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Stunning new BMW 5-Series is packed with latest tech

CarsBy Robbie Farrell
The new BMW 5-series has got it all
The new BMW 5-series has got it all

BMW 5-Series International Launch

If everyone in Ireland could go out and buy the new BMW 5-Series, our roads – especially the M50 during rush hour – would be a much safer place to be.

According to the German premium car maker, its main aim is create an environment where there will be zero accidents on our roads with the help of its semi-autonomous (cars that can drive themselves to some degree) systems.

The technology in the new BMW is astonishing – the car has the ability to foresee dangerous situations that lie ahead, which even includes fallen mountain rocks and other vehicles that may surprise you on your journey.

The new 5-Series has undergone a major makeover in almost every department – and it had to. The reason being is that one of its closest rivals – the new Mercedes Benz E-Class, which has already won numerous awards worldwide – is a serious player in the market.

Now in its seventh generation the 5-Series, of which BMW has sold more than 7.6 million units since it first rolled off the production line in 1972, has what it takes to take on the award-winning E-Class.

On the outside, the new 5-Series looks so much sharper than its predecessor. It is 36mm longer that the outgoing model, six millimetres wider and two mm taller. Its wheelbase measures 2,975mm – which is an increase of 7mm.

The new BMW 5-Series offers a little bit more headroom than previously in the rear. However, the rear leg room seems to be similar to the outgoing model, which can be a bit tight if you have a tall driver up front. The boot has also been increased in size, with 530 litres on offer.

On the inside, I was slightly disappointed to see that similar layout that you find in most of the BMW range.

Even though the iPad-like screen can now be touched and squeezed, it still looks exactly the same as the one found in the previous model.

I really thought that the designers would come up with something more radical to rival the Holy Grail of consoles that is found in its Audi rivals.

Even the new Peugeot 3008’s cockpit is light years ahead of it in terms of design and graphics.

But the technology on board this new 5-Series is amazing. It is clear to see that much of the amazing features from the company’s flagship 7-Series model has trickled down to its smaller sibling.

Neat equipment like BMW’s (optional) ‘Gesture Control’ where you can higher, lower and even mute the stereo system by hand movements have been added.

Another slick feature is the (optional) remote control parking.

This trick piece of equipment allows the driver to get out of the car first and slide the motor in to a very tight sport like parking a remote-controlled car.

On the road, the new 5-Series still takes some beating. The handling and grip on the meandering mountain roads around Marbella this week was phenomenal.

It is nearly impossible to make it put a foot wrong even when the power is on in corners.

Prices (for the 520d SE) start from €52,800 on the road and €56,340 for the xDrive model.

This is a bit of a price jump above the €45,200 for the outgoing model but there is a whole lot more technology and standard equipment included.

Prices for the 530d start at €65,710 and €69,480 for the 530d xDrive. Topping off the range is the 540i xDrive model, which starts at €77,240.

All models are available in xDrive and come with an eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard.

If you are in the market for a green machine there will be a plug-in hybrid 530e iPerformance coming later in the year  with a four-cylinder petrol engine, 49g/km, 252hp total output, and claimed fuel economy of 2.1l/100km.

The new BMW 5-Series has been a while coming — but it is definitely worth the wait.