TodayApril 15, 2022

BMW 5-Series option for Ultimate Driving buyer

Fast, efficient, technological sound the 2017 BMW 5-Series will be offered in a completely redesigned sedan with more versions of the Ultimate Driving Machine than ever offered before.

The first lap in the BMW 530i took me to the BMW technology center in Palo Alto, CA. The newest technology originates in the tech center, goes through the processes, and filters into the newest BMWs in measured consideration. BMW has integrated sustainable mobility, advanced technology, and performance into their vehicles. In an uncertain time of emissions and government regulations, BMW has already invested billions in electric vehicles and lightweight materials, creating a clean, high-performance driving machine.

The 2017 BMW 5-Series will be offered as the 530i (twin-turbocharged 4-cylinder) and 540i (twin-turbocharged 6-cylinder) with the xDrive all-wheel-drive system is optional. Prices start at $51,200 for the sedan, $53,500 for the xDrive.

BMW will add the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid (PHEV), estimated 15 miles of electric range and 60 MPGe, Spring, 2017. The starting price will be a paltry $200 over the standard 530i and will push you out of your seat with 310 lb-ft of torque.

A new 4-liter V-8 M550i also arrives mid-year, claimed by BMW’s North American President, Ludwig Willisch, to be “the fastest 5 Series we have ever offered” with an acceleration time of 3.9 seconds from 0 to 60 mph, versus a 4.7 seconds in the 540i. BMW can bring a diesel 5-Series to the American market if given the thumbs up. They have not done so as of yet.

Some of the spectacular technology for the seventh generation 5-Series is the all-new chassis, the active steering, iDrive 6 with touch screen and floating infotainment a 10.25-inch display, wireless device charging, wi-fi internet for up to ten devices, Apple CarPlay, and Alexa integration.

Optional technology includes gesture control that will turn the volume up or down, accept or reject a call. The Heads-up-display (HUD) is 75% larger and will preview coming turns. In a deluge of rain, something we don’t often see in California, the HUD display was a comfort navigating unknown, flooded roads. The only time I had trouble seeing the HUD was when the sun was glaring through the windshield and I had my sunglasses on.

The interior is a class above and harkens to BMW’s desire to go luxury thread-to luxury thread with the competition. Whether it is the Harman Kardon surround sound or the Bowers & Wilkerson sound system, you will listen in luxury while you sit in luxury. I am a whiz at Siri on my iPhone and was delighted to see that the BMW could understand my voice.

BMW has already developed the self-parking technology but they are waiting for complete self-parking regulations in the U.S. to change to bring the ultimate parking to America. Till then we have help with parallel and perpendicular parking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning system that vibrates on the steering wheel, traffic jam assist and an active lane-keeping assistant. None of these systems are perfect in the downpour we drove through. Expect all car companies to continue working on snow and rain algorithms and 3D flash lidars. It’s coming, and BMW is working on replacing driver’s skills and the co-existence of a driver as a driver, and a driver that is being driven.

From Silly Valley, AKA Silicon Valley, to Sonoma, from the torrential downpour to flooded and closed roads in the wine country of California, the BMW 5-Series was a joy to drive. I got 24 mpg on some really rough driving. The starting MSRP of $51,500 quickly added up to $72,000 out the door. With the 530e plug-in coming to market soon I would hold out for the PHEV. I have waited for a luxury plug-in hybrid sedan, and this is one I would purchase.

BMW has spent billions on future cars, clean cars, and lightweight cars. They are complying with the strictest regulations in the United States, those of the California Air Resources Board (CARB). They have gone further than other car companies, without any malfeasance. The car is more expensive than I could afford at $72,000 but if I could, I would put my money where my priorities are and buy the 530e plug-in hybrid.

Competitors of the 2017 BMW 5-Series:
Mercedes E-Class, Genesis G90, Audi A6, Jaguar XF, Lexus GS, Volvo S90, Cadillac CTS.

BMW 5-series models and pricing:

2017 BMW 530i – $51,200
rear-wheel drive
2017 BMW 530i xDrive- $53,500
all-wheel drive
direct-injected 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine
0-60 – 6 seconds
248 horsepower between 5,200 rpm and 6,500 rpm
258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,450 rpm
8-speed sport-calibrated automatic transmission with paddle shifters

2017 BMW 540i – $56,450
rear-wheel drive
2017 BMW 540i xDrive – $58,750
turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine
335 horsepower between 5,500 rpm and 6,500 rpm
332 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,380 rpm to 5,200 rpm
0 to 60 mph in just 4.7 seconds
8-speed sport automatic and rear- or all-wheel drive

BMW M550i xDrive – $72,100
twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8
456 horsepower
480 lb.-ft. of torque
0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds
8-speed sport automatic
upgrades to the steering, suspension, and braking components

2017 BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid – $51,400
estimated 15 miles of pure electric driving range
anticipated EPA rating of 60 MPGe
combines a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with an electric motor and a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery located beneath the rear seat
Total output measures 248 horsepower
310 lb.-ft. of torque
0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds
8-speed sport automatic drives the rear wheels
xDrive will be available – $53,700

Lou Ann Hammond

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a founding member of the Women's World Car of the Year #WWCOTY, and board member of the Women in Automotive.