seventh-generation BMW 5 Series

For 2021, the BMW 5 Series gets a little softer exterior look, except for the grille and headlights which receive a sculpted refresh.

BMW is a study in extremes these days. Just a week after it debuts a big, high-powered SUV, it rolls out a sedan. Not just any sedan, though. The Bavarian automaker’s taken the covers off its seventh-gen BMW 5 Series line-up, including a new mild-hybrid upgrade for some models as well as new plug-in hybrid version.

The next-gen model sports four models for 2021, counting the aforementioned iteration with a 48-volt mild hybrid system offering a little extra punch when the driver hits the go pedal.

Now in its sixth decade, the BMW 5 Series continues to a must-drive option in what the company describes as the “executive sport sedan” segment. In fact, its direct competition, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class debuted its new coupe and cabriolet just before BMW’s new offering.

(BMW may go for a plug-in hybrid with upcoming X8 M.)

The 2021 BMW 5 Series lineup includes the:

  • 248 horsepower 530i and 530i xDrive sedans
  • 288 hp 530e and 530e xDrive PHEV sedans
  • 335 hp 540i and 540i xDrive sedans
  • 523 hp M550i xDrive sedan

The rear of the new 5 Series shows off the new L-shaped taillights and a new lower bumper area.

They’re called executive sport sedans for a reason: you’ll want a Don Draper-like salary to get one with the MSRP pricing for the 2021 BMW 5 Series sedan coming in at $54,200 for the 530i Sedan, $56,500 for the 530i xDrive Sedan, $57,200 for the 530e Sedan, $59,500 for the 530e xDrive Sedan, $59,450 for the 540i Sedan, $61,750 for the 540i xDrive Sedan and $76,800 for the M550i xDrive Sedan.

For $54K-plus, the next-gen 5 Series gets the customary evolutionary exterior updates. It’s a clean look with softer edges, although the front receives the opposite treatment where it gets a more sculpted look, especially the head lights.

The rear of the new sedan is accentuated by new, standard trapezoidal tailpipe finishers integrated into the lower bumper area. New rear L-shaped taillights feature black edging and three-dimensional lenses, keeping with the style of the head lights. Additionally, the M Sport Package boasts redesigned front and rear bumpers, larger front air intakes with mesh inserts and a re-sculptured rear diffuser panel.

(BMW’s Vision M Next is a Plug-In that Runs Like a Sports Car.)

On the inside, the space is anchored by the standard Live Cockpit Professional with iDrive 7, a 12.3-inch digital instrument display and a 12.3-inch digital central touchscreen control display — a 2-inch upgrade over the previous version. Naturally, standard navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto ompatibility are included. To give the who set up a more sophisticated look, the buttons on the center console are now finished in a high-gloss black.

The interior of the new 5 Series shows off two 12.3-inch touchscreens and a slew of new technology.

Wrapped up in those massive screens is a bunch of technology, starting with the latest version of BMW’s Intelligent Personal Assistant. Press a button or simple utter “Hey BMW” and the world is your oyster. That may be a bit of an exaggeration, but the system can do a variety of things ranging from reading emails to changing the interior temperature of the vehicle to getting directions to your next destination.

Standard upholstery on the new 5 Series Sedan is Perforated SensaTec in Canberra Beige, Cognac or Black. Optional Dakota Leather with contrast stitching is offered in Ivory White, Cognac or Black. Optional supple Nappa Leather with contrast stitching is available in Ivory White, Mocha or Black. The M550i xDrive features standard Dakota Leather with contrast stitching with Nappa Leather being available as an option.

The dashboard on the four- and six-cylinder 5 Series can be ordered in an optional Black SensaTec with brown stitching, which is standard on the M550i xDrive. All models feature standard Sport seats (M Multi-contour seats on M550i xDrive) and a 40:20:40 split folding rear seat.

(BMW adds Gran Coupe version of 8-Series.)

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