BMW has a long and strong running as the best cars in their respective classes so when rival, Mercedes launched the new E-class earlier this year in long wheelbase version the heat was on BMW. What would the Bavarian carmaker do? Well, we always knew the new BMW 5 series would be dynamically a cut above the rest but does it have what it takes to beat the Merc in the overall score? We shall answer that below.
The new 5 Series might look similar to the outgoing car but it differs from the old car in many ways. Design wise it's a subtle evolution but under the metal it's up to 100kg lighter. The front end looks sharper than before with a more pronounced overhang than before. The face with its meaty grille and a dramatic scowl looks like an angry bird character from the video games. The long bonnet is a clear indication this car is meant for the driver. The side looks well balanced and the new wheels look swell. The rear end, with its rectangular lamps look cool as well. However, there isn’t any design element that stands out. The car looks pretty similar to the older one.
Get ready to be blown away by the sheer quality levels inside the new 5. If you thought Audi made great cabins for sheer quality then this car will blow away your convictions. Yes, the interior doesn’t feel as opulent as the Mercedes E class, which still has the edge on overall luxurious feel. However, finding a fault with the sporty looking cabin of the new 5 is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. In terms of features, it clearly beats both the Audi A6 as well as the Mercedes E class.
The legroom at the back is very good. The seats offer great support as well. There is a lump in the middle of the floor but all other rivals also have it so the new 5 doesn’t really have any major issues in that department.
Special mention has to be made about the cars iDrive system, which is a lot better than any other infotainment system out there. It’s easier to navigate and the large screen also is easier to read than any other car in this segment.
Engine performance and gearbox
There are three engine options on sale but buyers will love the 2-litre diesel the best. It’s got good power to propel the car from 0-100kph in around 8 seconds. The eight speed automatic gearbox aids performance further. The shifts are quick with no lag at all. You can also choose a more powerful 3-litre diesel unit with even more performance. There’s also a petrol on offer. All engines are good for refinement and infact the diesels feels as smooth as any petrol motor on sale. Buyers will have no reason to complain with regards to either performance or refinement.
Ride and handling
The new 5 is just as agile as the outgoing car. It’s the best car in this segment for sheer driver involvement. The car simply enjoys being pushed around corners. It manages to do that without feeling uncomfortable or too stiff. The new 5 will simply put a smile on your face everytime you take it out for a spin. The steering is lighter than before but never so light that you start feeling nervous out on the highway.
The new 5 series is the best car you can buy in this segment. While the E-class feels a bit more luxurious in the back seat it simply can’t match the new 5 for driver involvement as well as features. BMW has regained its crown of best car at this price again.
Photography: Mohd. Nasir