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    Efficient and refined, the allnew 5-series G30 also promises an improved driving experience. Does it deliver?

    / #2017 / #BMW-530d-xDrive / #BMW-530d-xDrive-G30 / #BMW-530d-G30 / #BMW-5-Series-Sedan-M-Performance-Accessories-G30 / #M-Performance-Accessories / #M-Performance / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series-G30 / #BMW-5-Series

    Within five minutes of getting behind its wheel, the new #BMW 5-series is driving itself. This has the simultaneous effect of being impressive to the point of slack-jawed bewilderment and also crushingly depressing. Soon cars will no longer need us; people, like you and me, will be superfluous.

    The new seventh-generation 5-series, coded G30, has enough driverassistance technology to be just a few steps away from fully autonomous driving. It’ll brake when required, steer through curves on the motorway, and execute a perfect lane-change manoeuvre if so commanded.

    It’s hardly the most promising prospect from an evo perspective, for while the 540i’s turbocharged 3-litre straight-six fires up with its familiar cold-start theatrics, the drama is fleeting, and this new 5-series, bigger in all directions than the previous model, is more distant to the driver than ever before. that’s another way of saying it’s superbly refined, because it sets new standards in this regard, but when the project manager of driving dynamics, Albert ‘Mike’ Maier, claims ‘We’ve returned to the driving pleasure of the old 5-series cars,’ expectations are inevitably high.

    The BMW 5-Series G30 may be bigger outside and more spacious inside, but it’s usefully lighter than the outgoing f10 model by as much as 100kg, and this without using a 7-series-style ‘carbon core’. instead, it’s a case of intelligent materials useage, with an aluminium bootlid, a magnesium dashboard frame and weight-saving measures almost everywhere.

    This new ‘L7’ platform once again uses double wishbones on the front axle and a multi-link rear, with various suspension options: regular se models have a passive setup, m sport models the same but firmer and with a 10mm ride-height drop, and all 5s can be ordered with DDC variable dampers. The Adaptive Drive option combines DDC and Active Roll stabilisation, with the adjustable anti-roll bars now operated via electric motors, not hydraulically. Finally, there is integral Active steering, also optional, which adjusts the toe angle of the rear wheels by up to three degrees depending on almost limitless parameters.

    Old habits die hard, so it’s the keys to the aforementioned 335bhp petrol version we grab first, even though it’s a rear-wheel-drive car and initially in the UK this engine – the most powerful petrol unit in the launch line-up – will only be available with xDrive all-wheel drive. xDrive is now available as an option on every model; a manual gearbox doesn’t appear on the list at all – all cars have the eight-speed Steptronic automatic ( #ZF8HP ).

    It’s soon abundantly clear that the 540i is a very potent car. In UK xDrive form it’ll hit 62mph in just 4.8sec, and with the Drive Performance Control set to sport the throttle response is sharp and the gearshifts near-enough instantaneous.

    And yet this isn’t the most enjoyable new 5-series on sale: it has a bland, monotonous voice and linear delivery that gets strained at high revs, a cruel comparison to make with the great naturally aspirated BMW straight-sixes of the past. In the real world it’s not really any quicker than the 530d, and is obviously thirstier.

    It’s the BMW 530d G30 that feels like the car the engineers really obsessed over. With the aid of BMW’s Syntak (synergy thermoacoustic Capsule) noise insulation, the 3-litre turbodiesel unit is brilliantly refined at low revs, but has that deep, straight-six rumble when called into action that’s familiar and so cosy on the ear. And with 261bhp and 457lb ft of torque it never, ever, feels short on acceleration. (For the record, it’s 5.4sec to 62mph.) The rear-wheel steering has the effect of shortening the wheelbase, so the G30 disguises its size incredibly well. The electrically assisted steering is one of BMW’s best so far: Easygoing yet precise in Comfort so that you tend to just forget about it, but with reassuring weight added in Sport.

    Both the petrol and diesel models that we sample feature variable dampers, but the optional 19-inch wheels on the former occasionally make it feel like it has lead boots over bad road contusions. The 530d xDrive, meanwhile, on standard 18s, has a spectacularly good ride quality.

    In the teeming rain on twisting, hilly roads, not once does the traction light blink, the system shuffling around all 457lb ft of torque so effectively and without any perceptible sign of doing so. There’s more stiction to the steering with xDrive, making it feel that bit more genuine; turn-in is crisp (with Integral steering), grip levels mid-corner notably strong, but best of all the car will take near enough full throttle early in the corner, surging out without pushing wide. Point-to-point it’s hugely effective. Not dance-on-the- table exciting, but then this is ‘just’ a regular 5-series.


    Yet for a car so refined, so imbued with a depth of competence and sense of long-term quality and solidity, it will still raise a quiet smile if your commute has a few interesting corners. Throw in the latest generation of iDrive – a triumph – and all the other tech and as an overall, everyday package the new 5-series is top of its class in evo’s eyes.

    Maybe Herr Maier has a point, then, after all; it certainly bodes well for the forthcoming M5.

