BMW Updates the 5 Series, Adding the 456 hp M550i xDrive

  • BMW 5 Series. Photo by Daniel Kraus
    BMW 5 Series. Photo by Daniel Kraus

BMW Adds a Few Updates to the 5 Series.

 Redesigned for the 2017 model year, the BMW 5 Series (bmwusa.com) displays only subtle changes. They include new headlights that connect to a restyled kidney grille fitted with aerodynamic shutters, reshaped lower air intakes, and sharpened character lines that give the car a stronger presence. This seventh generation of the midsize sedan is slightly longer than the last one, and partly because of a new chassis, it’s as much as 137 pounds lighter, which improves its handling and efficiency.

“It’s still the benchmark for agility, fun to drive, and there’s a lot of technology,” says Ludwig Willisch, head of BMW Group Region Americas, who notes that the 5 Series, which has been in production since 1972, accounts for 20 percent of the company’s U.S. sales.

The 2017 5 Series was initially available in two variants: the 248 hp 530i (starting at $51,200) and the 335 hp 540i ($56,450). This spring, the lineup expands to include the M550i xDrive ($73,095), powered by a 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 that produces 456 hp. Also arriving is the 530e iPerformance ($52,395), a plug-in hybrid that pairs an electric motor with a 2-liter, 4-cylinder engine.

In each model, a new touchscreen sits atop the dash; the $190 Gesture Control option enables the driver or front passenger to control the stereo volume and a few other functions by making specific hand gestures in front of the screen. The 5 Series is also equipped with the newest version of iDrive, which provides faster and improved navigation and integration with Amazon Alexa. You can tell Alexa to lock the car, turn on the heat or air-conditioning, or check your fuel range for an upcoming trip.

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