Mercedes-Benz C-Class VS BMW 5 Series
- Newfound maturity and bandwidth
- Improved design inside and out
- A great all-rounder
- Huge price hikes
- C200 could use more muscle
- Dull steering feel
BMW 5 Series
- Engaging dynamics
- Top-notch interiors
- Clever technology across the range
- Price hikes on almost every model
- Six-cylinder engine reserved for most expensive models
- Apple CarPlay a cost option
Australia's relationship status with the Mercedes C-Class has long been… complicated.
Over 40 years and five generations, the German midsized luxury sedan has been a paragon of efficiency and safety on one hand, but on the other, well, the quality and ride comfort haven't lived up to brand expectations.
Now the completely redesigned version has landed in Australia, with shrunken S-Class limousine styling to take on not only the BMW 3 Series, Audi A4 and Genesis G70, but rivals as disparate as the Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Tesla Model 3.
The question is? Is this latest, sixth-generation, new-from-the-ground-up C-Class good enough to take on all those and more? Let's find out.
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Regular Unleaded Petrol|
BMW 5 Series
Andrew Chesterton road tests and reviews the new BMW 5 Series 520d, 530i, 530d and 540i sedans with specs, fuel consumption and verdict at its Australian launch in Victoria.
When we're all living under the cruel rule of our robot overlords, the few remaining human historians will track the genesis of our downfall to the technology explosion that occurred in 2017's new-car market.
Never before have car companies focused so hard on producing cars that can't just be driven, but that can drive themselves, negotiating corners, unexpected obstacles and changing traffic conditions without ever needing to consult the human actually sitting behind the steering wheel.
And BMW's all-new 5 Series sedan takes yet another a step forward, eliminating the need for said human to even be sitting in the car. Owners can instead move their 5 Series in and out of tight parking spaces simply by pressing a button on their key.
The Active Key function is admittedly a $1,600 cost option, but it proves the techno-focus applied to the seventh-generation of BMW's executive express, which will land in Australian dealerships this month. Every car is also fitted with what the German brand calls its personal co-pilot; a series of nifty cameras and radars that allow the car to be driven completely autonomously for spells of 30 seconds.
But the question is, has all this new technology come at the cost of regular, old-school driver enjoyment?
|Engine Type||2.0L turbo|
|Fuel Type||Premium Unleaded Petrol|
Over five decades, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class has pivoted between mastery and mediocrity, and all-too-often relied on that three-pointed star up front to win over buyers.
Thankfully, the W206 is one is one of the better generations. It's easier on the eye, comfier to travel in, more intuitive to use, safer across the board and a huge improvement to drive. On the evidence of the C200 and C300 launch grades, there's newfound depth and consistency to savour.
Sure, prices have gone up, the C200 could use a bit more power, the steering could benefit from a bit more feel, the odd build-quality glitch made itself heard and there's a fair bit of road noise at times, but overall, the C-Class now deserves to be at the top of your luxury medium sedan shopping list.
Particularly if you can afford to stretch to the rorty C300.
BMW 5 Series7.9/10
Sleek and attractive in the city, engaging on a country back road and with plenty of clever technology, the 5 Series sedan ticks all the right boxes as an executive express. If you can stomach the price hike, the six-cylinder 540i is our pick of the bunch.
Would a new 5 Series tempt you away from an E-Class or A6? Tell us what you think in the comments below.
If you're checking out the new C-Class for the first time from the front, you'll probably think… hmm, it looks just like the old one, and that's largely true.
But a side view reveals proportions that have changed significantly, thanks to the more raked windscreen, shorter overhangs and cleaner lines, which give it a slightly smaller S-Class look.
Additionally, the taillights are split for the first time, allowing for a wider boot aperture since the lid now contains some of the lighting elements.
The shrunken limo looks aren't just the whim of some designer or Mercedes-Benz marketing department copywriter, either.
Underneath is an albeit highly modified version of the latest S-Class' MRA2 platform, which results in the longest (at 4755mm) and widest (at 1820mm) C-Class in the series' 40-year existence, as well as the first with this level of electrification capability.
Height and wheelbase dimensions also see a stretch, by 8mm and 25mm to 1450mm and 2865mm over the previous model respectively, and to the benefit of passenger accommodation.
Speaking of which, get used to this new interior aesthetic and general layout – it's a look that's probably going to filter through to most coming non-EQ-branded Mercedes models over the next few years.
From S to C to future E and A classes and beyond. It's a rare instance of trickle-down economics actually working!
