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In the car bazaar there are a few iconic models that are the accessible acknowledgment back bodies ask ‘what car should I buy?’ If you appetite an affordable roadster, for instance, you should buy a Mazda MX-5, if you appetite a supermini you buy a Ford Fiesta, and if you appetite a mid-sized controlling car you get a BMW 5 Series.
The archetypal is about 50 years old and is now in its seventh-generation. BMW has dealt the archetypal a mid-life facelift, giving an already accomplished car a little nip and constrict as able-bodied as adapted powertrains.
BMW has fabricated across-the-board changes to the exoteric styling, admitting the abounding updates are absolutely subtle, with an adapted advanced grille and headlights actuality the best obvious. There’s additionally a new awful defined trim akin at barrage alleged M Sport Edition, while the constituent amalgam ambit has broadcast to bristles models and balmy amalgam technology is offered on all four- and six-cylinder engines.
In agitative account for achievement car enthusiasts, the M550i is now accessible in the UK. It bridges the gap amid the accepted 5 Series models and the ultra-fast M5.
There are about too abounding agent and anatomy actualization configurations to list, with petrol, agent and constituent amalgam options available. We had the adventitious to analysis the two ends of the spectrum in the anatomy of the 520d (the entry-level diesel) and the above M550i.
The 520d uses a 2.0-litre four-cylinder agent agent authoritative 187bhp, abiding ammunition abridgement of 65.7 – 68.9mpg and CO2 emissions of 112 – 108g/km in alehouse form. Despite actuality the access model, it’s a appropriate agent that doesn’t feel afflicted at affairs about the big 5. In fact, it’s decidedly responsive, so if you’re attractive to accumulate costs adequately low there are few compromises to be made.
The M550i is a absolutely altered beast. The 4.4-litre V8 makes 523bhp and 750Nm of torque, accelerating from 0-60mph in about 3.6 seconds. It lacks the absolute atrocity of the M5, but therein lies its appeal, accouterment added than abundant bang for accustomed active and a aureate soundtrack to go with it.
This is the best 5 Series bearing for a while, because BMW has managed to accomplish up the ambit to its rivals on the abundance advanced while application abundant of what fabricated them so abundant to drive.
Opt for added boilerplate agent choices and you’ve got a candied administration controlling alehouse that feels abundant abate to drive than it absolutely is. The 520d we activated was hardly fast, but it had aloof abundant about it to accomplish the best of the car’s fun administration while additionally actuality bland and aesthetic back you appetite to achieve down.
The M550i is a revelation, though. With 523bhp it’s no slouch, but BMW has refrained from giving it the lairy administration or annealed abeyance and added performance-focused upgrades apparent on the M5. It’s accordingly added subtle, both in looks and active experience, auspicious you to put your bottom bottomward from time to time while actual in awe-inspiring comfort.
The 5 Series plays on its attenuate exceptional appeal, with annihilation decidedly continuing out on the exterior, preferring instead to admixture into its scenery. It’s a handsome thing, though, with updates including a wider, taller advanced grille and slimmer LED headlights up front.
Some of the car’s curve accept been tweaked to accord it a added able-bodied appearance, and those who appetite article a bit added agitative can specify a adventurous anatomy kit and big admixture auto that drag the architecture nicely.
Inside, it’s a agnate story, with subtle, minimalist architecture authoritative the 5 Series a adequate abode to be. There’s a adequate accommodation amid touchscreens and concrete buttons, too, with BMW abnegation from putting altitude controls abysmal aural infotainment menus.
The updates assignment well, with a new covering council caster adapted with rearranged multifunction buttons and adapted trim strips on the dashboard. Meanwhile, the infotainment awning and agenda instruments are some of the best in the business, actuality accessible to accomplish through the axial ambassador dial.
The 520d M Sport Touring archetypal we activated started at £45,150, which included velour attic mats, acrimonious advanced seats, air conditioning, adventurous anatomy kit and BMW’s affiliated services. Our analysis car had over £10,000 of added equipment, with highlights including adaptive LED headlights (£1,000), across-the-board bottle sunroof (£1,495) and a Technology Pack (£2,495).
The M550i starts at £68,590 and includes 20-inch admixture wheels, four-zone altitude control, and M administration bales central and out. This analysis archetypal had an absurd £20,000 of options, including a £4,995 Technology Plus Pack with a £2,500 upgraded Bowers and Wilkins beleaguer complete system, adaptive M abeyance (£3,695) and an electric bottle sunroof (£1,095).
It’s boringly predictable, but the new BMW 5 Series is apparently the best in class. It ability not accept the abundance or administration accomplishment of some of its rivals, but as an all-rounder it’s boxy to beat.