BMW has unveiled the updated 2020 BMW 5 Series, fitted with an extensive list of updates including refreshed styling, updated engines, and newer technology features to take on its recently-updated three-pointed star rival.
In terms of styling changes, the new 5-er remains on the more conservative end of the spectrum, especially when compared to some of the other recent BMW efforts. The new kidney grille, although wider and taller (but positioned lower) than before, still looks “normal” in size. The kidney grilles are also now built in a single-frame design, joined by a chrome central element.
Flanking the grilles are the new slimmer headlights, featuring a twin-L-shaped daytime running lights that also functions as the turn indicators. As usual, LED headlights are standard, though you can now opt for the Matrix LED or Laserlight headlights on all variants of the 5 Series.
The front lower apron gets new reprofiled bumpers – standard models get small angular air vents at the side, joined by a slim central air inlet, while the M Sport versions (pictured here in blue) gets a U-shaped contour line that connecting the two headlights at the central kink.
At the back, the taillights get new three-dimensional housing, featuring a new C-shaped light signature that integrates both the rear lights and brake lights into a single lighting fixture. The rear bumpers have been slightly reshaped, with the M Sport variants getting a more elaborate styling. All variants now get trapezoidal exhaust tips as standard.
The new 5-er sits on alloys ranging from 18- to 20-inches – including the new BMW Individual Air Performance Wheels launched together with the new 5 Series. Behind those wheels, the upgraded brake callipers as part of the M Sport package can now be specified in red, in addition to the standard blue colour.
As part of the launch, BMW is also introducing a 1,000-unit limited M Sport Edition, which can be ordered in either Tanzanite Blue or Donington Grey – a colour previously only reserved for the full-M models. As the name implies, expect to see the usual M Sport touches and larger 20-inch M Sport wheels.
Inside, the changes on the updated BMW 5 Series are less obvious. In general, the overall dashboard architecture is directly inherited from the pre-facelift version, including the BMW iDrive Operating System 7.0 infotainment display – 10.25-inches as standard, or sized up to 12.3-inches – sitting atop the dashboard.
Other interior touches on the LCI 5 Series include the rearranged multifunction buttons on the steering wheel, a larger climate control lower display, new gloss-black centre-console, new optional M multifunction seats design and upholstery material options.
By far the biggest update to the 5 Series is the engine line-up, now featuring 48V mild-hybrid technology on all four- and six-cylinder variants to provide an additional 11 hp of boost power when needed, aside from other fuel-saving features.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine is available in the 520i (184 hp, 290 Nm), and 530i (252 hp, 350 Nm), while the 3.0-litre inline-six petrol mill powers the 540i with 333 hp and 450 Nm of torque.
As for oil-burners, a 190 hp and 400 Nm 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel powerplant is available on the 520d, while the three-litre inline-six diesel engine comes in two configurations – 530d (286 hp, 650 Nm), and 540d (340 hp, 700 Nm).
Topping the range of the new 5-er (for now) is the M550i xDrive, featuring a 4.4-litre twin-turbocharged V8 that is good for 530 hp and 750 Nm of torque, resulting in a century sprint time of just four seconds flat.
The 530e plug-in hybrid has also been updated, featuring the brand’s latest 2.0-litre turbocharged mill. Although total system output remains the same as before (252 hp, 420 Nm), a new XtraBoost function adds an extra 40 hp for 10 seconds.
A new 545e xDrive model will be joining plug-in hybrid family, featuring the 252 hp straight-six engine paired to a 109 hp electric motor for a combined output of 395 hp and 600 Nm of twist. As a result, the 545e does 0-100 km/h in just 4.7 seconds, onward to a electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h.
As before, all powertrain options are paired to an eight-speed ZF-sourced automatic gearbox, with no manual options available worldwide.
In terms of safety, the new BMW 5 Series is available with an updated Driving Assistant Package, which comes with Lane Departure and Lane Keep Assist (previously warning only). Meanwhile, the higher-grade Driving Assistant Professional Package gains an updated Steering and Lane Control Assistant, which can now move the car to the side to give space to emergency response vehicles, along with a navigation-based automatic lane-change system.