2017. The year of bezeless phones, voice assisting speakers and augmented reality. All apart from phones evolving to be all screen, speakers obeying our commands and seeing stuff dance around on our phone screen in the area we are capturing it at, 2017 was also a great year for tech in cars. One car that particularly stood out to me was the BMW 5 series. Lighter and more efficient than ever, it’s jampacked with some great tech. A great competitor to rival larger luxury cars for comfort and quality.
Compared to the previous generation, the design of the 5 series is more refined, more premium, and more sportier. The exterior design is elegant, eye-catching and sophisticated. Similar proportions to the last model but a lot more powerful and aggressive in its looks. Similar to the 3 Series, for the first time the distinctive LED headlights now seamlessly flow into the enlarged kidney grilles – which contain more effective active aero shutters. The car’s sheet metal has more curves and creases.
Its low roofline slopes to the rear gives the muscular body an elegant coupé-like silhouette. And the broad rear shows off the high-performance capabilities of the BMW 5 Series.
You sit low in the new 5-series. A perfect blend of luxury, technology, and sportiness. It feels spacious front and rear. The car itself is 1.2 inches longer and has a 7mm stretch in wheelbase to increase legroom in the back. This makes the 5 Series up with the best in the class for rear seat legroom. Quality materials are used throughout and the build quality is easily a match for Audi and Mercedes. One thing I noticed is how the cabin is very business-like. I could totally see some similarities in design from the new 7 Series.
The interior features a large 10.25-inch screen mounted on top of the dash. Before you would use the trademark rotary controller to access all the functions, but the set-up also gets an upgrade of the gesture control tech first seen on the 7 Series. By simply waving your fingers and hands in front of the screen you can adjust the stereo volume, access various menus, accept incoming phone calls and much more.
The Fancy stuff
Fancy features include the Display Key with a built-in screen. It can be used to remotely park the car in tight spaces while the driver stands outside of it. Gesture control, a head-up display with a 70% larger viewing area, active chassis upgrades – including variable adaptive damping, anti-roll stabilisation, four wheel steering, built-in 16 high-performance speakers are also featured. There are also six different ambient light color options.
Driving Assistant Plus adds the ability to change lanes using only the indicator, amongst other moderate self-driving features. All of the seats in the new 5-Series have eight different massage programs, each with three different intensity modes. The car comes with a rear and forward facing camera, radar sensors, and ultrasound sensors to provide semi-autonomous features. You can also opt to use the wireless charging console in the front.
How it drives
Turn the steering wheel slightly and the car responds quickly to light and accurate steering, while strong front-end grip allows you confidently lock onto your chosen line. All BMW 5 Series models get the familiar Driving Experience Control that gives you access to Comfort, Sport, and ECO PRO modes – each tailoring the steering and throttle response to suit conditions and your mood.
How it sounds
The 5 series is impressively quiet. In most situations, it’s comparable to the range-topping 7 Series. The reason for this hushed sound can be because of the brand’s SYNTAK technology, which places the engine compartment in a soundproof material. At idle the 3.0-litre diesel is virtually silent. When worked hard in “Sport Mode” it emits a muted growl.
Wind noise is almost non-existent, as a result of the aerodynamics and the special acoustic glass. Only coarse road surfaces disrupt the quietness of 5 Series in the cabin.
In terms of tech and innovation, the BMW 5 series is on another planet. It is not just a matter of driving a car from A to B. In 2017 everything we use, whether it’s a smartphone, computer or TV offers much more than the main reason of their functionality. We don’t just use our smartphones to simply make phone calls anymore.
You don’t just go on a journey with your BMW anymore. Your BMW brings you on a journey filled with luxury, comfort, intelligence, and functionality.