2021 BMW 5 Series review, first drive
Revisions have been made to the exterior, the interior as well as the features list. The front end of the updated 5 Series gets new more aggressive-looking headlamps with L-shape LED signature and BMW Laserlight LED lighting as standard on the M sport trim. The grille has been reprofiled as well and it also gets updated bumpers front and rear. Tail lamps feature a new 3D profile with an updated LED light signature. In terms of dimensions, while the width, height and wheelbase remain unchanged, the overall length has gone up by 27mm thanks to the updated bumpers.
Aside from changes to trim and upholstery options, the general layout remains nearly identical to the outgoing model. New for 2021 is this fully digital 12.3-inch instrument panel, the same as the one seen on all new BMWs. The display is configurable and changes basis the drive mode selected.
The most prominent change here is the introduction of a new 12.3-inch touchscreen. In addition to Apple CarPlay, the infotainment unit now supports Android Auto as well. Both work wirelessly. (Image – Daljeet Singh)
Also new is this 12.3-inch instrument panel replacing the older 10.25-inch unit. This is your interface for the infotainment unit that now supports Android Auto in addition to Apple CarPlay and both work wirelessly. The BMW virtual assistant supports more commands now including instructions for the aircon and enhanced natural voice recognition. You also get the BMW Display Key that lets you, among other functions, move the car forward and backwards without being in the driver’s seat. And making life easier for the driver are assistance features including parking assist and reversing assistant. Needless to say, nothing has changed as far as space is concerned. Knee, head and leg room are ample for average-sized adults and with four-zone climate control, both rear seat occupants get individual temperature settings.
2021 BMW 5 Series gets a new 12.3-inch fully digital instrument panel. (Image – Dhruv Saxena)
Again, the engine lineup remains unchanged. There are two diesel options a four-cylinder in the 520d and a straight six in the range-topping 530d. We drove the 530i with a four-cylinder turbocharged petrol producing 252bhp and 350Nm, same as before. 0 to 100kmph comes up fairly quickly in just 6.2 seconds and with the update, overall fuel efficiency has improved. In this M Sport guise, the 530i gets an 8-speed sport transmission, more responsive and quicker than the 8-speed in non M Sport trims. The transmission enlists services of the navigation system to help enhance fuel efficiency. For instance, as per the literature supplied by BMW, in case of roundabouts and T-junctions where the car might come to a complete stop but only momentarily, the auto start-stop function will not turn the engine off as that will be inefficient.
Changes to the rear include new LED tail lamps. (Image – Daljeet Singh)
Driving experience-wise, for me personally, no brand comes close to BMW. The 5 is exciting, engaging and one that gives you the sort of driving pleasure that’s hard to quantify but easy to feel. Plus, with adaptive suspension, it can be comfortable when you want it to be, or sporty when you demand excitement. Purely in terms of driving pleasure, the only thing that can make me look past the 5 at this price is the M340i and that certainly is high praise.
2021 BMW 5 Series can be had with either 2.0-litre petrol, 2.0-litre diesel or 3.0-litre diesel engine options. (Image – Daljeet Singh)
The 2021 BMW 5 Series range is on sale now priced between Rs 62.90 lakh and Rs 71.90 lakh (ex-showroom). It was and remains one of the best in the segment and one without any major flaws. Unless the rear seat experience is what matters to you the most, in which case spending extra and getting the 6 GT or the E-Class long wheelbase makes sense, the BMW 5 Series ticks all the right boxes be it in terms of looks, features, performance or comfort, and it is the best in the segment when it comes to the driving experience.
2021 BMW 5 Series specifications
- Variant: BMW 530i M Sport
- Engine: 1,998cc 4-cyl turbo petrol
- Power: 252bhp@5,200-6,500rpm
- Max torque: 350Nm@1,450-4,800rpm
- Gearbox: 8-speed AT
- LxWxH: 4,963×1,868×1,497mm
- Wheelbase: 2,975mm
- 0-100kmph: 6.2s
2021 BMW 5 Series price in India (ex-showroom)
- BMW 530i M Sport: Rs 62.90 lakh
- BMW 530d Luxury Line: Rs 64.50 lakh
- BMW 530d M Sport: Rs 72.80 lakh