What would you expect from an all-new 2017 BMW 5-series? If you think larger, lighter, more powerful, more nimble, and faster, you would be correct. But as we found out, the 530i we tested also packs a few surprises.
First, the BMW 530i designation refers to its 2.0-liter turbocharged, four-cylinder engine under the hood. This is the 5-series’ base engine, and it’s not new to the 5-series family. Still, this year’s turbo packs more power: 248 hp @ 5,200 rpm and 258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450 rpm. It’s mated to a traditional 8-speed automatic transmission that delivers all that juice to out rear-wheel-drive sedan.
At first glance, it’s a bit strange to have a small turbo-four in a car with the stature and status of a 5-series. Still, this is not a slow car. According to BMW, the 530i clocks a 0-60 MPH time of 6.0 seconds flat. And buyers of the 530i spec’d with BMW’s xDrive AWD system can see that time drop to 5.8 seconds.
The car is about one inch longer than the previous generation, yet BMW says they saved about 137 lbs. of weight through the the use of aluminum body components. If you were expecting a carbon-composite body, which BMW’s new 7-series features, sorry, you won’t find it here.
After you add all of the options to out 530i test vehicle, the final sticker price comes in at over $72,000. That’s a steep price to pay for a 5-series with a base engine, but it demonstrates configuration flexibility of the new 5. You can option the 530i, 530e, 540i, and 550i xDrive with a variety of options to your liking.
The new 530i grew on us the more we drove it. Our test car came equipped with a rear steering system that surely helps with low-speed maneuverability and high-speed quickness of response. And while there is not a lot of feedback coming through the steering wheel, the car stays flat and neutral through corners. The optional M brakes package is superb.
Nathan Adlen did several 0-60 MPH run in the car at our IMI Motorsports test facility, and you can watch his best run in the video below. In short, we clocked 6.6 seconds, a very respectable result for this car considering that our speed runs happened at a mile above sea level (with about 17% less air density for the turbo to shovel into the engine).
The 530i is EPA rated at 24 MPG city, 34 MPG highway, and 27 MPG combined. We managed just 24.2 MPG over a mix of city, country, and freeway driving. To notch better numbers, we could’ve left the vehicle in BMW’s clever Eco Pro mode that employs auto start/stop and transmission coast function. The latter is very seamless and lets the car coast (in neutral) whenever throttle input is not required. But we didn’t. Our interest was to see how responsive and quick BMW’s little 2.0-liter was.
COMFORT AND CONVENIENCE
The 530i’s interior is as comfortable and luxurious as you would expect from BMW. Both front seats offer several massage functions. The updated iDrive 6.0 infotainment is pleasant surprise if you love technology, but it could result in information overload if spend too much time in it. We counted seven different ways to interact with the system. Push the buttons and twist the knobs on the dash. Use the iDrive rotary selector and draw letters/symbols on it. Call out voice commands. Touch the large center screen (if your fingers can reach it). Try the gesture control interface — twirling your index finger controls the audio volume, swiping your hand in the air lets you accept or deny phone calls. Wirelessly pair your iPhone with Apple CarPlay integration. And, oh yeah, use the control buttons mounted on the steering wheel.
The surround view camera system and proximity alerts are better and more useful than ever, and from our experience, much less annoying. As befitting a high-end, technology-packed vehicle, the 530i can be optioned with adaptive cruise and lane keep assist systems.
This is what Nathan Adlen has to say about the all-new 2017 BMW 530i.