New BMW 5-series: Munich’s answer to the E-class

Published: 27 May 2020

► New 5-series in Touring and Saloon
► Mild hybrids or a V8
► Starting at £37,480

You’re looking at the newer, facelifted BMW 5-series. Munich’s latest premium exec promises to take on the just refreshed Mercedes E-class and the rest of the market with refined looks, a decent dollop of tech inside and hybrid power if you want it. Or a thirstier, but very fast tubocharged V8. 

It looks alright?

Munich’s styling department has exercised some restraint for the new Fiver facelift – probably the result of the 600,000 purchased cars of the current generation. Why tinker with a winning formula?

Still, the grille has grown a little – both the width and height have crept up – but it follows the 3-series front end rather than retina-burning 4-series snout looming later in the year.

The 5-series’ centrepiece is flanked by slimmer, frowning headlights that can feature Laserlight or Adaptive LED tech. At the rear, we get lights much like the 3-series, but tweaked for this car's more premium aesthetic.  

You could probably tell this facelifted 5-series apart from a 3-series from a distance, but your chances are greatly increased with a pair of binoculars. 

And inside?

Like most refreshes, the BMW 5-series cabin fets an injection of tech, and is now dominated by a 12.3-inch infotainment display with includes the latest version of Munich’s OS and personal assistant. Adpative cruise control is present, as is steering and lane-control.

What about the trims?  

The refreshed 5-series is available in SE, M Sport and M Sport editions and there’ll also be a range-topping M550i xDrive this time, too – a first for the UK. The entry-level SE comes with 17-,18- or 19-inch alloy wheels, along with a Steptronic transmission as standard. Expect a leather interior and heated front seats if you get a saloon – and expect rear split folding seats, and a matt silver roof rails on top if you get the estate. Folding mirrors, lumbar support and a Parking aids also help you cope with motoring in 2020. 

Above that, the M Sport trim adds 18-, 19- and 20-inch wheels, an aero package, and a ‘high gloss shadlowline exterior’ trim. Sports seats appear inside, and the interior gets a dash of anthracite.

Sitting at the very top, the M Sport Edition adds 20-inch alloys on runflats, red calipers, and a rear spoiler. 

How much will the new 5-series cost? 

The entry-level 520i saloon starts at £37,480 while the Touring begins at £39,730. The flagship M550i xDrive saloon will set you back £67,595 while the ultimate 540i xDrive,  Sport Edition Touring costs £58,795.

What about the engines?

The 5-series launches with a choice of three diesel and three petrol engines, and all come with an eight-speed Steptronic box as standard.

Hybrid power

The 5-series is now a mild-hybrid. The technology appears on all four-cylinder ‘e’ models and ‘e xDrive’ six-cylinder models, and uses a 48V starter generator for increased efficiency. And how much range can you expect from the new hybrids? BMW hasn’t released figures for them yet, but we’ll update this article when we know more. 

And finally…

If you’re more interested in performance rather than efficiency, there’s also a new M550i xDrive joining the range. Featuring a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, with 523bhp and 552lb ft of torque, the range-topper is capable of 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds. Sadly, it’s only available in saloon form… 

By Curtis Moldrich

CAR's online editor and racing-sim enthusiast