There is an electric car, petrol, plug-in hybrid and diesel. There will be a station wagon and a six-cylinder. With the new BMW 5 Series, there really is something for everyone.
The new BMW 5 Series arrived on the Czech market in many flavors. You can have a two-liter diesel with a four-wheel drive, but also an electric car i5 M60 xDrive with a power of up to 601 horsepower. Even before the first piece for the classic weekly test reaches our editorial office, we had the opportunity to welcome this new series to the Czech market and at least take a short ride. For the first taste, we took something from each – 520d xDrive and i5 eDrive40.
The i5 electric car didn’t really surprise anything, under full throttle it sends 340 horsepower to the rear wheels, and thanks to the immediate response and perfect power modulation, driving it is very fluid, similar to the smaller i4 model. It is a very mature electric car with a range of up to 579 kilometers on a single charge and charging up to 205 kW. This is thanks to the battery with a usable capacity of 81.2 kWh. Of course, this already weighs something, the curb weight is 2205 kilograms.
You can tell when you’re driving. The comfortable tuning of the shock absorbers encourages you in advance not to push it completely to the edge, but rather to drive briskly through your favorite passages on the county roads and move to the highway in absolute silence. The power modulation and rapid acceleration are of course addictive aspects of the new EV five, but the high weight can make the car a little dull in the curves, and with how centralized it is in the middle of the car, you simply won’t feel as fresh and relaxed as in previous fives.
But I felt this whiff of old times in the diesel. An ordinary two-liter with a power of 197 horsepower and with four-wheel drive weighs 1905 kg, so it is 300 kilograms lighter than the basic electric car. When I got into it from an electric car, I expected it to shake and start grunting after starting, exactly as I remember it from the current three, where this diesel is not one of the most refined. And that’s okay, the car doesn’t even twitch and the engine revs very quietly. It only starts to sound before the mid-speed range.
The acceleration of the EV is of course incomparably better, but the 520d will not be put to shame. In fact, I would have guessed more than two hundred horses during that short ride. But it is known that there is a lot about turbocharging, after all, like almost every diesel. But the power curve and the turbocharger function are fine-tuned, the car has punch and good responses. Hand in hand with this is the gearbox, which I didn’t even notice during the short drive, which is actually a good thing, as it means it did its job promptly and unobtrusively.
You could tell from the chassis that it was different from an electric car. Anyone who tells you that the electric car drives like an internal combustion engine is simply bullshitting. The chassis here admits a little more of the ills of our roads. Just to remind you that the new 5 series has a double wishbone front axle with a torsion bar, an additional strut and additional struts in the engine compartment. At the back there is a five-link suspension, also with a torsion stabilizer. The top-of-the-line i5 can also have active stabilizers or rear air suspension.
Diesel is more playful in corners. It bends better and you can feel the work of the rear axle more. I lost a step not more sporty, but more driving. And that’s the difference. An electric car is of course quieter and a bit more comfortable. In both variants, however, I didn’t quite like the variable effect of the power steering. The front wheels in both cars react correctly already from the center position, but somewhere around a quarter of a turn they seem to loosen up and tightening curves or driving around a roundabout, you are not so sensitive.
But in general, both models seemed like robust, solid, rigid and very solidly steerable cars, as befits a BMW. The few criticisms will be confirmed or refuted when we spend more time with the cars, and we will also get a final picture when we can take a good look around the interior and wrinkle all the little things.
However, BMW deserves to be thanked for giving us a choice. We still have internal combustion engines and we also have electric cars. Those who complained about the range of engines at the presentation, of course, now have to shut up, because mild-hybrid six-cylinders are on the way. So BMW, thanks and we look forward to the test.
|Czech BMW 5 Series prices|
|Version||Tree||Power (kW/hp)||Price (CZK)|
|550e xDrive||PHEV R6||360/490||1.968.200|
|520d xDrive||diesel R4||152/207||1.587.300|
|i5 M60 xDrive||Electric||440/598||2.523.300|