New Model News

Redesigned 2021 BMW 5 Series comes in seven variants that deliver everything you'd expect

The BMW 5 Series Sedan delivers more of the expected.

Photo courtesy of BMW

While you ate dinner last night, BMW pulled the curtain back on the seventh generation 5 Series Sedan. The model will come in seven variants when it arrives on dealer lots later this year.

The 2021 BMW 5 Series lineup includes the 530i, 530i xDrive, 530e, 530e xDrive, 540i, 540i xDrive, and M550i xDrive. MSRP pricing for the models is $54,200 for the 530i Sedan, $56,500 for the 530i xDrive Sedan, $57,200 for the 530e Sedan, $59,500 for the 530e xDrive Sedan, $59,450 for the 540i Sedan, $61,750 for the 540i xDrive Sedan and $76,800 for the M550i xDrive Sedan.

The car's front end is noticeably bolder and more streamlined..Photo courtesy of BMW

Here's what you get for your money.

Exterior

As revealed in an earlier teaser image, the 5 Series comes with a redesigned kidney grille up front. It's not the oversized version as seen on the i4 Concept earlier this year. Though not wholly different than the sixth-generation 5 Series, the trained eye will notice that the grille reaches further down into the bumper cover and its slats are more pronounced.

The grille features standard adaptive, slim profile LED headlights on either side with L-shaped daytime running light elements on the side that do dual duty as turn signals.

The car's exterior and interior dimensions are mostly unchanged for the 2021 model year. However, it 5 Series Sedan is 1.2 inches longer, which gives it a more sweeping profile.

At the rear standard dual trapezoidal tailpipe finishers are integrated into the lower bumper and L-shaped taillights feature black edging and three-dimensional lenses.

At the rear, there is a fresh LED lighting design.Photo courtesy of BMW

Buyers opting for the M Sport Package get redesigned front and rear bumpers, larger front air intakes with mesh inserts and a re-sculptured rear diffuser panel to alter the appearance of their model.

The M550i xDrive Sedan features a new aerodynamic kit from the M Sport Package and adds a rear trunk lid spoiler for enhanced functionality and appearance. Its mirror caps are finished in Cerium Grey. The exhaust finishers are black chrome while window surrounds are in high-gloss black.

Paint job options include: Alpine White (standard), Jet Black (standard, not available on M550i xDrive), Carbon Black Metallic, Black Sapphire Metallic, Glacier Silver Metallic (not available on M550i xDrive), Dark Graphite Metallic, Mineral White Metallic, Phytonic Blue Metallic (new for 2021 5 Series), Bluestone Metallic, Bernina Grey Amber Effect (new color), Individual Tanzanite II Blue Metallic (M550i xDrive only), and Individual Aventurin Red Metallic (M550i xDrive only).

Powertrain

The 2021 BMW 530e and 530e xDrive Sedans are powered by a 181-horsepower twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that is matched with a 107-horsepower electric drive unit. When drivers utilize the Driving Control switch and set the transmission to Sport mode, a new XtraBoost feature delivers an additional 40 horsepower for up to 10 seconds when the throttle is fully depressed. The combined power and torque of the new 530e and 530e xDrive Sedans is 288 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque, an increase of 40 horsepower over previous 530e models.

The car's grille now extends deeper into the bumper.Photo courtesy of BMW

The car can operate in electric-only mode at speeds up to 19 mph. It can get from zero to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph on all-season tires (performance tires take that number to 143 mph).

The 2021 BMW 530i and 530i xDrive Sedans are powered by a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 248 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. This engine moves the car to 60 mph from a standstill in 5.9 seconds. Its top speed is also 130 mph on all-season tires (155 mph when equipped with performance tires).

The BMW 540i and 540i xDrive Sedans are powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that delivers 335 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. It moves the sedans from zero to 60 in 4.9 seconds (4.6 sec. for 540i xDrive) and has a top speed of 130 mph when equipped with all-season tires (155 mph when riding on on performance tires).

The most powerful engine in the 5 Series lineup is the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that sits under the bonnet of the M550i xDrive Sedan. It produces 523 horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. The car moves to 60 mph off the line in 3.6 seconds. It too has a top speed of 130 mph when wearing all-season tires (155 when equipped with performance tires).

The car has been elongated for a sleeker body design.Photo courtesy of BMW

All engines are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, which has improved efficiency for the 2021 model year.

