Other engine options
Above the 520d are two six-cylinder diesel units: the 525d costing 33,095 and the 37,100 530d. Both average around 45mpg and emit less than 170g/km of CO2. The petrol engines run from the 523i (31,235, 37.2mpg and 177g/km) to the V8-engined 550i, which costs more than 50,000, averages 27.2mpg and emits 243g/km of CO2. A hybrid model will go on sale in America and Japan, but BMW says it will not bring it to the UK because it would be too expensive and of too little interest to buyers.
The 550i is the only model with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard, whereas every other model comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, and the option of the eight-speed auto. Sport versions have steering-wheel-mounted paddles.
'Best in class' claims
BMW claims that this 5 Series will be the best car in its class to drive, and says that the ride and handling can be improved further still on models with the optional variable damper control or adaptive drive packages. These cars will get a choice of four chassis settings normal, comfort, sport and sport+ which adjust the way the steering, throttle and suspension behave.
Last, but not least, the company says that this is the most highly specified 5 Series ever. Every model will have leather upholstery, and options including park assist, which steers the car into a parking space while the driver operates the accelerator and brakes.
Also available will be active steering (which makes the car more manoeuvrable), the surround-view system, a head-up display and night vision, as well as a variety of packages covering everything from styling to safety, communications and navigation.