BMW has been manufacturing its executive car, the 5 series since 1972. It is now in its 6th generation and comes in both saloon and touring body styles. This car is BMW’s second top selling model after the 3 series and in 2010 the German car major earned half of its profits through the sale of only 5 series models.
The 5 series and the 3 series were the initial BMWs launched in India when the company entered the market in 2006 and established its sales subsidiary in Gurgaon to develop a dealer network. Currently, the 5 series is sold in both petrol and diesel options and has a total of 6 variants including the top trim M5 (4395 cc V8 petrol engine driven with 7 speed automatic gearbox) that has almost everything you would expect in a super saloon.
The most recent facelifted version of BMW 5 series was launched in October 2013 and the car got a number of restyled smart features externally and inside the cabin.
This swanky sedan makes a compelling case for itself with its characteristic BMW elements – the kidney grille in front, the twin barrel headlamps, the stretched bonnet with swage lines, an aerodynamic roofline, the Hofmeister kink and the extensive yet finely flared wheel arches – it gets them all. The detailing on the door flanks also gives it an additional oomph factor.
Although BMW 5 series models are built on the same platform as the 7 series, it has a shorter length and wheelbase. The 5 series also shares an array of superior technology driven systems with the 7 series. These include things like Dynamic Driving Control that let you make a selection between Normal, Sport and Sport + mode and modify throttle responses, feel of steering and automatic gearbox action. There are 17 inch and 20 inch run flat tyres for the different trims of 5 series.
The cabin too has a plush feel and is as grand as that of the 7 series. All controls on the layered dashboard are elegantly styled and have an ergonomic placing. BMW designers do not play a lot with forms and shapes and so the prime features have exhibit a similar look through years. But now, after the recent makeover of 5 series, there is a pleasant change in the dials and the iDrive system. In Comfort or Eco-Pro mode, the screen presents information in usual analogue format but go into the Sport mode and it will flash a vibrant red colour. With a trackpad on the controller, the iDrive has 25.8 cm display and this makes toggling through the different controls simpler, slicker and more spontaneous.
A premium quality music system and a host of comfort features make it a pleasure to be inside the 5 series cabin. Climate control, electrically adjustable front seats, front & rear parking sensors, rear view parking camera, rake and reach adjustable steering wheels – BMW has planned all features well to ensure the best of luxury inside this plush saloon. There is ample comfort at the rear with well sculpted seats and separate AC controls. That’s quite obvious as most of the owners of this German luxury are chauffeur driven. And there is a bunch of well devised safety elements too – 6 airbags, Electronic Stability Program, Anti lock braking System, Electronic brakeforce distribution, and traction control.
The petrol driven 520i, 535i and M5 variants are powered by 1997 cc/4 cylinder, 2996 cc/6 cylinder, 4395 cc/V8 engines respectively. A 1995 cc/4 cylinder diesel engine has been used in 520d and 525d while bigger 2993cc/6 cylinder diesel motor powers the 530d. So there is a lot to choose from when you’re all set to purchase a 5 series!
In terms of fuel economy, the petrol variants deliver between 6.5 and 12 km/litre and the diesel ones offer 7.9 to 13.8 km/litre. The M5 does not have a very good economy due to the bulky engine and gives only 4.7 to 7 km /litre.
There’s a big assortment of colours to choose from, for your BMW 5 series: Alpine White, Black Sapphire Metallic, Cashmere Silver, Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Havanna Metallic, Imperial Blue Brilliant Effect Metallic, Milano Beige Metallic, Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect Metallic, Space Grey Metallic, and Titanium Silver Metallic. And cars are priced between Rs 41.5 lakhs and Rs 62.32 lakhs but the M5 costs Rs 98.9 lakhs (all prices ex showroom Delhi).
The 5 series has a record replete with awards and accolades. The E39 5-Series was amongst Car and Driver magazine`s annual Ten Best for six consecutive years between1997 through 2002. It was also honoured with title of Motor Trend`s Import Car of the Year for 1997 and has been ‘What Car?’ magazine`s Executive Car of the Year 1997 through 2002. The JB car pages gave the BMW 5-Series a best-in-class 4 1/2 star rating.
Refined engine, spacious cabin and commendable performance, the class of BMW 5 series speaks for itself and after more than 4 decades on roads and increased competition, it is still a highly recommended option for luxury car buyers.