BMW Malaysia have officially introduced the pair of new 5 Series sedans into the local line-up for 2021. These, of course, would be the much anticipated facelift (or Life Cycle Impulse, LCI) of their G30, which are now available for registration online.
Going forward, the 5 Series range will be relegated to the 530e M Sport - a plug-in hybrid that kicks things off at RM343,000 - and the petrol-only 530i M Sport at RM396,000. Do take note, however, that despite their late March introduction, these prices do include the sales and services tax (SST) as deliveries are slated to begin after June 30th, after the exemption/discount period has lapsed.
The updated and more sharply styled front end and headlight array with L-shape daytime running lights on these newer models reflect the revised design that BMW unveiled internationally back in May 2020 and has been generally well received as an improvement on the original G30. Its rear end has also seen some revision with a new bumper and a similarly tweaked light signature.
Apart from that, you might be a little hard-pressed to find too many obvious points of differentiation over the outgoing units, at least at a glance. Between the incoming 530e and 530i, there are even fewer things to distinguish between them.
Both gain the M Sport kit, as goes their full variant designation, with wider air inlets at the front and the same 19-inch M light alloy Y-Spoke 845 M Bi-Colour Jet Black wheels, M Sport brakes, and adaptive dampers to complement the lower ride height over the non-M Sport models. You’ll notice, however, that only the hybrid 530e M Sport receives gloss black Shadowline trim finishers on the door panel and the air duct past the front wheel.
Adaptive headlights were made standard across the range of all 5 Series variants, and indeed the 530e does feature BMW’s matrix LEDs too. The pricier 530i, meanwhile, does one-up it with the fancier Laserlight illuminators.
While we’re here, taking a peek under the petrol-only 530i would reveal the same BMW B48 engine found in the outgoing version, a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit that produces 252hp and 350Nm of torque that’s sent to the rear wheels. The 0-100km/h sprint takes just 6.4 seconds and consuming a claimed average of 6.7-litres/100km of fuel,
On the other side of the coin, the 530e M Sport also receives the same B48 lump. However, it is tuned to a lower 180hp and 300Nm. But when paired with its 109hp electric motor, the combined maximum output rises to 292hp and 420Nm, reducing the 0-100km/h sprint time to 5.9 seconds while consuming a paltry 2.3-litres/100km on average (claimed). Both feature ZF’s 8-speed torque converter automatic transmission, which remains excellent - surprise, surprise.
You’d also be right in recognising this as the same powertrain figures quoted for the now-older 5 Series, and that’s because the mechanical bits haven’t been altered in the least. After all, why mess with a winning formula.
That said, the new 530e does now have an external sound emitter that alerts pedestrians and cyclists when the vehicle is travelling in fully electric mode (combustion engine off) at speeds under 30km/h, which the new 530e can sustain for up to 67km thanks to a larger 12kWh lithium-ion battery.
Inside the new 5ers, the two variants get even harder to tell apart. There’s BMW Live Cockpit Professional as standard with a larger duo of screens for infotainment and a digital instrument panel as well as quad-zone climate control. Other small changes include an altered button layout on the 3-spoke M steering wheel, and redesigned seats for improved comfort and ergonomics, upholstered in Dakota leather alongside the new Aluminium Rhombicle trim.
Adding to the older 5 Series’s safety credentials, these LCI variants get BMW’s Driving Assistant as standard, which now includes Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) - a crucial, even mandatory, feature in any active safety suite, in our opinion.
Over the plug-in hybrid, the 530i M Sport adds even more features such as adaptive cruise control with stop and go, but there’s gesture control for the iDrive infotainment system, a premium Harman/Kardon audio system with 16-speakers and a 464-watt amplifier, the fancy BMW Display Key, and even a sunroof.
All these improvements sound like very worthy additions to the 5 Series’ already impressive arsenal, leaving little to dampen its momentum as a very (if not the most) popular contender in the premium four-door executive saloon category. We’re also glad it still has a pretty face, unlike some others.
There's just something about cars. It's a conveyance, it's a liability, it's a tool; but it can also be a source of joy, pride, inspiration and passion. It's much like clothes versus fashion. And like the latter, the pursuit of perfection never ends.