- BMW is revamping its 5-Series sedan lineup for 2024 with two electric models, two internal-combustion powertrains, and lots of new technology.
- With prices ranging from $58,895 to $85,095, all five trim levels will be based on BMW's CLAR WE architecture, though chassis tuning will be specific to the weight of each version.
- AirConsole in-car gaming, customizable mood lighting, and reworked seating characterize the new interior design while stretched chassis dimensions help improve passenger comfort.
BMW's midsize 5-Series sedan lineup has always sat in a curious position. Not as limber as the compact 3-Series but not as grown up as the executive 7-Series, the Dingolfing-born middle child hasn't let this imposition stop its success. Outselling the 7-Series through the early 2000s, the 5-Series has maintained consistent US sales figures since 2005, with the decline of sedan demand pushing 3-Series and 5-Series sales units much closer together lately.
And a complete overhaul for the 2024 model year could help the 5-Series hit its middle-aged stride. With five trim levels, a new chassis platform, and an emphasis on modern technology, the 2024 BMW 5-Series is arguably the most exciting version of itself in years, with electrification playing a major role in this redesign.
2024 BMW 5-Series.
Gas-powered engines are still available, however, as the starting trim will be the 530i and accompanying xDrive version, starting at $58,895 and $61,195 respectively. A more powerful, performance-oriented 54oi xDrive will also be available for $65,895, though production of this model is delayed until November. Moving up the lineup, the beginning of the electric offering, known as the i5 eDrive40, will start at $67,795, while the cream-of-the-crop i5 M60 xDrive is priced at $85,095.
Despite the significant powertrain difference, all 2024 5-Series units will ride on BMW's modular CLAR WE architecture, which it shares with the current generation 7-Series, which launched a year ago. And every unit will be manufactured in Plant Dingolfing, BMW’s largest European plant, which happens to be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Notably, the first vehicle to leave this plant in 1973 was an E12 5-Series, though the plant has now shifted its focus to electric motor and battery production.
BMW is making strong attempts to keep the sedan alive and the powertrains running the new 5-Series are a testament to that. An in-house developed electric motor paired with an 84.3-kWh battery pack makes for 335 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque (or 317 lb-ft when Sport Boost or Launch Control is active) sent to the rear wheels of the i5 eDrive40, while the addition of an extra electric motor up front on the i5 M60 xDrive allows for 590 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque sent to all four wheels.
That makes for respective 0-60 mph times of 5.7 seconds and 3.7 seconds, though both electrified versions have limited top speeds of 120 mph for the eDrive40 and 143 mph for the M60 version.
2024 BMW 5-Series.
Fitted to the underbody of the chassis, BMW's battery is good for 295 miles of EPA estimated range when fitted to the RWD i5 eDrive40, while the AWD i5 M60 xDrive is EPA estimated to go 256 miles. After the road trip to your second home, electrified 5-Series owners will be able to DC fast-charge at a rate of 205 kW or 11kW in Level 2 AC charging, BMW claims.
The model will also adjust its braking energy regeneration based on battery level and traffic situation, though the driver can manually select low, medium, or high braking regeneration as well. Even better, BMW has added a Max Range mode to the i5, which limits top speed to 56 mph and reduces drive power to further increase range.
The gas versions aren't too shabby either when it comes to power, as a 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder and a 3.0-liter turbocharged, inline six-cylinder are available. 530i versions receive the inline-four with 255 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the 540i xDrive makes 375 hp and 384 lb-ft of torque from its mild-hybrid inline six-cylinder powerplant.
For those wanting a gas-powered, sub-$100,000 luxury sedan, it’s easy to consider a BMW 5-Series.
As always, strong handling dynamics are part of BMW's DNA, and the new 5-Series makes strides forward in this department. The chassis itself is 3.4 inches longer, 1.3 inches wider and the wheelbase has been increased by 0.8 inches to 117.9 inches, which should make for a more stable ride and complement its nearly 50:50 weight distribution.
Given the wide range of vehicle weights (4041 pounds at its lightest and 5247 pounds at its chunkiest), BMW has specifically modified and tuned chassis components, such as the stroke-dependent damping system on the i5, to the specific model's weight and purpose.
For example, electric models receive additional powertrain mounts while AWD variants (electric or not) feature an aluminum stiffening plate under the front axle. The i5 M60 will also get the Adaptive M Suspension, though all 5-Series models will feature double-wishbone front suspension and a five-link rear setup, as well as a form of torque vectoring known as near-actuator wheel slip limitation. Also, 19-inch wheels are standard across the model lineup, though 20- and 21-inch rims are offered if you prefer aesthetics over ride comfort.
2024 BMW 5-Series interior.
BMW has also branched out with the 5-Series interior, though not in the way you might initially think. It still features the brand's connected 12.3-inch curved gauge display and 14.9-inch infotainment screen, but the functions inside these screens are at least novel, if not worthwhile.
Working with the gaming platform AirConsole, you can now play video games on the screens of your stationary 5-Series. All it takes is a smartphone connection and the AirConsole app to start playing.
Additionally, BMW's Interaction Bar is now found in the 5-Series, as the customizable mood lighting appliance is carried over from the 7-Series. The seats have been redesigned for 2024, with increased backrest width and the option for a fully leather-free interior. And you may not see traditional air conditioning vents, but BMW assures us that cool air will flow through the invisible seam vents.
With a focus on electric innovation and the retention of its bread-and-butter gasoline-powered luxury sedan formula, BMW is smartly splitting its 5-Series customers into two camps. For those who want a gas-powered, sub-$100,000 luxury sedan, it's hard not to at least consider a 5-Series in your shopping.
But the i5 lineup promises to be fast, dynamic, and modern, matching up against electric sedans from the likes of Tesla and Lucid, with a decidedly different customer base than previous generations of 5-Series buyers. In theory, relying on two separate streams of customers will draw in more money, but time will tell if consumers are still willing to buy sedans (electric ones at that) en masse.
Will there be a future market for electrified for-hire sedans? Please share your thoughts below.
A New York transplant hailing from the Pacific Northwest, Emmet White has a passion for anything that goes: cars, bicycles, planes, and motorcycles. After learning to ride at 17, Emmet worked in the motorcycle industry before joining Autoweek in 2022. The woes of alternate side parking have kept his fleet moderate, with a 2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI and a 2003 Honda Nighthawk 750 street parked in his South Brooklyn community.