BMW 5 Series8/10
Hardly a revolution, the 5 Series has instead undergone a few nips and tucks. But if it ain't broke and all that. It might not be the most head-turning offering, but the 5 Series sedan remains sleek, powerful and understated, and it is undeniably handsome on the road.
Its 8mm wider, 28mm longer and 2mm taller than the car it replaces, but it's also around 95kg lighter, thanks to its aluminium doors and boot and a clever magnesium frame for the instrument panel that saved another two kilograms. There's some other clever design elements, too. The kidney grille has active air flaps that open when extra cooling is required, closing when it isn't, reducing drag and helping accleration.
Inside, the 5 Series offers a beautifully crafted yet joyously understated cabin, with quality materials joining modern technology in a seamless way.
One of the best things about the new C-Class is that it's larger and therefore roomier than before. It's also higher quality, easier to use, more comfortable to sit in and - overall - more of a delight to behold.
In contrast, the old C-Class dash looked and felt like it was designed for a much cheaper car, especially compared to Audi's efforts.
Obviously related to the S-Class this time around, it's clear Tesla provided the inspiration for the twin floating screen look and layout, which are just right in their driver orientation and ease of functionality.
There's never really been anything wrong with Mercedes' old front seats, but these AMG Line items are both sumptuous and bracing, keeping their occupants well located ahead of the clever and thoughtfully laid out dashboard.
The brilliantly high-resolution MBUX multimedia and voice-recognition system now works as it should - intuitively and logically, with the screen menus simple to recognise and easy to use, and most without the need to get lost in confusing sub-menus. Just like BMW has managed for years.
If you want to change the instrumentation design, it's now a couple of clearly marked steps, using handily placed switchgear. The same goes for the superb climate control and audio systems. And the wireless Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connected faultlessly and worked a treat. Effortless see-and-push operation all round, backed by concise and classy graphics.
No more degree in Earth-to-Mercedes comm skills required to master this C-Class interior.
Yet there's just enough old-school Benz features to appeal to brand diehards, from the eternal door-card mounted electric seat controls and column-mounted gear shifter, to the deep centre console and turbine face-level air vents. They meld together beautifully with the advanced tech also on offer, like the optional augmented-reality head-up display with 3D-graphics.
Annoyingly, on one of our test cars, that tradition also extended to a couple of squeaks and rattles, proving that maybe Mercedes hasn't quite conquered all its past quality gremlins. And, like most luxury cars nowadays, endless ambient lighting choices are available of dubious taste.
Never mind. This is the finest C-Class front-seat environment since, well, probably the original W210 190E's of the 1980s.
And all those extra dimensions pay dividends in terms of interior space in the back seat.
There's plenty of knee room even with the tester sat behind their 178cm frame; head room is adequate even with the optional sunroof fitted, and there's ample shoulder space. So, it's more comfortable than any C-Class ever has been in terms of sheer dimensions.
Additionally, the rear backrest is well angled, while the cushion is deep enough to provide sufficient thigh support. But the centre perch is a bit of a squeeze for all concerned. Best avoided.
There's also added practicality to be found with the large and deep door pockets, front seat-back map pockets and folding centre armrest, that not only has a tablet holder, but when pressed in twice, also reveals sliding cupholders as well. Clever.
The C-Class rear seat is really lacking for nothing, with face-level air vents, overhead lighting, grab handles and coat hooks all highlighting the level of thought that went into making this a practical compact family sedan.
Plus, the C-Class comes with this folding ski port, which along with the folding rear seats, increases boot volume from 455L to, well, a lot more. While that's not quite as good as others like the BMW 3 Series, it's big enough for this car.
Note that there is no spare wheel, as the tyres are of the limited-distance runflat variety.
BMW 5 Series8/10
This is a full-size sedan, and every seat feels spacious and airy. The sloping, slightly coupe-style roofline does cut into headroom in the back, but human-sized people will have little trouble, even sitting behind a tall driver.
Each trim offers two cupholders in the front, with another two housed in a pull-down divider that seperates the rear seat. And there's two ISOFIX attachment points, one in each window seat in the back.
The 5 Series' boot opens to rival a surprisingly sizeable storage space, offering 530 litres with the 40:20:40 rear seats in place.
Price and features
Initially, there are two sedan versions of the new W206 series C-Class on offer – the base C200 from $78,900 before on-road costs, and the more-powerful C300 grade from just over $90,400 before ORC.
