Simply Game Changing
There are runflats on 20” rims on the test car, and we got the M Sport suspension package too… Surprisingly, the car felt extremely smooth even over slightly patchy road surfaces. Taking the car on a series of bends was where the Beemer handling magic began. There is very good weight transfer, and with the traction control turned on, the rear sticks to the road. The only way we could unsettle the car was to knock off the traction control. Even with that happening, there is sufficient communication letting you know what the front and rear wheels are doing. Turn, right foot down, slip a little… smile…
Upping the game, the Adaptive Driving Mode utilises the car’s GPS, and pairs it with your driving style. Essentially, on a long and twisty road, it is able to prep the mighty 5-er in the right gear, by way of reading the map. Gearing and suspension settings can be optimised per-turn.
In Sport Mode, the suspension gets stiffer, and gear changes are made at higher revs. The 8-speed Steptronic transmission ensures minimal power loss between the shifting of cogs. Power comes from a potent turbocharged 3.0 straight six. There is just plenty of low-end torque, 450Nm from 1,380rpm and the engine keeps this going till an impressive 5,200rpm. Meaning that there are nearly no flat spots, be it when you potter around town, or when you push the car to its limits. The century sprint timing of just 5.1 seconds, speaks volumes of how much engineering has gone into powering a car, loaded up with so much tech.
We loved how the park assist made parking a breeze, by providing a simulated virtual car while being able to switch exterior camera views. Approach any tight spots like those singular tight lots in-between pillars in HDB carparks, and you need not drive off to hunt for another lot. The smart key fob lets drivers remotely start the car on the outside, allowing the car to be forwarded or reversed into a tight space.
You may also download the BMW app into your phone, to check on car stats, like mileage, and have the cooling fans activated prior to setting off. You can also check on your car by activating the cameras, unfortunately the last feature is only made available for iPhone uses.
Cars are built to make our lives easier. BMW has taken this a few steps up in the 5 Series. The 540i is really a gem to drive. We hope to see an excellent fuel sipping diesel just for 2017, before the new Vehicle Emissions Scheme (VES) kicks in.