Unrecognizable! The new five (marked G60) is considerably larger outside and inside compared to its predecessor (G30), has a more progressive design and is full of displays inside, the ride is supervised by an even larger army of electronic guardian angels and the drive is electrified, or even purely electric. So BMW moves with the times, which is sure to please modern technophiles, but at the same time it maintains its five decades of honed strengths to keep traditional customers happy.

Photo: BMW

The current progressive design direction of BMW might not suit all customers of the 5 series. You can hardly tell the difference between the combustion engine and the electric version.

But without further delay, let’s get behind the wheel straight away – and right away the popular version of the 520d powered by a 197-horsepower four-cylinder turbodiesel, which, despite the ever-intensifying electrification, will be the bestseller of the entire model line for a few more years. After all, he doesn’t turn his back on electricity either, because he is newly armed with a 48V mild-hybrid system, which, with the help of an 11-horsepower electric motor with a power of 25 Nm, helps to save fuel and sharpens reactions to the gas.

As a result, the 520d engine seems pleasantly lively and willingly revs up to four thousand, while rewarding you for a quiet drive with a consumption of around six liters and a quiet and refined expression – most of the time you don’t even know about it, you only hear it under gas and from a distance. The entire interior is excellently soundproofed and the ride has a calming effect – that is, until you get used to the re-combined infotainment.

Photo: BMW

The diesel engine is perfectly matched to the smooth-shifting automatic. The ride is comfortable even with the M package, but it can be driven surprisingly briskly and gives a confident impression under all circumstances.

The purely electric i5 in the basic eDrive40 variant gives an even more relaxed impression. But it also has a solid power of 340 horsepower turning the rear wheels. So you certainly won’t be able to complain about the lack of power, the i5 willingly accelerates every time you push the gas pedal, and with its unrelenting pull, it will make it easier for you to overtake or join a faster lane.

BMW i5 eDrive40Video: BMW

5 Series (G60) Series 5 (G30) Difference
Length 5 060 mm 4 935 mm +124 mm
Width 1 900 mm 1 868 mm +32 mm
Height 1 515 mm 1 479 mm +37 mm
Wheelbase 2 995 mm 2 975 mm +20 mm
Volume of the luggage compartment 520 l 530 l -10 l

At the same time, it drives absolutely quietly, smoothly and amazingly comfortably (although due to the absence of an air suspension, it sways a lot more than the i7 on the lousy asphalt), so it’s a joy to simply sail down the road with the electric five. And even for long distances – the battery with a capacity of 81.2 kWh is enough for a tabulated range of 498 to 582 kilometers (according to the specification), so it will not be a problem to drive high hundreds of kilometers in one go (with only short breaks thanks to fast charging with a power of up to 205 kW).

Photo: BMW

You can have the 5 Series with a purely electric drive for the first time. The economical version of the i5 40e can comfortably travel more than 500 km on a single charge.

However, if you require more firepower, you can reach for the top-of-the-range i5 M60, all four wheels of which are spinning a herd of 601 horses, which will shoot you from rest to 100 in 3.8 seconds – and with an experience like being hit by a runaway train from behind. The springy acceleration is similarly crushing, making it feel like you’re slingshotting into the next corner, then in the wing the i5 M60 bites into the trail and refuses to let go.

Photo: BMW

The 601-horsepower i5 M60 drives like a slingshot, but feels a bit tense. The i5 40e is pleasantly relaxed and consistent.

It’s not as dramatic an experience as the M5, but it’s certainly similarly quick. Compared to the gasoline M5, the electric powertrain can calm down completely, but the “eM” chassis is still a bit restless even in comfort mode, and the steering is more noticeable, half-dead around the center position and connected to a strangely shaped steering wheel with an unnecessarily thick rim. In short, the M60 version only makes the weaker but much more consistent eDrive40 variant stand out, which will probably be the best of the entire model range.

Photo: BMW

The cabin architecture is identical to other BMW models. But it will take some time to get used to the infotainment. In addition to touch, you can also control it with a rotary controller, which could make it easier for users to work with the system.

Especially when you can only find the six-cylinder in conjunction with the plug-in hybrid technology of the fifth generation. A 197-horsepower electric motor drawing energy from a battery with a capacity of 19 kWh (with the possibility of DC fast charging) should offer solid dynamics and a range of around 100 km in purely electric mode, a gasoline two-liter four-cylinder or three-liter six-cylinder will then provide additional power (combined power of 299 horsepower for the 530e or .489 hp for the 550e) and removes the fear of limited range.

Photo: BMW

It’s no secret that BMW is preparing the 5 Series in a more practical station wagon (Touring) variant. The unveiling will probably take place already in the spring of 2024, we will also know the volume of its trunk – the previous generation (G31) offered 570 liters.

520d 520i 530i 530e 550e i5 40e i5 M60
Motor four-cylinder, diesel four-cylinder, gasoline four-cylinder, gasoline four-cylinder, gasoline + electric motor six-cylinder, gasoline + electric motor electric motor 2x electric motor
Performance 197 k 190 k 258 k 299 k 489 k 340 k 601 k
Torque 400 Nm 310 Nm 400 Nm 450 Nm 700 Nm 400 Nm 795 Nm
Tree rear or all four wheels rear wheels all four wheels rear wheels all four wheels rear wheels all four wheels
0-100 km/h 7,3 s 7,5 s 6,1 s 6,4 s 4,3 s 6,0 s 3,8 s
Electric range 87-102 km 79-90 km 498-582 km 455-516 km

Both combustion units are then slightly electrified – the 520d has already been mentioned, the 48V mild-hybrid system is also available in the petrol 520i with 190 hp, which could be an even more pleasant, albeit slightly hungrier (on paper by less than a liter) companion, or you can go for the more powerful 530i variant producing 258 hp. Which version would you choose?

However, according to first impressions, it seems that you can’t go wrong in any case – even in its eighth generation, the five-cylinder BMW is a very refined and distinguished car, now even more spacious, comfortable and safe, but also inevitably more electrified and digital. However, this does not impair its qualities, rather it deepens its attractiveness for a wider group of customers.

You can order the new BMW 5 Series and i5 now. Its prices start at 1,467,700 CZK for the gasoline 520i, you can buy the diesel 520d for 1,524,900 CZK (or about 60,000 more with xDrive four-wheel drive). The four-cylinder plug-in hybrid 530e costs CZK 1,647,100, while the six-cylinder PHEV costs CZK 1,968,200. You can buy an electric i5 for 1,749,800 CZK in the eDrive40 version, while the powerful M60 will cost a hefty 2,523,300 CZK.