There's no sugar coating this. These prices represent a shocking $12,000 and $15,100 jump, respectively, over the outgoing W205 equivalents. Which means that, now, even the cheapest C-Class costs significantly more than any of its corresponding direct rivals.
For example, the Audi A4 35TFSI kicks off from $59,900, Volvo S60 B5 Inscription AWD from $62,490, Genesis G70 2.0T from $63,000, Alfa Romeo Giulia Sport from $63,950 and BMW 320i Sport Collection from $69,900 (drive-away). And even the Tesla Model 3 Standard Range (SR) Plus RWD and Polestar 2 SR EVs slip in at under $60K apiece. All before ORCs, BMW-aside.
But the news isn't all bad, because even though prices have jumped, Mercedes reckons it gives you more, as well as the very latest in technology, design and engineering, since the W206 is the newest kid on the block by some margin.
Let's begin with equipment levels.
On top of the front electric seats, satellite navigation, automatic parking, dual-zone climate control, artificial leather Mercedes brands ARTICO, digital radio, remote boot lid closing and 18-inch alloys that the base C200 all came with previously, the new one now adds an AMG Line body kit and interior trim, adaptive cruise control, Lane Keep assist, a 360º camera, auto high-beam headlights and keyless entry/start. These go a long way to offset that $12,000 price hike.
Plus, for the first time, you'll also score a centre airbag between the front seats, fingerprint scanner ID tech for the new 11.9-inch media display and a 48V mild-hybrid system to help cut fuel consumption and emissions. Most of these items are segment-firsts. Note, too, that the engine's been downsized from 2.0 litres to 1.5L. More on that later.
Meanwhile, the C300 gains all of the gear above, as well as a new 2.0L mild-hybrid engine, leather trim, privacy glass and a Driver Assistance Package Plus – a very worthwhile addition since it brings Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Active Emergency Stop Assist and Active Lane Keeping Assist, among heaps more driver-assist safety features.
More details follow in the Safety section below.
Of course, these are just the start of a wave of fresh C-Class models. Soon they'll be joined by the AMG 43 and thunderous AMG 63 sports sedans, as well as plug-in hybrid versions.
So, from a pricing perspective, yes, the new C-Class sedan does come at a premium compared to its direct competitors. But all that kit – including the advanced hybridised and safety technologies that are now either standard or available – presents a compelling value proposition.
Especially as the W206 sedan is measurably larger and thus roomier than before.
BMW 5 Series7/10
BMW's venerable 5 Series is now 45 years old, and this all-new model arrives in four distinct flavours, with a fifth - an incoming M5 performance sedan - still some way off.
For now, though, the range kicks off with the 520d, before stepping up what BMW hopes to be the big seller of the range, the 530i (replacing the outgoing 528i). Next up is biggest diesel, the 530d (replacing the the 535d), before the current range tops out with the petrol-powered 540i (replacing the old 535i).
Be warned though, there's been some pretty serious price increases right across the line up, ranging from $9,145 to a whopping $19,245. In fact, only the 530d has seen its price come down, now $3,755 cheaper than the outgoing 535d. BMW justifies the hikes by pointing to an increase in standard inclusions across the range.
The 520d kicks off from $93,900, and arrives predictably well equipped for your money. Expect 18-inch alloys, leather trim, dual-zone climate control and a 12-speaker stereo. You'll also get a technology overhaul, with a bigger and upgraded Head Up display (it can now read street signs and beam that info onto the screen), a 10.25-inch touchscreen and a wireless (insert link to chi charger story) charging pad.
Step up to the 530i ($108,900) or 530d ($119,900) and you'll add 19-inch alloys, adaptive dampers with dynamic mode (that reads both driver input and navigation data and tweak suspension, gear and steering settings automatically) a 16-speaker Harman Kardon stereo and a crystal-clear 12.3 high-resolution digital display in the driver's binnacle. You'll also find heated front seats, a powered boot and sports seats in the front.
Finally, spring for the 540i ($136,900) and you'll get 20-inch alloys, a sunroof and electric blinds for the rear windows. You'll also find better Nappa leather on the seats, which now also offer a cooling function. Under the skin, you'll get an active anti-roll bar at each axle designed to keep the car from rolling side-to-side on the twisty stuff.
One quirk, however, is the fact that BMW's very cool wireless Apple CarPlay is a cost option on every trim level, and one that will set you back $479.
Engine & trans
Probably the biggest departure compared to any previous C-Class is this generation's switch to direct-injection four-cylinder-only powertrains – including the coming Mercedes-AMG high-performance versions. Now that should be interesting.
