Not for the new 5 Series the love-it-or-hate-it design of BMW’s i7 or iX – instead it walks a cautious line between evolution and innovation. The new model is longer, wider and higher than its predecessor and has a longer wheelbase too for increased rear comfort. The slim LED headlights and reshaped kidney grille show a more contemporary interpretation of the traditional BMW ‘face’, while the traditional three-box saloon design is executed with flowing lines and a minimum of fussy details. Two creases or ‘character lines’ along the flanks reduce the visual impression of bulk, while the famous Hofmeister kink on the C pillar gains an embossed 5 on the window surround. Overall, the body is exceptionally aerodynamic with a Cd of 0.23, thanks to features like active air flap control that only opens cooling ducts when needed.


Two all-electric i5 models are available. The i5 eDrive 40 has a single 340hp electric motor driving the rear wheels and delivering a 0-62mph time of 6.0 seconds. Range, as measured by the WLTP tests, is up to 361 miles. With charging at up to 205kW at a DC charge station you can boost the BMW’s latest-generation batteries from 10 to 80 per cent in under 30 minutes. Alternatively, the BMW i5 M60 xDrive features two motors, giving all-wheel drive and a 3.8 second 0-62mph time in Boost mode. There’s a minor penalty for that extra performance in the form of a lower maximum range, but 320 miles and fast charging capability is ample for most trips.


The new i5 delivers the latest in technology with a stunning and intuitive digital cockpit. At its heart is the BMW curved display, a frameless glass surface inclined towards the driver. The 12.3-inch information display seamlessly merges with a 14.9-inch control display, while the BMW interaction bar replaces buttons and switches with a touch-sensitive strip that stretches along the dash and into the door waist rails. To while away your time while charging, the i5 offers video on demand via YouTube as well as in-car gaming via the AirConsole platform. A Harman Kardon Surround Sound system comes as standard, or you can upgrade to a 655 Watt Bowers and Wilkins system. You could find yourself wishing it took longer to charge…


BMW’s Driving Assistant suite of software comes as standard on all new 5 Series models and includes Front Collision Warning for oncoming vehicles as well as pedestrians and cyclists. Lane Departure Warning now also reacts to oncoming traffic that appears to be on a collision course. Other standard features include Lane Change Warning, Cross-traffic Warning, rear collision warning, Evasion Assistant, and Crossroads warning. Parking Assistant and Reversing Assistant are also part of the specification.