BMW 5 Series gets refreshed design and PHEVs across all four- and six-cylinder engines

BMW has given its current 5 Series a mid-life facelift. As well as new exterior and interior styling, the Munich brand has improved connectivity and added PHEV drivetrains across all four- and six-cylinder engine options. Whilst we're yet to get the final environmental stats, power is up and for the first time, the 530e powertrain is available in Touring form.

It's only been a few months since we reviewed the current BMW 530e, and there was an awful lot to like about it. Already, however, BMW has refreshed the 5 Series' design and when the new car goes on sale in July you'll be able to get the PHEV 530e saloon. As of November this year, you will also be able to get your hands on the 530e Touring or the six-cylinder 545e, with or without xDrive. This is the first time that BMW will be offering the Touring in 530e guise; however it does so at the expense of a 545e Touring option.

If you don't want to go down the PHEV route, BMW will sell you a 48v mild hybrid version on all four- and six-cylinder engine cars, though not the M5-rivalling M550i. It's not exactly going to transform the 5 Series into a fuel-sipping wonder, with 11bhp available for a little extra shove, but if that's your thing then why not.

A bit more PHEV poke

BMW is yet to release the full technical data for the PHEV 530e and 545e models, though we do have the power and performance stats. With regards battery technology, the previous 530e received a new battery in summer last year, lifting the available juice from 9.2kWh to 12kWh for no size penalty. Our assumption (and it's a safe one) is that this is what the revised car will get.

This means a full charge in around three and a half hours from a BMW i Wallbox, and somewhere in the ballpark of 40 miles on electric power for the two-wheel drive model, and 35 miles for the four-wheel drive xDrive in saloon form. Knock another 10 per cent off that figure for the Tourings.

The 530e drivetrain gains just over 40bhp for a total of 292 horsepower in the new car (vs. 248bhp in the old one). Torque remains the same at 310lb-ft. This extra oomph has cut the 0-62mph dash to 5.9 seconds, with the two-wheel drive car maxing out at 146mph, and the xDrive at 143mph.

Sadly, we don't know what the specs for the 545e xDrive saloon are, however we will update this story as soon as BMW confirms these details.

Styling and tech updates

The G-series BMW 5 Series formula has been so successful that unsurprisingly, BMW hasn't exactly turned it on its head with this mid-life update. Instead it has just made some minor adjustments to the car's overall look.

The kidney grille is bigger in both width and height, perhaps easing us towards the uber-grille that we've seen on the i4 concept imagery. Lighting is sleeker and closer to the 3 Series in its look, with two U-shaped daytime running lights within each (fully LED) headlamp. If buyers opt for the Visibility pack, which has adaptive lighting, the DRLs are L-shaped. With said pack, BMW's continuing presence in the lighting nuclear cold war has just got a new weapon, with its Laserlight technology able to reach out to 600 metres, and quite possibly able to perform corrective surgery on oncoming drivers' vision. Rear lights have also received a gentle overhaul to match the rest of the car.

With the optional M Sport pack, new 19 and 20 inch wheels are available, and with the M Sport Edition there are some even fancier 20 inch Air Performance wheels.

Inside there is a new 12.3 inch central information display – up from 10.25 inches in the current model. BMW Operating System 7 – the latest iteration – is standard, and on PHEV models this means the eDrive Zone feature is included. Using smart urban ring fencing, the 5 Series PHEV models can automatically switch to electric-only driving, making them greener and quieter, albeit the new 530e and 545e come with a sound emulator.

What's the cost?

If you want a 530e saloon the base-spec SE trim you'll need to stump up £47,130, or £50,630 for the M Sport, and finally £53,820 for the M Sport Edition. You can add £2k on to each of those figures for the xDrive version of the 530e. The 545e xDrive will start at £54,945 for the SE model and jump up to £58,445 for the M Sport. M Sport Edition prices are TBC for the 545e xDrive.

In Touring form the SE-spec 530e starts at £49,380, with the M Sport version coming in from £52,880. The xDrive is priced from £51,380 and £54,880 in respective SE and M Sport trim. M Sport Edition trim prices are TBC.

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