The Car and Truck Fleet and Leasing Management Magazine

Driving Notes

2017 BMW 540i

June 30, 2017, by Paul Clinton - Also by this author

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

BMW's 5 Series enters its seventh generation with a long-awaited refresh that adds more powerful engines and a barrage of driver-assisting tech, while retaining much of the exterior styling and dimensions of the luxury sedan.

BMW is planning at least four, and maybe five, 5 Series models. The German automaker breaks the ice with the 2017 540i — its 3.0L inline six-cylinder model. BMW is also offering the 530i base sedan (powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder), 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, and M550i xDrive. BMW may bring a diesel variant and is expected to refresh the M5 as well.

Let's take a look under the hood of the 540i, which adds horsepower (38 hp) and torque (37 ft.-lb.) over the outgoing 535i. The more powerful engine comes in a lighter-weight package, which improves handling and reduces the carbon footprint by 15%, according to BMW. The sedans have shed about 220 pounds with the use of aluminum, high-tensile steel and magnesium parts.

As a result, fuel economy comes in at 30 mpg on the highway, 20 mpg in the city, and 24 mpg in combined driving cycles. The sedan would use 4.2 gallons per 100 miles, according to the EPA.

Photo by Vince Taroc.
Photo by Vince Taroc.

The 540i provides a comfortable ride, including for rear-seat passengers, and may gain a slight edge in performance and sportiness over at least one of its German counterparts, which now offers only a four-cylinder engine in its mid-size luxury sedan.

Interior and technology upgrades abound with the redesigned 5 Series. The 540i adds the gesture control features first introduced in the 2016 7 Series. The feature is a bit gimmicky — you twirl your finger in the air to raise or lower audio volume — but allows you to keep your eyes on the road.

Voice control has been upgraded, and you can speak points of interest into the nav system. This works more often than not if you enunciate your words. This 5 Series also upgrades the heads-up display, which is much more visible and changes colors to become more visible.

The base 540i retails for at least $56,450. Our model included an array of options, so it would retail for $75,335. The test vehicle's packages included Dynamic Handling, M Sport, Premium, Driver Assistance, Driver Assistance Plus II, Luxury Seating, and Cold Weather.

Related Photos: BMW's 2017 540i

Comment On This Story

Name:  
Email: (Email will not be displayed.)  


Comment: (Maximum 10000 characters)  
Leave this field empty:
* Please note that comments may be moderated.

Fleet Incentives

Determine the actual cost of owning and running a vehicle in your fleet. Compare vehicles by class and model.

FleetFAQ

Fleet Tracking And Telematics

Todd Ewing from Fleetmatics will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Fleet Management And Leasing

Merchants Experts will answer your questions and challenges

View All

 

Sponsored by

A method of determining the geographic location of a vehicle and transmitting that information to a recipient.

Read more

Author Bio

sponsored by

Amy Winter-Hercher

Senior Editor

Amy is an associate editor for Auto Rental News and Business Fleet.

» More

sponsored by

Andy Lundin

Assistant Editor

Andy Lundin works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

» More

sponsored by

Chris Brown

Executive Editor

Chris is the executive editor of Business Fleet Magazine and Auto Rental News. He covers all aspects of the fleet world.

» More

sponsored by

Eric Gandarilla

Assistant Editor

Eric Gandarilla works on Automotive Fleet and Fleet Financials.

» More

sponsored by

Mike Antich

Editor and Associate Publisher

Mike has covered fleet management and remarketing for more than 20 years and entered the Fleet Hall of Fame in 2010.

» More

sponsored by

Paul Clinton

Senior Web Editor

Paul is the senior web editor for Automotive Fleet, Fleet Financials, Government Fleet, Green Fleet, Vehicle Remarketing, and Work Truck. He has covered police vehicles for Police Magazine.

» More

sponsored by

Thi Dao

Executive Editor

Thi is the executive editor of Government Fleet magazine. She is interested in maintenance management and alternative fuels.

» More

More From The World's Largest Fleet Publisher