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Driven: BMW 5 Series cops a facelift

Take 5: All BMW 5 Series Touring and sedan variants have been given more standard equipment, and some even get a price cut.

New equipment for BMW 5 Series range, 550i gets $20k price cut and more power

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29 Oct 2013

BMW has introduced the facelifted and value-added 5 Series range, highlighted by a massive $20,100 price cut and power boost for the twin-turbo V8 550i.

In addition to the 550i price cut, the 528i sedan and 535i Touring wagon also get a price-chop of $1400 and $3400 respectively. The petrol-electric ActiveHybrid 5 version is now $3000 cheaper than before.

Conversely, the remainder of the range cops price increases of between $400 and $1400, but all variants still get an added dose of value courtesy of extra standard equipment.

Sales of the three-year old 5 Series have increased slightly on last year’s result, though they have fallen behind those of BMW’s recently facelifted Mercedes-Benz E-Class rival (839 sales, up 4.2 per cent compared to 968 units, up 15.2 per cent for the Benz).

With the introduction of this revitalised range, BMW Australia hopes not only to claw back the gap to its Mercedes nemesis, but also hold-off fast-charging contenders such as the Jaguar XF (638 sales YTD, up 24.6 per cent).

Not only does the now $159,900 550i get a big cut to its price, thanks to revised technology of the ‘Valvetronic’ variable-valve timing and ‘TwinPower’ turbochargers, the 4.4-litre V8 also gets a ten per cent output boost to 330kW and 650Nm.

That increase has cut the zero to 100km/h time from 5.0 seconds to just 4.6 – the same as the outgoing BMW M3 – but despite the power increase, combined fuel-consumption has also been slashed by 17 per cent to 8.8L/100km.

On the outside all variants of BMW’s sixth generation 5 Series share subtle tweaks to the styling with a slightly altered kidney-grille, indicator-incorporated door mirrors, modified front and rear bumpers, LED front fog lights and redesigned rear light clusters.

At the entry end of the range, the $79,900 BMW 520i and $82,400 520d (or $90,900 as a wagon in the case of the 520d) add to the exterior changes with larger 18-inch alloy wheels replacing the previous 17-inch standard items.

Occupants now benefit from dual-zone air-conditioning, ambient lighting, electric seats and a high-fidelity entertainment system, which incorporates internet access and smart-phone interface.

Drivers of the entry level variants also benefit from Bi-Xenon headlights, ‘Professional’ grade satellite navigation, rear-view camera and leather sports steering wheel now included as standard.

The 2.0-litre turbo-petrol in the 520i continues to produce 135kW of power and 270Nm of torque, and consumes a claimed 6.2L/100km of fuel on the combined cycle. The oil-burning 520d produces 135kW/360Nm, and uses 4.7L/100km.

Both engines, and indeed all engines in the range bar the M5, are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Compared to the reduction of the 550i’s pricetag, a decrease of $1400 to the 528i seems relatively meagre, but the 180kW/350Nm 2.0-litre turbo-petrol 5 Series has been given new standard equipment to the tune of $20,600 - the biggest gain in the range.

Optioning-up the current best-selling $79,900 520i with the same equipment as found in the standard 528i would exceed its $97,400 starting price, therefore BMW expect to see a swing in popularity from the entry-level variants to the more desirable 528i.

The updated 528i, plus the $116,900 535i (or $122,900 as a wagon) and $121,900 535d share the same equipment upgrade on top of the 520i additions, with a further one-inch wheel diameter boost to 19-inches, auto-dipping door-mirrors, keyless entry and start, lane departure warning, forward-collision mitigation, auto-dipping headlights and a HarmanKardon stereo with digital radio.

The 535i’s 3.0-litre force-inducted six-cylinder continues to produce 225kW and 400Nm and consume 7.9L/100km. The 535d’s 3.0-litre six-pot diesel produces 230kW and 630Nm while using a claimed 5.6L/100km.

Previously a $3500 option, adaptive headlights, which automatically create a black-spot around approaching cars without dipping, are now fitted as standard to all variants above the base 520i and 520d.

Also standard fitment on all variants from 528i upwards is the LCD screen ‘Multifunction Instrument Display’ and ‘Surround View’ which uses a series of cameras to display a real-time birds-eye view of the vehicle when maneuvering.

Both petrol and diesel variants of the 535i now get fully automatic parking assistance in place of the semi-automatic system, which previously controlled the steering but not the movement of the vehicle when parallel parking.

Picking up from the 528i and 535’ variants’ standard equipment the 550i tops off the range with BMW’s leather-clad ‘Individual instrument panel’, with rear and side sun-blinds for added rear passenger comfort.

BMW is accompanying the introduction of new standard equipment with a freshened look in the form of three new styling packages to choose from on all four-door, wagon and GT variants.

The Luxury Line includes chrome exterior highlights complemented by dark interior shades and dash veneers, while the Modern Line opts for aluminium-look trims with lighter interior colour-schemes.

An M Sport Package completes the trio of styling options offering sports-suspension black exterior trims, black roof-lining and an M-sport three-spoke steering-wheel, with aluminium replacing wood-veneer on the dash and centre-console.

The new styling packs are included as standard along with all other new equipment across the 5 Series range.

The range-topping 423kW M5 sedan specification and pricing remains unchanged, while big-booted 5 Series GT variants get the choice of new styling packs, but with no change to existing prices.

BMW 5 Series pricing*
520i Sedan (a)$79,900 (+1400)
520d Sedan (a)$82,400 (+1100)
528i Sedan (a)$97,400 (-1400)
535i Sedan (a)$116,900 (+1200)
ActiveHybrid 5 (a)$119,900 (-3000)
535d Sedan (a)$121,900 (+400)
550i Sedan (a)$159,900 (-20,100)
520d Touring (a)$90,900 (+400)
535i Touring (a)$122,900 (-3400)
*Excludes on-road costs.

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