The upcoming 520i, priced from $77,900 instead of the previous $82,000 for a 520d, comes after an earlier move on the 3 Series down under. BMW Australia says its objective is to provide better value, as well as a 'stepped' approach to equipment levels that mirrors bottom-end brands from Hyundai and Kia to Holden and Ford.
It began the change with the 3 Series and is now moving on the Five with a claim of up to $7000 worth of extra value - most of it in standard equipment - on the 520i.
There is also said to be more punch from the engine, which is a new 2.0-litre four with TwinPower turbo good for 135 kiloWatts and 270 Newton-metres of torque.
"We've got power up, value up and fuel consumption down. Everyone is happy," says BMW spokesman, Piers Scott. A new four-cylinder 528i - replacing the previous six-pack - is also part of the 5 Series change, with more equipment in the 535i and 535d that means up to $7000 of extra value.
Scott says the value boost comes thanks to the engine change but does not deny BMW's stronger emphasis on value at a time when it is taking a battering from Mercedes-Benz and Audi on both sides.
"It's really just the fact that this is a brand-new engine that's available to us. That accounts for the 520 and the 528i," he says.
"The other changes are to get a logical ladder into the price structure. "The jump from the 520i - which snuggles under the Luxury Car Tax threshold thanks to economy of 6.4 litres/100km and CO2 emissions of 149 grams/kilometre - to the 528i manes 180 kiloWatts and 350 Newton- metres, even though the four-cylinder basics are the same. The 528i is priced from $98,200, helped by also qualifying as a low-emission model under the LCT rules.
Prices of the 535i and 535d now start at $115,600 and $120,900 respectively, with the diesel engine now boasting 230 kiloWatts and an eight per cent economy boost, with the 535i also getting a 0.7 litres/100km economy improvement.
BMW Australia now also includes stop-start technology on all Fives except the 550i, with its new Active Safety package - closing the windows and sunroof, electro-mechanical belt tensioning and a crash- optimised position for the passenger-seat backrest - also part of the deal.