2017 BMW 540i M-Sport Review

Lineage intact – the Five is Alive and well. At least it’s nowhere near the let down its big brother is

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below to watch my full video review of the new BMW 540i M-Sport 5-Series saloon

As technologically astounding and impressive as it is, I wasn’t much taken with the new 7-Series. In fact it left me rather cold; I would go so far as to say I was disappointed… no sod it, I’ll confess: I detested it.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

Why? Because for a brand that once wholeheartedly and earnestly subscribed to its strapline of ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ – the latest limo variant from the Beemer stable is decidedly not just insipid, but vehemently against the notion of you even partcipating in, much else enjoying, the actual act of driving. It’s a car desperate to be fully autonomous and relegate passengers to the comfort of its rear cabin.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

Now don’t get me wrong, the all-new BMW 5-Series is no kind of supercar-slayer. And it’s really not that dissimilar to the Seven; in fact it pretty much has the entire suite of hateful interfering busy-body driving aids of its big brother too.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

But the driver’s seat is more welcoming, the instrumentation enticing, the performance a little more encouraging, the handling rather seductive, the feedback less vague, the act of driving itself considerably more satisfying.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

There’s a silky 3.0 Straight Six under the bonnet putting out 340bhp and 332lb ft to the rear wheels via an 8-speed automatic. It’s good for 0-100kph in 5.2 seconds with obviously a limited top speed of 250kph. Price is AED314,000 ($85,000).

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

I also think it’s a good-looking thing – harking to the handsome E34 and E39 versions (1988-2003). The proportions are spot-on, the bulk well hidden within the svelte lines and an undeniable presence worthy of the blue and white propeller. It’s been a while since they’ve got perfectly right the styling of a saloon – at least one without the GT badge.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

Boot space is decent, rear cabin accommodation could be better, the front seats are wonderful, and it doesn’t take long to feel comfortable and reassured in here. It’s a quality product of course, with quite refinement and a smooth ride. Plus of course it’s weighed down in tech and kit.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

Verdict

If want a big BMW saloon eschew the Seven and go for the Five, no question. It’s not only the visually appealing sibling, but its more satisfying to peddle with even some spark of the BeeEms of old within its personality.

BMW 5 Series 540i M-Sport Review

Plus it feels like a solid machine that’s worth the fils you spend on it, even whilst they be on the high side, though still more understandable than some others in the German marque’s range.

I’d definitely choose it over an Mercedes E-Class, but the Volvo S90 could steal back my interest. Stick the Lexus GS and Infiniti Q50 on your short list too, and the Jaguar XF up near the top.

 

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