BMW FOCUSED ON reducing weight, adding technology, and reducing cabin noise with its 2017 5 Series redesign. The new car is essentially the same size as the outgoing model, but BMW says it’s lighter by 220 pounds and the rear seat and trunk are marginally roomier. We recently purchased a 2017 530i xDrive. Although we’re still putting on break-in miles, the new 5 Series is proving to be one of the most complete midsized luxury sedans on the market. It’s super quiet, comfortable, reasonably quick, and fuel efficient, with a cabin that is finely crafted but not glitzy.

Driving Impressions
Engines have been bolstered across the board. The 2.0-liter turbo four-cylinder in the 530i is up to 248 horsepower, while the 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinder in the 540i has been bumped to 335 hp. Both engines are mated to a slick eight-speed automatic. All-wheel drive is optional. There’s a 530e plug-in hybrid version, too, which commands only a $200 premium over the 530i and is available with AWD. The 530i’s engine doesn’t deliver explosive power, but there’s more than enough oomph on hand for effortless merging and passing. The transmission shifts with smooth precision. The EPA rates the 530i xDrive at 27 mpg combined, which is impressively frugal for the class. We’ve been observing similar consumption so far.

The steering, a sore spot with the last 5 Series, has good weighting but it is still a bit short on feedback. Handling is calm and composed, but lacks the agility of previous 5 Series models or other sports sedans like the Jaguar XF. The ride is supple and composed, unfazed by most bumps. The extra sound deadening measures have worked wonders-wind, tire, and engine noise are impressively muted.

Inside the Cabin
Soft-touch materials and expensive-looking trim cover every surface. Controls, including the iDrive 6.0 infotainment system with a 10.2-inch screen, are well executed. Our test car has the superb head-up display that’s part of the $1,800 Driving Assistance package. The one demerit is the unintuitive electronic shift lever.

The standard front seats are fantastic, with 16-way power including four-way lumbar and adjustable side bolsters. The cushions are firm yet comfy, and there’s plenty of all-day support. Even the rear seats are heated, part of the $800 Cold Weather package.

A plethora of advanced safety systems are available, but it’s a shame BMW doesn’t make forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking standard. We paid $4,900 for three options packages in order to get a variety of advanced safety features.