) and the highest rating of Superior for front crash prevention. The 5 Series was able to avoid 12- and 25-mph forward collisions thanks to the available Frontal Collision Warning with City Collision Mitigation found in the Driving Assistance Plus package. The package also includes the self-parking system, Parking Assistant Plus, a surround view camera system with 3D view, blind spot warning, daytime pedestrian protection, lane departure warning, and rear cross-traffic alert.
What We Think
In our First Drive review of the new 2018 530e plug-in, we enjoyed all the green-coaching displays, improved efficiency over the last 5 Series hybrid, the sedan's decent handling on twisty roads, good levels of grip on wet roads, and steering effort, although there was little to no feel. The best part about the sedan was the extra price for the plug-in over the regular 530i -- just $200. We said, "So, what is it? A darned good bargain if A) you can resist its zillion packages and options, B) you feel guilty rattling around in that 4,500-square-foot house just the two of you, and you're determined to make carbon amends, and C) you aren't expecting the Ultimate Driving 5 Series."
After reviewing the 2017 BMW 540i M Sport, we said: "Bestowed with interior perfumes, the highly functional iDrive 6.0, gesture control, and a generous overhaul with quality cabin materials, the substantially more fanciful G30 cabin will be a major contributor to positive acclaim." The driver assist features and semi-autonomous system were impressive, the driving dynamics were spot-on, and acceleration was stout.
The sedan's available Display Key uses the Remote Control Parking feature to maneuver the 5 Series into or out of a parking space while standing outside the vehicle
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