It’s hard to describe how the new 5 look. Is it a stunner? Not exactly. It doesn’t look particularly thought provoking does it? Much less in photos to be honest. But as I approach the brand new 530i M-Sport for first time in the wild, the visibly larger, more expensive looking physique gave me something else to think about.
The New 5 is in fact far grander in person and the newness really show when you take a deeper look. But wether or not you come to terms with the new 5’s physique, let me assure you beauty is only skin deep.
It is the inside that matters most and this “Business Athlete” has a lot to offer. For starters, the new body is a huge 100kg lighter while the chassis even feature a lower centre of gravity compared to its predecessor. But what’s awesome is this combined advantage can actually be felt when operating the new, more agile 5.
It is the driver’s executive saloon, one that is just brilliant to drive, and packed to the brim with goodies. There’s a handful of features that I really like in this fully loaded 530i M-Sport, such as the brilliant adaptive suspension and I almost feel grateful for it, that BMW Malaysia specced it this sweetly and even sugar coated it with the M-Sport package. What’s more, it’s the only specification in their G30 offering, so every unit you’ll be seeing on the roads in the coming weeks will be just as handsome as this one.
In this first impression, I’ll just speak about the new and notable features that I’ve experienced whilst driving the 530i M-Sport just last Sunday. It was a drive from BMW Lee Motors Alor Setar to Pedu Lake, about 200km in total distance to and fro. Terrain was a mix of city, suburban and hilly twisties.
So big thanks to BMW Lee Motors for the exclusive first drive, and please read till the end as they’ve got a special promo for first 15 to purchase the 530i M-Sport.
2017 G30 BMW 530i M Sport Specifications
Engine: 2.0-litre 4-Cylinder Twin Scroll Turbo
Power: 252hp @ 6,500rpm
Torque: 350nm @ 1,450rpm
Zerotohundred: 6.3 seconds
Transmission: 8-speed automatic with Steptronic
The cockpit is all new. Upon entering, you’ll notice the breathtaking LCD instrument cluster, new glossy centre console is a nice touch, and the new air con panel with touch display is really neat. Colour selectable ambient lighting is now actually a need more than a simple gimmick and somehow helps with the evening mood every time.
The captain’s seat is great, with sitting position second to none. All-electric seats are superb in ergo and adjustments. Simple proof that BMW is still ever driver focused as usual. The front seats look pretty and sits great, has side bolsters for driver support.
Rear space and seating sees improvements as well, with the backrest seemingly more tilted than before adding to the comfort. However, there is a small let down in the upholstery aspect.
Someone ought to shake things up in BMW’s upholstery department. As I chanced upon the looseness of the leather among the slightly jagged stitching, it’s as though the seats skipped their last botox intake. This is also seen even in the G11 7 series. But still, great overall configuration, form and interior design.
The first drive in the new 530i M-Sport will melt your heart instantly. During the initial prowl through the city, the car felt light, as eager as I want it to be, not too much and never lazy. It is swift and the ride felt exquisite right from passing the first ridge in the tarmac. It’s a bliss to have adaptive suspension these days, which in a way guarantees far superior ride quality than the mechanical type systems.
In Comfort Mode, ride quality is supreme, where the active suspension (BMW Dynamic Damper Control System) actively soak up all bumps and dips in its path while cleverly ensuring a flat and composed demeanor. Drive is enjoyable although just a tad soft for my liking. But still a great default setting to commute in on many levels and is a ride that is as executive as can get.
This gracefulness transcends ride quality, where the engine and transmission is now creamier than ever before. New TwinPower 2L Turbo 4 cylinder, despite its smaller size feels more than its claimed 254hp / 350nm especially when mated to the brilliant 8 speed Steptronic autobox.
Any sense of the 530i being powered by a 4 cylinder engine is completely absent here. Acceleration, be it from standstill or on the move is impressive, just as, if not better than a bigger displacement 6 cylinder NA.
It’s really quite bizarre to think that today’s leading executive sedans are now populated by these characterless 2L Turbo engines rather than the majestic 6 cylinders minimum of before isn’t it?
You might be thinking, “yuck 4 cylinders no way” but trust me, I really wouldn’t fuss about the smaller engine at all, BMW’s current 4-bangers truly are amazing power plants once you get to know it and there’s just no turning back.
Sport Mode is where the 5 really shine. In case you’re wondering if this is the usual gimmick to induce a sense of perceived sportiness, its not. This switchable driving mode actually affect everything from engine response, power delivery, gearshift ferocity to the active suspension system. That’s just to name a few.
When Sport mode is activated in the 530i, its awesome LCD instrument cluster instantly morphs into beast mode where the screen switches from conventional analogue mode into a fiery red theme, while an addition of a digital speedo and gear indicator fashioned in large font dominate the screen. As cherry on the cake, BMW’s M logo even appear in the centre of it all, adding to the novelty of Sport Mode.
In Sport, the adaptive suspension sees the greatest change What was the softest soft in default now becomes the firmest firm when Sport mode is activated.
Despite substantial increase in overall stiffness, the 530i M-Sport remain pliant and supple. As the Dynamic Damper Control System works to find the best approach for the road ahead, it strives to prioritize comfort at the same time so the ride is never like concrete.
Nevertheless upon activation, the 5 sees immense increase in the handling department, feels much flatter at the corners and I can even sense a reduction in damper stroke.
The adaptive suspension in Sport Mode is so well composed that it disguises the sensation of speed at the twisties, remain largely enthusiastic through the bends yet never dilute driving feedback.
Sport Mode is so well presented that it might even be my preferred daily driving mode, having experienced the still civilized, yet more agile behaviour of the car.
The usually seamless gearshifts take on a new attitude in Sport Mode. Floor the throttle and the car serves a kick in the back at every shift, matched with an audible exhaust pop.
It feels like a deliberate imperfection to arouse sportiness and I like that. Steptronic paddle shifting 8 speed box is even quicker here, adding to the ferocity of the 530i M-Sport.
This is no regular executive, it is the executive for drivers. I mean we’re talking about a non M, 5 series here and for it to posses a sporting character this distinct is a huge bonus, not to mention value.
The M-Sport Package.
BMW’s aesthetic and performance division needs no introduction. The M-Sport package changes the G30 5 Series, both aesthetically as well as in performance which includes:
M Sport Exterior:
- M light-alloy19-inch wheels in double spoke style
- M Sport brake with blue painted callipers and ‘M’ designation
- M Aerodynamics Front apron
- M Aerodynamics Rear apron
- M Aerodynamics Sill covers
M Sport Interior:
- M sports seats for driver and front passenger
- M illuminated door sill finishers
- M specific pedals
- M leather steering wheel
G30 5 Series Body Colour:
- Black Sapphire
- Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect
- Alpine White
- Mediterranean Blue.
G30 5 Interior Upholstery:
- Leather Dakota Black with contrast Blue stitching
- Leather Dakota Cognac with contrast stitching
(only for the Alpine White, Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect, and Black Sapphire).
From Lee Motors:
“First 15 customers to book the 2017 BMW 530i M-Sport from Lee Motors between now and May 15 will be entitled to to receive RM7,200 worth of 3M Crystalline Window Tints and 3M Hypershield Paint Protection package”
Contact Lee Motors for a Test Drive today: http://leemotors.com.my/