If the realm of forms were real, you’d be driving through it in your BMW 5 Series. The 5 is the platonic ideal of “luxury car.” It’s sumptuous and high-tech inside. It handles like a sports car and almost accelerates like one, but can seat five and carry their luggage for a weekend trip. It has a look of understated elegance.
You can buy a BMW that turns one of those dials up a bit more – a more luxurious one, or a faster one, or a more spacious one. But the 5 Series is the best combination of performance, luxury, technology, and space without ever compromising on one for the sake of another.
Hard to junk the old design, make a new one, and pull that trick off again, right?
But here it is.
BMW debuted an all-new 5 series for 2024. Prices start at $57,900, plus $995 for delivery.
Three Mild-Hybrid Choices
The new 5 Series will come in five configurations, two of them all-electric.
The first to appear will be the base model, the 530i. Under the hood, it uses a turbocharged 4-cylinder engine making 255 horsepower, with 48-volt mild-hybrid technology to stretch your gas dollar a little further. Rear-wheel drive (RWD), it comes only with an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift paddles. BMW says it’s good for a 0-60 mph run of 5.9 seconds.
An all-wheel-drive (AWD) 530 xDrive model shaves one-tenth of a second off that time.
The 540i xDrive model, meanwhile, uses a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder engine good for up to 375 horsepower, mated to the same mild-hybrid setup. It does the 60 mph jump in 4.8 seconds.
Two EV Versions
Two electric vehicle (EV) models appear for the first time. The i5 eDrive40 gets a single motor on the rear axle for RWD power. It makes 335 horsepower and, under normal circumstances, 295 pound-feet of torque. But a Sport Boost function pushes torque up to 317 pound-feet when needed. BMW hasn’t revealed a range figure for the I5. But a battery of over 84 kWh – a little larger than most midsize EVs – should keep it respectable.
The other electric option is the quickest. The i5 M60 xDrive uses two motors for AWD grip and a total output of 590 horsepower. BMW says it gets to 60 mph in just 3.7 seconds – numbers that would have been hard to imagine in a sedan before the electric era. It gets a range of 256 miles. That figure isn’t yet certified by the EPA, but BMW says it used the agency’s testing procedures to get it.
If you’re getting nervous about the distance to the nearest charging station, there’s a unique “max range mode” that limits speed and shuts down all climate controls – even the heated steering wheel and seat heaters – to get the most out of the battery.
A double-wishbone front suspension on coil springs and multilink rear suspension on air springs are standard. Upgrades include 4-wheel steering, active anti-roll bars, and adaptive dampers.
Sharpened Lines, (Comparatively) Restrained Grille
The new 5 Series doesn’t look like anything but a 5 Series. But park it next to the old one, and you’d think you were looking at an impression of it carved with lasers. It looks faceted like a gem from some angles because of sharp new creases crowning each curve.
The car isn’t much longer than the model it replaces, but a more acute angle to the windshield visually stretches the hood.
The propeller logo sits in a subtle notch in the hood now – a tweak borrowed from the ultra-luxe 7 Series.
It does not, however, borrow that design’s most controversial element. The huge kidney grille that makes some new BMWs look like bucktoothed beavers is absent here. At the car’s reveal, BMW design head Domagoj Dukec told journalists the look had been toned down for the 5 because 5 Series buyers like to fly just a little more under the radar than 7 Series customers.
Leather-Free Interior Options
The cabin resembles recent BMW designs, with large screens mounted on a minimalist dashboard with subtly hidden vents. A “leather-like” material BMW calls “perforated Veganza” (we didn’t make that up, vegans) covers the seats. But “extended Merino leather upholstery in several bicolor variants remains an option.”
BMW says, “The seats in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan have been redesigned for a noticeable increase in comfort and optimal adjustment.” The multi-contour seats familiar to loyalists are standard in the i5 M60 xDrive and optional on other models.
Curved Screens, Video Games
What looks like one curved display screen is actually two – a 12.3-inch screen for the driver and a 14.9-inch screen for climate, entertainment, and information functions. It can be operated as a touchscreen or with the usual iDrive puck controller.
An optional backlit “interaction bar” stretches across the dash and doors and includes capacitive touch buttons beneath giving you some control over the HVAC functions. But we don’t see a separate volume knob. For those who don’t want to fiddle with touchscreen controls for that, there are steering-wheel-mounted buttons.
BMW says the car can also use natural language voice controls. A head-up display is optional, as is what the company calls “BMW Natural Interaction for controlling functions using gestures.” We’ve yet to see gesture control done well in cars, so we’re looking forward to trying it.
A tilt-and-slide moonroof is standard, but fixed panoramic glass is an option.
BMW has partnered with gaming service AirConsole to provide video games on the screens. “Driver and passengers can play casual games while the vehicle is stationary,” the company says, using their smartphones as controllers.
Optional Advanced Driver Aids
The optional Driving Assistant Professional system can handle some of the driving for you at highway speeds, provided you keep a hand on the steering wheel. Like newer versions of GM’s SuperCruise system, it can change lanes to move around slower traffic. But BMW’s system is subtle – it will suggest a lane change but not initiate it until the driver watches the side mirror, ready to intervene if needed.
2024 BMW 5 Series Pricing
BMW also charges a $995 destination fee on all 5 Series cars.
|i5 eDrive 40||$66,800|
|i5 m60 xDrive||$84,100|