The 2018 BMW 5 series goes up to the expectations set by its predecessor. There are engines for almost every taste, and the car’s handling ability is fundamentally very good. Combine with the latest technology and safety features, and you have the ultimate choice for midsize luxury sedans.
BMW redesigned the Series 5 last year, bringing updated styling and more interior space without adding weight. This year brings more change. The 2018 BMW 5 series has three new engine options: 530e (plug-in hybrid), 540d (six-cylinder diesel) and M550i (twin-turbo V8) that put the car very close to the BMW M5.
On the technology side, BMW continues to improve, offering natural language voice recognition, wireless Apple CarPlay integration, and even cool 3D simulation of your car from the outside by using the optional surround-view camera. And as far as modern driver assist can go, BMW is the best.
Trim and Features
The 2018 BMW 5 Series is a five-passenger, four-door sedan available in five trim levels that each indicate a different engine: the 530i, 530e iPerformance, 540i, 540d and M550i.
The base 530i and 530e iPerformance are nicely equipped. It come standard with 18-inch wheels, LED adaptive headlights, a sunroof, automatic wipers, power-folding and heated mirrors, driver auto dimming side mirrors, dual-zone automatic climate control, driver-selectable vehicle settings for throttle calibration, transmission response and steering, driver-seat memory functions, power-adjustable front sport seats, a power-adjustable steering wheel, simulated leather upholstery and a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat.
Standard technology features include a navigation system, BMW emergency services, natural-language voice controls, two USB ports, Bluetooth, a 10.2-inch touchscreen display, the iDrive interface, with a knob and button-based touchpad controller and a 12-speaker sound system with a CD player.
The 540i and 540d are equipped very similarly to the previous trims but have standard leather upholstery.
The new performance-focused 2018 BMW M550i xDrive includes all above features along with keyless entry, performance tires, 19-inch wheels, upgraded brakes, an adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, aerodynamic bodywork, LED adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a rear spoiler, an M Sport steering wheel, upgraded power front seats and a power trunk lid.
Except for the M550i xDrive, after you decided what trim you want, you can choose one of three 5 Series styling packages. The Sport is the default and comes with gloss-black design elements on the bumpers. The Luxury style adds chrome accents from the front grille to the rear tailpipes, with light alloy wheels and modified bumper inserts to match. The M Sport adds a lower M Sport suspension, Shadowline exterior trim and an aerodynamic style treatment.
After that, BMW offers a variety of packages or tiers in BMW language. The Premium package adds keyless ignition and entry, a power trunk, heated front seats, gesture control and satellite radio. The Executive package adds an automatic parking system, parking sensors, soft-close automatic doors, full LED adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, a dynamic digital instrument cluster and a surround-view camera system with 3D mode.
The Dynamic Handling package adds active roll stabilization and an adaptive suspension. For the M550i, you also get Integral Active Steering, which is a rear-steer system. The Luxury Seating package adds upgraded leather upholstery and ventilated multicontour front seats with massage function.
The Driving Assistance package includes lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring and a head-up display. The Driving Assistance Plus also gets you lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control and forward collision warning with object and pedestrian protection.
Stand-alone options include a heated steering wheel, ceramic-trimmed controls, night vision with pedestrian detection, remote control parking, Apple CarPlay, a rear-seat entertainment system, wireless smartphone charging and Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins premium audio systems.
The 2018 BMW 530i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. The 540i models get a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine good for 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.
In performance testing, the BMW 530i reach 60 mph in 6.0 seconds and the 540i does in 4.9 seconds. All-wheel-drive variants shave these figures by 0.2 seconds. EPA fuel economy for the rear-wheel-drive 530i rate at 27 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) and 27 mpg combined (24 city/34 highway) with xDrive. The 540i xDrive return 23 mpg combined (20 city/29 highway) and 24 mpg combined (21 city/30 highway) with rear-wheel-drive.
The 2018 BMW 540d uses a 3.0-liter inline-six turbo diesel engine, which generates 261 horsepower and 457 pound-feet of torque. BMW says the 540d will hit 60 mph in 5.1 seconds. EPA estimated fuel economy at 30 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway), which makes it one of most efficient 5 Series variant.
At the top of the range, the 2018 BMW M550i with its twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 engine produces a potent 456 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. It only needs 3.8 seconds to reach 60 mph from zero. EPA estimated fuel economy at 19 mpg combined (16 city/25 highway).
All-wheel drive (xDrive) is optional on the 530i, 530e iPerformance and 540i and standard on the 540d and M550i. Every 2018 BMW 5 Series models are equipped with an eight-speed automatic transmission, no manual gearbox is available.
Following the evolutionary development set by the exterior styling, the 2018 BMW 5 Series cabin design has a close resemblance to the outgoing car. The dashboard is slightly lower, but the central stack setting is very similar. With gesture control captured from Series 7, plus touchscreen, the iDrive control knob and voice control, this is the interface that will work for anyone.
The front seat passenger will enjoy the same spacious space as the outgoing car, and there is more than an inch of additional legroom in the backseat. The optional multicontur seats are equipped with touch-sensitive adjustment controls on the edge of the seat that opens the seat control menu on the center screen.
The cargo space improves above the previous model, growing from 18.4 to 18.7 cubic feet. It is already a large cargo space, so the new car trunk will not disappoint.
Release Date and Prices
The 2018 BMW 5 Series is on sale and arriving now at dealers nationwide. Direct competition includes the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Audi A6, and Lexus GS 300.
Official price for the 2018 BMW 530i starting at $52,195 and $54,495 for the 530i xDrive. The plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance start at $52,395 and $54,695 for the xDrive variant. Getting into the BMW 540i costs you $57,445 and $59,745 for the 540i xDrive. The range-topping model M550i xDrive starts at $73,095. (All prices include a $995 destination charge).