The 5 Series sedan has long been the mainstay for BMW in the Indian market. Popular with people who are chauffeured around, as well as those who drive themselves, the car offers an optimal balance between performance and luxury. Well, at least that was the case with previous generations of the 5. The last generation, though, had been softened considerably for our market – so it didn’t really provide that edge in terms of the driving experience. It also suffered from a lack of rear-seat legroom, which is something that didn’t go down well with its well-heeled customers.
However, with the latest G30 generation of the 5, BMW is looking to regain its mojo – and it’s immediately clear that this generation marks a massive improvement over the last car. The design of the new 5 is very evolutionary, and looks like a combination of its predecessor and the latest generation 7 Series. It looks great in the M-Sport trim of our test car, but the standard car seems to blend in somewhat – and that’s a lost opportunity as BMW could have taken a riskier design direction and given the new car more of an individual identity. Overall, though, it’s a handsome car. The interiors, on the other hand, are a big jump forward. The cognac interiors of our test car were absolutely fantastic, in both design as well as fit-and-finish. The space management on the 5 has also improved, with the new car featuring substantially more space in the rear than the old car.
It is, however, with the driving experience that the new 5 makes the biggest impression. Our 530d test car was fitted with the ubiquitous 3.0-litre straight-six diesel engine producing 262bhp. That means that this car is seriously quick for our conditions, with the 0-100km/h mark coming up in just 5.7 seconds. And to give credit where it’s due, BMW’s tuning of its engines with the ZF eight-speed automatic transmissions is the best in the business – which means that the drivetrain and refinement levels are flawless, as can be seen in the scoring.
When it comes to driving dynamics, with the G30, it seems that BMW is finally coming back to its roots, as the car features a fantastic suspension setup with limited body roll and a more planted feeling at high speeds. The steering too is quick, direct and relatively communicative. All told, the new 5 is a pleasure to drive both on the road and on the track. As you can see in the scoring, the 5 missed out on winning one of our five trophies by just .1 point. That’s how good the car is.