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2024 BMW i5, 5 Series First Look: Finally, a Design We Don't Immediately Hate

The BMW 5 Series and i5 aren't exactly lookers, but they're not half bad

2024 BMW i5 lineup group shot
  • The BMW 5 Series and i5 are all-new for 2024.
  • Together, they bring new tech, new powertrains, new looks, and larger proportions.
  • We're just thankful they aren't wearing faces only their mothers' could love.

A new 5 Series has been long overdue, and now we've finally have a successor to the current 5er. The new ninth-gen 5 Series brings a ton of upgrades, new sheetmetal, an elegant and tech-forward interior, and perhaps most importantly, an all-electric variant called the i5 for the 2024 model year. It used to be the case that the 5 Series was a favorite among enthusiasts for its balance of luxury and sport-sedan handling, and while recent generations have lost a touch of the latter, we hope BMW has refound the fun for the new car.

Right off the bat you'll notice the new sheetmetal, and for once we don't have to bite our tongues. The 5 Series looks quite restrained by modern BMW design standards — it's nowhere near as outlandish and polarizing as the current 7 Series or iX, for example. The front end isn't exactly pretty, but it isn't terrible to look at either. It's worth noting that all the photos you see here are of the i5, as BMW didn't send us pictures of the gas-powered car. (Rest assured, they'll likely be almost indistinguishable from each other out on the road.)

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2024 BMW i5 front 3/4

As ever, there are changes underneath the new skin. The new 5 Series and i5 are bigger than the eighth-generation 5er and measure 199.2 inches long, 74.8 inches wide and 59.6 inches tall. To put that into context, the 5 Series — which is technically the middle-of-the-range BMW in terms of size — is now longer than the 7 Series was from 2001 to 2008. In other words: It's big. BMW also increased the wheelbase by 0.8 inch, which will likely improve rear legroom.

i5 and 5 Series engines, power, range & charging explained

Underneath the subtly surfaced hood of the gas-powered 5 Series is an all-new 2.0 liter turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a 48-volt mild hybrid system. It powers the lower two trims, the 530i and 530i xDrive. BMW lists its power output at 255 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque, increases of 7 hp and 38 lb-ft from the previous generation. BMW claims a 0-60 mph time of 5.9 seconds in the rear-wheel-drive 530i. Upgrading to the all-wheel-drive 530i xDrive shaves off a tenth of a second.

The top-trim internal-combustion 540i xDrive gets a refreshed 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six-cylinder engine, which goes into production November 2023. It makes 375 hp, a 40-hp increase over the last generation. Its maximum torque is up to 384 lb-ft and can be boosted to 398 lb-ft with the additional power coming from the mild hybrid system, according to BMW. The Bavarian automaker cites a 0-60 mph time of 4.5 seconds. There's no word on whether the V8-powered M550 will return for this new generation car, but we assume the V8 will be reserved for the eventual M5.

2024 BMW i5 profile

The i5 also comes in two distinct flavors. Both the i5 eDrive40 and the i5 M60 xDrive get the same battery, which provides 84.3 kWh of usable energy. But the horsepower numbers diverge sharply. The i5 eDrive40 provides an estimated 335 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, while the i5 M60 xDrive packs 590 hp and 586 lb-ft of torque. Those power numbers are good enough, according to BMW, for 0-60 mph times of 5.7 and 5.3 seconds, respectively. As for how far they can go, BMW is targeting a max range of 256 miles for the M60 model and 295 miles of range for the less power-hungry eDrive40 i5.

The gas-powered and electric 5ers will also offer a number of modes to pick from. Efficient and Sport modes are BMW staples, and they appear here, too. BMW has also included a new mode (that first debuted on the i7 M60) within Efficient mode called "Max Range." Here, electric motor power and top speed are restricted (and some comfort functions are scaled back) in order to help increase efficiency and, as the name suggests, maximize range.

Both Level 2 and DC fast charging is available, and BMW estimates the battery can be recharged from 10% to 80% in about 30 minutes thanks to a max charging rate of 205 kW. First-time owners of the BMW i5 receive two years of free 30-minute charging sessions at Electrify America fast-charging stations.

2024 BMW i5 interior

An almost copy-pasted 7 Series interior

Inside the new 5 Series and i5 also look pretty much identical. Perhaps most intriguing is what BMW calls the Curved Display, which you can already find on the 7 Series and iX. The pair of screens, one 12.3 inches and the other 14.9 inches, visually combine to create an impressive, immersive environment. The latest BMW operating system offers additional digital content, including a range of video streaming options and even some in-car gaming features that you can access via the AirConsole, a free app that uses your smartphone as a controller for the suite of apps on offer.

BMW's latest infotainment system packs a lot more features than the outgoing system, and the system in the new 5 Series range gets fresh designs and new graphics compared to the outgoing car (which essentially limited you to one main view and two side pods with various tidbits of information). However, one of our biggest gripes with the 7 Series, i7 and other BMWs that use iDrive 8 was that the interface simply isn't very intuitive.

Thankfully it seems like BMW has recognized this issue and is launching the new 5 with the updated iDrive 8.5. It now comes with what BMW calls QuickSelect. The function essentially mimics your smartphone's home screen and aims to make selecting various functions much easier. The result, BMW says, is a "focused, assured driving experience." We'll be sure to vet that claim.

2024 BMW i5 backseats

The BMW Interaction Bar, which debuted in the 7 Series, is an optional feature on the 530i and 530i xDrive and standard on the i5. It essentially adds touch-sensitive control points for air conditioning and your hazard lights while also serving as a fancy light show.

You can also get your 5 Series fully leather-free for the first time. That treatment, which includes Alcantara-wrapped seats and steering wheel, is also available on models with the more aggressive M Sport pack equipped. Sporty seats are standard equipment on most of the new 5s, but multi-contour seats are standard on the i5 M60 (and can be opted for on other models).

The 530i and 530i xDrive both offer 18.4 cubic feet of storage in the trunk. That's slightly smaller than the 2023 530i (18.7 cubes) despite the 5 Series' growth in every direction. That said, the 2024 offers similar flexibility in the form of a folding 40/20/40-split rear seat and the trunk remains fairly generous in size.

Pricing for the new 5 Series and i5

The 2024 BMW 530i will start at $58,985, and the all-wheel-drive version will be priced from $61,195. The i5 eDrive40 starts at $67,795 and the i5 M60 model will cost you $85,095. All of these models will hit dealerships by the fall of this year. The 540i xDrive model won't start production until November of 2023, and it will cost from $65,895 when it hits dealerships just in time for the new year.

2024 BMW i5 group shot

Edmunds says

Is the new 5 Series enough to retake the crown in what is still a fiercely competitive segment? We'll have to wait to drive it to find out.