New BMW 5 Series Pricing and Specification Announced | Part Two

First Impressions Last

The current 5 Series set the benchmark in the Executive class, but with its exceptionally high standard specification, superb driving dynamics and innovative new technology, the new 5 Series raises the bar further. Following the first drives, Auto Express claimed: "Bettering the current car was never going to be easy, but BMW has done just that with the new 5 Series." Autocar called the car: "An awesome driving machine," and Car magazine noted: "This is without doubt the best BMW driver’s car ever made." Top Gear Magazine commented: "The combination of the 530i’s trick steering, inherent good handling and active suspension is devastating" and Fleet News said: "Dynamically, nothing in the class can touch it."

High Levels Of Standard Equipment

All three launch cars feature six-cylinder engines and a six-speed manual gearbox as standard. The BMW 520i SE produces 170 bhp and a maximum torque of 210 Nm with the 530i SE boasting 231 bhp and 300 Nm of torque. The 530d SE is powered by BMW’s new 218 bhp second-generation common rail diesel engine generating an impressive 500 Nm of torque, incidentally the same torque figure as the current high-performance BMW M5. A six-speed automatic gearbox is an option on the 530i SE and 530d SE models, priced at £1,350.00.

All 5 Series models feature automatic air conditioning, part-electric seats and a revised BMW iDrive controller and colour screen. The new iDrive concept features an improved colour-coded display and the system now allows the owner to pre-programme many of the car’s comfort systems, with a default Menu button aiding navigation around the system. The 530i SE and 530d SE also benefit from BMW’s unique Park Distance Control with pictogram, and feature metallic paint as standard.

Safety also plays an important role, with all cars featuring eight airbags, a tyre puncture warning system and ‘run flat’ tyres on 17" wheels and above (16" is standard on six-cylinder cars, 17" standard on 545i SE), alongside Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control as standard. As a result, the car meets the requirements of a five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating. Owners will also note improvements in the fuel economy, efficiency and CO2 emissions, partly as a result of a weight reduction over the current 5 Series. The new car is now up to 55 kg lighter than the outgoing model, thanks to all-aluminium chassis, suspension, front wings and bonnet. This also helps to achieve the dynamically impressive 50 / 50 front to rear weight distribution.

continues... | Part Three
Published 9 June 2003 Melanie Carter

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