The BMW 5 Series LCI (Life Cycle Impulse, or BMW speak for facelift) has just made its official launch here in Malaysia last week, which brought with it some significant changes both inside and out of the executive sedan.

Locally-assembled here in BMW Malaysia’s Kulim assembly plant, the new 5-er is offered in two variants at launch, a 530e PHEV M Sport which starts at RM317,534, and the 530i M Sport starting at RM368,122 – both an increment over its predecessors. So what do you get with the extra dough? Let’s dive in and find out.

EXTERIOR

On the outside, the most obvious update on the new BMW 5 Series is on its front fascia. The kidney grille has been reprofiled to be slightly larger with a more upright stature, though it’s nothing like the ones on the new M3 and M4 that people like to criticise these days.

Flanking the new grille are the new LED headlights, perhaps the main highlight of the redesign. A new L-shaped daytime-running light signature replaces the old hexagonal corona ring-inspired ones, while the entire headlight lens also gets a slimmer profile for a sleeker, more aggressive look.

The Laserlight units also get the unmistakable blue “eyebrows”.

The range-topping 530i variant also gets the fancier BMW Laserlight system, which can project light twice as far down the road compared to the regular adaptive LED units on the 530e.

To complement the new light signature, the front bumper has also been restyled with a line running through the gap between the two ‘L’ light signature, forming a coherent line with the shut lines on the bonnet.

Moving over to the rear, the most noticeable change on the new BMW 5 Series are the tail light assembly, now covered with a new three-dimensional lens with a brand-new light signature. Further down, the bumper profile gets a slight makeover, alongside a new diffuser insert.

Tying up the exterior updates are the new sportier-looking Style 845 Y-spoke M wheels that are standard on both new variants, although its size is unchanged at 19-inches in diameter.

INTERIOR

Inside the cabin, the new BMW 5 Series LCI retains most of the aesthetics of the outgoing model, aside from the now darker Smoke Grey Aluminium Rhombicle trim on the dashboard, doors, and centre console. The buttons on the centre console surrounding the gear lever has also been slightly reworked, with a new gloss black finishing.

In terms of equipment, both variants of the updated BMW 5 Series gets a larger 12.3-inch infotainment display atop the dashboard (10.25-inch on the outgoing model), paired to a new 12.3-inch Live Cockpit Professional fully-digital instrument cluster. The range-topping 530i variant also gets an additional head-up display unit.

Aside from these changes, plus the slightly reworked buttons on the steering wheel, everything else is essentially identical to the pre-facelift model, including the Dakota leather upholstery, four-zone climate control, and the powered sunroof (or lack thereof).

SAFETY

Barring the styling tweaks, the biggest difference between the old and new BMW 5 Series facelift is in the safety and conveniences department – well, on the range-topping 530i variant at least.

Both new models now get the Parking Assistant Plus suite, which can automatically park your car in both perpendicular and parallel spots, alongside a new 360-degree surround view monitor (only reverse parking camera on the outgoing model) which can even send the 3D birds-eye view to your phone in real time.

However, only the BMW 530i gets the adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, a feature that was available on the previous fully-imported 530i model, and later removed on the locally-assembled one.

Otherwise, both the 530e and 530i come fitted with the BMW Driving Assistant package that includes autonomous emergency braking, lane keeping assist, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross traffic alert – untouched from the outgoing model.

Radar module on the front bumper, only available on the BMW 530i M Sport.

PERFORMANCE

Mechanically, the BMW 530i M Sport is essentially identical to its predecessor, aside from a higher pressure fuel injection system. Despite that, the engine output is still unchanged at 252 hp and 350 Nm of torque, and is paired to an eight-speed automatic gearbox to send drive to the rear wheels.

Performance figures are also unchanged – 0-100 km/h takes 6.4 seconds, onward to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h.

The new BMW 530e M Sport meanwhile receives an updated powertrain underneath the bonnet, which pairs the 184 hp/300 Nm B48 2.0-litre turbocharged inline-four mill to a new 50 kW (68 hp) electric motor.

Although the 252 hp and 420 Nm total system output figures are identical to the outgoing model, the updated PHEV powertrain features a new XtraBoost function that provides an extra 40 hp for 10 seconds, increasing the power output temporarily to 292 hp during heavier acceleration.

As a result, the PHEV 5-er’s century sprint time is dropped from 6.2 seconds to 5.9 seconds, while top speed remains unchanged and is electronically cut off at 235 km/h. Additionally, the 530e also now gets a larger 12 kWh battery (up from 9.2 kWh), which increases the fully-electric range up from 48 km to 67 km.

So there you have it, an overview of what’s new on the BMW 5 Series facelift. Is it worth the extra cash? Well, that’s for you to decide. We do really like how the new car looks, though!

For a detailed breakdown of all of the new specifications on both the BMW 530i and 530e M Sport, be sure to check out our full Facts & Figures write-up, here.


GALLERY

2021 BMW 530e M Sport

2021 BMW 530i M Sport