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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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    New Five driven / G30 5 SERIES FIRST DRIVE

    Behind the wheel of the stunning 530d xDrive and #BMW-540i-M-Sport / #BMW-5-Series-G30 / #BMW-540i-M-Sport-G30

    BMW’s G30 5 Series has the weight of expectation on its sharp shoulders, but it shrugs it – and pretty much everything else – off with disdain. Words: Bob Harper. Photography: BMW

    The Business Behind the wheel of BMW’s awesome new #BMW-5-Series in 540i and #BMW-530d-xDrive guises.

    Now, I’m no fashion expert, but to my eyes, pairing a sharply tailored suit with a set of proper running shoes shouldn’t work, but that’s how BMW wants us to think of its new 5 Series, in its words, the ‘Business Athlete’. That’s effectively how BMW’s marketing bods have interpreted the message its engineers conveyed to us when we drove the pre-production G30 in Wales back in the October issue. The intention was to keep the F10’s comfort level but ramp up the driving dynamics to ensure the new 5 Series is the sportiest to drive option in the executive saloon class. Our first impressions then suggested the brief had been met and now, a few months later, we’re in Lisbon for the first test of the showroom-ready car just before it arrives in UK dealerships in February #2017 .

    We spent day one in the only diesel present, the 530d #xDrive , and without wishing to spoil the surprise, this really is all the car you could ever need or want (okay, maybe with the 2018 Touring body…). Nobody ever described the previous generation 530d as lacking in punch, yet BMW felt the need to turn the wick up a tad, so now there’s 265hp and 457lb ft on tap (gains of 7hp and 44lb ft respectively), and that torque figure comes on strong at just 2000rpm so there’s a real kick in the kidneys when you floor the throttle, regardless of the gear you’re in or the speed you’re already doing.

    Doing that from a standstill in the rear-drive 530d used to be met with a little shimmy from the rear and a blinking traction control light, regardless of conditions, but BMW is going large with xDrive all-wheel drive for the G30, offering it on virtually all models, and though you can still have a rear-drive 530d, we’d suggest it’s at its best with xDrive.

    Admittedly, those that are watching their emissions ratings won’t be enamoured by the higher figure (the 530d emits just 124g/km, but that rises to 138g/km with xDrive), but it makes for a more rewarding and capable car. Faster too. In spite of a 55kg weight penalty, the xDrive model gets off the line cleaner to record a 0-62mph time of 5.4 seconds – the reardrive car is 0.3 seconds slower. And those times were set in perfect conditions, so imagine how much of an advantage the xDrive version would have in the wet for the average driver.

    We didn’t need to imagine, as the skies opened at the launch later in the day, turning the Portuguese mountain roads into, well, Portuguese mountain streams. The 5 Series was relatively unfazed, quickly shuffling power between axles to keep us on the road.

    Earlier, on bone dry Tarmac, going back and forth through the same tight sequence of corners for photography, the 530d really showed its mettle. In these conditions it initially felt much like any rear-drive BMW, with strong front-end grip, decent steering weighting and great balance. Pushing a little harder and earlier on the throttle the minutest amount of slip could be detected at the rear before the electronics summoned the front axle’s help. Even then, the result was a smooth, fast exit from the corner, precisely on line and warranting a loosening of the lock, just as you would have done in a rear-drive car. Though much tidier. A little later on, through a well-sighted high-speed downhill section with a quick direction change, the 530d was sublimely balanced and surefooted.

    There was no unnerving obvious weight transfer across the car, just confidence-inspiring stability. And yet it was also a lot of fun. It must be pointed out at this stage that all test vehicles at the launch featured Integral Active Steering, which is BMW’s way of saying ‘rear-wheel steering’. At low speeds, this steers the rear wheels in the opposite direction to the front wheels to aid agility while cornering and manoeuvrability while parking, while turning the rear wheels in the same direction as the front ones at high speeds to aid stability. For the first time in a 5 Series, this system can be paired with xDrive four-wheel drive and it certainly helps make the car shrink around you on a twisty road. The standard electromechanical power steering features a variable steering ratio, too.

    Our test cars were also equipped with Adaptive Drive, combining Dynamic Damper Control with Dynamic Drive active roll stabilisation. This uses electric swivel motors to change the anti-roll bar stiffness, quickly reacting to cornering forces and massively reducing body lean, while allowing a more comfortable setup in the straights. The base characteristics of the dampers are tied into the Driving Experience Control switch, but the good news here is that, even in Sport mode, we had no complaint about ride comfort. And we traversed plenty of poor road surfaces. What was more impressive over bumps and badly maintained patches of concrete was the refinement. We reckon this is where BMW has made its biggest improvements. Low tyre roar and road noise worked with remarkably good wind and engine noise suppression to help this 5 Series do a good impression of its big brother, the 7 Series.

    And clearly BMW’s designers have aligned the new Five with the Seven in design terms, inside and out. The new Five’s cabin is sublime in its fit and finish in particular, with highlights including the gorgeous climate control switchgear. The interior is only a little more spacious than before, however. A less bulkylooking dashboard helps it feel roomier and that’s thanks to the new widescreen infotainment display adopted from the 7 Series. It’s actually more sophisticated in the Five and you can operate it using voice, touch, the rotary iDrive controller, or even gesture. We couldn’t really see the point of the latter given that most functions it allows can be done just as easily from the (new and shapely) steering wheel, but no doubt it will develop as a technology and this is just the first step. Of more use from the start is a much larger and crisper head-up display system. On the outside, we reckon that the 5 Series is the better proportioned car. Put it next to the old one and it dates it horribly, making it look bulbous and flabby in contrast to the G30’s newfound litheness. The overall dimensions are increased only marginally, but details like the coming together of bonnet, lights and kidney grilles up front, the Air Breathers at the side and the longer, slimmer rear lamps all help the new 5 Series look leaner and more purposeful. Saying that, the dark grey hue of the test cars, allied with relatively high-profile tyres and the modest Luxury Line specification, doesn’t make the design pop. If you want a subtle 5 Series, then this is the way to order it.

