Want a bigger and better Bavarian Buick? Well, here you go. The 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan you see here is a huskier, four-door version of the 4 Series Gran Coupe, yet it’s still not as elongated as the current 7 Series. At 194.6 inches long, 83.7 inches wide and 58.2 inches tall, this all-new medium-sized four-door is 1.2 inches longer than the previous model plus 0.3 inch wider and 0.6 inch taller.
Despite its slightly larger and lower profile, the seventh-generation sport sedan has shed 137 pounds thanks to extensive use of aluminum, magnesium, and steel. For starters, the trunk, trunk lid, engine cross-member, rear side-members, roof, and doors are made out of aluminum.
“The new BMW 5 Series will make a mature, confidently stylish, and dynamic impression at every opportunity. The formal and precise design combines presence, aesthetic appeal, and functionality in equal measure,” said Karim Habib, BMW’s head of design.
For 2017, there’s a pair of new models powered by a four- or six-cylinder turbocharged engine, both mated to a ZF eight-speed automatic. The 530i, which takes over for the 528i, receives the new 2.0-liter I-4, which delivers 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque—up from 240 hp and 250 lb-ft in the 2016 528i. BMW claims that the 2017 530i can hit 60 mph in 6.0 seconds flat, with xDrive-equipped models being slightly faster, needing 5.8 seconds to complete the sprint.
Replacing the 535i is the 540i. In years past, the 540i would be powered by a V-8, but the 2017 version is powered by a 3.0-liter twin-turbo I-6. With 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque on tap, it bests the 2016 535i by 35 hp and 32 lb-ft. For this model, BMW claims a 0-60-mph time of 4.9 seconds for RWD models and 4.7 seconds for xDrive-equipped AWD variants, which the automaker also says is 0.7 second faster than the outgoing 535i xDrive.
We recently had the chance to sample both 2017 5 Series models in prototype form and found the engine of the 530i to be “perfectly competent.” As for the 540i’s I-6, we felt that “this engine captures the essence of the Bavarian Motor Works.”
For those who could use a more speed, BMW offers the M Sport package on both 5 Series variants that adds performance run-flat tires on 19-inch wheels and raises the top speed from 130 mph to 155. In addition, the package includes lowered suspension, the M Aerodynamic kit (comprised of larger air intakes, side skirts, rear diffuser, and rectangular exhaust tips), Shadowline exterior trim, an M Sport leather steering wheel, and aluminum pedals.
Standard tech features on the 2017 5 Series include Driver and Parking Assistance, Active Lane Assist, Active Protection, Front Collision Warning, and LED adaptive headlights. But the best features are the ones that work best while you’re stuck in traffic. The optional 20-way adjustable multi-contour seats (16-way adjustable seats are standard) with 20 air chambers built into the backs and cushions are a must for the comfort conscious. There are eight massage programs to choose from, and each can be set to one of three levels of intensity. Drivers are also able to set temperature thresholds for seat heating and seat ventilation as well as for the heated steering wheel.
Additionally, the 7 Series’ Gesture and Intelligent Voice Control are available for the infotainment set. While not recommended for the tech challenged, this system makes life easier for those who enjoy new wizardry. For example, it allows you to answer calls with a wave of your hand or use a swiping motion in the air to reject it.
BMW claims that the rear seat, which offers 36.5 inches of legroom, will seat three adults comfortably. Trunk capacity has increased to 18.7 cubic feet, offering enough space for four golf bags.
When the 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan—the existing 5 Series Grand Sport soldiers on—arrives at dealers in February 2017, buyers will have 13 colors to choose from—11 metallic and two non-metallic—as well as four wheel sizes ranging from 18 to 20 inches. Pricing has not been announced, but we expect a slight bump to around $55,000 from the 2016 base price of $51,195.
2017 BMW 5 Series Specifications
|On Sale:||February 2017|
|Engine:||2.0L twin-turbocharged DOHC 16-valve I-4/248 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 258 lb-ft @ 1,450 rpm
3.0L twin-turbocharged 24-valve I-6/335 hp @ 5,500 rpm, 332 lb ft @ 1,380 rpm
|Layout:||4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD/AWD sedan|
|L x W x H:||194.6 x 83.7 x 58.2 in|
|0-60 MPH:||4.7-6.0 sec|