Enthusiasts bemoan the 2022 BMW 5-series for not delivering the same level of athleticism as past generations, but this spacious, comfortable, and well-equipped luxury car is still a compelling package. For one thing, there are four powertrains to choose from, ranging from a spunky turbo four-cylinder all the way up to a brutish twin-turbo V-8; a plug-in hybrid is also available for those who want to go green. The interior of the 5-series is relaxed and ready to make light work of long commutes and road trips, especially when equipped with such options as massaging seats. The 5’s technology offerings are up there with key rivals such as the Audi A6, the Genesis G80, and the Mercedes-Benz E-class, but the BMW no longer delivers the driver engagement that used to make it the clear choice for those who appreciate a car that feels wired to your nervous system.
What’s New for 2022?
BMW has removed several optional features from the 5-series’s order sheet for 2022, including the onboard WiFi hotspot, the remote start feature, and wireless smartphone charging. The Parking Assistance and Executive packages are now only available on the top-spec M550i model, and the Dark Graphite Metallic interior trim is no longer available.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
The mid-range 540i continues to be the best value in the 5-series lineup, offering a nice balance of performance and comfort. This model comes standard with rear-wheel drive, but all-wheel drive is available. The available Convenience package seems like a wise add-on, as it includes heated front seats and a power-operated trunk lid. To unlock the 5-series’s advanced semi-autonomous driving tech, go for the Driving Assistance Plus package.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
Smooth, powerful, and efficient, both the four-cylinder in the 530i and the six-cylinder in the 540i motivate this big sedan with authority. For 2021, the 540i’s powertrain gains a little extra boost, care of a 48-volt hybrid system, which we have not yet tested. Each pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts intuitively and quickly, making the most of the available power. The 540i’s six-cylinder is silky smooth and potent, and it makes delightful noises. Apart from the top-dog M5, which we review separately, the M550i is the athlete of the lineup, with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 under its hood. In our testing, the M550i sprinted through our acceleration runs quicker than the Audi S6 and Mercedes-AMG E53, hitting 60 mph in just 4.1 seconds. All 5-series models are competent handlers, but they lack the kind of driving verve we expect from BMW. Steering feedback is light, and the ride—even in the performance-oriented M550i—appears to be tuned more for comfort than pure driving pleasure.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The EPA estimates the four-cylinder 530i will earn up to 25 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The six-cylinder 540i is rated at up to 25 mpg city and 32 highway. The more powerful V-8 M550i lowers those to 17 mpg city and 25 highway. All three of the models we tested overachieved in our real-world testing; the 530e delivered 34 mpg while the 540i and M550i did 31 mpg and 28 mpg, respectively. For more information about the 5-series’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Rich appointments and good design make the cockpit of the 5-series a civilized space. It’s a noticeable upgrade compared with the somewhat drab cabin of its predecessor. It’s also spacious for rear-seat passengers and features an impressive amount of technology. We’ve experienced the optional 20-way multi-contour front seats, which adjust in every way imaginable and provide hours of comfort. The standard seats might not be as indulgent, but you can still adjust them in 16 ways. The BMW’s large trunk space is on par with what its competitors offer, fitting six carry-on suitcases back there. That said, the cabin is lacking in cubbies and storage compartments. To accommodate the battery pack, the plug-in-hybrid 530e has four less cubic feet of trunk space than nonhybrid models and swallow two fewer carry-on suitcases, but at least it retains its folding rear seats, unlike many other hybrids.
Infotainment and Connectivity
A large 12.3-inch high-resolution central display comes standard on every 5-series. You can control it by using BMW’s iDrive rotary knob, tapping the screen, or saying various voice commands. Additionally, if you shell out for BMW’s Gesture Control option, you can control the system with hand gestures, but we found this to be more gimmicky than useful. All 5-series models come with a digital gauge display that can be configured to show a variety of information to the driver. Navigation, a USB port, Bluetooth audio, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability are included in the tech suite, but you have to pay extra for SiriusXM satellite radio.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
Plenty of driver-assistance features are standard and additional tech is optional, including a navigation-based semi-autonomous driving mode that can even plan for upcoming lane changes based on GPS data. For more information about the 5-series’s crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard blind-spot monitoring with rear-cross-traffic alert
- Available adaptive cruise control with a semi-autonomous driving mode
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
BMW’s warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance are about average for the segment but fall short of what’s offered on the Jaguar XF.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary scheduled maintenance is covered for three years or 36,000 miles