Longer and Stronger

In the battle for executive sedans, the saving grace is the inside space, so here is the latest entry into this segment by a manufacturer who likes to build some of the world’s best-performance vehicles
The New 5 LWB
The New 5 LWB

The battle for the executive sedan space has been a hotly contested one, but one manufacturer ran away with the segment because it’s E-class was a LWB, meaning Long Wheel Base. Mercedes-Benz India  has enjoyed its run with it’s cars but now its hegemony will be challenged by BMW, who are launching their 5-series LWB (BMW calls it simply, Li) on June 24. We do not know the exact technical details of the powertrain as BMW India has not told us that, but what we do know is that this is the first right-hand drive BMW 5 to get an extended wheelbase, barring China. This means that BMW now has three extended wheelbase models – the 3 Gran Limousine, the 7 and now the 5.

In terms of dimensions, the car is 5,175mm long, 1,900mm wide and 1,520mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,105mm. Interestingly, arch rival Mercedes is launching the next gen e-Class by around September this year, but the 5 is bigger than the new E by nearly 100mm! the bronze accents used front and rear for the M-Sport models look quite classy, and now you can have the front kidney grille, the famous BMW trademark, illuminated as well along with the DRLs. The new 5 is a massively sized machine, but those 18-inch wheels with high sidewalls take some of the sexiness away from the alloys, but then this appears to be a safer option given our road conditions. Of course, the higher sidewalls mean a better ground clearance, though we don’t have the exact measurement as of now. The big 5 on the C-pillar leaves you in no doubt as to what car you are sitting in.

The New 5 LWB
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High tech interiors of the new 5 LWB
High tech interiors of the new 5 LWB

Coming to the interiors, with the extra 110mm longer wheelbase, you get unparalleled comfort. The seats are thickly cushioned, adding to the comfort factor, although there are no adjustments available for the back seat. There are quite a few USB-C ports all around, including the rear of the front seats and a provision to fit an optional rear entertainment system. There is a wireless phone charger for the rear too (the front has two). Curiously, rear sunshades and curtains are missing, a vital factor to control the heat in India. Moving to the front, you see what a class act this is. Everything feels beautifully made and the rotary controller for the iDrive and the gear selector look like pieces of jewellery. The front gets two massive screens – a 14.9-inch for multimedia and vehicle functions and a 12.9 inch screen for the driver with all essential information. The front air-con vents are of course hidden behind electronic toggles and ambient colours all around it can be changed. You get a brilliant 655-watt kickass Bowers & Wilkins sound system for music – easily the segment best. Then of course there is the single pane sunroof which is quite large and is thankfully fixed and not openable.

We had a brief drive of the new 5, not enough to give a judgment but just to say that we liked the massive power the car had, although we did not drive it enough to make a judgment. We will do a full test drive as and when possible. The new 5 series launches on June 24th.

Pricing (expected) at INR 80 lakh onwards, ex-showroom

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