With the diesel option now having fallen away, the 5 Series range is comprised of the 530i, 530i xDrive, 540i, 540i xDrive, and the V8-powered M550i xDrive. Rear-wheel-drive is standard on models not equipped with xDrive and all variants use an eight-speed automatic transmission.
The base 530i makes use of a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with outputs of 248 hp and 258 lb-ft. It provides smooth, refined, and brisk performance. The mid-range 540i uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder developing 335 hp and 331 lb-ft of torque and delivers exceptional acceleration. The M550i is faster than the previous generation M5, and it’s thanks to stupendous outputs of 523 hp and 553 lb-ft from its turbocharged V8, and the benefits of all-wheel-drive traction away from the lights.
The generously equipped 530i is fitted with dual-zone climate control, push-button ignition, SensaTec-upholstered seats, 16-way power front seats, a backup camera, a power moonroof, a 12-speaker HiFi sound system, BMW’s latest iDrive 7 with a 10.25-inch display, the Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument display, and keyless entry. The 5 Series is now equipped with the latest safety technologies across the range, including lane departure warning and active blind spot detection. The 540i matches these features but also gets Dakota leather upholstery. The fully-loaded M550i sports a more aggressive exterior with Shadowline trim and an M rear spoiler. Inside, it gets a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, 20-way power multi-contour seats, and a hands-free opening/closing mechanism for the trunk lid.
The most affordable route to 5 Series ownership is the 530i, which carries a base price of $53,900. This price is exclusive of tax, licensing registration, and a destination and handling charge of $995. Next is the mid-range 540i at an MSRP of $59,450. Topping the range is the fully-loaded M550i xDrive at an MSRP of $76,650. xDrive all-wheel-drive is available on both the 530i and 540i for an additional $2,300.
Up to ten packages are available for the BMW 5 Series models, which means that it will take some restraint to keep the price reasonable when adding on options. Still, variety is always a good thing.
Starting with the exterior design, the Luxury Package adds chrome finishes and a SensaTec dashboard, among other items, for $1,950 on the 530i and $500 on the 540i. The popular M Sport Package boasts M sport suspension, Shadowline exterior trim, LED fog lights and an aerodynamic kit for $5,000 on the 530i and $3,550 on the 540i. Heated front seats, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a power tailgate are part of the $950 Convenience Package. The advanced Premium Package packs in a head-up display, enhanced USB/Bluetooth, and gesture control for $2,200. For a 7 Series-esque experience, the Executive Package adds features like soft-closing automatic doors, a power rear sunshade, and automatic high beams for $3,800. Also available are a Lighting Package ($1,050), a Luxury Seating Package ($1,600), and the Driver Assistance Plus Package ($1,700). Appealing standalone options are ceramic controls ($650), a leather dashboard ($1,200), and a spectacular Bowers & Wilkins diamond surround sound system for a hefty $4,200.
With the M550i having many of these items included as standard, these optional packages make the most sense for the 530i and 540i, with the Convenience and Premium packages offering a good combination of additional convenience and value.
The BMW 540i Series' price places it in the sweet spot of the 5 Series range. Offering all the performance you could ever need from that creamy turbocharged six-pot, it is also over $17,000 cheaper than the M550i. By adding the executive package and one or two tempting standalone features such as the fabulous multi-contour seats, upgraded Nappa leather, and the Harman Kardon sound system, you'll still come in at more than $10,000 below the M550i's starting price. At the lower end of the range, the 530i is also an exceptional executive sedan, and its lower price leaves even more room to play with when delving into the options list.