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by Tim Beissmann

The BMW 5 Series has received revised styling, new engines, enhanced efficiency and added technology as part of its mid-life update.

Subtle design tweaks set the upgraded 5 Series apart from the pre-facelift model. Sedan and Touring variants feature added contour lines around the kidney grille and newly structured lower air intakes to match the extra creases and slimmer, more sharply contoured tail-lights. The Gran Turismo bodystyle also scores a modified front end with a more confident face and a redesigned rear to accentuate the hatchback’s width.

Xenon headlights are standard across the range, while adaptive LED headlamps and foglights join the options list for the first time.


The BMW 550i trio benefit from a more powerful and more fuel efficient V8. Power and torque from the twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre powerplant rise 50kW/50Nm for a maximum output of 350kW and 650Nm. The bigger numbers help cut the 550i’s sprint time from 5.0 seconds to 4.6sec, while combined cycle fuel consumption is also down 17 per cent to 8.6 litres per 100km.

At the other end of the range, the German manufacturer has introduced a new entry-level diesel spec dubbed BMW 518d. Equipped with a less powerful 105kW/360Nm tune of the same engine found in the 520d and 525d, the new 518d consumes just 4.5L/100km combined and takes 9.6 seconds to accelerate to triple figures (1.7sec slower than the equally efficient 520d).


Further fuel saving have been made throughout the range thanks to the introduction of a costing mode that disengages the powertrain at highway speeds, Eco Pro Route efficient navigation assistance, and a number of aerodynamic upgrades to reduce drag.

BMW’s engineers have reworked the updated 5 Series’ front and rear suspension and electric power steering systems in the pursuit of improved balance between sporting performance and ride comfort.


The new 5 Series’ cabin gets mild trim upgrades as well as an expanded list of optional enhancements, including a touch-sensitive character-recognition surface for the iDrive controller, 10.25-inch multifunction instrument cluster display screen, and rear-seat entertainment with tablet displays.

BMW has also upgraded the 5 Series’ driver assistance safety package, introducing night vision and high beam assistance, and, from November, Traffic Jam Assistant, which takes control of accelerating, braking and steering the car in heavy, low-speed traffic.

The updated BMW 5 Series range will arrive in Australian showrooms early in the final quarter of this year.

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