    But most British buyers prefer the sportier appearance of the M Sport models and it does wonders for the shape of the car. We spent day two in a 540i M Sport in white with black wheels and it looks much more purposeful. Though the 540i will be sold exclusively in xDrive guise in the UK, we only got to test the rear-drive version in Portugal. The turbocharged 3.0-litre petrol engine is the same as the gem that debuted on the new 340i, using a single twin-scroll turbocharger to produce 340hp and 332lb ft of torque, the latter all the way from 1380 to 5200rpm.

    In spite of the higher power output and a significant 100kg weight advantage over the xDriveequipped 530d, this 540i didn’t turn out to be the sporty option we expected. Sure, it’s quick by any measure, and wonderfully slop-free in its responses to braking, turning and accelerating, but you get the feeling that this particular model was developed first and foremost for comfort and refinement. The straight-six is creamy smooth, but you won’t buy it for its aural pleasures, as it’s just too quiet, even in Sport+ mode at high revs. On top of that, it’s all too easy to spin up one of the rear wheels when pulling out of a tight junction, which isn’t very satisfying – though, of course, xDrive should eradicate that. As we’ve come to expect from BMW’s excellent automatic gearboxes, the standard eight-speed Steptronic transmission makes it all too easy to extract the most from the engine and it’s perfectly judged as ever, whether you’re pootling around in Eco Pro mode or you’ve slotted the lever across into its Sport gate or you take over control of the shifts with the (new and rather more tactile) paddles behind the steering wheel. Nonetheless, the 540i should be bought if you want an effortlessly fast 5 Series that majors on refinement and quietness and you don’t want a diesel. Keener drivers will have to wait for more.

    And while #BMW tantalisingly dangled the M550i xDrive in front of our faces, with vital stats to make the outgoing M5 look a little limp-wristed, it’s not due to go on sale in the UK. There will be a new M5, of course, probably arriving here in #2018 , and all the signs are that it will feature xDrive four-wheel drive. But before that, there’s still much to discover about the G30 5 Series, starting with the 520d model and soon after that the ultra-efficient #BMW-520d-EfficientDynamics-G30 with emissions as low as 102g/km. We’re also rather keen to test one of those in finished format on the standard ‘comfort’ suspension, or the lowered M Sport suspension as most British buyers specify the car.

    Everything we’ve seen so far suggests that it won’t let business men and women of the world down. Even those that don’t wear running shoes to work.

    Even in Sport mode we had no complaint about ride comfort.

    TECHNICAL DATA #BMW-G30 / #BMW-530d / #BMW-530d-G30 / #BMW-530d-xDrive-G30
    ENGINE: Six-cylinder, 24-valve / BMW B57D30 / BMW-B57 / B57
    CAPACITY: 2993cc
    MAX POWER: 265hp @ 4000rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 457lb ft @ 2000-2500rpm
    0-62MPH: 5.7 seconds (5.4)
    TOP SPEED: 155mph (155)
    ECONOMY: 60.1mpg (53.2)
    EMISSIONS: 124g/km (138)
    PRICE (SE): £43,835 (£45,965)
    PRICE (M SPORT): £47,135 (£49,265)
    Figures in brackets refer to xDrive model

    The new Five’s cabin is sublime in its fit and finish, with highlights including the gorgeous climate control switchgear

    TECHNICAL DATA #BMW-G30 / #BMW-540i-xDrive / #BMW-540i-xDrive-G30 / #BMW-540i-G30 /
    ENGINE: Six-cylinder, 24-valve / #B58B30 / #BMW-B58 / #B58
    CAPACITY: 2998cc
    MAX POWER: 340hp @ 5500-6500rpm
    MAX TORQUE: 332lb ft @ 1380-5200rpm
    0-62MPH: 4.8 seconds
    TOP SPEED: 155mph
    ECONOMY: 60.1mpg
    EMISSIONS: 124g/km
    PRICE (SE): £46,645
    PRICE (M SPORT): £49,945

    There’s a real kick in the kidneys when you floor the throttle, regardless of the gear you’re in or the speed you’re already doing.
    • Five gremlins? I noticed that in your review of the new 530d xDrive and the 540i that there must be something wrong with the economy figures you give:Five gremlins? I noticed that in your review of the new 530d xDrive and the 540i that there must be something wrong with the economy figures you give: 530d xDrive: 60.1 mpg; 540i: 60.1 mpg?
      The emissions also seem incorrect as the M240i in the same issue has an economy figure of 36.2mpg.
        More ...
    • Oh dear Aspi-Rant, what can we say? Well spotted and many apologies for the gremlins that crept into the spec panels for the new 5 Series test. The 53Oh dear Aspi-Rant, what can we say? Well spotted and many apologies for the gremlins that crept into the spec panels for the new 5 Series test. The 530d xDrive figures are correct but, as you’ve rightly pointed out, we’re afraid that those for the rear-wheel drive 540i were a trifle optimistic. The 540i’s vital stats should in fact be 40.9-43.5mpg (6.5-6.9 litres/100km) and emissions of between 149 and 159g/km – depending on which wheels and tyres the car comes with.

      Again, many apologies for getting this wrong in the January issue, and many thanks to everyone who was kind enough to write in.
        More ...
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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 BMW
    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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