BMW has just released the seventh generation of its 5 Series cars in Australia, taking the next step towards a technology-driven future.
The new cars are not only more spacious than their predecessors and competitors, it’s also 95kg lighter and now includes technological innovations as standard that were normally only found in the top-of-line BMW 7 Series.
As well as pushing the boundaries of automotive technology BMW is also setting the standards of luxury and performance in cars that have already earned the nickname “The Perfectionist”.
The “best in class” technology now part of the all-new 5 Series includes head up display and speed limit information to keep you safer. The active cruise control keeps you, readily informed of changing speed limits to control speed through constantly changing speed zones, such as school zones.
The Driving Assistant Plus package includes features other car companies boast about while offering them as optional extras, are standard in the BMW 5 Series. Benchmarks of excellence are also set by BMW with the choice of M Sport package or Luxury Line as standard.
The 5 Series also has real time traffic information – including warnings that pop up on the dashboard’s 26cm colour touchscreen – to ensure you arrive at your destination in the shortest possible time,. 5 radars, 6 cameras and 12 ultrasonic sensors ensure the vehicle continuously monitors its surroundings and gets you to your destination safely.
The full-colour BMW Head-Up Display has increased the projection surface on the driver’s windscreen by 70%, and displays traffic signs, telephone listings, radio stations, music tracks, navigation instructions and warnings from the assistance systems.
If you’re over the speed limit, your speed changes from white to red as an additional warning.
When you’re on the move, the autonomous driving features really come into play. The steering and lane control assistant works from 0 to 210km/h, with the ability to drive hands free for periods up to 40 seconds, while the Active Cruise Control system monitors preceding vehicles and can accelerate your car as well as bring it to a complete stop without driver intervention. The innovative Stop & Go function, brakes and accelerates according to traffic flow, including traffic jams, while retaining the cruise function.
When it’s time to park, the dashboard touchscreen comes to life with a range of “virtual reality” perspectives from each side of the car – simply touch the camera on the screen for the angle you want to see – as well as a bird’s eye view from above.
A full suite of stability control systems are standard in the 5 Series, including dynamic stability control, anti-lock braking with brake assist, cornering brake control and dynamic traction control.
There are so many additional features that take the 5 Series to the next level in technology.
BMW’s iDrive 6 infotainment system turns the 5 Series into the most connected BMW ever.
Alongside the touchscreen, the system can be voice operated via the press of a button on the steering wheel, or with the wave of a finger via the optional gesture control system, a feature previously only seen in the 7 Series.
The DAB+-capable audio system features a 12-speaker HiFi system with 205W output and digital amplifiers, while higher models have a 16-speaker Harman/Kardon system with 600W capability.
The central screen displays information in an app-style format and the information ‘tiles’ can be reordered to suit you with a swipe of the touchscreen.
Of course you still have the option of controlling the system via the traditional iDrive circular controller on the centre console, which also features a sensitive touchpad to “handwrite” commands.
Alongside wireless phone charging, BMW has developed the first wireless connection for Apple Car Play (optional), while the extended Bluetooth system means you can connect to multiple smartphones simultaneously.
BMW Concierge Services is your own personal 24/7 assistant, just a call away via the touchscreen, to help you find a nearby restaurant, place to stay for the night or closest petrol station.
BMW Connected gives you the ability to operate key functions from your smartphone.
Remote Services lets remotely control the car including being able to pre-condition the interior before you arrive, lock or unlock the doors and flash the headlights, or even find your 5
Series in a crowded carpark.
The Microsoft Exchange service now enables Microsoft Office 365 users to sync emails, calendar entries and contacts and edit them inside their car. It turns the car into a PA on four wheels with the ability to integrate your diary so your 5 Series and can calculate how long it will take you get to your next appointment based on the traffic, then send you a “time to leave” alert when you need to get going. BMW Apps give you seamless third-party app integration to connect Spotify and other apps.
The 5 Series has also adopted another 7 Series feature as an option – the Display Key, with touchscreen functionality, which allows access to BMW’s Remote Parking feature, which means the driver can stand outside the vehicle while the car does the parking, which means tight spaces are no longer a problem.
If you revel in the joy of driving, the newly-defined drive modes alter steering, suspension, gearshift and throttle settings to suit your mood. A new Adaptive Mode, has been added to the traditional Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport driving options which remain, and uses sensor inputs and navigation data to adapt how the car performs to suit your particular style of driving.
Both the 530i, 530d and 540i have Dynamic Damper Control as standard, offering a choice of comfort or sports-oriented suspension settings at the touch of a button, while Integral Active Steering, which is available across the range, offers a degree of active rear-wheel steering for increased stability at higher speeds and reduced steering effort at slower speeds.
BMW hasn’t missed any details inside the cabin. With extended storage options, greater legroom for rear-seat passengers and seats with massage function, there is greater comfort for all.
The electrically-controlled Dakota leather seats with driver’s memory function are standard for the 520d, as is a sports leather-trimmed steering wheel, fine-wood poplar grain interior finishers and Sensatec dashboard trim. Velour floor mats complete the picture.
The 5 Series range begins from $93,900 for the turbocharged, diesel-powered BMW 520d, followed by the BMW 530i at $108,900, BMW 530d at $119,900 and top-of-the-line BMW 540i for $136,900.