BMW 5-Series LWB Quick Drive Review: Smaller 7-Series or Bigger 3-Series?

If you seek luxury and comfort in a vehicle, the new BMW 5-Series Long Wheelbase will certainly capture your interest. However, does it prioritise comfort at the expense of the renowned BMW driving dynamics? Let's find out.

By Karan Mathur | Photography Hiyan Chauhan | on June 22, 2024 Follow us on Autox Google News

Updating a model like the 5-Series requires caution because there's always a risk of detracting from its appeal rather than enhancing it. Launched in 1972, it has sold more than 10 million units to date. In fact, it's arguably one of the best luxury sedans one can buy, and its popularity is a testament to this fact. BMW has now introduced the 8th generation model in India, offering it only in a long-wheelbase configuration to cater to chauffer-driven demands. So, the question is – is it now the ultimate driver’s machine or the ultimate ride for being driven in?

BMW 5-Series Quick Drive Review: Design and Dimensions

The new 5-Series LWB is now visually bigger than the outgoing model with the updated exterior. In terms of dimensions, it is not only wider and taller but also longer by 212mm, of which 130mm is accounted for by the increased wheelbase. In terms of styling, it gets a sharper nose with sleeker LED headlights. At the rear, the broader hips now give it a somewhat fastback appearance.

BMW 5-Series LWB rear design

BMW seems to have borrowed some design elements from the XM, including a kink just above the illuminated wider grill, along with copper accents throughout. Other highlights include chunky-looking tyres wrapped around 18-inch alloy wheels – they seem somewhat small now, given the 5er's increased size – a Hoffmeister kink over the C-pillar with the number ‘5’ embossed on a copper-finished panel, and sleeker LED tail lights.

Also Read: BMW iX xDrive50 Review: Is it a Proper Driver’s Car?

BMW 5-Series Quick Drive Review: Interior Design and Features

If you're familiar with the layout of the new 7-Series, you will feel at home in the new 5-Series LWB. The first thing that will grab your attention inside the cabin is the BMW Curved Display, which houses a 12.3-inch instrument cluster and a 14.9-inch infotainment system. A particularly nice touch is the BMW integration bar, which is a strip of ambient light running across the width of the driver and co-driver area, housing the controls for the hidden AC vents.

BMW 5-Series LWB steering wheel

New features include dual-wireless charging at the front, an updated iDrive 8.5 system, an all-vegan interior, and four-zone climate control. Now, the BMW 5-Series is aiming squarely at competitors like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class LWB and, therefore, has significantly improved rear-seat comfort. Owing to the increased size, its rear-seating space is now the largest in the segment. what's more, it now comes with much-needed creature comforts, including a rear wireless charging pad, a 655-watt Bowers & Wilkins sound system, and a panoramic sunroof with 90% more glass area than the outgoing 5-series.

Also Read: BMW i7 Vs Range Rover Autobiography Comparison: The Quest for Ultimate Luxury

BMW 5-Series Quick Drive Review: First Drive Impressions 

We were chauffeured in the older 5-Series to our destination where we were to test the new 5-Series LWD. In the first two minutes of driving the latter, it became quite apparent that the new model is a different beast altogether. While the previous model felt quite taut and precise, the new 2024 BMW 5-Series LWB seemed more plush, silent, and a lot more comfortable.

BMW 5-Series LWB iDrive 8.5

BMW India hasn't yet revealed the powertrain information for the new model, but the badge at the rear of our test car suggested a 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-4 cylinder petrol unit under the bonnet. While we'll have to wait for the officially confirmed power figure until the launch, it's expected to produce 258bhp, which feels plenty to hustle the car around when needed. The acceleration is quick and smooth, and it picks up pace in a progressive manner. It offers plenty of fun to the driver but insulates the rear passenger from all the drama. Simply put, it's quiet and comfortable, and regardless of the driver's eagerness, the rear cabin ensures that passengers remain shielded from any discomfort.

BMW 5-Series LWB infotainment system

Despite our test vehicle's chunky 225-section tyres and 18-inch alloy wheels, we could easily make the tyres squeal under the heavy load that they were subjected to. Honestly, this aspect of the car was more pronounced than it should have been, owing to the softer suspension setup. However, what's the driver's loss is the boss's gain. The rear seat is definitely the place to be in the new 5-Series LWB. Although my time at the back being chauffeured somewhat aggressively was limited, it was enough to realise that the level of comfort and composure it offers is simply exceptional.  

Also Read: BMW 3 Series Gran Limousine Review: A Cocktail of Sportiness and Comfort

BMW 5-Series Quick Drive Review: Should You Buy One?

BMW India has decided to keep details like specifications and prices of the new 5-Series LWB under wraps until the launch, which is scheduled for June 24. While a definitive verdict will have to wait until then, for now, we can safely say that the new BMW 5-Series LWB leans more towards the 7-Series than the 3-Series in terms of its driving experience and passenger comfort. So, if you're in the market for a mid-size luxury sedan tailored for chauffeur-driven owners rather than driving enthusiasts, the new 5-Series LWB is something that you must consider, for it checks all the right boxes. Moreover, given its BMW DNA, you can remain assured about its solid driving dynamics, which may not be outright exhilarating but are definitely satisfying.

Tags: 2024 BMW 5-Series LWB BMW 5-Series Long Wheelbase

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