BMW has raised the bar for its mid-sized luxury sedan, confirming details for the seventh-generation 5-Series sedan range ahead of its official arrival in Australian showrooms next March.
The German brand has increased the price across the board, but says a higher level of standard equipment, including advanced new safety features, semi-autonomous driving functions and class-leading connectivity, makes the new 5-Series better value than the outgoing model.
The executive sedan will initially launch with a four-model line-up from March, two petrol- and two diesel-powered variants, with a starting price of $93,900 (plus on-road costs) for the entry-level 520d.
That is a significant $9145 premium over the current 520d, and a $11,645 increase over today's entry-level 520i which won't be replaced, but positions it almost line-ball with its direct competitor, the Mercedes-Benz E220d which costs $1000 less.
However, BMW says the increased level of standard equipment in the 520d equates to more than $15,000 in extra value. Even in its most basic specification, it is fitted with 18-inch alloy wheels, leather trim, keyless access and push button start, electrical adjustment for both front seats and the steering column, LED headlights, Luxury Line trim level, wireless phone charging and a 10.25-inch high-resolution multi-media touch screen with professional sat navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, digital radio and BMW's internet-based Connected Drive which provides access to real-time traffic data, teleservices, automated emergency call and myriad of remote functions from a smartphone app.
From a safety perspective, all 5-Series models have a comprehensive suite of driver aids to complement the eight airbags, including radar cruise control with stop-and-go in heavy traffic, automated emergency braking, forward collision and cross-traffic warnings, a 360-degree camera, automated parking and lane keeping assistance, where the vehicle automatically steers itself to keep centred within the lane.
The 520d is powered by a carryover 2.0-litre turbo diesel four cylinder that produces 140kW and 400Nm and has a claimed average fuel consumption of 4.3L/100km.
The cheapest petrol-powered 5-Series is now the 530i, which costs from $108,900 (plus on-road costs) and has a 2.0-litre turbo four cylinder that generates 185kW and 350Nm while consuming a claimed average of 5.8L/100km.
Apart from the engine, it is differentiated from the 520d by a host of extra features including a standard M Sport exterior package as well as larger brakes, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels and adaptive suspension. It also features automatic boot opening, adaptive LED headlights with high beam assist, a higher-grade 16-speaker Harmon Kardon audio system, heated sports seats and an M-badge leather steering wheel.
The 530d features the same exterior and interior upgrades but introduces a new-generation 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo diesel engine that generates 195kW and 620Nm while consuming an average of 4.7L/100km. It comes at a cost though, starting at $119,900 (plus on-roads).
The flagship variant in the mainstream 5-Series range will be the $136,900 (plus on-roads) 540i which is the most powerful, most dynamic and most luxurious variant. It is powered by an upgraded version of the venerable 3.0-litre turbo petrol six-cylinder that now produces 250kW and 450Nm, enough to slingshot it from 0-100km/h in 5.1 seconds while having a claimed average fuel consumption of 6.7L/100km.
Above the level of equipment already in the 530i, the 540i features BMW's Adaptive Drive suspension set-up (which has active anti-roll bars to improve its level of road holding and comfort), larger 20-inch alloys, an electric glass sunroof, electric sunshade blinds on the rear windows and rear windscreen and metallic paintwork is included in the price. The cabin has additional luxury features such as top-of-the-line Nappa leather trim, ventilated and heated front seats and a perfume dispenser within the dual-zone climate control.
The regular 5-Series models will be joined by a new-generation high-performance M5 which has yet to be revealed, but is tipped to be more powerful than the current 412kW output from the twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 standard trim and also feature all-wheel drive as standard to help improve its acceleration beyond the claimed 4.3 seconds it currently takes the M5 to reach triple figures.
The M5 is anticipated to make its public debut at the 2017 Geneva motor show in March.
BMW Australia will also continue to offer the 5-Series in wagon form, which has also yet to make its public debut in this latest generation but is expected to be revealed within the next few months.
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