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2022 BMW 5-series

Starting at $55,195

7.5/10 C/D RATING
Specs
2021 bmw 530e front
Michael Simari|Car and Driver
7.5/10 C/D RATING

Select a year

  • Highs Spacious interior, plenty of engine choices, generous technology features.
  • Lows Non-M models aren't particularly engaging to drive, bland interior styling, expensive option packages.
  • Verdict It might lack the driving verve of past 5-series generations, but this latest model offers plenty of luxury and upscale styling.
By Drew Dorian

Overview

Enthusiasts bemoan the 2022 BMW 5-series for not delivering the same level of athleticism as past generations, but this spacious, comfortable, and well-equipped luxury car is still a compelling package. For one thing, there are four powertrains to choose from, ranging from a spunky turbo four-cylinder all the way up to a brutish twin-turbo V-8; a plug-in hybrid is also available for those who want to go green. The interior of the 5-series is relaxed and ready to make light work of long commutes and road trips, especially when equipped with such options as massaging seats. The 5's technology offerings are up there with key rivals such as the Audi A6, the Genesis G80, and the Mercedes-Benz E-class, but the BMW no longer delivers the driver engagement that used to make it the clear choice for those who appreciate a car that feels wired to your nervous system.

Where This Vehicle Ranks

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1

Mercedes-AMG E53

STARTING AT: $76,050
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2

Genesis G80

STARTING AT: $49,345
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3

Mercedes-Benz E-class

STARTING AT: $56,000
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4

Audi A7

STARTING AT: $70,295
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5

Audi A6

STARTING AT: $56,995
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7

BMW 5-series

STARTING AT: $55,195

What's New for 2022?

BMW has removed several optional features from the 5-series's order sheet for 2022, including the onboard WiFi hotspot, the remote start feature, and wireless smartphone charging. The Parking Assistance and Executive packages are now only available on the top-spec M550i model, and the Dark Graphite Metallic interior trim is no longer available.

Pricing and Which One to Buy

    The mid-range 540i continues to be the best value in the 5-series lineup, offering a nice balance of performance and comfort. This model comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. The available Convenience package seems like a wise add-on, as it includes heated front seats and a power-operated trunk lid. To unlock the 5-series's advanced semi-autonomous driving tech, go for the Driving Assistance Plus package.

    Engine, Transmission, and Performance

    Smooth, powerful, and efficient, both the four-cylinder in the 530i and the six-cylinder in the 540i motivate this big sedan with authority. For 2021, the 540i's powertrain gains a little extra boost, care of a 48-volt hybrid system, which we have not yet tested. Each pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts intuitively and quickly, making the most of the available power. The 540i's six-cylinder is silky smooth and potent, and it makes delightful noises. Apart from the top-dog M5, which we review separately, the M550i is the athlete of the lineup, with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 under its hood. In our testing, the M550i sprinted through our acceleration runs quicker than the Audi S6 and Mercedes-AMG E53, hitting 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. All 5-series models are competent handlers, but they lack the kind of driving verve we expect from BMW. Steering feedback is light, and the ride—even in the performance-oriented M550i—appears to be tuned more for comfort than pure driving pleasure.

    2021 bmw 530e rearView Photos
    Michael Simari|Car and Driver

    Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

    The EPA estimates the four-cylinder 530i will earn up to 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The six-cylinder 540i is rated at up to 25 mpg city and 32 highway. The more powerful V-8 M550i lowers those to 17 mpg city and 25 highway. All three of the models we tested overachieved in our real-world testing; the 530e delivered 34 mpg while the 540i and M550i did 31 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively. For more information about the 5-series's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.

    Interior, Comfort, and Cargo

    Rich appointments and good design make the cockpit of the 5-series a civilized space. It's a noticeable upgrade compared with the somewhat drab cabin of its predecessor. It's also spacious for rear-seat passengers and features an impressive amount of technology. We've experienced the optional 20-way multi-contour front seats, which adjust in every way imaginable and provide hours of comfort. The standard seats might not be as indulgent, but you can still adjust them in 16 ways. The BMW's large trunk space is on par with what its competitors offer, fitting six carry-on suitcases back there. That said, the cabin is lacking in cubbies and storage compartments. To accommodate the battery pack, the plug-in-hybrid 530e has four less cubic feet of trunk space than nonhybrid models and swallow two fewer carry-on suitcases, but at least it retains its folding rear seats, unlike many other hybrids.

