BMW gives 5 Series midlife facelift  27 | 05 | 2020

    BMW IS UPPING the pressure on its executive saloon rivals after unveiling its newly-facelifted 5 Series, including a new 545e performance plugin hybrid. Boasting efficiency gains and fresh in-car tech the 5 Series, already acknowledged as the best-driving car in its class, has now got even better. Prices will start at £37,480 when the cars go on-sale in July. (Related: BMW 3 Series Touring revealed)

    Given this is, indeed, a midlife refresh, the exterior changes to the newcomer are subtle. Look closely and you’ll spot the wider and taller kidney grille — in-keeping with BMW’s new aggressive family front-end — plus slightly slimmer headlights. And while there’s also new design for the LED tail-lights, there are also different bumpers at the front and rear. Oh: and M Sport variants get a new wheel design.

    More significant are the changes under the skin; and primarily, under the bonnet. Almost all four and six-cylinder models now get 48-volt mild-hybrid electrification. Available on the 520d since last year and producing up to 11bhp, the new system — in effect an integrated starter/generator that’s coupled to a small additional battery — helps with overtaking, off-the-line acceleration and stop-start situations. (Related: Mini Electric has 124-mile range)


    And while BMW has yet to confirm exactly what the actual mild hybrid gains in efficiency are across the new range, we do know there will be an extended 5 Series plug-in hybrid model range.

    The latest 5 Series PHEV will hit the showrooms in November, with the 530e being available for the first time as a Touring estate. The PHEV range will be further extended by with the introduction of the 545e, which is a new six-cylinder petrol plug-in available only as a four-wheel drive saloon.


    As you would expect, the 5 Series continues to have the eye-watering, blisteringly fast and incredibly agile 528bhp M5 as its halo model. Powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 delivering 750Nm of torque, the four-wheel drive M550i xDrive saloon will hit 62mph from standstill in just 3.8secs. An M Sport differential and adaptive suspension are also fitted to the car. (Related: Facelifted BMW X1 adds plug-in hybrid)


    The facelift also raises the level of ‘standard’ kit across the entire range. All entry-level SE models now get leather upholstery and heated front seats, folding mirrors, an uprated Parking Assistant that can control the steering while reversing for distances of up to 50 metres, plus 17in alloys. There’s also a powered tailgate on all SE Touring models.


    Buyers who move up to the M Sport trim will now find they get an M Sport steering wheel, sports seats,  a different design of instrument panel, and 18in alloys as standard. Plus, on all models bar the 530e, M Sport trim cars get a more focused suspension. (Related: BMW i3 upgraded with more range)


    The M Sport Edition — which is the highest spec available in the UK — gets a whole host of new goodies as standard. These include red M brake calipers, adaptive LED headlights, a rear spoiler on saloon versions, sun-protection glass, a choice of exclusive colours, plus 20in alloys.


    Across the whole 5 Series range, BMW will now, significantly, include Android Auto. In conjunction with Apple CarPlay, the smartphone connectivity is part of an uprated infotainment system. This sees the screen increase from 10.25in to 12.3in, plus integrates BMW’s latest operating system, which has the ability to install updates over the air.


    As for prices, the range now starts at £37,480 for a 520i SE saloon, with the entry-level diesel — the 520d SE — costing  £38,500. Worth highlighting here that the previous entry-level diesel, the 518d, is no longer included in the range. The new six-cylinder plug-in hybrid, the 545e xDrive, will cost from £54,945.


    There’s a premium of around £2200 over the saloon model for anyone choosing a Touring of the same trim level. That means a 520i SE Touring starts from £39,730, with the plug-in hybrid 530e Touring costing from £51,380.


    Related: Scots dealer is BMW UK No1

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    Jim McGill


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