Go high for BMW’s new 5

Published on May 8th, 2010

The BMW 5 Series has long been a benchmark in its class so when the sixth generation F10 model was rolled out today, it’s pretty clear that the Bavarian carmaker has managed to up the ante with its bread and butter model.

Just like its predecessor, the E60, which is the best selling 5 Series so far, the new F10 5 Series raises the bar in terms of aesthetics, performance and efficiency.

“The BMW 5 Series plays an iconic role in the history and success of the BMW Group. Time and time again, the car has proven itself to be the superior choice in its segment and with the introduction of the all-new BMW 5 Series, we at BMW Group Malaysia are confident that the legacy of the 5 Series will be one that continues to grow from strength to strength in Malaysia,” said Geoffrey Briscoe, Managing Director of BMW Group Malaysia.


Available from 15 May onwards, the 5 Series will be available in two guises first for starters, the 523i and 535i. More variations, including oil-burners, will be introduced later on, according to Briscoe.

Motivation for the 523i comes from a 2.5-liter inline-six equipped with Valvetronic. Power figures stand at 204hp and 250Nm of torque, allowing to complete the century dash in 8.5-seconds.

The higher specced 535i gets a 3-liter turbocharged inline-six for its go. Featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo, High Precision Injection and Valvetronic, the performance figures stand at 306hp and 400Nm of torque that helps it do the 0-100kmh dash in a brisk 6.1-seconds while honouring it with the accolade of the most powerful inline-six in its class.


Sending all that power to the rear wheels will be an eight-speed, that’s right, an eight-speed automatic transmission. Both models benefit from the closer ratios but the 535i has the added benefit of paddle-shifters and M-gearshift logic.

Exterior wise, the 5 Series now has a longer bonnet, shorter overhangs and longest wheelbase in its segment. The greenhouse has been moved further back and the trademark Hofmeister kink in the rear of the roofline has been given a sharper radius to project a more silhouette like profile. Interestingly too, the new F10 is larger than its predecessing E60 but weighs in at just a measly 10kg’s heavier.

The kidney grille has also been stretched and lowered and is the focal point of the contoured lines on the bonnet that lend the front fascia an aggressive yet distinctively matured air. Furthermore, the typical quad-ring daytime running lights are now LED based.


As with every new iteration of a BMW, performance and aesthetics are bumped up, efficiency has also been fine-tuned with the integration of BMW EfficientDynamics in both models. The advantages are higher power output but with lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The 523i runs through 8l/100km while the 535i sips a bit more at 8.4l/100km. Emissions for CO2 are 187-grams/km and 195-grams/km respectively.

EfficientDynamics also sees Brake Energy Regeneration and Electromechanical Steering as standard on both models. Brake Energy Regeneration charges the battery when vehicle is braking, coasting or decelerating to improve fuel efficiency by three per cent.

A conventional hydraulic power steering utilizes power from the engine to function, which in turn increases fuel consumption. The Electromechanical system developed by BMW only operates during the steering process, which means the electric motor will be inactive whilst the vehicle is moving in a straight line or maintaining a constant cornering angle.


An array of intelligent driving assistance technologies such as the active steering and four-wheel steering give the car a very planted feel on the road. The four-wheel steering turns the rear tyres three-degrees in the opposite direction of the steering input below 60km/h to reduce the turning radius while at speeds above 80km/h, the rear tyres turn three-degrees in the same direction as the steering input to increase stability while cruising.

Dynamic Driving Control with Dynamic Damping Control in the 523i, also known as Adaptive Drive in the 535i, allows the driver to select a driving setup from five different options ranging from comfort to sport. A sportier setting will increase the damping, quicken the shift times and also tighten the steering ratios.


Being a premium sedan, the interior is every bit as impressive as the exterior. All the function controls are easily within reach of the driver and the iDrive system allows the driver to customise all the settings. The 535i also boasts the largest display screen in its class at a whopping 10.2 inches wide and a multicolour Heads-Up Display that can project the speed and navigational directions into the driver’s line of sight. Further setting the 535i apart would be the four-zone automatic climate control and glass roof.

BMW ConnectedDrive permits USB connectivity to the onboard HDD while Bluetooth fidelity makes answering phone calls simpler. The optional BMW Telematics Platform Accessory includes Vehicle Recovery Systems and BMW Remote Assist for those pesky breakdowns.

The price of premium quality isn’t going to be cheap but for the amount of car you get in return, the price tag seems like a fair deal. The 523i will set you back RM398,800 while the 535i goes for RM598,800 (OTR, w/o insurance, w/ BMW Service + Repair).

text & pix: Dinesh Appavu



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