The current 7th generation BMW 5-series has been around since 2016. It was about time then that BMW updated the luxury sedan with a host of new features which include new engines, new tech, and a few styling tweaks. This is not a completely new model but rather a mid-cycle update.
Starting with the powertrains, the 530i and 530xi will be the base models. They are powered by a 2.0L twin-scroll turbocharged 4-cylinder that produces 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. A step up will be the all-new 530e which which is a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle). It is powered by a 2.0L naturally aspirated engine that produces 180 hp on its own with extra help from an electric motor that produces 111 hp. Total system output will be 288 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque. But you can squeeze a bit more power out of the system – 40 hp for up to 10 seconds – when the car is in Sport mode and the throttle is pressed all the way down. With the “XtraBoost”, as BMW call it, the 530e sedan can accelerate from a stop to 100 km/h in 5.8 seconds.
While the updated 2021 BMW 5-series is more efficient with the addition of the 530e PHEV, BMW hasn’t forgotten about those that want a sporty luxury sedan. The 540i and M550i are the models to go for if you enjoy a bit of spirited driving once in a while. The 540i will be powered by a 3.0L inline twin-scroll turbocharged 6-cylinder that will produce 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. However, it will also have improved fuel economy thanks to a new 48-volt mild hybrid system. It is a similar system that Mercedes-Benz currently utilizes on their E53 AMG models. But if more power is what you’re after, then the M550i should satisfy your craving with a 4.4L twin-turbocharged V8 that produces 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. 0-100 km/h for the M550i will be over with in just 3.8 seconds. There will be an updated version of the M5 but BMW has yet to announce any details on that.
The interior is now more reminiscent of other BMW models such as the M850i with a “Live Cockpit Pro” that consists of a 12.3-inch driver display and a 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen. What’s more, the infotainment comes with iDrive 7 and will now be compatible with Android Auto. As part of the Live Cockpit Pro, the navigation system has been updated to feature a 3D visualization of the surrounding area. It will display surrounding cars, trucks, and motorcycles that can be seen by a forward facing camera and are then displayed in the instrument cluster. Vehicles within a critical distance are highlighted and graphics indicate maneuvers which can be carried out with the help of the assistance systems. It’ll be interesting to see this system in person.
The exterior receives a few styling touches to keep is similar to other BMW models in the current lineup. The biggest change is in the front with a new kidney grille and restyled headlights. The grille is taller and wider but thankfully not as large as the kidney grille on the upcoming BMW 4-series. The standard adaptive LED headlights are slimmer in profile and feature two L-shaped daytime running lights bars. Around back the taillights are more reminiscent of the 2020 BMW 3-series with their new L-shaped design. Move up to the M-sport package and the 2021 BMW 5-series comes with larger front and rear bumpers, larger front air intakes, and a different rear diffuser.
Pricing has not yet been announced for the Canadian market but in the United States the new 2021 BMW 5-series will start at $54,200 USD for the 530i. The 530e PHEV will cost $57,200 USD while the 540i and M550i will bump the prices to $59,450 USD and $76,800 respectively. Ordering one can be done now with deliveries occurring as early as July.