2017 BMW 5 Series Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Oct 13, 2016
  • Completely redesigned sport luxury sedan
  • Larger interior and trunk
  • Improved standard equipment
  • New turbocharged engines
  • Upgraded semi-autonomous driving-assistance systems
  • Next-generation iDrive infotainment technology
  • Enhanced convenience features
  • On sale in February of 2017


2017 BMW 5 Series front quarter right photo


It is often said that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Given the slow metamorphosis of BMW design over the decades, that’s true of the German automaker’s styling philosophy. Glance at the redesigned 2017 BMW 5 Series and you might not even notice that it is completely different and wearing new 530i and 540i badges.

Exterior Features

Slightly longer, wider, and taller than the previous model, the new 5 Series sits on a nearly identical wheelbase and now includes a Sport design treatment as standard equipment. Adaptive LED headlights are standard, along with active grille slats and the company’s Air Curtains and Air Breathers aerodynamic design elements. Full LED headlights are an option.

Viewed in profile, the short front overhang and an occupant compartment set back on the platform ensures a sporty appearance. Lighting elements wrap around the corners with greater drama, and the traditional BMW swage line sweeps up into the iconic Hofmeister kink C-pillar for the first time, adding a bit of visual drama.

Around back, L-shaped LED lighting elements decorate the car’s tail, and circular or trapezoidal exhaust outlets on either side of the car identify which engine sits under the hood.

BMW offers four different aluminum wheel designs for the new 5 Series, ranging from 18 inches to 20 inches in diameter. A total of 13 colors will be offered.

Interior Features

Larger inside and equipped with a rear seat designed to hold 3 people, the 2017 5 Series should feel roomier thanks to a lowered instrument panel, free-standing display, additional storage, and extra rear-seat legroom.

Dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient lighting with six colors and 11 effects as well as brightness control, and a 12-speaker audio system are standard. The 5 Series also includes 16-way power-adjustable front sport seats, dark headliner, and leatherette trim on the dashboard helps to ensure comfort. Leather is optional, as is quilted premium Nappa leather.

A larger, 18.7 cu.-ft. trunk supplies a wider and lower opening and is designed to hold four golf bags with ease, BMW says. The standard 40/20/40 split rear seat helps the car to accommodate both people and longer items such as skis at the same time.

Optional Features

Among the options announced by BMW, an M Sport package provides a revised exterior appearance, lowered sport suspension, 19-in. wheels, different steering wheel, and aluminum pedal covers. A hands-free power trunk lid is also available for the new 5 Series.

Interior upgrades include a wireless device charging pad as well as automatic seat heating, ventilation, and steering wheel heating based on a driver-programmed temperature. Available 20-way multi-contour front seats offer eight massage programs, each with three intensity levels.

Under the Hood

New engines debut in the 2017 BMW 5 Series. The 530i has a turbocharged, 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower from 5,200 rpm to 6,500 rpm, and 258 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,450 rpm to 4,800 rpm. BMW claims that 60 mph arrives in as few as 5.8 seconds with the optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

The 540i has a turbocharged, 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine generating 335 horsepower from 5,500 rpm to 6,500 rpm, and 332 lb.-ft. of torque from 1,380 rpm to 5,200 rpm. With xDrive, it takes the 540i just 4.7 seconds to get to 60 mph by BMW’s stopwatch.

An 8-speed Sport automatic transmission is standard, driving the rear or all four wheels. For 2017, it has revised shift characteristics for improved driving dynamics, BMW says. The driver can manually shift using paddles on the steering wheel.

Driving Dynamics Control offers four driving modes: Comfort, Sport, Eco Pro, and Adaptive (when equipped with Adaptive Drive). Sport and Eco Pro can be programmed to specific driver preferences. The new Adaptive mode automatically calibrates the car to the driver’s style and can even take into consideration the upcoming route.

BMW promises that the new 5 Series will supply more agile and precise handling. Improved variable electric steering offers better feel and what BMW calls “clear feedback from the road.” Optional Integral Active Steering, now electromechanical, adds rear steering input for improved handling, stability, and maneuverability, according to the manufacturer. BMW is offering this option with xDrive for the first time.

New double-wishbone front and 5-link rear suspension designs debut on the new 5 Series. They are lighter, stiffer, and better able to balance a comfortable ride with engaging dynamics. The M Sport package’s lowered sport suspension is offered for the first time with xDrive and with the 530i’s 4-cylinder engine. The optional Adaptive Drive system includes an adaptive damping suspension with new faster and more precise electromechanical anti-roll stabilization, BMW states.


Improved driver-assistance technologies are available for the redesigned 2017 5 Series.

The optional Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go and Active Driving Assistant can monitor up to two vehicles ahead, adjusts speed for driving conditions, takes into account off-ramps and traffic circles, and is equipped with heated sensors for when snowy conditions are encountered. Evasion Aid technology helps the car to get around sudden obstacles.

Another option is the active lane-departure warning and lane-keeping assist system, with a Traffic-jam Assistant function. A semi-automated steering technology, it works at speeds up to 130 mph, BMW says, and it can identify hand contact when only a few fingers are touching the wheel.

Forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, and a blind-spot warning system with side-collision avoidance are also available for the new 5 Series. Pre-crash accident detection monitors for forward or rear-impact collisions, automatically preparing the cabin for impact.


Faster, more intelligent next-generation iDrive Touch infotainment technology is offered for the new 5 Series, equipping the car with available gesture control and a 10.25-in. display screen with tiled, driver-programmed organization. The system supports touch-screen control as well as natural voice recognition in English, Spanish, and French.

Wireless Apple CarPlay smartphone projection is an industry-first application of the technology, and when the 5 Series is equipped with a wireless device charging pad it includes a Wi-Fi hotspot.

A 16-speaker Harman Kardon premium sound system is optional. Buyers can upgrade to a Bowers & Wilkins high-end surround-sound audio system packing 1,400 watts of power, 16 speakers, and brushed stainless steel speaker grilles with illuminated Fibonacci-pattern holes.

An optional rear-seat entertainment system supplies two 10.2-in. display screens, a Blu-Ray DVD player, HDMI connections, USB ports, headphone jacks, and more. A new head-up display is also available, boasting a claimed 75% increase in display size.

The BMW Connected digital assistant provides a personalized start screen for individual drivers, access to BMW Remote Services, and a new 3D Surround View system that allows the car’s owner to perform a live visual check on the vehicle via the BMW Connected App, viewing a top-down image of the vehicle no matter how far away it is.

BMW ConnectedDrive Services adds a new ParkNow function to locate, reserve, and pay for parking. On-Street Parking Information debuts with the 5 Series and works similar to real-time traffic information to conclude likely availability of parking based on current and historical data.

Optional Parking Assistant technology parks the 5 Series into parallel and perpendicular spaces, and can now put the car into smaller spaces than before. The system handles steering, gear changes, acceleration, and braking, a significant advancement over most such systems.

New Remote Control Parking allows the driver to tuck the 5 Series into or retrieve the car from tight spaces while standing outside of the vehicle, and includes remote engine start and stop functionality.
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