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BMW 540i xDrive 2017 on the Road | Canadian Car Reviews | Driving Television
 

BMW 540i xDrive 2017 on the Road

25 Jan BMW 540i xDrive 2017 on the Road

ON THE ROAD

On the road is where this 540i is the happiest.  Busy urban streets, twisty rural back roads and wide open highways… No matter where I was driving, this car makes brings a smile to my face. BMW is known for its balanced weight distribution and lightweight engineering; two things that are prominent while behind the wheel of this sedan.

Integral Active Steering, which steers the rear, as well as the front wheels, is now available with xDrive. This system was previously only available on RWD BMW’s and I am impressed with the improved handling.

With the touch of a button, the Driving Dynamics Control changes the drive feel from Comfort to Sport.  The comfort setting made a short trip on the highway  to the driving range feel effortless.  Drivers that want to have even more control of their driving style can adjust both the Sport and Eco Pro mode further, using the iDrive Controller.

With an increase of 35 horses, this new BMW 540i xDrive has a 3.0L inline 6-cylinder with 335hp and 332 lb-ft of torque.   Because of the improved TwinPower Turbo technology the torque kicks in at a low RPM the engine has a delightful growl.  The transition between gears is completely seamless.  To make driving this sedan even more exciting, the 540i xDrive can make the sprint from 0-100km in just 4.8 seconds.

Still impressive, is the new 2.0L 4-cylinder turbocharged direct injection engine found the 530i xDrive.  It will do the same run in 6.0 seconds.

SAFETY & TECHNOLOGY

Dynamic Cruise Control, new and improved Active Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Active Lane Keeping Assistant (ALKA)with Side Collision Avoidance are just a few of the safety features found on the BMW 5-series. We are starting to see some of this technology on entry level vehicles.  This means that  luxury brands like BMW need to make sure their versions are as polished and precise as can be.

The ALKA and Traffic Jam assistant work together to reduce driving stress particulars in stop-start traffic. They use the vehicle in front as a reference point along with improved images recognition and software algorithms to keep you on course. The system is very sensitive and can identify contact when only a few fingers are on the wheel.

Feeling safe on the road makes it easier for me to relax and enjoy driving.  With the optional Wireless Charging, WiFi hotspot and Apple CarPlay that integrates all the essentials from my smartphone and can be used with the touch screen or the iDrive controller.  BMW was the first manufacturer to integrate Apple CarPlay wirelessly.

A new user interface; iDrive 6.0, has the most current generation of Head-Up Display and improved Voice Control.  The latest version of Gesture control is an option on the new BMW 5-series.  I am still not a fan BMW iDrive, and maybe just need longer stint behind the wheel to get used to it? I understand the concept of just being able to gesture what you need, but I still find it frustrating.   Call me old fashioned, but I would way rather move my hands to use the volume on the wheel.

The 530i xDrive has a starting price of just over $61,000 and the 540i xDrive at just under $70,000.  Klaus Fröhlich might just be right. This new 5-series definitely opens up the possibility of reclaiming its reputation. Only time will tell.

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