It's likely that the 2021 BMW 5 Series has elements that everyone would consider to be sophisticated and desirable. It's really hard to find any fault with the 5 Series, other than its expensive price tag. BMW makes several versions of the 5 Series, and even the base model has so much to offer. Most people would be very happy with the 530i sedan, and things only get better from there.
What's New for the 5 Series in 2021?
Tech-lovers will be pleased to hear about the new touchscreen on the 5 Series. Now, there are two 12.3-inch screens, one of which is in the center of the dashboard and the other behind the steering wheel.
The other changes are mostly found outside of the cabin. First, there have been upgrades to some of the engines. The hybrid version of the 5 Series is a more powerful model, and some of the other powertrains have gotten a boost from a mild hybrid component.
There have also been a number of visual enhancements. For example, the kidney grille has been increased in size to have more of a bold appearance, and the headlights are more narrow, going along with a slightly more angular look of the car.
While it is a sedan, the BMW 5 Series looks quite sporty. Its athletic stance makes it look aggressive. Though it's not extremely wide, it does look like it's wider than it really is because of its angled headlights and sculpted front section. There are a few exterior differences between the various trims, but they mostly have to do with badging and wheels. For instance, the M versions have bicolor wheels and special rear spoilers.
Most trims of the 5 Series come with all-wheel drive. BMW uses the name "xDrive" for its all-wheel-drive system. xDrive is always working, ready to shift the power delivery ratio from 60:40 (rear:front) whenever necessary. The 530i, 540i, and 530e can be set up either with or without xDrive, and the M550i automatically comes with xDrive.
The 530i and 540i are the most basic 5 Series cars, though no one would consider them "basic" by any stretch. They have wood trim that complements their anthracite headliners, and their seats are covered in perforated SensaTec upholstery. The front seats can move in 16 ways so people can find the best positions. A power moonroof lets in light and can quickly be opened to bring in fresh air. SiriusXM, Apple CarPlay, and Android auto are all standard, and the two 12.3-inch screens provide a lot of access to information, including turn-by-turn directions via the navigation program.
The 530e feels pretty similar to the 530i and 540i. Their differences are related to the components that are under their hoods, and more on that will be detailed in the following section.
With the M550i, the wheels are upgraded from 18-inch versions to 19-inch ones. There are more exterior color choices, to include metallic paints. Inside the cabin, people can enjoy sitting on Dakota leather seats. The SensaTec material found in the other trims is incorporated into the dashboard on the M550i. Some other bonuses are that this trim has a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and 20-way power-adjustable front seats.
Driving the BMW 5 Series
This section highlights the main ways in which the 2021 BMW 5 Series trims differ, as they all run with their own engines. The 530i uses a 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine, which is the smallest of the bunch. It can generate nearly 250 horsepower and over 250 pound-feet of torque, and it benefits from getting paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The 540i has a similar engine to the 530i, but it's a larger version. Instead of four cylinders, it has six, and instead of having a displacement of two liters, it has a displacement of three liters. Both versions are TwinPower Turbo models. Reflecting the 3.0-liter's larger size, horsepower is boosted to 335 and torque to 331 pound-feet.
In between these two trims sits the 530e, at least in terms of performance. It runs on the 2.0-liter engine in conjunction with an electric motor. This hybrid system allows it to have 288 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque.
At the top of the lineup is the M550i, and it's by far the most spirited person of the 5 Series. It takes things to a new level with a V8 engine that has a displacement of 4.4 liters. Some people might have to read this next part twice since the numbers are so impressive. Horsepower is 523, and torque is just over 550 pound-feet. This makes the M550i quite special, and any performance-driver would be thrilled to get behind its wheel.
Of course, the 530e takes the win in the efficiency department. This plug-in hybrid is estimated to have an MPGe of over 60. The 540i does pretty well for a non-hybrid, getting up to 32 miles per gallon on the highway and 25 miles per gallon in the city. The 530i is pretty much at the same level, except it can achieve 33 miles per gallon on the highway. (All-wheel-drive versions have slightly lower numbers than their counterparts.)
The M550i, as one would expect, isn't as efficient. It can earn 17 miles per gallon in the city and 25 miles per gallon on the highway.
Formula for Calculating Dealer Cost:
Total Dealer Cost - Rebate and Incentive + Taxes / Licensing Fees = True Dealer Cost. (You can get rebates and incentives here.)
Note: All BMW 5 Series MSRP, invoice and dealer cost dollar figures above are approximate amounts. Prices are subject to change without notice.
A note about rebates: Most rebates are subtracted from the "on the road" figure. In most cases, you can have the rebate if you are arranging your own financing or you are paying cash. If you decide to use the manufacturer’s low interest financing, you do not usually get the rebate. Ask your dealer for details.