Drivetrain

The 5 Series Sedan is built on a rear-wheel drive platform. Models with an "xDrive" in their name feature all-wheel drive. Those without are rear-wheel drive.

All-wheel drive includes an electronically controlled multi-plate clutch in the transfer case that works inn conjunction with the dynamic stability control system to adjust power to the transmission to respond to irregular driving conditions and keep the car on the right path. When all-wheel drive is not warranted due to driving conditions, the system operates in a traditional rear-wheel drive mode, allowing for more fuel efficiency.

The weight of the system has been reduced, allowing the car to be more agile.

The M550i xDrive Sedan' come equipped with a standard rear M Sport differential. This system can portion torque in varying degrees to each wheel, depending on what the wheel's needs are.

WIth its model variety, the 5 Series remains a formidable choice.Photo courtesy of BMW

Ride and handling

The 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedans has a standard double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension. BMW offers the M Sport Suspension, which is available as part of the M Sport Package, and includes specially tuned spring and shock settings plus a 10 mm (0.4 inch) drop in ride height.

The Dynamic Handling Package, optional on the 540i and 540i xDrive Sedans features electronically controlled shocks which use continuously adjustable valves to adjust the damping force at each wheel individually.

M550i xDrive models have the Adaptive M Suspension, which is specially tuned to provide greater poise and agility when pushing the car to its limits. Buyers can opt for the Adaptive M Suspension professional which adds Active Roll Stabilization and Integral Active Steering to the car.

Buyers can add M Sport Brakes with red calipers and M logos to any new 5 Series model. M Sport Brakes with Blue Calipers with M logos are available as an optional on all 5 Series models and are standard on M550i xDrive Sedan.

The front of the model features L-shaped daytime running lights.Photo courtesy of BMW

The four- and six-cylinder 5 Series Sedans come equipped with standard 18-inch alloy wheels with 245/45R18 all-season run-flat tires. Buyers can upgrade to 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/40R19 all-season run-flat tires, 19-inch alloy wheels with 245/40R19 front/275/35R19 rear performance run-flat tires, and 20-inch alloy wheels with 245/35R20 front/275/30R20 rear performance run-flat tires.

The M550i xDrive Sedan is equipped with standard 19-inch alloy wheels with a choice of either 245/40R19 front/275/35R19 rear performance runflat or all-season run-flat tires. Twenty-inch alloy wheels with either 245/35R20 front/275/30R20 rear performance run-flat or Michelin Pilot Super Sport non-run-flat tires are available.

Interior

The high-tech interior of the 2021 5 Series Sedan features a 12.3-inch digital instrument display in front of the driver and a 12.3-inch infotainment touch screen. Center console buttons are none finished in black.

Navigation, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto come standard. Other standard features include: a sport leather steering wheel, keyless entry, universal garage door opener, rearview camera, moonroof, auto-dimming rearview mirror, ambient interior lighting, automatic climate control, park distance control, automatic high beams, satellite radio with a complementary one-year subscription, and a Wi-Fi hot spot with a three-month/3GB trial period.

2021 BMW 5 Series interior features

2021 BMW 5 Series sedan interior

Photo courtesy of BMW


BMW has upgraded its navigation with a digital cloud-based feature called BMW Maps. The company promotes it as having, "faster route calculations and dynamic recalculation based on precise real-time traffic data. The route is worked out using an anticipatory approach, meaning upcoming traffic along the entire route is factored into the calculation of the expected arrival time. Complete traffic data is now available for more minor roads, too." Users can also see reviews, opening times, and photos of points of interest, their destination, and stops along the way.

Four- and six-cylinder models are finished in Perforated SensaTec upholstery with contrast stitching in Canberra Beige, Cognac or black. M550i xDrive models get standard Dakota leather in Ivory White, Cognac or Black. Nappa leather in Ivory White, Mocha or black is available on all models. The dashboard on the four- and six-cylinder 5 Series can be ordered in an optional Black SensaTec with brown stitching, which is standard on the M550i xDrive.

An Anthracite Headliner is standard on all models with an Anthracite Alcantara Headliner available as an option on the M550i xDrive Sedan.

All models feature standard power front sport seats (M Multi-contour seats on M550i xDrive) with lumbar support and a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat.

Safety Technology

All 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedans come equipped with standard safety driver assist technology including lane departure warning with assist, frontal collision warning with pedestrian detection and brake assist, blind spot detection, rear cross traffic alert, rear collision preparation, automatic high beams, and speed limit information.

