Cooley On Cars
On the road: 2017 BMW 530iThe 5 Series just started its seventh generation, and it's one of the most anticipated 5s ever, with a big leap in cabin tech along with a big leap down in base engine size to a 2-liter turbo four. Cooley drives it and checks the tech.
[SOUND] Now i'm the oddball in the room. I think the new five series looks pretty notably different and better. Other folks they show it to you say, I can hardly tell from the last generation. Where do you stand? Now what you are seeing is a car that is a little over an inch longer. It's not noticable to be honest. And it's marginally wider. The proportions are the same, it presents the same in person. Although I do think it looks a little less bulky than the last two generation. going all the way back to those tragic Bangle cars it began in 04 with this one, I think we have finally washed all of that tubby lardiness out of the look of the 5. In terms of interior dimensions, if you're sitting behind me, you better be short or a dog. They supposedly have an inch more leg room in the back, but behind me you won't notice it. Now, the cabin [UNKNOWN] in this vehicle, of course, is a big redo. That is a very different [UNKNOWN] drive. You can tell by the six card layout there and You can touch that screen. Now here's the odd thing, they kept the screen in the same place as when it was non touch, which means it's basically about one hand too far away. So you may not be touching it much. But you've got so many ways to interact with this car, listing them is like walking into the bamboo lounge in Goodfellas. [MUSIC] And there's Johnny voice command. Anthony touch screen. His two guys, Jimmy home run buttons and Tommy turn wheel. Sammy shortcut strip who sometimes works with Henry hand writing pad. And Johnny control, gesture control. Called that because you gotta do everything two times. If I hold my hand here and turn it in a circle, you hear how the volume works? You've also got this gesture you can use to accept or deny, like a call coming in. And you've got this kind of two fingered evilized thing. You can program in the car. That's your optional third thing that you can do. Borrowed from the seven is optional remote parking, the big crowd pleaser that let you park your car while outside your car. Just hold the button down. This inner panel is interesting, we've got a combination of physical vessels. But virtual needles, that are done in video. Now the other big headline on this car aside from refreshed iDrive. Is that it's the first production vehicle to have wireless CarPlay. I'd love to show you how it works. But we spent over an hour trying to get it to work, and it never did. Somewhere between the bluetooth pairing for CarPlay, the system suggesting we install a BMW app that doesn't seem to exist on the App Store, and the car's refusal to accept its own wi-fi password, we just ran out of time. I do believe this is an isolated case, and kudos to BMW for being the first to embrace this important upgrade to CarPlay. Neat trick here on the radio, a little TiVo or DVR style function there which is not new, we've seen that on cars before but it neatly segments the recorded audio by track. So you jump back a track at a time not by time signature. [MUSIC] Okay, two things to know when you start driving the 530i that made themselves clear right off the bat. Number one, this is the engine to get. This 2.0 liter turbo 4 is a miracle. Am I about to say the words I've never said in 1,200 car videos for CNET? No turbo lag. I think I am about too. It's amazing. Super smooth by the way. I often use Audi as my benchmark for powertrain and running gear smoothness. This is right there with Audi. Now the other thing I noticed right off the bat, is the fact that if you're in comfort mode on the suspension settings, it's kind of a boat. Then I realized [NOISE] I'm in comfort mode. Let me drop everything into sport mode and suddenly it just gets firm enough. And one of the things making this car a delight to drive in town and on a nice twisting canyon road like this. Is the fact that we've got the adaptive steering package. That means we've got variable ratio of the [UNKNOWN]. We've also got rear wheel steering which we've discussed in a car [UNKNOWN] 101. The combination of the two give this vehicle almost a magical ability to turn in place as it goes into the corner not just drag the tail by the nose. Behind the [UNKNOWN] is only one choice [UNKNOWN] speed automatic You do have the option of an all-wheel drive powertrain as well though. All placing the 5 and again I like the 530i, this to me is the smart money car. This two liter turbo four and it's gonna start you just about 50 To deliver it. But then, because it's a BMW, the option list is long to get it CNET Style. There are one, two, three driver assistance packages you want to get the full boat driver assist. And if you don't get at least the first one, you don't get a rear camera. You know, the same thing the cheapest Civic includes at no extra cost. The M Sport Package of course is very popular, a mild bodied get hot steering wheel, black out trim and a lower stance. Premium package is chunky but that's where you gt wifi, wireless charging satellite radio and keyless If you want the LED lights to be adaptive in automatic on high beam that's another grand. Active steering, 1100. The gesture control is so silly but, it's so cheap why not for under 200 bucks. I really think you want the dynamic dampers. The active suspension might take out some of the slop I notice. And CarPlay is a steal at 300, if it works for you. We're just a little bit over 64,000, CNET Style. I like this 5 Series, I think it really hits to a good center spot of having a lot of the BMW hallmarks of feeling light, bright and tight on its feet. But at the same time really pushing the tech envelope for those who can't afford a seven. [MUSIC] More cars driven CNET style standing by now at CNETOnCars.com. Click in the on the road. [NOISE]