Aesthetically there are few surprises given that BMW unveiled the executive saloon more than two months ago.On the whole the new 5 Series appears more unified and cohesive than the outgoing model, if not slightly conservative in borrowing heavily from its 3 and 7 Series siblings. With the longest wheel base in its class, short front and rear overhangs, never-ending bonnet and the progressive, shallow roofline encroaching on coupe, the sixth-gen gives an overwhelming impression of poise and maturity.Depending on market, the 5 Series will be available with seven different engines including a direct injection four-cylinder turbo diesel, three 3.0-litre petrol engines and two 3.0-litre diesels and 4.4-litre twin turbo V8. All that power will be delivered via six-speed manual or eight-speed automatic transmissions.
Although BMW Australia is yet to announce the precise specifications of its upcoming local offering, expect both the entry-level and top-of-the-range variants to become favourites when they arrive in a few months time.
The four-cylinder 520d with standard Start/Stop manages a combined fuel consumption of 5.0 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 132 g/km in European testing (the current model gets 5.6 litres/100km and emits 149 g/km CO2 under Australian conditions).
The king of the range, the 550i (at least until the M5 comes along anyway) should get a power increase of around 33kW taking it just over the 300 mark while torque winds out to double that, adding 110Nm over the current 490.
The new 5 Series will not be left behind tech-wise either. Dynamic Drive Stability Control, Dynamic Damper Control and Integral Active Steering are all at work deep within to make you think you’re a better driver than you actually are.Adding safety and convenience is a host of other features that falls under the “BMW ConnectedDrive” moniker. These include a reversing camera, night vision, head-up display, speed limit information and limiting device, lane change and departure warnings, active cruise control incorporating collision warning and automatic braking, and parking assist and surround view.Pricing in Germany has risen by around two percent and a reflection of that in Australia would see the 5 Series range starting at just below $78,000 for the 520d and rising to $174,000 for the 550i.The 5 Series was one of BMW Australia’s biggest sliders in 2009 with 804 units representing a 42 percent decline compared to 2008.The beginning of 2010 could again be slow with the car in run-out mode, but BMW will be hoping the all-new sixth-gen can turn it around from its mid-year debut.