The available Driving Assistance Plus Package adds adaptive cruise control with stop and go, a Level 2 autonomous traffic jam assist function, lane keeping assist with side collision avoidance, Evasion Aid, front cross traffic alert, and Emergency Stop Assistant (can help guide your BMW to the shoulder and bring it to a halt in a medical emergency situation).

The car's navigation system features 3D visualizations of the surrounding area including the objects detected in the path of the vehicle including cars, trucks, and motorcycles. These are shown on the center section of the instrument display. Vehicles within a critical distance are highlighted while graphics showing navigation functions are displayed in tandem. Navigation instructions can also be shown above the 3D view.

The available Parking Assistance Package gives panoramic and 3D surround camera views to assist with parking. According to BMW, here's how it works:

"The system helps identify suitable parallel and perpendicular parking spots and can guide your 5 Series into and out of your selected spot. The included Back-Up Assistant records the last 50 yards driven at speeds below 20 mph and can automatically reverse your 5 Series along the exact path take to help navigate narrow or winding driveways for example. The Remote 3D View function gives drivers the ability to call up a three-dimensional live image of their parked vehicle and its immediate vicinity on their smartphone. The Drive Recorder, a new feature to the BMW 5 Series, uses the cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from different points around the vehicle, before storing the recordings so they can be either watched later on the Control Display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port."

The car also includes voice assistant technology, which reacts to "Hey BMW."

The 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan goes on sale later this year.

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The 2023 Crosstrek starts at $23,645.

Subaru

Subaru is one of the best at listening to its customers' needs, and the Crosstrek is a great example of that mindset. It's a useful vehicle with plenty of interior space and enough ground clearance to take its passengers well of the beaten path. Today, Subaru announced pricing for the 2023 Crosstrek and Crosstrek Hybrid. The duo will go on sale this summer.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek's cabin is adventure-ready and packed with great tech. Subaru

The standard Crosstrek starts at $23,645 before destination and the Crosstrek Hybrid starts at $36,845. Five trims are available for the standard model, including Base, Premium, a new Special Edition, Sport, and Limited. The Hybrid comes in a single trim level. All Crosstrek variants get all-wheel drive with active torque vectoring and 8.7 inches of ground clearance.

The Base, Premium, and Special Edition trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 152 horsepower. The Sport and Limited trims get a 2.5-liter four-cylinder making 182 horsepower. Most models come with a continuously variable transmission, but the Base and Premium trims come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. The Crosstrek Hybrid comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder paired with two electric motors. The plug-in system can deliver 17 miles of electric range.

Subaru CrosstrekThe Crosstrek delivers 8.7 inches of ground clearance.Subaru

True to Subaru form, the Crosstrek comes with a full suite of advanced driver aids, including automatic emergency braking, lane keep assist, lane departure alerts, adaptive cruise, and more. These features are only available for CVT-equipped models. The Limited trim and the Crosstrek Hybrid add automatic high beams, reverse automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alerts.

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The CX-50 is surpsingly capable off-road.

Mazda

I have driven all of the Mazda vehicles that have been sold in the US market over the past three decades. On everyday roads and on racetracks. I’ve appreciated their “zoom-zoom”. Good power. Punchy torque just where it was needed. Well-balanced and sporty handling. A bit of growl for the versions that called for it. Plus, tasteful-but-modest styling and more or less elbow room, depending on the model. Mazda’s have been made for sports-car enthusiasts and to ferry families. But, I had never known a Mazda called an “overlander”. Until now.

2023 Mazda CX-50Towing capacity extends to 2,000 pounds.Mazda

The 2023 Mazda CX-50 moves this traction-sophisticated automaker into the lands where the pavement ends and now takes the brand ‘off-track’. Although it’s not a new thing for many of today’s carmakers to add a backcountry model or two to their lineup, it’s new for Mazda. I traveled to Santa Barbara, California to check out this all-new crossover built on Mazda’s seventh-generation small SUV platform that is shared with the smaller CX-30. This 5-passenger utility is longer, lower and wider than the CX-5 that rides on the previous generation’s underpinnings. The CX-50 has been crafted with a roomier second row and more cargo room for the goods and gear that weekend warriors and adventurers want to carry.

