- Lots of high-tech safety kit...
- ...but much of it is only optional
- Windscreen wipers strangely poor
Euro NCAP gave the 2017 BMW 5 Series a full five stars when it tested it, and the standard specification covers all the critical bases, including six airbags, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring system.
The hybrid 530e comes with some extra tech including cross traffic alert, blindspot monitoring and active side collision protection.
Where it really gets exciting is in the realm of optional extras – particularly the Driving Assistant Plus package, which wraps up a whole suite of driver aids intended to keep you better informed and even take control of the car for short periods.
What Driving Assistant Plus includes:
- Evasion Aid – alerts you to unexpected obstacles ahead and helps control the car during sudden movements to avoid them
- Lane Change Assistant – pitched as “comfort enhancing”, actually allows you to change lane just by activating the indicator for two seconds, completely controlling the safe steering of the car into the next lane
- Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection – not only warns you if you’re about to stray out of lane but also if another vehicle seems set on a collision course
- Steering and Lane Control Assistant – will steer the car for short periods, as long as it can detect the lane markings either side; works up to 130mph and requires only a light touch on the steering wheel to reset, but is easily confused by sliproads
- Priority warning – spots and alerts you to places where you need to give way, especially stop signs
- Wrong-way warning – tells you if it thinks you’re about to drive the wrong way down a street or motorway
- Active Cruise Control – not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front but spots and can react to changes in the speed limit too
- Cross-traffic warning – detects vehicles approaching from the side, at junctions and when you’re reversing
Our only real negative on the safety front strangely comes from the windscreen wipers; they have only two standard speed settings, which means you can’t set them to maximum speed manually during really tempestuous weather.
The automatic setting will go faster, but doesn’t do so consistently – which can be unnerving in a downpour, to say the least.
WATCH: BMW 5 Series Saloon Euro NCAP crash test:
- Seats five in comfort and space
- Boot is smaller than that of the E-Class
- Hybrid version loses 120 litres of space
The 5 Series has a low, sporty seating position, which means even with the shift to a more coupe-like roofline for this latest model, there’s still plenty of room inside for up to five passengers.
Headroom is generous and it feels spacious and airy front and rear. We’ve already mentioned how comfortable the seats are – although as with most executive saloons, the middle rear passenger doesn’t get quite such a good deal with a large transmission tunnel where their feet should be.
The 5 Series is a large car – it’s quite long – but doesn’t feel intimidatingly large in car parks or tighter town streets. Parking isn’t too tricky thanks to standard-fit parking sensors all-around, while we’d consider going for optional reversing camera to make life that little bit easier, too.
It’s easy to judge the extremities of the car, though, so you shouldn’t struggle with manoeuvring it too much.
The boot is 530 litres in capacity – which is 10-litres shy of the Mercedes E-Class's but you shouldn’t need to pack too sensibly to fit in everyone’s bags on a holiday.
Interior storage is limited to the usual central cubbies, door pockets and glovebox. These struck us as neither especially large nor disappointingly small.
BMW 530e makes do with a smaller boot
Batteries to power the electric motor have been stashed under the rear seats, where the petrol tank usually goes, and this has been moved backwards where it eats into bootspace.
As such you now get 410 litres of capacity to load luggage into, but it does mean the boot floor sits flush against the lip, making it easier to pack heavy items. There’s also a small section of the floor that can be lowered, making a recessed section for smaller items to be stored in.
The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the BMW 5-Series Saloon.
Equipment by trim level
To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:
|Equipment included on some trim levels|
EfficientDynamics SE equipment
|EfficientDynamics SE standard equipment|
|Same as basic equipment|
|EfficientDynamics SE optional equipment|
M Sport equipment
|M Sport standard equipment|
|M Sport optional equipment|
|M5 standard equipment|
|M5 optional equipment|
|SE standard equipment|
|Same as basic equipment|
|SE optional equipment|