Saturday, 11 August 2007

BMW 5-Series Facelift

BMW’s mid-size executive contender for the luxury saloon market has undergone a facelift recently, in an attempt to ward off challenges in the form of the facelift E-Class from archrival camp, Mercedes-Benz. The refreshed 5-models are 523i SE, 525i Sport, 530i, 540i, 530d and the M5. The new 535i - with BMW’s award winning bi-turbo engine - is strangely missing from the line-up.

BMW’s trademark kidney grille pair sits more flush now with the bumper surrounds. At the same bumper lower portion, the air dam cuts a ‘smiley’ lower lip angles bilaterally, instead of the frowning ‘expression’ previously. The headlight sports clearer lens cover which encompasses its 'brow' section, while the signal lights have clearer lenses too. Meanwhile, LED signal indicators are fitted into the rear light cluster.

With this facelift exercise, the ‘new’ 5 Series have gained Active Steering, Adaptive Headlights, BMW Navigation System Professional, High Beam Assist and runflat tyres (except the M5).
Power output figures are 190hp for 523i SE (increase of 13hp), 218hp for the 525i and 272hp for the 530i. The 530d punches out 218hp, 540i with even higher 306hp while the top-of-the-line M5 makes an impressive 507hp from its V10.

A new six-speed automatic transmission with improve electronics enables significantly quicker gearshift, claimed to be one of the fastest for a torque converter gearbox. The M5 drives with BMW’s automated-manual transmission, SMGIII. A new gear-selection stalk that looks much like a gaming joystick is now standard across the facelift-5 range – previously found only in the M5 and the new X5.

BMW has also taken a head-start in the segment by fitting the 525i Sport, 530i, 530d, 540i and M5 with a Head-Up Display (HUD) system. HUD creates a virtual image that contains key driving data such as speed, navigation directions and other vital info directly into the driver’s field of vision, enabling him or her to keep the road constantly in view. However, Lane Departure Warning system is exclusive to the 540i, a safety feature which warns the driver of the car veering out of its lane with distinct vibrations on the steering wheel.

BMW Night Vision, an infrared night viewing technology that enables drivers to detect objects even in complete darkness (up to 300m) up the road, is now standard equipment in the 530i, 540i and of course, the sport-sedan flagship M5.

Retail prices (on-the-road, without insurance, with BMW Service Inclusive + Repair) for the new BMW 5 Series models:

523i SE – RM376,000
525i Sport – RM409,800
530i – RM543,800
530d – RM499,800
540i – RM628,800
M5 – RM898,000

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