The CX-50 comes with a choice of two engines: a 2.5-liter, 4-cylinder engine with cylinder deactivation that gets 187 horsepower and 186 pound-feet of torque, and Mazda’s Skyactiv-G 2.5-liter turbo-charged powerplant with 256 horsepower and 320 pound-feet of torque; both shift through a six-speed automatic transmission. The sport ute can tow up to 2,000 lbs. with the naturally aspirated motor and up to 3,500 lbs. with the turbo-charged mill and Intelligent Drive Select (Mi-Drive) that brings a tow mode as well as Normal, Sport and Off-Road. The newest Mazda model has been made for North America only and is built in Alabama. It is the first Mazda vehicle with auto start/stop that can be deactivated.

2023 Mazda CX-50Mazda is a master of upscale interiors. Mazda

The new crossover starts at $26,800 and comes in S, S Select, S Preferred, S Preferred Plus, S Premium, and S Premium Plus with the base motor. Turb-charged versions come in Turbo, Turbo Premium, and Turbo Premium Plus that tops out at close to $42,000. A long list of technology and safety features are standard or available. Mazda says that Meridian, a fourth turbo trim will arrive soon with even more off-road cred; it will be set up with 18-inch black wheels AT, hood graphics and other backcountry goodies.

When you look at the CX-50, the first thing you’ll notice is exterior styling that speaks to its adventure-ready mission. Muscular bodywork, such as extra cladding, wide fender flairs and larger, more aggressive tires mean that this crossover has been designed not only to give a nod to the looks of a rugged crossover but to provide enhanced traction and a tad more suspension stretch for motoring over uneven terrain and along bumpy dirt roads. Planted on its haunches with functional air vents, it eschews minivan styling with a low and wide footprint that allows owners to have easy access to high-strength roof rails for loading gear on top; the roof has been made stronger than other Mazda crossovers to accommodate heavier loads, such as a roof-top tent. A panoramic moonroof- a first for Mazda- and attractive antiglare hood graphics and are tasteful additions.

The interior is attractive and roomy, with horizontal lines and “cleanable” surfaces as a nod to outdoor endeavors. Our Turbo Premium Plus model had bright orange reverse stitching that popped the cabin that has been crafted with uplevel trims and materials and brought heads-up display. A 7-inch infotainment screen is standard, while the top models get a 10.25-inch version. A wireless charging pad and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard on all trims. Of note, is the rear power and programmable liftgate to the wide and deep rear cargo compartment, with a load floor that flush with the liftgate opening to help slide heavy items in and out of the back. An available line of cargo accessories makes stowage easier.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 is family roadtrip ready.Mazda

How did it handle over the 200-plus miles of our ride and drive? The Turbo Premium Plus CX-50 offers a lot like; many of its driving attributes are consistent with Mazda’s tuning and handling priorities across its product line. Traveling along coastal highways, carving mountainous twisties with tight turns and accelerating on flat and straight well-graded pavement, it has great Mazda manners: i.e., there is enough power and torque in the right bandwidth to move it well; precise steering with a slightly heavily-weighted leather-wrapped steering wheel and well-modulated brakes, especially with towing a 3,500-lb. load. We enjoyed using Sport mode for carving corners, as it brings elongated shifts from the six-speed automatic; a crisp response comes when sport shifting in “manual mode” and provides a quick throttle response.

We tried out the Off-Road mode on a course that included flat and uneven dirt roads, as well as hill climb and descent. Although there is no downhill descent control system, the brakes worked well, along with manual gearing. Of note, Mazda would be wide to add downhill descent engineering for steeper and slicker terrain. We were able to test the difference between Normal and Off-Road over a special section of the course with sandy corners and a winding track at a speed of 30 mph showing the improved traction in the Off-Road programming and the aid of Mazda’s G-Vectoring Control that brings a bit of magic to transfer torque to the wheels where it is needed to keep the intended track-think of it like an enhanced traction control program that helps with steering and yaw control.

2023 Mazda CX-50The CX-50 comes with off-road driving modes. Mazda

Other aids for off-road and backcountry travel are: the i-Activ All-Wheel Drive system that is standard equipment on all CX-50s, with a 50/50ish power transfer front to back; 8.6 inches of ground clearance; an 18-degree approach angle and a 24-degree departure angle; and an optional 360-degree camera system.

*EPA reports: base motor fuel economy 24 city/30 highway mpg, while the turbo option gets 23/29 mpg and can run on regular or premium fuel.

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