2010 BMW 5 Series
The sixth generation of BMW’s 5 Series sees this successful line of luxury sporting saloons restyled, improved and updated. The new model looks to be an elegant, modern BMW, with no hint of the controversial design touches with which BMW seemed to be experimenting not so long ago.
BMW claims the new look is intended to reflect the almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution of the latest 5 Series. It’s a genuine saloon car but it has something of the appearance of a coupé’s flowing roofline behind its long, contoured bonnet. Short overhangs reflect the extended wheelbase of the new 5 Series which, at 2968mm (nearly 9ft 9in), is now the longest in this class. Among other advantages, that has enabled a half-inch increase in rear seat legroom.
Under the skin, another change is in the front suspension, which is now by double wishbones. The biggest seller in the UK is likely to be the 520d, a turbocharged two-litre, four-cylinder diesel with 140mph-plus performance. Assuming a VAT rate of 17.5 per cent, the OTR for the 520d will start at £28,165.
Moving up the range, there are two other turbodiesels, both with straight-six, three-litre engines: the 525d and the more powerful 530d. There are also three straight-six petrol engines, plus the top-of-the-range 4395cc V8 model, the 550i, with over 400bhp. The 550i OTR price will start from £50,520.
A six-speed manual gearbox is standard on all models except the 550i, which has BMW’s eight-speed automatic transmission. This auto gearbox, which is no heavier than the manual and results in more fuel-efficient performance, is an option on other models.
A host of detailed improvements makes the new model the best-equipped and most luxurious 5 Series to date, even in standard form. Innovative options include Park Assist, Four-wheel Integral Active Steering, Head-up Display, Night Vision with pedestrian recognition and other such driving aids.
The new BMW 5 Series Saloon will go on sale in the UK on 20 March 2010, with a choice of four optional equipment packages.
Text: Charis Whitcombe
ClassicInside - The Classic Driver Newsletter