The G30 BMW 5 Series is one of our favourite cars, deftly blending subtly good looks with a supremely comfortable ride and competent handling. But Munich hasn’t been resting on its laurels, and with its chief rival, the W213 Mercedes-Benz E-Class, having already been given a comprehensive revamp earlier this year, the company has seen fit to treat one of its core models with a thorough refresh of its own.

With this Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) facelift, BMW has decided not to mess with a winning formula, unlike what it did with the, ahem, “radical” 7 Series LCI. So the 5 Series retains a “normal” grille, albeit with a more angular octagonal profile and flanked by reshaped headlights. These lamps have a small notch on the bottom edge that is reminiscent of the G20 3 Series, but nothing like as prominent or Peugeot-like.

Adaptive LED headlights, previously a cost option, are now fitted as standard; buyers can now also specify matrix LED and Laserlight items, both with L-shaped daytime running lights and the option of BMW Individual Shadowline versions with darkened graphics.

The front bumper has also been re-profiled to be more angular, with the standard version featuring triangular corner air inlets bookending the centre inlet, and the M Sport getting larger intakes and a U-shaped contour leading into the headlights, just like the 3 Series.

Moving to the rear of the car, the L-shaped LED tail lights gain three-dimensional lenses and C-shaped graphics, which now integrate the main lighting and brake light functions. All models now get twin trapezoidal tailpipes, with standard variants housing them in grey surrounds and the M Sport getting a mildly reshaped bumper with more prominent contours.

Elsewhere, there are new wheel designs including aerodynamic 20-inch two-tone rollers, plus Phytonic Blue, Tanzanite Blue, Bernina Grey and Aventurine Red hues; there’s also a new red paint option for the M Sport brakes alongside the usual blue. From launch, BMW will also offer an M Sport Edition in Donington Grey (hitherto exclusive to proper M models) with the aforementioned aero alloys, limited to 1,000 units.

There are far fewer changes on the inside, with the G30 retaining its basic dashboard design rather than the more angular styling of its newer siblings. Still, there are a few tweaks that include repositioned multifunction controls on the steering wheel, standard-fit dual-zone climate control, gloss black centre console buttons and new trim and upholstery options, including perforated Sensatec faux leather.

The seats have also been modified for improved comfort and come with a more effective ventilation feature, and M Sport and M Performance models can also be hand with the new M multifunction seats. Previously reserved for the M5, they feature increased bolstering and M badging on the integrated headrests.

As was the case in the months leading up to the facelift, the 5 Series gets the latest BMW Operating System 7.0, sporting a new interface with larger tiles, over-the-air updates and the Intelligent Personal Assistant voice control, plus standard Apple CarPlay and the new Android Auto functionality.

The G30 LCI also marks the debut of BMW Maps, a new cloud-based navigation system that promises quicker and more precise calculation of routes and arrival times, more frequent real-time traffic updates and an improved search function. The centre infotainment display now measures 10.25 inches as standard, while the top BMW Live Cockpit Professional system has a larger 12.3-inch screen.

The engine range has been revamped with optimised direct injection for petrol engines and twin turbocharging for all diesels. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder makes 184 PS and 290 Nm in the 520i, 252 PS and 350 Nm in the 530i and 190 PS and 400 Nm in the 520d, whereas the 3.0 litre straight-six produces 333 PS and 450 Nm in the 540i, 286 PS and 650 Nm in the 530d and 340 PS and 700 Nm in the 540d.

Depending on the market, all these models are offered with a 48-volt mild hybrid system, which adds eight kilowatts (11 PS) of accelerative boost. For now, the range is topped by the M550i, which gets a 4.4 litre twin-turbo V8 pushing out 530 PS and 750 Nm. An eight-speed ZF automatic gearbox comes as standard.

At launch, the sole plug-in hybrid variant will be the 530e, now mating a 184 PS/300 Nm 2.0 litre petrol mill with a more powerful 109 PS/265 Nm electric motor. As before, total system output is rated at 252 PS and 420 Nm, but there’s now an XtraBoost feature that temporarily adds 40 PS, resulting in a heady 292 PS. With a 12 kWh battery, the pure electric range is pegged at between 62 and 67 km.

November will finally see the addition of the Touring body style to the 530e, but the biggest news is the 545e xDrive that swaps out the four-pot for a 286 PS/450 Nm 3.0 litre straight-six, giving a total system output of 394 PS and 600 Nm. The all-electric range on this variant is rated at between 54 and 57 km.

These plug-in hybrid models also now come with BMW eDrive Zone, which will automatically detect a low-emission zone and switch the car to pure electric mode, using geo-fencing technology via GPS. They will also be offered with the optional rear Integral Active Steering of their petrol and diesel brethren, now operable at speeds below three kilometres per hour.

Safety has also been improved, with lane keeping assist (previously warning only) now added to the Driving Assistant package. The upgraded Driving Assistant Professional gains crossing traffic detection for the autonomous emergency braking system, along with a few helpful new features.

These include Active Navigation Guidance, a feature that shows the lane changes required to stick to the selected route, with the driver then able to perform the lane changes autonomously using Lane Change Assistant. There’s also the Emergency Lane Assistant that can automatically divert the car to the outside of its lane to give way for emergency services in a traffic jam.

As for parking, the optional Parking Assistant now features the 3 Series’ Reversing Assistant function that enables the car to backtrack where it came. On top of this, the Parking Assistant Professional incorporates the new Drive Recorder function that can record up to 40 seconds of footage using various cameras.


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