The new BMW 5 Series is designed to make your journey a lot more comfortable especially as a commuter, and we took the new 188bhp BMW 520d M Sport for a 24-hour straight drive from Spain to London, covering around 2383km to put it to test.
Since its first appearance in the 70’s, the 7th generation 5 series is more advanced and connected than ever, you can even still see the same design DNA in the new version, for example, the signature kidney grille.
The New BMW 520d M Sport Is Designed To Feel Safer And More Stable
Around the car from our first look, you will notice that they have designed the new 5 series to look muscular, tighter and it’s a little lighter too. The kidney grille as an active air stream system that opens and closes when needed to keep the engine cool.
The exterior dimensions of the BMW 5 Series Saloon are only slightly larger than those of its predecessor. The new car is 36mm longer, six millimetres wider and two mm taller; its wheelbase measures 2,975mm, an increase of 7mm, all resulting in a car that feels solid on the road.
LED Headlights are standard, while the Adaptive LED Headlights alter the light graphic and can be specified as an option with BMW Selective Beam anti-dazzle high-beam that can light up the road up to 500 metres ahead. Driving through Spain in the dark felt really safe as we could see further than usual.
Something I’ve experienced in the past with cars in general, is stability on the road when driving on the highway, and the new BMW 5 Series features Air Curtains in the front apron and combined with Air Breathers, it cuts air turbulence in the wheel arches, stability is improved significantly and almost makes you feel like you’re gliding as you push through onrushing air.
Elsewhere, you will notice the swage line which offers a dynamic look even when stationary; there’s also a second line added to create shadow too, again adding to its muscular look. The M Sport version we tested here also comes with two trapeze-shaped exhausts. Inside, the screen is lowered for a better view of the road ahead and orientation towards the driver creates a better sense of a console or cockpit for the driver.
Our BMW 520d M Sport had a whole lot of extras added to get a feel for what to expect. The dash was finished in leather with M Sport logo on the steering, the pedals finished in alloys and the entry door also illuminated. As it’s also the M Sport version, the seats had larger wings which can be adjusted to grip your sides better.
Inside there’s ambient lighting that gives a sense of calm – the ambient light as up to 14 choices of colours available too to fully make it your own. Passengers at the back can also expect better shoulder room and the boot is bigger and large enough for at least three large suitcases (530 litres). Although the version we tested didn’t have a massage function, it’s something you can opt for.
Using a combination of alloys and magnesium in the body and chassis, BMW managed to save 100kg in weight offering better agility, acceleration and braking. The new BMW 5 Series is the lightest in the range with a lower centre of gravity.
The New BMW is the most connected and advanced yet
Inside the BMW 520d M Sport, there’s the gesture control system (optional) that was introduced in the 7 series, it allows you to rotate your finger to change volume, point to mute and more. It makes it easier for the driver to keep eyes on the road without the distraction of trying to find buttons.
To use car functions, there’s a fixed 10.25-inch high-resolution screen which allows you to use the Navigation, RTTI, telephone, entertainment features and vehicle functions can be visualised. The display can be controlled using the iDrive Controller by the gear stick, gestures, voice commands or simply touching the buttons on the touch-sensitive display.
One of the new button functions is a message centre, where all incoming SMS messages, emails and information about the car’s operating state can be found. The latest generation of the BMW Head-Up Display has a resolution of 800 x 400 pixels, and the projection area is around 70 percent larger than its predecessor.
The standard, two-zone automatic climate control features independent temperature control for driver and front passenger and automatic activation of the air recirculation function, for instance when driving through a tunnel. Optional extras include a four-zone climate control system and the Ambient Air package, which uses ionisation to ensure the air inside the car is of the highest quality (and fragranced if so desired).
For entertainment, there are six speakers; progressing to the eight channel system with 12 speakers, and then the 600-watt Harman/Kardon system with 16 speakers. The ultimate option for audiophiles is the Bowers and Wilkins Diamond surround sound system, with 10-channel amplifier and 16 speakers featuring 1,400 watts.
If you have children, you could opt to have two independently controlled, high-resolution 10.2-inch screens with DVD/Blu-Ray player installed – it also includes connections for MP3 players, USB devices, games consoles and wireless headphones.
Without getting into too many details about the car spec and optional packs available, the BWM 520d M Sport will soon be popular on the road as it offers a really good fuel efficiency. It can do 0-62mph in 7.5 seconds, 68.1mpg and top out at about 146mph.
The new chassis makes the new BMW 5 Series feel safer on the road whether you are cruising down the motorway or going round bends and corners, it gives it a sense of precision and confidence. Stick the car in ‘sport’ mode and you get a tighter steering and the gears ride longer to give that extra oomph without draining your tank.
The 520d M sport is very roomy everywhere (front, back and boot), your passengers will have a lot of knee room even with the driver riding back and the front is no different.
The level of entertainment available to you is in abundance, especially if you can afford the extras – you can even opt to have remote parking using the key fob.
One thing we didn’t get with our test model is the new Adaptive Mode on Drive Performance Control which is available as an option. It allows the car to support you when driving, perhaps if you need to take your hands off the wheel for a second, the car can drive for you. It’s designed to assist you and not there to take over completely. It can brake, overtake and keep distance as needed.
To find out more about the new BMW 5 Series, check out BWM’s website.