As mentioned earlier, the C200's four-cylinder turbo engine is now about 25 per cent smaller in capacity, down from 2.0L to a 1496cc 1.5L twin-cam 16-valve turbo engine. Dubbed the M254, it pumps out 150kW of power at a high 6100rpm and 300Nm of torque between 1800-4000rpm.
That's not to say it's lacking in muscle, though, since it can sprint from zero to 100km/h in 7.3 seconds, on the way to a 245km/h top speed. These outputs are at least a match for the bigger-engined 3 Series and A4 equivalents, by the way.
If it's more you want, then the C300 features a 1999cc 2.0L turbo version of the M254, delivering 190kW at 5800rpm and 400Nm between 2000-3200rpm. This slashes that 0-100km/h time to a speedy six seconds flat. There's also an extra 20kW of overboost available for short periods if you're really in a hurry, while - where legal - it's possible to hit 250km/h.
Both send drive to the rear wheels via a nine-speed torque-converter automatic transmission, while the 48V mild-hybrid system, dubbed EQ Boost, employs an integrated starter-generator and lithium-ion battery that provides an additional 15kW and 200Nm of electric boost at low engine speeds.
So, while it doesn't ever run purely on electricity, the electrification tech certainly either brings more punch or takes the load off the petrol engine, depending on how you're driving it.
BMW 5 Series8/10
The hunt for efficiency sees all but the most expensive 5 Series models equipped with four-cylinder engines, including the entry-level 520d, which is fitted with a 2.0-litre diesel unit that will produce 140kW at 4,000rpm and 400Nm from 1,750rpm. That's enough to push the cheapest 5 Series to 100km/h in a not particularly inspiring 7.5 seconds, topping out at 235km/h.
The cheapest petrol, the 530i, arrives with a turbocharged 2.0-litre engine good for 185kW at 5,200rpm and 350Nm from 1,450rpm. That will see you clip 100km/h in 6.2 seconds and push on to a limited top speed of 250km/h.
The 530d introduces the first six-cylinder engine, a 3.0-litre unit that will produce 195kW at 4,000rpm and an impressive 620Nm from 2,000rpm. That's enough to knock off the sprint in in 5.7 seconds and offers a top speed limited to 250km/h.
Finally, the top-spec petrol, the 540i, will produce 250kW at 5,500rpm and 450Nm from 1,380rpm from its 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine. Those are healthy numbers, and enough to welcome 100km/h in a sprightly 5.1 seconds before topping out a limited 250km/h.
Every model is paired with an eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
Remember when I said that the C-Class moved to an all-four-cylinder engine range? Well, that's primarily to help it better meet fuel consumption, efficiency and lower emission targets.
On the Australian combined fuel consumption cycle, the C200 manages 6.9 litres per 100km – and that's extremely impressive for a medium-sized sedan weighing almost 1.8 tonnes. So is the fact that the larger-engined C300 returns only 0.4L/100km more at 7.3L/100km. Fitted with a 66-litre tank, these numbers suggest that the former can average nearly 960km between refills while the latter can manage just over 900km.
These figures translate to averages of 157 and 164 grams per kilometre of carbon dioxide emissions respectively. On the flipside, both these Euro-6 emissions rated engines require 98 RON premium unleaded petrol to deliver their best.
So much for lab tests. Out in the real world, we drove both cars for several hundred kilometres on a hot summer's day, from inner Melbourne during peak-hour traffic, to some great curvy rounds out in central Victoria, featuring some tight corners and ample opportunity to really stretch both cars' legs.
Over these routes, we averaged an indicated 8.4L/100km in the C200 and – astonishingly – 7.4L/100km in the C300. Yes, the larger and more powerful engine proved more economical.
Clearly, along with the advanced aerodynamics, engine stop/start system and 48V mild-hybrid tech, all that downsizing works. No wonder Mercedes deemed it unnecessary to bother with diesel engines for this generation C-Class.
BMW 5 Series8/10
BMW quotes a combined 4.3 litres per hundred kilometres from the 520d, which will also spit out 114g per kilometre of C02. The 530d lifts that number to 4.7 litres per hundred kilometres (which seems a small price to pay for all that extra torque), with C02 pegged at 124g per kilometre. Both diesels get a slightly smaller tank, at 66 litres.
