There are three members of the new 5 Series family from launch, with a base 520i starting things off from $114,900 before on-road costs.
It’s the only petrol-powered (with mild-hybrid, we’ll come back to this) variant in the trio, but it does have a fairly extensive list of features as standard. In terms of tech and comfort, most of what comes with the 520i is available further up the range too, with the major differences being drivetrain related.
In the 520i, the interior upholstery is synthetic ‘Veganza’ leather with Alcantara, though optional Merino leather is a $4000 BMW Individual option. The front seats are heated as standard, however, and electrically adjustable with memory settings and lumbar support.
A 12.3-inch instrument display paired with a 14.9-inch multimedia display are standard across the range, running BMW’s Operating System 8.5, while a head-up display, ambient lighting, wireless phone charging tray and BMW’s ‘new’ Interaction Bar are included too - a crystalline-style strip across the dash with touch-sensitive ‘buttons’ like the climate controls.
A panoramic glass roof - unable to be opened - is standard too, while the 520i’s sound system is a Harman Kardon set-up with 12 speakers.
Exterior features are quite similar to the more expensive i5 variants, with Adaptive LED headlights, automatic boot opening, an M design kit with front and rear aprons, side sills, and BMW’s Iconic Glow kidney grille surround.
Optional in the 520i is an ‘Enhancement Package’ which adds a choice of aerodynamic 21- or 20-inch wheels, metallic paint, and a 655-watt 17-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system for $5400. One test car on the launch we attended was painted in a BMW Individual colour - Tanzanite Blue - which upped the price to $7800.
Moving up the range to the mid-tier i5 eDrive40, which starts from $155,900, adds Merino leather interior, metallic paint, Bowers & Wilkins surround sound and aerodynamic 20-inch wheels standard, but it also includes adaptive suspension and some other EV-related features.
BMW’s ‘Adaptive Suspension Professional’ comes with Integral Active Steering (rear-wheel steering) and is a step up over the M Sport suspension from the 520i, while its aero wheels function as a way to keep the electric car’s range being affected by resistance.
The eDrive40 also comes with an acoustic protection system to make ‘electric car noises’ to warn pedestrians, as well as BMW’s ‘Iconic Sounds’ for the occupants - basically a system that uses orchestral sounds composed by Hans Zimmer that are affected by acceleration intensity, speed, and drive mode.
It also comes with the standard kit for an electric car, a Mode 2 and Mode 3 charger, cable, and a five-year Chargefox subscription.
The top-spec i5 M60 xDrive ups the cost to $215,900 and the features list again slightly (as well as being far more powerful).
Its suspension is even more advanced, adding the brand’s Adaptive M Suspension Professional with active anti-roll, plus 21-inch aero wheels as a no-cost option. The M60 also gains an M rear boot lip spoiler.
Inside, BMW’s ‘Crafted Clarity Glass’ controls in the centre console are standard, as is ventilation for the front seats and a four-zone automatic air conditioning system.