The BMW 5 Series Is Just Really Nice

The BMW 5 Series Is Just Really Nice

It’s lovely to drive, it’s comfy inside, and it’s efficient. What more do you need?

Jeff Perez / Motor1

In a world of overcomplication, the new BMW 5 Series keeps it simple. Unlike the all-electric i5 and the way-too-heavy M5, both complicated in their own right, the base BMW 530i doesn’t have to try hard to be a great luxury sedan—it just is.

At $58,895, you get a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine with a mild-hybrid assist, a luxurious cabin loaded with features, a lovely driving experience, and a few pieces of technology you might not find elsewhere in the segment.

Quick Specs 2024 BMW 530i
Engine Turbo 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder Mild-Hybrid
Output 255 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet
0-60 MPH 5.8 Seconds
Weight 4,090 Pounds
Base Price / As Tested $58,895 / $68,445

That base engine makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, paired to an eight-speed automatic transmission. It has seven more horsepower and 37 extra pound-feet compared to last year, and upgrades to the combustion process yield more efficiency; The 530i gets 30 miles per gallon combined.

The 530i’s 2.0-liter delivers just enough power and does it smoothly smoothly It takes 5.8 seconds for the base 5 Series to reach 60 miles per hour (identical to the electric i5). The mild-hybrid system provides a nice jolt off the line before tapering off in the tachometer’s mid-range, and although the 530i is no speed demon, the 48-volt hybrid system delivers just enough torque for easy overtaking at speed. The eight-speed automatic, meanwhile, is seamless.

The 530i isn’t afraid of a few corners, either. Instead of the i5 or M5’s overly complicated (but impressive) anti-roll suspension tech, the base 5er keeps it simple with a double-wishbone front and five-link rear, with the optional M Sport suspension ($3,000) on this car adding dampers that adjust depending on drive mode.

The chassis is responsive and the steering is excellent. Even with a good amount of roll, body movements are predictable. Compared to the xDrive model, the rear-wheel base car is more tail-happy in Sport mode (which automatically shuts off traction control). The variable-ratio steering doesn’t feel overly complicated or twitchy, either, like in some other BMWs. It’s nicely weighted and tells you exactly what the big-bodied sedan is doing.

Visually, the BMW 5 Series probably won’t win any awards for its looks. There are a few too many creases on the front end, the wheel options are sub-par, and the back looks overdesigned. And if you add the M Sport package (like on this car), it tacks more chunky black plastic onto the front bumper. It’s not a look most will love.

Most buyers, though, will fall in love with the 5 Series when they get it on the highway. It’s as quiet as a bank vault; The four-cylinder engine barely gives off a rumble and the sound deadening expels intrusive noises. The standard Veganza leather seats are surprisingly sumptuous; I can’t imagine why you’d need to upgrade to Merino leather ($2,450). And there’s more than enough room for two adults in the second row, with just enough space for four-ish carry-ons in the trunk, courtesy of 18.4 cubic feet of cargo space.

BMW offers its Driving Assistance Professional hands-free technology on the base model, but it’s an extra $2,500. Even without it, the 530i comes standard with the Active Driving Assistant with a lane-departure warning, forward collision warning, and automatic emergency braking. And it has standard adaptive cruise control—which works well on the highway, applying throttle and braking inputs without issue—but adaptive cruise with stop-and-go is an extra $650, for some reason.

At least you get BMW’s iDrive 8.5 infotainment system at no extra cost, which includes a 14.9-inch center touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. That setup has crystal-clear graphics, a clean home screen, and super-smooth scrolling. Only when you really start digging into the options does it get more complicated—but most of what you need is accessible with one or two clicks. And BMW’s built-in “Hey, BMW” voice assistant makes it easier to turn up the temperature or adjust basic settings (when it wants to listen).

If you want even more, there are plenty of upgrades available on the base 5er. This particular tester has the $3,000 M Sport package with an upgraded suspension, 21-inch wheels, and M badges aplenty. It also includes the $2,550 Premium package that adds a remote start, a heated steering wheel, and the Parking Assistant Plus—complete with remote parking.

The total cost of this BMW 530i comes out to a still pretty reasonable $68,445. The Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class are both comparably priced with options. The only competitor that’s cheaper to start and more affordable with options is the Genesis G80—but it’s short on a few features.

The BMW 530i does a good job of not overcomplicating things. No, it won’t wow you with its performance or blow you away with luxury, but it has a good engine, a compliant suspension, a lovely interior, and excellent road manners. What more can you ask for of an entry-level luxury sedan?


  • Audi A6
  • Genesis G80
  • Mercedes-Benz E-Class

2024 BMW 530i

Engine Turbocharged 2.0-Liter Four-Cylinder Mild-Hybrid

Output 255 Horsepower / 295 Pound-Feet

Transmission Eight-Speed Automatic

Drive Type Rear-Wheel Drive

Speed 0-60 MPH 5.9 Seconds

Maximum speed 155 Miles Per Hour

Weight 4,090 Pounds

Efficiency 27 City / 35 Highway / 30 Combined

Seating Capacity 5

Cargo Volume 18.4 Cubic Feet

Base Price $58,895

As-Tested Price $68,445

On Sale Now


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