The 530i will sip a claimed/combined 5.8 litres per hundred kilometres, with C02 emissions a claimed 132g per kilometre, while the big 540i requires 6.7 litres per hundred kilometres, with C02 pegged at 154g per kilometre. Both petrol models get a 68-litre tank and require 95RON fuel.
There has been a philosophical shift in how the C-Class is presented.
Even with their standard-in-Australia AMG Line package, the regular grades like the C200 and C300 are now leaning into the brand's luxury heritage, while the BMW-baiting sports sedan versions will be left to the coming AMG versions.
And this in turn profoundly informs how the W206 drives.
Even with the optional Sports Pack on 19-inch wheels, the C200 as tested finally feels like a premium midsized sedan experience. Muted at start up, the 150kW/300Nm 1.5L turbo steps off the line smartly and smoothly, its nine-speed auto shifting effortlessly through the gears to keep the engine feeling lively and lusty.
Around town it's easy to mistake the engine as a larger-capacity unit, since throttle response is instantaneous, with little to no lag detectable. It's a strong start for a base powertrain, especially as the C200 settles into a relaxed cruise at freeway speeds. Cycling through the driving settings also reveals how feisty the 'Sport' mode is.
But the 1.5L's lack of size becomes obvious the moment you need to overtake quickly, or when a quick squirt of acceleration up a hill is required, because the engine needs plenty of revs to approach that 6100rpm power peak. While still pretty brisk in these situations, it's also fairly vocal too, with a sense of having to work hard to maintain momentum.
Switching to the C300 highlights how much better suited the 190kW/400Nm 2.0L turbo is to highway driving, leaping forward with much more force and conviction, across the entire performance spectrum. In every metric, this is a better choice – throttle response, mechanical refinement, cruising ease. And the fact that the onboard computer showed less fuel consumption cements our preference for the larger-hearted C-Class.
In fact, both models possess a chassis that feels like it could do with a whole lot more power. Light and tight around town, the steering weighs up nicely at higher speeds, with a linear and reassuringly planted feel. The same also applies to how confident and controlled the Mercedes feels through fast, tight turns, yet settles into a relaxed and comfortable tourer along long, straight stretches of road.
It's a pity, then, that such dynamic agility and prowess doesn't really involve the driver, since the steering feels quite isolated from what's going on underneath; for the vast majority of C-Class buyers, that's fine. But, as a quick spin in any latest BMW 3 Series or Jaguar XE will reveal, there isn't an intimate, two-way connection going on here. That's probably going to be reserved for the AMG models.
Our C200 rode on bigger wheels and steel springs, while the C300 was fitted with optional adaptive dampers. In the previous-generation C-Class, the differences would be stark: a busy and jittery ride in the former, compared to soft yet still unsettled suspension in the latter.
That's all ancient history now, as even the 'passively' suspended C200 now isolates its occupants from the rough and tumble of our inconsistent roads. Still firmish, but no longer harsh.
And the C300 with adaptive dampers seems downright plush by comparison, while offering the driver personalisation options within the aforementioned driving models to tailor the steering, performance and engine sound settings that best suit the prevailing mood.
Too bad there's some road and tyre noise intrusion heard inside when driving over coarse bitumen roads. This is a common pitfall amongst German vehicles in Australia.
Still, it doesn't detract from the fact that the whole chassis set-up can at-last cushion and cosset occupants like, well, a mini S-Class.
Which is the whole point of the W206 C-Class. It now majors on comfort and reassurance like the better Mercedes-Benz models used to, while still being suave and sprightly enough to be a memorable – if not over-exciting – drive.
As a result, the C300 especially is a much-more likeable car than past iterations. Just remember to tick the adaptive damper option for the most optimal experience. Job well done, Mercedes.
BMW 5 Series8/10
BMW's pre-drive briefing was so technology focused we half expected the black turtle neck and dad jean-wearing ghost of Steve Jobs to emerge from behind a curtain clutching an iPad. Only a minuscule portion was dedicated to the cars' drivetrains, with BMW instead hammering home autonomy functions, technology upgrades and the fact that its car was a preview to "the future".
But once we'd slipped behind the wheel of the all-new 5 Series, it all started to make more sense. Having briefly sampled three models (the 530i, 530d and 540i), we can safely report there's nothing particularly revolutionary about their on-road behaviour. That's not necessarily a bad thing - they do everything you could ask of a car in this bracket. They're mostly smooth and always quiet, the new chassis has done nothing to dampen engagement when you start to ask a little more of it, and it's generally a luxurious experience. But then so was the old car.