    2021 bmw 530e interiorView Photos
    Michael Simari|Car and Driver

    Infotainment and Connectivity

    A large 12.3-inch high-resolution central display comes standard on every 5-series. You can control it by using BMW's iDrive rotary knob, tapping the screen, or saying various voice commands. Additionally, if you shell out for BMW's Gesture Control option, you can control the system with hand gestures, but we found this to be more gimmicky than useful. All 5-series models come with a digital gauge display that can be configured to show a variety of information to the driver. Navigation, a USB port, Bluetooth audio, SiriusXM satellite radio,and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are all included in the tech suite.

    Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

    Plenty of driver-assistance features are standard and additional tech is optional, including a navigation-based semi-autonomous driving mode that can even plan for upcoming lane changes based on GPS data. For more information about the 5-series's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:

    • Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
    • Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert
    • Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode

    Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

    BMW's warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance are about average for the segment but fall short of what's offered on the Jaguar XF.

    • Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    • Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
    • Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles

    Specifications

    Specifications

    2021 BMW 530e

    VEHICLE TYPE
    front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

    PRICE AS TESTED
    $70,485 (base price: $58,195)

    POWERTRAIN
    turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-4, 181 hp, 258 lb-ft; permanent-magnet synchronous AC motor, 107 hp, 195 lb-ft; combined output, 288 hp, 310 lb-ft; 9.1-kWh lithium-ion battery pack

    TRANSMISSION
    8-speed automatic

    CHASSIS
    Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
    Brakes (F/R): 13.7-in vented disc/13.0-in vented disc
    Tires: Michelin Pilot Sport 4 ZP, F: 245/40R-19 98Y ★ R: 275/35R-19 100Y ★

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 117.1 in
    Length: 195.8 in
    Width: 73.5 in
    Height: 58.4 in
    Passenger volume: 99 ft3
    Trunk volume: 10 ft3
    Curb weight: 4308 lb

    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 5.2 sec
    100 mph: 13.8 sec
    130 mph: 28.3 sec
    Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 6.0 sec
    Top gear, 30–50 mph: 3.1 sec
    Top gear, 50–70 mph: 3.9 sec
    1/4 mile: 13.8 sec @ 100 mph
    Top speed (mfr's claim): 146 mph
    Braking, 70–0 mph: 154 ft
    Standing-start accel times omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 27 MPGe
    75-mph highway driving, EV/hybrid mode: 64 MPGe/32 mpg
    Highway range, EV/hybrid mode: 17/380 miles

    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/city/highway: 26/24/29 mpg
    Combined gasoline+electricity: 64 MPGe
    EV range: 21 miles

    C/D TESTING EXPLAINED

    2021 BMW M550i xDrive

    VEHICLE TYPE
    front-engine, all-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan

    PRICE AS TESTED
    $93,795 (base price: $77,795)

    ENGINE TYPE
    twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 32-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection
    Displacement
    268 in3, 4395 cm3
    Power
    523 hp @ 6000 rpm
    Torque
    553 lb-ft @ 1800 rpm

    TRANSMISSION
    8-speed automatic

    CHASSIS
    Suspension (F/R): multilink/multilink
    Brakes (F/R): 14.7-in vented disc/14.6-in vented disc
    Tires: Bridgestone Potenza S007, F: 245/35R-20 95Y ★ R: 275/30R-20 97Y ★

    DIMENSIONS
    Wheelbase: 117.1 in
    Length: 195.8 in
    Width: 73.5 in
    Height: 58.4 in
    Passenger volume: 99 ft3
    Trunk volume: 14 ft3
    Curb weight: 4479 lb

    C/D TEST RESULTS
    60 mph: 4.1 sec
    100 mph: 8.8 sec
    1/4 mile: 12.3 sec @ 120 mph
    130 mph: 14.6 sec
    Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
    Rolling start, 5–60 mph: 4.6 sec
    Top gear, 30–50 mph: 2.5 sec
    Top gear, 50–70 mph: 2.7 sec
    Top speed (mfr's claim): 155 mph
    Braking, 70–0 mph: 152 ft
    Braking, 100–0 mph: 303 ft
    Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 0.94 g

    C/D FUEL ECONOMY
    Observed: 18 mpg
    75-mph highway driving: 28 mpg
    Highway range: 500 miles

    EPA FUEL ECONOMY
    Combined/city/highway: 20/17/25 mpg

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