Driven: BMW 5 SeriesBy khulekani / on Nov 29th, 2017 / in Car Reviews, featured
In many societies, the type of car you drive is generally a measure of your station in life. South Africa is no exception. The more zeros to the pay check, the bigger the car. However more often than not, the car is not suited for purpose; for example, it might satisfy your business needs but not be a great regular drive. For those in the business arena, BMW think they’ve found the perfect answer with the BMW 5 Series. They argue to have produced a car that’s perfect for the trip in between boardrooms but that’s also great to enjoy behind the wheel thanks to its driving dynamics.
The BMW 5 Series has been a major success for BMW over the years. Now in its 7th generation, the car is as phenomenal as ever, both from the inside and outside. The new 5 Series isn’t just bigger but it’s also lighter giving the occupants more legroom but also making the car quicker.
On the outside, BMW has given the 5 Series a new front with a new light package, and accentuated the lines on sides which gives the car a slimmer appearance compared to the previous model. Those who say BMW can’t do back designs, that criticism is invalid on the new 5 Series. The back is a work of art with massive LED lights that dominate the back whilst gently hugging the sides.
The interior of the 5 Series has always been comfortable thanks to the work that goes in the chassis which is often shared with the bigger 7 Series. The luxurious interior enjoys quality leather and chrome finishes. There’s ample room upfront and at the back. The legroom at the back would allow for any business executive to do his or her work in comfort.
The tech in the 5 Series is impressive. The drive benefits from gesture and voice controls. Apart from being a touch screen, the optional 10 inch screen also reacts to hand gestures and can be operated via the intuitive iDrive Controller. A favourite of mine is the hand gesture for controlling the volume. This becomes second nature in no time. I found myself missing this nifty little feature in my next test car which like the 5 Series was a premium offering. The BMW 5 Series has optional parking pilot, self-park and adaptive cruise control.
BMW has redesigned the chassis in the new 5 Series. This and more work on driving dynamics has made the car’s handling more agile and precise compared to the previous generation. In terms of the engine line up, there are two petrol engines, the 530i and the 540i and two diesel engines, the 520d and 530d. These are to be joined by the top of the range M5 in 2018. On test we had the 520d. The 520d makes the bulk of the 5 Series sales globally. The 520d’s engine has enough power to comfortably carry the body of the 5 Series and give the driver enough thrills at take-off and at high speeds. The engine is not loud but gives the driver a gentle purr.
We spent time with the 5 Series as both driver and passenger. We enjoyed the car from a driving perspective and felt even more comfortable as passengers at the back. We actually took our test car to a business executive, Mr Otsile Matlou, a prominent lawyer and COO of Africa’s largest law firm. You can view Mr Matlou’s impressions in the video below.
The pricing of the BMW 5 Series range is as follows:
BMW 530i R770,500
BMW 540i R838,700
BMW 520d R952,500
BMW 530d R985,300
All new BMWs sold in South Africa include a 5 year/100 000 km Motorplan maintenance contract. This covers all service, maintenance and repairs resulting from normal wear and tear.