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2021 BMW 5-Series Trim Levels with Comparisons & Configurations.

2021 BMW 5-Series Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: 530i vs 530e and 540i vs M550i
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2021 BMW 5-Series Trim Level Should you Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

The 2021 BMW 5 Series showcases its class in so many ways. From its handsome interior to its stylish exterior, the BMW 5 Series looks like a luxury vehicle from any angle. BMW has made a number of powertrains available with the 5 Series, and this helps the sedan appeal to a wide range of customers.

BMW has continued to innovate and push boundaries. With the 2021 5 Series, the company has made the infotainment system bigger, included more driver-assist technologies, and freshened up a few aesthetic details. Those include more angular headlights, a grille that stands tall and almost sticks out of the front of the vehicle, and accent stitching in the interior.

As a mid-size sedan, the BMW 5 Series provides a comfortable ride. Generous leg room in the first row means that everyone will be fighting to be the front passenger. While it's not the most spacious of spaces, the second row still has over 36 inches of leg room. Three people can easily fit in the back and can settle in on a long road trip.

Most of the differences between the trims of the 5 Series are related to the powertrain. Other differences have to do with the number of upscale amenities found throughout the car. This guide will go over both types of differences in detail to better inform prospective customers as they decide which BMW 5 Series to choose.

Compare the 5 Series 530i vs 530e. What is the difference?

Experience a dynamic driving experience with the BMW 530i and its Twin Power Turbo 2.0-liter engine, capable of delivering an incredible 250 horsepower while also averaging up to 33 mpg on highways! For those looking for even more efficient performance, try out the 530e which uses an electric motor in tandem with its gas engine to optimize fuel economy all without sacrificing power--attain 288 total horsepower and 64 MPGe combined! Enjoy optimal traction control thanks xDrive configurations that can distribute pressurized power among four wheels within just milliseconds as well various modes like AUTO eDrive or MAX eDrivemode so you decide where efficiency ends and raw performance begins.

To charge the electric motor, one can simply hook up the car to any power outlet, using the cable that's provided with the 530e. Alternatively, there's the option to install a BMW iWallbox if anyone wants to decrease the amount of time it takes to get a full charge. These next numbers are approximate but give a good idea of just how advantageous the special Wallbox is. By using a 240-volt system instead of a traditional 120-volt system, it could cut charging time from ten to three hours. Note that if the battery charge is depleted, the twin turbo engine can handle everything. People can still be travel off the beaten path into places where electric charging stations might not be abundantly available.

Both the trims have eight-speed automatic transmissions. To give the BMW more of a sports car feel, there is a sport shifting mode as well as a manual shift mode. Paddle shifters on the steering wheel are convenient to use. On the non-hybrid 5 Series, there is an ECO PRO drive mode that boosts efficiency. The other drivemodes are Comfort and Sport.

On the exterior and interior of the 530i and 530e, things feel fairly similar. The seats are covered in a perforated SensaTec upholstery that looks like a premium material and feels soft to the touch. This material is paired with a sleek Anthracite headliner, and the wood trim adds an extra touch of elegance to the cabin. More luxurious components include a power moonroof, dual-zone climate control, and auto-dimming capability built into the rearview mirror, the exterior mirror on the driver's side, and cabin lights.

When five people are going on a long road trip together in the 530i, it might be a stretch to fit all of the luggage in the trunk, which has a volume of 14 cubic feet. However, trunk size shouldn't be an issue for most situations. The trunk is even smaller in the 530e because the car needs a place to hold all of its electrical components. Trunk volume in the 530e is ten cubic feet, which is honestly pretty minimal.

Compare the 5 Series 530e vs 540i. What is the difference?

For those looking to step up their ride, the BMW 540i packs a powerful punch. Its 3.0-liter six cylinder engine produces 335 horsepower and 331 pound-feet of torque — an impressive upgrade from its cousin, the 530e's 2.0 liter four cylinder powertrain! And that’s not all; this model has some unique green features too – mild hybrid components help capture energy while braking for extra fuel efficiency (up to 32 MPG on highways!). Get ready for anything with xDrive equipped in your very own 540i today.

For the daredevil behind the wheel, a performance car can be an exhilarating experience. With BMW's 540i and 530e models, you don't have to sacrifice power for convenience; both trims give drivers that feel-good rush when accelerating from 0-60 mph in record time (the 540i zooms past this mark at under 5 seconds). As if that weren't enough of a thrill ride already, there are tons of convenient features as well — Bluetooth connectivity lets drivers control their vehicle remotely via mobile device with BMW Remote Services. Now it doesn't matter how far away your keys might be – lock up quickly and easily by just clicking your phone screen.

The standard entertainment package on these 5 Series sedans comes with HD Radio and SiriusXM Radio to open up more choices for listeners. 12 speakers in the cabin provide a surround sound experience, and the 205-watt digital amplifier can really boost the sound quality.

Another area in which technology is heavily featured is in the Live Cockpit Professional system. This system consists of two 12.3-inch screens, through which users can control music playback, access directions through navigation, make phone calls, send and receive texts, and more.

Further, there are numerous safety systems incorporated into these BMW models. Frontal collision warning can make certain types of accidents much less likely, as can blind spot detection and a warning system that engages when the car starts to veer one way or another.

In the front of the cabin, there are sport seats that can move in 16 different ways. Side bolsters and lumbar support are power-adjustable, and the driver's seat can be programmed to remember a specific position. Likewise, the steering wheel has a memory function.

Compare the 5 Series 540i vs M550i Trims. What is the difference?

The M550i is an incredibly powerful machine, boasting a 4.4-liter V8 twin turbo engine with over 550 pound-feet of torque and 523 horsepower! This gives it the raw power to rocket from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds - lightning fast for such a large car. Of course, this means that its fuel efficiency suffers somewhat compared to other models; you'll only get up 25 mpg on the highway before needing fill ups more often than usual. But performance enthusiasts won't mind trading miles per gallon for speed like this.

The M550i features premium components to take its power and performance to a whole new level. Boasting 19-inch dual-color wheels, sport brakes and differential, advanced dampers as well as eye catching illuminated door sills with an added rear spoiler for extra style - this car stands out from all others in its class. With these exclusive additions plus other interior enhancements it's simply one step ahead.

Relax into luxury in the M550i cabin, featuring superior Dakota Leather seating that can be customized with adjustable shoulder and thigh support. Plus, heat up your experience as you sit back with heated front seats - and driver's seat memory function for added convenience. Feel every beat of your favorite music through 16 speakers powered by a 464-watt amplifier - perfect sound quality to complement an already sublime ride.

Final Thoughts

The 2021 BMW 5 Series offers a unique blend of performance and eco-friendly efficiency for all sorts of drivers. For those seeking thrills, the M550i is an impressive option with over 500 horsepower beneath its hood - but isn't exactly practical or affordable for many consumers. Instead, there's the 530e which has more than 250 horses while still maintaining fuel economy that won’t break your bank account! An ideal choice in today's market, it can be charged conveniently like any electric vehicle yet run on gasoline when needed – making this two-in-one car a dynamic ride to enjoy every day.

Used 2021 BMW 5-Series:
Previous BMW 5-Series Trim Configurations:

Compare the 2020 BMW 5-Series Trim Levels