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The X5 xDrive35d has a h. Knowledge of the labeling on the side of the tire makes it easier to identify and choose the right tires.
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It’s hard to remember a time when one could consider BMW a “rebel” in the premium car market, but the late ‘90s saw the German automaker producing vehicles that were unlike any competitors. While Audi, Lexus, and Mercedes-Benz defined the word “luxury” with interior comfort and ride quality, BMW viewed the concept through a performance lens.
No vehicle in BMW’s 90’s-era product portfolio was a better example of this than the E39 5 Series. Until the E39, midsize luxury sedans just weren’t all that sporty. Instead of building a luxury car with a dash of driving engagement, BMW crafted a performance machine with handsome looks and a plush interior.
Before long, BMW’s rivals had re-tooled their midsize offerings to better compete, but not before the German automaker had stamped its badge on the segment. Fond memories of the E39 and E60 5 Series made it all the more painful to drive the current generation. Rounded and uncharismatic, the luxury car was only redeemed by M’s performance tuning. Had BMW abandoned the segment it created? I was becoming convinced we’d never see another enthusiast 5 Seriesbut then I drove the new one.
Good Bones The first indicator of BMW’s renewed performance mindset requires an x-ray scan of the sedan’s figure. An all-new platform is constructed from aluminum, magnesium, and high-strength steel for a total weight savings of 137 pounds compared to the outgoing model. Though I can’t help but wonder how much weight could be salvaged from a carbon core like the flagship 7 Series, the new 5’s architecture is noticeably lighter on its feet as-is. Complementing the featherweight foundation is a re-tuned suspension and adaptive dampers. With three drive modes: Sport, Comfort, and Eco Pro, the 7 th generation 5 Series can transform from cruiser to carver in fractions of a second.
BMW’s Integral Active Steering (IAS) returns as an option for 2017, combining variable-ratio steering with rear-wheel pitch (in opposing direction to the front wheels at low speeds and in the same direction at higher speeds). Honda Vt750c2 Owners Manual. Though I’ve had seat time in other vehicles with rear-wheel steering, I’ve yet to adjust to the sensation of a car’s aft pivoting mid-corner. It feels a bit like my butt is on skates. Discomfort aside, even acute corners feel much less challenging with the active rear wheels. Feedback from the electronic steering rack is minimal, but artificial communication is commonplace in modern vehicles; I’m far more concerned with responsiveness and natural weight.
A beefy M-sport steering wheel feels a tad light on center, but instantly becomes heavier with steering input. Responsiveness isn’t quite telepathic, but wheel movements are express delivered to every tire and respond faster with more steering effort. At launch, the 2017 5 Series will be offered with two engine options: a 2.0-liter twin-turbocharged four-cylinder making 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline six-cylinder delivering 335hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine improved 8 horses over the outgoing entry model while the straight six gains 35 ponies. Both powertrains are mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and can be configured with xDrive all-wheel drive (rear-wheel drive is standard). More power and less weight mean both the 530i and 540i are quicker to 60 mph than their predecessors (528i and 535i), but the 530i still needs a bit more grunt.
248hp feels mighty in a compact sport sedan, but timid in a midsize vehicle. The 540i, meanwhile, is astonishingly rapid.
Seemingly long distances between curves along Northern California’s route 116 simply disappear as I dig deeper into the 540i’s powerband. Both the 530i and 540i make quick work of a twisty road, but the more potent variant is a better representation of BMW’s performance charisma. Practical Innovation BMW once again looked to its 7 Series for design inspiration throughout the new 5’s cabin.