But what's new is the technology poured into the 5 Series. Every car gets what BMW is calling its personal co-pilot, for example, which is a set of tricky systems (there's six cameras, five radar sensors and 12 ultrasonic sensors scattered around the car) that work with the active cruise control and allow the car to be driven completely autonomous for 30-second intervals. Now, it's not quite as advanced as some of its competitor's systems - it can't change lanes for example - but if you're out on a country road or on a highway, it will stay within its lane, turn around corners and keep up with the traffic, even if they stop in front of you.
While the cheapest diesel model has historically been the best seller, BMW is hoping the new 530i will prove the most popular this time around. And while you couldn't describe it as fast, the power from its four-cylinder engine is ample for all that will likely be asked of it, and it feels sorted and composed on more challenging roads. It's a smooth and comfortable ride, too, even with the optional 20-inch alloys fitted, though that's undoubtedly thanks to the adaptive dampers and ever-changing dynamic ride function, both of which are fitted as standard. In fact, we're yet to drive a car without those options fitted, so we're forced to reserve judgement on the as-standard ride quality of the cheaper models.
Be warned though, none in the 5 Series range offer the disconnected and perfectly smooth conveyance you might find in some true luxury offerings, and you'll still know when you're diving into deep pockmarks in the road. But the trade off is a an engaging ride and steering set up that always feels planted, with enough feedback to ensure you feel connected to what's happening beneath the tyres. And that's a trade we're more than willing to make.
Step up to the 540i and things take a much sportier turn. The turbocharged six-cylinder feels right at home in a car this size, with acceleration effortless and freeway overtaking manoeuvres an absolute breeze. And while we didn't find roads quite brutal enough to really test the active anti-roll bars housed at each axle, there's a wonderful and stable flatness to the way the biggest petrol handles corners.
It's not cheap, but thanks to the bigger engine and sorted dynamics, the 540i feels most like a 5 Series probably should.
The W206 C-Class has not been crash-tested yet by ANCAP or European affiliate EuroNCAP, so does not have a star rating. However, Mercedes-Benz claims it has striven to create one of the safety vehicles on the planet.
To that end, there are now 10 airbags fitted, including dual-front combined pelvic/thorax airbags, front centre airbag, rear side airbags, window airbags and driver's knee airbag.
Plus, you'll find Autonomous Emergency Braking front and rear (including for cyclists and pedestrians, at speeds from 7km/h to over 200km/h), adaptive cruise control with active stop/go, a 360 degree camera, Active Parking Assist, drowsy driver monitor, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Blind Spot Assist, ABS anti-lock brakes with Brake Assist, Adaptive Brakes with Hold function, brake drying and Hill Start Assist, electronic stability control, traction control, dusk-sensing LED lights, rain-sensing wipers and runflat tyres with tyre pressure warning.
The C300, meanwhile, adds Driving Assistance Package Plus, with features such as Active Blind Spot Assist, Active Brake Assist with Cross-Traffic Function, Active Emergency Stop Assist, Active Lane Change Assist, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Active Steering Assist, and Active Stop-and-Go Assist… basically, this is where the car actually intervenes to help avoid accidents and impacts. There's also the PRE-SAFE side accident anticipation and protection system.
Both models also feature two ISOFIX child seat restraints as well as three top tethers for straps.
BMW 5 Series9/10
Expect plenty of clever safety gear, with every 5 Series sedan arriving with six airbags (dual front and full-length side airbags, along with head protection bags for front passengers). You'll also find a surround-view reversing camera and parking sensors.
But the high-tech stuff arrives courtesy of active cruise control, cross-traffic alert, lane keep assist and cross-road alerts.
Kudos to Mercedes-Benz for being the first luxury manufacturer in Australia to offer a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty – matching most other mainstream makers. Lexus and Audi have only recently followed suit.
A five-year roadside assistance subscription is also included. Service intervals are 12-monthly or at every 25,000km, whichever occur first.
Additionally, a four-year capped price service plan is available, at $550 for the first year, $900 for the second, $1000 for the third and $2450 for the fourth, totalling $4900.
Alternatively, buyers can also choose three pre-purchase service plans to save a bit of money, but these must be bought prior to the first service.
BMW 5 Series7/10
The BMW 5 Series is covered by a three year, unlimited-kilometre warranty, and requires condition-based servicing (rather than a pre-defined service interval).
You can also prepay your maintenance costs for five years/80,000kms, with prices ranging from $1,640 for the basic package, and climbing to $4,600 for the all-inclusive option.