    Technical Data Specification BMW 530d xDrive
    Engine Straight-six, 2993cc, twin-turbo diesel
    CO2 124g/km
    Power 261bhp @ 4000rpm DIN
    Torque 457lb ft @ 2000-2500rpm DIN
    0-62mph 5.4sec (claimed)
    Top speed 155mph (limited)
    Weight 1695kg (156bhp/ton)
    Basic price £45,965 (SE)
    + Extraordinary refinement, easy-going performance
    - Not sufficiently engaging; lacks character
    Rating 5.0


    Clockwise from top: styling is reserved, in the great 5-series tradition; biturbo 3-litre diesel majors on torque and refinement; cabin comfortable and loaded with the latest technology; all new 5-series are autos, no manuals.

    ‘It will take near enough full throttle early, surging out of a corner without pushing wide’
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    M Performance accessories for New Five G30 announced

    / #2017 / #BMW-530d-xDrive / #BMW-530d-xDrive-G30 / #BMW-530d-G30 / #BMW-5-Series-Sedan-M-Performance-Accessories-G30 / #M-Performance-Accessories / #M-Performance / #BMW / #BMW-5-Series-G30 / #BMW-5-Series

    Hot on the heels of the debut of the new G30 5 Series comes a new range of BMW M Performance accessories for the car. The areas these accessories cover include: ride and handling; the interior; the exterior; and the engine. Chief among the options is an M Performance Power and Sound kit available for the 540i (in both two- and fourwheel drive guises). This increases power by 34hp, taking the total to 360hp, as well as adding an additional 37ft lb of torque, bringing the total to a very healthy 369ft lb. A new silencer system with chrome tailpipe trims completes the look (and enhances the sound) all with no impact on official fuel economy figures. The silencer system on its own can be retrofitted to the 540i or 530i with the option of circular or trapezoid pipes in chrome or carbon fibre.

    BMW isn’t limiting the M Performance pack to petrol engined cars. As of summer 2017 an #M-Performance-Power-Kit will be launched for the 530d in two-wheel drive and xDrive trim. This offers similar increases to those seen on the petrol cars, with outright power increased by 27hp (totalling 292hp) and torque up 22ft lb (totalling 479 ft lb). Fuel consumption figures remain unaffected.

    Underneath, owners can spec 20-inch M Performance alloy wheels in Orbit grey or a bi-colour finish. To compliment the look of the wheels, and adding to its stopping power, is an uprated braking system of vented lightweight discs clamped by fourpot callipers up front, and single-piston floating callipers at the rear. Finished in red, these callipers give the BMW-5-Series a more distinctive look.

    Speaking of looks, aerodynamics are addressed with a series of upgrades for those cars already fitted with the M Sport kit and these include front spoiler additions, a rear diffuser and a rear spoiler in carbon fibre finish. As supplementary features, there is also a choice of black side sill attachments and – as an alternative to the carbon fibre version – a rear spoiler and rear diffuser made of polyurethane (PUR). Inside, a new sports steering wheel in Alcantara controls M Performance sports steering for maximum driver feedback.
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    Bob Harper
    It really doesn’t seem possible that it’s already been a month since I was last penning these words and, as far as I can remember, I was having a little bit of a rant on how the Christmas season seems to start in late October these days. Now that we’re hurtling towards the festive season I’m starting to get into the mood, although what with deadlines compressing for the holiday season it doesn’t seem like there are enough hours in the day to get everything done. Thank God for internet shopping is all I can say… at least until you’ve opened everything and realised you clicked the wrong size or colour or you’ve ended up with 12 of something when you only wanted one! #BMW-530d-xDrive / #BMW-530d-xDrive-G30 / #BMW-530d-G30 / #BMW-5-Series-Sedan-M-Performance-Accessories-G30 / #M-Performance-Accessories / #M-Performance / #BMW

    As you’ll be able to tell from our cover image, the big news this month is the arrival of the all-new #BMW-5-Series-G30 / #BMW-5-Series which we’ve driven for the first time. Initial reactions are that it’s a superbly engineered executive express that’s considerably upped the ante in both the refinement and comfort stakes, yet it’s still a machine that’s rewarding to drive. The only caveat we have at this stage is that the cars we had to drive weren’t exactly to UK-spec and were, as tends to be the norm on international BMW launches, overloaded with all the optional equipment. BMW seems to have gone all-out with xDrive four-wheel drive on the #BMW-G30 and we were able to test the 530d in this guise, although as the car was in the Luxury trim level (which we won’t get in the UK as no one buys it) it didn’t look quite like a UK market machine. Ditto the #2017 / #BMW-540i-M-Sport-G30 which was in rear-wheel drive guise… and in the UK we’ll only be offered this model as an #xDrive . And while we’re on the subject of the 540i, who in their right mind decided to spec all the launch cars in white with black ‘rimz’? I love the shape of the new Five but this must be the most unflattering colour combination that BMW could have possibly chosen!

    Hopefully when the cars start appearing on UK roads early next year we won’t be seeing a host of white ones, but it’ll certainly be illuminating to sample an entry-level #BMW-520d-G30 without #Active-Steering , #Active-Dampers and the #Dynamic-Drive anti-roll setup. In the past we’ve tended to find that the steering and anti-roll systems actually take something away from the driving experience so I’m hopeful that a bog-standard (if any new Five can be so termed these days) will drive even more impressively than the already hugely impressive cars we were able to drive on the launch.

    As this is the last issue before Christmas more or less all that’s left for me is to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year – let’s hope that #2017 is a good one!
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