The BMW 5 Series has been on sale in the US since 1975. A complete redesign for 2017 brought it into its seventh generation. For 2019, not much is new except for the loss of the diesel-powered 540d, which is in step with BMW's recent announcement that it would in its lineup this model year.
Powertrain and specs
The 5 Series offers a choice of four powertrains that can power the rear wheels or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. For starters, in the 530i and 530i xDrive (all-wheel drive), there's a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque, which is competitive with other midsize luxury sedans.
Next up, the 530e iPerformance and 530e xDrive iPerformance plug-in hybrids are also powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, but in addition, are augmented with an electric motor that brings total system output to 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. That's stout, but the Volvo S90 T8 plug-in hybrid packs more huff and puff with 400 horsepower and 472 pound-feet of torque.
The turbocharged 3.0-liter, straight-six-cylinder 540i and 540i xDrive are good for 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, while the M550i xDrive with its 4.4-liter, turbocharged V8 makes 455 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque.
The base 530i gets an EPA-estimated 24 miles per gallon in the city and 34 mpg highway. All-wheel drive reduces those figures by 1 mpg. The 530e gets, 29 mpg combined and has a 16-mile all-electric range while the xDrive version achieves 67 MPGe, 28 mpg combined and can go 14 miles on electric power alone. For reference, the aforementioned gas-only models return 27 mpg combined.
According to EPA estimates, all-wheel drive does not affect the 540i's fuel economy, so all six-cylinder 5 Series sedans are rated at 21/29 mpg. The V8 M550i xDrive has yet to receive official fuel economy figures.
The least expensive 5 Series' fuel economy is about the same as other 2.0-liter, turbocharged midsize luxury sedans. The Audi A6 achieves 25/34, while the Jaguar XF has identical figures. The Mercedes-Benz E300 is less efficient at 22/30, but the the 2.0-liter version of the Volvo S90 has fuel economy that's identical to the 530i.
Inside the 5 Series, there's enough room for up to five passengers. At 18.7 cubic feet of trunk space, the 5 Series sits on the upper end of the class, while plug-in hybrid versions make do with 14.5 cubic feet. That's still better than many competitors except the Jaguar XF with up to 19.1 cubic feet. The Audi A6, meanwhile, offers only 14.1 cubic feet. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Volvo S90 have even less trunk space at 13.1 and 13.5 cubic feet.
Most players in this class offer limited standard interior and driver safety tech, but the 5 Series bucks that tendency with standard Apple CarPlay (although Android Auto is absent) on a 10.2-inch touchscreen that can also be operated via BMW's iDrive rotary-dial interface.
Also standard are natural-language voice recognition, real-time traffic/parking monitoring, a 12-speaker, 205-watt audio system with HD radio, and embedded navigation with a 200GB hard drive. Standard driver assistance systems include pedestrian-detecting collision-mitigation braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and driver fatigue monitoring.
Options and pricing
With base prices from $53,400 to $74,450 (plus $995 for destination), the BMW 5 Series falls on the pricier side of the segment. Excluding the M550i xDrive, all 5 Series sedans are offered in three option-package tiers. For an extra $1,400, the Convenience Tier adds keyless access, satellite radio, heated front seats and a powered trunk lid.
The Premium Tier tacks on another $1,250 and adds features like a head-up display, gesture control, wireless smartphone charging and a Wi-Fi hotspot. Another $1,850 for the Executive Tier gets you full-LED headlights with automatic high beams, soft-closing doors, a digital instrument cluster display, sunshades for the rear side windows and a power rear sunshade.
All four-cylinder 5 Series models, whether gas-powered or plug-in hybrid, are priced identically, so the Executive Tier brings the 530i and 530e iPerformance to $57,900, while top-tier xDrive models end up at $60,200. The 540i starts at $58,950 and the Executive Tier xDrive model runs $65,750.
The M550i xDrive starts at $74,450, but instead of tiers, it offers a $1,250 Premium Package and an $1,100 Executive Package that offer pretty much the same bundles of options you'll find on the lower models' corresponding tiers.
A $1,700 Driving Assistance Package features adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist with side collision avoidance and front cross-traffic alert. The $700 Parking Assistance Package adds a surround-view monitor, ultrasonic parking sensors and autonomous parallel parking, while the $1,200 Luxury Seating Package includes front-seat massaging and ventilation.
Options include a $4,200 ($3,400 on M550i) Bowers & Wilkins, a $700 leather-trimmed dash, $2,200 rear-seat entertainment and remote-control parking for $850. With every box ticked, an M550i can cost $101,420.
The 2019 BMW 5 Series is on sale nationwide now.