The launch of the new BMW 5 series has been one of the most awaited events in the Indian automobile space this year. The premium luxury sedan is BMW’s highest selling car in India and such is its approval that it sells more than more affordable cars from the brand. In its tenth year in the country the German car maker has launched the 7th generation of the 5 series in the market. The sedan was revealed globally in October last year to a lot of appreciation and having sold more than 19,000 of the previous generations in India, BMW is confident that the new 5 series will take the brand’s success story forward. In ways more than one this new car is reminiscent of the 7 series sedan and that could be the key to how it is accepted in times of some stiff competition.
The design of the new 5 series is unmistakably BMW. The impression one gets when looking at the car is one of confidence and dynamism. This is one area where the rivals find hard to match the design elements of the car. And there’s a lot of aesthetic appeal as well. It’s clear that the new 5 Series brings together two traditional BMW design elements that lend the car a forward-surging character therefore providing the much needed muscularity. What also contribute to that are the narrowed down kidney grille and the headlamps. The rear has some very attractive edges and overall this new car looks one up on the last generation. There are three exclusive design schemes on the car—Sport Line (light-alloy wheels in a bi-colour polished finish), Luxury Line (high-gloss chrome and matching wheels) and M Sport (light-alloy wheels, M badging) which offer options that meet individual requirements.
In typical BMW style, the cockpit is angled towards the driver to put all controls within reach and facilitate intuitive driving. A lot has been done to ensure that drivers feel at home inside the car. It is equipped with a touchscreen system that has BMW iDrive with Navigation Professional. The Head-Up display in the M Sport variant is now 70 percent larger than before resulting in better concentration on the road ahead. Ambient Lighting is proving to be a popular option these days and six dimmable designs find a place in this new 5 as well. The car is much roomier inside, something which can be attributed not just to the lowered instrument panel and free-standing display, but also to the cabin’s enlarged dimensions, particularly in terms of elbow and shoulder room. The second also has increased knee room and extended legroom but the middle passenger might struggle a bit due to the big transmission tunnel. The rear-seat entertainment experience includes two 10’’ colour displays along with a Blu-ray player an HDMI connection for mobile devices. Up to three sets of headphones can be connected via the integrated wireless interface. Boot capacity also has increased and now stands at 400 litres.
In typical BMW style, the cockpit is angled towards the driver to put all controls within reach and facilitate intuitive driving. A lot has been done to ensure that drivers feel at home inside the car.
The mini 7 series?
A lot of features seen on company’s flagship the 7 series have been put in this new 5 as well, and that makes this a lot more appealing. Technologies such as Gesture Control, Remote Control Parking with BMW Display Key and Wireless Charging all are present in the car. The most notable is the gesture control where the car recognizes six pre-defined hand movements for control of a number of functions. This includes volume control, accepting or rejecting phone calls, acknowledging check control messages, closing an information window, changing the camera angle etc. There is also the option of pairing a specific gesture with an individual choice of function. Then there is Remote Control Parking where a driver can maneuver the car into a narrow parking space while being outside the car. All acceleration and braking actions are monitored and controlled by the Park Distance Control (PDC), the Parking Assistant with the Surround View camera, while the engine can be started and switched off by remote control. The function is activated via the BMW display key. This key also displays service reminders, cabin temperature, mileage range and fuel level. The smart phone holder is integrated into the centre console which allows inductive wireless charging for mobile phones and the display key.
The new 5 series has been launched with 1 petrol and 2 Diesel engine options while there are 4 variants in all. The BMW 530d runs on a 3.0 litre six-cylinder diesel engine that produces an output 265 hp and a maximum torque of 620 Nm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 km / hr in just 5.7 seconds to a top speed of 250 km / hr. The other Diesel is a 2.0 litre four cylinder diesel of the 520d that produces 190 hp and and 400 Nm. The only petrol is the 530i which again has a 2.0 litre four cylinder motor that 252 hp and 350 Nm. The car accelerates from 0 -100 km / hr in 6.2 seconds. There’s an eight-speed Steptronic Sport automatic transmission that is available with steering wheel paddle shifters. BMW is claiming good driving comfort owing to Dynamic Damper Control that improves ride quality and suspension by stabilizing all irregularities of the road surface. The driver is able to choose between different driving modes to suit the driving conditions (Comfort, Sport, Sport+, ECO PRO and Adaptive). The car is also lighter by 70 Kgs that before and that just means better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency.
One of the most attractive things about the new 5 series is its price. It starts at Rs. 49.9 lakh for the only Petrol and base Diesel variants. The top M sport model is priced at Rs. 61.6 lakh. This is due to lower GST rates on premium cars and also because the car is locally assembled in India. There’s a long list of safety technologies that include six air bags, Cornering Brake Control, Hill Descent Control, Side-impact Protection and runflat tyres. A car full of safety, technology and features at the right price is just what BMW needed to take on the competition and the new 5 series makes the cut with ease.
Shams Naqvi is an anchor/producer for the News X motor show Living Cars.