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New 2020 BMW 5 Series officially breaks cover

Facelifted BMW 5 Series gets tweaked styling, updated technology and new flagship models for 2020

  • Facelifted 5 Series saloon and estate go on sale in July
  • All standard petrol and diesel models get mild-hybrid assistance
  • New flagship V8-powered 550i and 545e plug-in hybrid join the 5 Series range

The facelifted 2020 BMW 5 Series saloon and Touring estate have been revealed. The new car gets a mild styling refresh, revised engines with mild-hybrid assistance, and updated interior and safety technology. The revised model line-up also includes a pair of new flagship models, with the new 550i V8 and 545e plug-in hybrid joining the range for 2020.

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Best saloon cars to buy this year

Now in its seven-generation, the 5 Series has established itself as the go-to premium executive saloon. The facelifted model will renew the 5 Series’ rivalry with the Audi A6 and the Mercedes E-Class and go on sale in July, with prices starting from £37,480.

2020 BMW 5 Series: design

The facelifted 5 Series features several design tweaks, with the front of the car featuring a larger pair of kidney grilles and a slimmer headlight design that incorporates U-shaped daytime driving lights. The restyled front bumper gets larger air intakes with a slightly more angular design than before, with higher mounted fog lights. A range of new two-tone alloy wheel designs also feature across the range.

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All cars come with LED headlights as standard, with adaptive LED versions and BMW’s laser lights making the options list, with the latter capable of projecting up to 600 metres.

The rear of the car features redesigned tailpipe finishers and a new rear diffuser for saloon models. The LED tail lights now have a smoked two-tone finish similar to that seen on the latest 3 Series.

Interior and technology

The interior has received a set of technology upgrades, with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment screen now standard across the 5 Series range. The digital instrument cluster is carried over from the old car, with the system running BMW’s latest Live Cockpit Professional, which features Android Auto for the first time, alongside Apple CarPlay.

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BMW has also added remote software updates to the new 5 Series, allowing the owner to download updates directly to the car via a built-in SIM card or a smartphone. This will also allow owners to purchase additional technology features at the BMW ConnectedDrive online store.

The driving assistance systems have been improved, with both the steering and lane assist updated as part of the Active Navigation system, which monitors the location of the car to inform the driver when a lane change is required.

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The standard parking assistance suite has been updated and is now able to take over control of the steering when reversing for a distance of up to 50 metres.

The optional Parking Assistant Plus system can now be coupled with a series of in-built cameras located around the bodywork. Dubbed ‘Drive Recorder,’ the system can record for up to 40 seconds: 20 seconds prior to activation and 20 seconds after. If a collision is detected, the system automatically saves 20 seconds of footage prior to the impact and the 20 seconds afterwards.

Engines and performance

For 2020, all four- and six-cylinder 5 Series models will be available with mild-hybrid assistance. The tech was previously introduced on the 520d model last year, and is now available with all conventional petrol and diesel engines.

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It uses a 48-volt starter-generator and a battery pack that stores the energy from braking, deploying it to take the strain off the engine during acceleration. As well as providing improved fuel efficiency, the system can provide an instant power boost of 11bhp to help overtaking and acceleration from a standing start.

The entry-level petrol 520i features a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine producing 181bhp, taking it from 0-62mph in 7.9 seconds. The 520d features a turbocharged 2.0-litre diesel engine with 187bhp. It can be specced with rear- or four-wheel drive, with the saloon taking 7.2 seconds from 0-62mph, and the Touring estate taking 7.6 seconds.

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The 530d xDrive features a six-cylinder diesel engine producing 282bhp, with the saloon taking 5.4 seconds from 0-62mph and the Touring taking 5.6 seconds.

The new flagship M550i is only available in saloon form and is powered by a 523bhp twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 petrol engine shared with the 8 Series. It is the quickest model in the new 5 Series line-up and is capable of 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds with an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. The fastest Touring model is the 540i xDrive. It’s fitted with a 328bhp 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine and can do 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds.

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At launch, the 530e plug-in hybrid will only be available as a saloon, in both rear- and xDrive four-wheel drive models. Powered by a 2.0-litre petrol engine and an electric motor, both versions are capable of 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds.

In November 2020, a 530e Touring model will be added to the 5 Series range, along with a new 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid saloon that combines a six-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor.

Final fuel economy and CO2 emissions figures for the facelifted 5 Series range are expected to be confirmed later this year.

Trim levels

The new 5 Series will be available in three trim levels, with entry-level SE spec cars getting folding mirrors, leather upholstery, heated front seats, a leather trimmed steering wheel and automatic air conditioning. Standard fit technology includes a DAB radio, BMW’s connected services, Parking Assistant, and Live Cockpit Professional with sat nav, alongside gesture control and voice control functionality. A choice of alloy wheels ranging from 17 to 19 inches in size are also available.

Stepping up to M Sport trim adds alloy wheels ranging from 18 to 20 inches in size, with a standard ‘M aerodynamics’ bodykit and black exterior trim. The interior gets leather-trimmed sports seats as standard, with a matching M Sport specific steering wheel and anthracite headlining. Upgraded M Sport suspension is fitted as standard on all conventional petrol and diesel models.

The range-topping M Sport Edition trim adds 20-inch alloy wheels with runflat tyres, adaptive LED headlights, black contrasting exterior trim, red brake calipers and rear privacy glass. Further additions include a rear spoiler and multifunction electrically adjustable seats on the saloon model.

Read our guides to the best large executive saloons and best motorway cars to see why the BMW 5 Series is still the saloon to beat.

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