2017 BMW 540i

Pros: Ride and handling balance; extensive range of technology and safety features; even base 530i model offers spirited acceleration

Cons: Steep prices escalate even further as options are added; rear-seat legroom is not particularly generous

CG Says: BMW’s midsize sedan kicks off its seventh generation for 2017. The redesigned 5-Series lineup consists of just two models for its intro model year: the 530i (powered by a 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder) and the 540i (powered by a 335-hp twin-turbo 3.0-liter 6-cylinder). Both have an 8-speed automatic transmission and are available with rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. A 456-hp, V8-powered M550i and a 530e plug-in hybrid are slated to arrive for the 2018 model year. Meanwhile, the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo four-door hatchback (see separate report) is carried over unchanged for 2017 on the previous-generation platform. The new 5-Series sedan expands on an already comprehensive list of technology and safety equipment. Available luxury/technology features include ventilated and massaging front seats, rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, remote control parking, and BMW’s Gesture Control system (which enables certain infotainment controls to be operated via hand gestures, without touching physical buttons or knobs). Available safety features include automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and mitigation, and steering-linked LED headlights, and BMW’s Fatigue and Focus Alert system. BMW’s initial 530i and 540i offerings are dynamic premium sport sedans that offer an immersive driving experience with the expected array of coddling luxury and technology features. The forthcoming M550i and 530e promise to up the ante for performance and high-tech efficiency, respectively. Any 5-Series offers a compelling blend of nimble performance and high-end ambiance, but you’ll have to pay for it. Base prices are steep, and much of the equipment you’d expect to be standard on a luxury car costs extra.

The Facts
Class Premium Midsize Car
Body Style(s) 4-door sedan
Passenger Count 5
Drive Wheels rear-wheel drive, all-wheel drive
Manufacturer BMW
Nation of Manufacturer Germany
Base Prices 530i: $51,200
AWD 530i xDrive: $53,500
540i: $56,450
AWD 540i xDrive: $58,750

Base Engine
turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder (530i)
Horsepower
248
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
23-24
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
33-34

Optional Engine
turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder (540i)
Horsepower
335
Std. Transmission
8-speed automatic
Avail. Transmission
NA
EPA City Range (mpg)
20
EPA Hwy Range (mpg)
29-30