BMW 5 series better all round

Motoring

BMW 5 series better all round

The new 5 Series BMW is the 7th generation of this highly regarded model from BMW.

With over 7.6 million 5 Series sold since it was first launched way back in 1972 it is a very important model for the German manufacturer. Furthermore cars like the latest new Mercedes E Class have been nibbling away at BMW’s share in the saloon class luxury market, so the new 5 Series needs to be good!

Prices start at €52,800 for the entry level 520d SE.

There is no manual now as all cars come with an 8-speed sequential gearbox as standard.

With a host of option packs a buyer can pretty much build a car to his or her own specification and suffice to say I do not have the space here to detail all these options but a visit to your dealer will educate further.

So has it got any street cred?

The new car is bigger, lighter, and more aerodynamic, which is in itself a testament to BMW engineers. However it will take a keen eye to see the difference between it and the previous model.

Parked side by side its obvious but away from its predecessor the new 5 series looks quite like the old one, but thats a good thing as it is a lovely looking, classy, saloon.

So whats it like inside?

Overall the new interior is a step up from the old, with even better quality materials, more detailing such as aluminium and leather and of course its packed with new technologies.

The instruments are now digitally generated but look like traditional analogue dials, which I like.

The large central touch screen boasts gesture control (you can adjust the volume of the sound system by moving your finger in a circular motion) as well as other gesture control modes.

The seats are superb and the cabin is about as large and roomy as you could want.

The real highlights in the new 5 Series are in the technology areas.

For example the key looks like a mini iPhone (don’t loose it as I hate to imagine the replacement cost) and on it you can view items such as the range remaining from the on board fuel, the security status of the car, its service details, and even preset the climate control to come on before your planned next departure to have the cabin at just the right temperature for you before you drive!

Other great features include BMW’s “Co Pilot Assist” which uses cameras and radar for signpost recognition.

Approaching a stop sign too quickly and the car gives a visual and audible warning via the Head Up Display, other items such as lane keep assist, try to reverse and if a person or car passes behind you it audibly warns the driver, adaptive cruise control, brakes the car automatically to a standstill if the car in from stops.

Then there is the connectivity! Via BMW Connect, the car updates you on the latest weather in your area of travel, traffic, news, etc.

You can also call the BMW centre and request the nearest restaurant, or petrol station, they then send the details to the sat nav and navigate you automatically to the requested destination.

It goes on and on, if you have a smart devises at home such as you lighting you could even turn it on and off via BMW Connect from the car!

So whats under the bonnet?

The 520d is powered by a 2.0 litre 4 cylinder twin turbo diesel producing 188 bhp at 4,000rpm.

Mated to the excellent 8-speed sequential gearbox its a very refined unit with plenty of get up and go. Its quiet too.

In fact at motorway speeds its inaudible!

Over my weeks test it burned just 7.0 litres of diesel per 100km which is very good and costs €270.00 to tax for a year.

Will I enjoy Driving It?

In short yes!

The model on test here is the 4 wheel drive X-Drive and its limpet-like grip in corners on even wet roads is quite impressive.

However the two wheel rear drive standard model is equally surefooted and both a rewarding drivers cars with direct response to driver inputs and a supple ride that will keep passengers happy.

So what is the verdict?

BMW have done it again! They made an excellent car better.

Keeping the good points of the previous model and improving areas that needed it.

This car is not a giant leap forward as a basic car, but it did not need to be.

The giant leap forward here is in the technologies and driver assist programs.

Its a better car all round.

The BMW 520d SE X-Drive on test with option packs costs €76,107.

The new 5 Series retains its crown of King Of the Luxury Saloons!