The 2017 BMW 5 Series Brings New Design, Inches Closer to Fully-Autonomous Driving
Photos by Atif Kazmi for Por Homme
Though many expect wine to be a part of the equation if you’re heading to Northern California’s Napa Valley, most folks don’t expect cars to be in the discussion as well. But over the last several years, we’ve had the opportunity to discover some of the region’s finest wineries in the evening while hitting Napa and Sonoma’s winding roads during the day. We’ll get to the wine in a minute but let’s talk cars first. We got behind the wheel of the all-new 2017 BMW 5 Series and when we say all-new, it really holds some weight here.
The German sedan’s gotten a major overhaul, mainly its build, cockpit, and tech. The seventh-generation 5 Series comes after the first six gens collectively sold over 1.2 million units in the United States alone. And with the 2017 model, BMW really has its sights set on defining the sports sedan of the future. Design-wise, the new 5 Series features wider, signature kidney grilles that connect with the classic twin-circle-inspired headlights, all of which are now LED as standard. What you’ll notice immediately is the car just looks more aggressive with the lines of the side profile helping here as well. The rear’s got revised L-shaped taillights that are wider and a lower rear decklid that helps to deliver a more athletic stance.
Inside is arguably the most refined interior of any 5 Series in BMW’s storied history. Not only is the tech newer than the current-generation flagship 7 Series, but the leathers and detailing competes with that of the ALPINA B6 and B7, two cars known to take what BMW brings to the table and elevate the experience where we previously didn’t think possibly. The seats are wrapped in rich leathers with meticulously-targeted detailing. They offer upper- and lower-body massages and put us right in position to access the updated iDrive system that’s been getting some stellar feedback. iDrive 6.0 is also a new experience for previous BMW owners. Though the knob and certain bits of the menus still look familiar, the new software taps into live tiles that can be customized and rearranged while natural speech can be used for every command you throw its way. And if you opt for optional Gesture Control, controlling the navigation, communication, and entertainment services is a breeze. BMW doesn’t stop there as the BMW 5 Series can now tap into ParkNow services to find on street parking information and even use remote parking to fit into a tight spot without even being behind the wheel. We’ll let that marinate for a minute.
For all the things we can see, there’s a ton that BMW’s infused into the 2017 5 Series that you just can’t. The body’s now built from lightweight high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium which has led to some weight savings. The parking and on-road assistance sensors have also been upgraded, bringing to life a semi-autonomous vehicle that can drive itself without your hands on the wheel for about 50-seconds at a time. When you’re sitting in rush-hour traffic, this will certainly come in handy. And when things open up a bit or you’re hitting the winding roads of Sonoma, you can get both hands back on the wheel and put the car through its paces. When that opportunity presents itself, you’ll see that both the BMW 530i and the 540i are more than capable of delivering driving enjoyment in ways on BMW can.
The 2017 BMW 5 Series will come in the form of a 530i and 540i, with the 530i featuring an efficient yet resourceful 4-cylinder engine and the 540i packing a stronger punch with help from its 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six. To get a sense of things, know the 540i gets 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque and goes from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Both powertrains will also be available with BMW’s xDrive, which definitely comes in handy when the snow starts to hit the ground.
All four variations (530i, 540i, plus both in xDrive forms) will hit US showrooms in February with pricing starting at $51,200 for the 530i and $56,450 for the 540i. Look for an electric-powered 530e to come out later this year as well. There’s also a BMW M550i xDrive coming, which will deliver a faster 0 to 60 time than the current M5. Check out some visuals of the 2017 BMW 5 Series in the gallery above and on the Por Homme Instagram page.