The new 2021 BMW 5 Series full review


The BMW 5 Series has the richest tradition of any model produced by BMW. Presented for the first time in 1972, the BMW 5 Series is now in its seventh model generation. Over 600,000 units of the BMW 5 Series have been sold worldwide since the market launch of the current model.


With unchanged width, height and wheelbase the new 2021 BMW 5 Series added extra 27 mm / 1.06″ (for Sedan) and 21 mm / 0.83″ (for Touring) of exterior length – both models now measure 4.963 m / 16.28 feet with a drag coefficient as low as Cd = 0.23 in the case of the Sedan and Cd = 0. 26 for the Touring.

Slightly redesigned “kidney grille” adds extra width and height, drops down further into the front apron and is framed by a single-piece surround.

U-shaped LED headlights with automatic headlight range control are again fitted as standard on the new 5 Series. The new full-LED headlights including L-shaped LEDs, adaptive cornering function, BMW Selective Beam non-dazzling high beam with matrix technology, and the High-beam Assistant are available as an option.

The cornering light and high beam are proactively adjusted using GPS. The dynamic light distribution (city, motorway and country road light) function generates different types of illumination, optimised to the driving situation at hand.

Also the new BMW 5 Series can be ordered with BMW Laserlight as an option. This system adds a dynamic Laserlight module to the Adaptive LED Headlights with matrix function. At speeds over 60 km/h (37 mph), this strengthens the non-dazzling high beam and follows the course of the road. At up to 650 metres, range is almost double that of the conventional headlights available for the new 5 Series.


Standard specification for all 5 Series models now also encompasses automatic climate control with extended functions, separate controls for the driver and front passenger, and the SYNC function.

As always, a wide selection of Dakota leather and Nappa leather upholstery variants are available as well as BMW Individual Merino full leather trim in a choice of three colours.


BMW Operating System 7 will be added to standard specification for the BMW 5 Series in July 2020, paving the way for a multitude of potential new applications and connectivity options.

BMW Live Cockpit Plus remains part of standard specification for the new BMW 5 Series Sedan and BMW 5 Series Touring. However, it now combines a black panel instrument cluster with digital readouts, a 5.1-inch colour display between them and a 10.25-inch Control Display with touchscreen functionality.

Other Live Cockpit Plus features include the iDrive Controller with touchpad, a navigation system, a multimedia system, two USB ports, Bluetooth/WiFi interfaces, a hands-free facility with USB interface, a built-in SIM card with 4G LTE connectivity, plus a wide range of connected services such as over- the-air navigation map updates and Intelligent Emergency Call. The Connected Package included as part of BMW Live Cockpit Plus comes with a wider range of functions thanks to the addition of Smartphone Integration, Remote Software Upgrade, Connected Music and BMW Maps with Connected Navigation services including Real Time Traffic Information RTTI with hazard warning, Connected Charging and Connected Parking.

The optional BMW Live Cockpit Professional (fitted as standard on the BMW M550i xDrive) comes with all the features of BMW Live Cockpit Plus. However, information is shown on a fully digital instrument display with a screen diagonal of 12.3 inches and a high-resolution Control Display with touchscreen functionality, now enlarged to 12.3 inches also.

In addition to Apple CarPlay, which has been available since 2017, the operating system for the new BMW 5 Series range will also host Android Auto from July 2020.

48V mild hybrid technology for all four- and six-cylinder engines

The mild hybrid technology with 48V starter-generator, first introduced in the BMW 520d and BMW 520d xDrive models in autumn 2019, will now offer enhanced performance combined with lower fuel consumption and improved driving comfort in all four- and six-cylinder variants of the new BMW 5 Series.

The mild hybrid system helps to both lighten the combustion engine’s workload and boost its power, bringing a reduction in fuel consumption and emissions while sharpening performance.

Fitting an extremely powerful 48V starter-generator and a second battery greatly increases the ways in which Brake Energy Regeneration can be utilised. When the driver releases the accelerator, the generator transforms the kinetic energy into electricity to be stored in the 48V battery. Energy recuperation on the overrun is particularly intense when the Driving Experience Control switch is set to SPORT mode. The additional deceleration generated over and above the engine braking effect is also harnessed when the brakes are applied. A specially designed braking system previously only fitted in plug-in-hybrid models enables the combination of electrical and mechanical deceleration to be deployed as required and with maximum efficiency at all times.

The recuperated energy accumulating in the 48V battery is also supplied to the 12V electrical system and used for powering the associated vehicle functions, from the lights, steering and power windows to the ventilation, audio system and seat heating. In addition, the stored energy can be used for generating additional drive power when it is fed back to the 48V starter-generator.

M Sport Edition

The M Sport Edition is available in conjunction with all four- and six- cylinder variants of the new 2021 BMW 5 Series. The special-edition models will be produced in a limited run of 1,000 units for sale to customers worldwide.

The new BMW 5 Series M Sport Edition is available in Donington Grey metallic. Previously, the only 5 Series model offered with this paint option was the BMW M5 high-performance sedan. BMW Individual shade Tanzanite Blue metallic is also available for the first time for the BMW 5 Series.

The highlights of the limited-run M Sport Edition:

  • Limited to 1,000 units.
  • BMW M5 Donington Grey metallic paint finish.
  • BMW Individual Tanzanite Blue metallic paint finish.
  • 20-inch BMW Individual Air Performance Wheels in bi-colour design,Edition inlay with “M Sport Edition” lettering.
  • M Sport package.
  • M Sport suspension incl. lower ride height.
  • M Sport braking system incl. red-painted callipers with M logo.
  • BMW Individual headlights Shadowline.
  • BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline with extended functions.
  • M multifunction seats for driver and front passenger (Sedan).
  • Sports seats incl. electric backrest width adjustment (Touring).
  • Dakota Black leather upholstery with blue contrast stitching.
  • M seat belts with stripes in BMW M GmbH colours.
  • BMW Individual headliner in Anthracite.
  • M leather steering wheel.
  • M footrest.
  • M-specific pedals.
  • M door sill plates.
  • Interior trim strips in aluminium Rhombicle Smoke Grey with accent trimstrip in Pearl-effect Chrome.
  • M badge for front side panel, on left and right in chrome.

BMW M Performance Parts can be ordered to enhance the aerodynamics, chassis or cockpit of a BMW

Specs and highlights

Full 2021 BMW 5 Series technical specifications are available to download here.

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