2017 BMW 540i: Bimmer’s new sport sedan steps up [Review]

BMW 540i
BMW’s 2017 540i solidly represents a welcome performance upgrade across the entire 5 Series lineup. [photos: Arv Voss]
Contrary to popular belief, the 5-Series was the first numbered BMW Series – not the 1 or 3-Series. The 2017 BMW 5-Series lineup of sporty performance sedans launches the seventh generation of the iconic 5-Series vehicles and is code-named G30, replacing the earlier F10 code designation. Though launched in Europe in 1972, the BMW 5-Series sedan didn’t reach the U.S. until 1975.

I was recently afforded afforded seat time in a 540i RWD finished outside in Mediterranean Blue metallic and inside in Ivory Nappa leather with a Brown Dash. The base sticker read $56,450. While optional fare elevated the final tally to $82,610.


The new BMW 5-Series lineup will consist of four basic models: the 530i, 540i, 530e; and 550i xDrive. The 2017 530i and 540i are available now and both are available in either RWD or xDrive All-Wheel Drive configurations. The 530e iPerformance hybrid model is also available in either drive configuration, while the 550i comes in xDrive only. Both of the latter models will come to market in spring. The new 5 Series features an electromechanical power steering system with variable steering ratio and speed-sensitive power assistance., the BMW 5 Series may now also be optionally equipped with a revised – now electromechanical – Integral Active Steering system, with steering rear wheels for extra agility, stability and comfort.

This latest iteration 5-Series sedan is only slightly larger than its predecessor and continues as a quintessential midsize sport sedan. It is 1.2 inches longer than the outgoing model, 0.3 inches wider and 0.6 inches taller. The wheelbase measures 117.1 inches – a plus of 0.2 inches.


BMW 540i
[photo: Arv Voss]
Power for the BMW 540i is produced by a – 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve inline six-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology: Twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection, VALVETRONIC fully variable valve lift control, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. The 3.0-liter motor delivers 335 horses from 5,500-6,500 rpm, along with 332 pound feet of torque from 5,500-6,500 rpm. Energy from both longitudinally mounted front engines is transferred to the driving wheels by an 8HP50 eight-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Navigation-assisted shift strategy.

Acceleration is more than adequate with both engines, though the six-cylinder is obviously quicker without having to work as hard. The 8-speed automatic transmission works smoothly and efficiently in either the automatic or manual mode.

The Driving Dynamics Control allows choosing a sporty, comfortable or efficient setting with selectable modes: Comfort, Sport, ECO PRO and optionally Adaptive is equipped with Dynamic Damper Control.

Braking is both smooth and positive and handling is instantly responsive, even more so with the Integral Active Steering feature., and despite all of the techno gadgetry, The BMW 5 Series sedan in any of its forms, retains “The Ultimate Driving Machine” title.

Despite being slightly larger than its predecessors, the 2017 BMW 5-Series sedans also top the scale at 137 pounds less, thanks to the aluminum Hood, roof, doors and trunk lid.


The new five seat, four-door sedan benefits from a host of state-of-the-art technological innovations. It is capable of operating in a partially autonomous mode, It can search out parking spaces, and can park itself remotely with the driver out of the car using the key fob, and it can come to a complete emergency stop to avoid a collision.

TFLCAR’s TAKE: The 2017 BMW 5 Series sedans are all winners, and they seem to have moved up to the level of earlier 7 Series models. When fully equipped and outfitted, this latest 5 Series is certainly not inexpensive, but advanced technology doesn’t come cheaply. While not all gear is necessary, it is all desirable, For instance, the latest iDrive 6.0 system and improved Driver Assistance Systems provide upgraded features that many drivers won’t want to be without, such as Gesture Control, Intelligent Voice Control, Touch screen and iDrive 6.0 touchpad Controller.


  • Base Price: $56,450, as tested: $82,610
  • Engine Type and Size: 3.0-liter, DOHC, 24-valve, Twin-Power, Twin-scroll turbocharged, inline 6-cylinder with Double VANOS and Valvetronic and high precision Gasoline Direct Injection
  • Horsepower (bhp): 335 @ 5,500-6,500 rpm
  • Torque (ft./ lbs.): 332 @ 1,380-5,000 rpm
  • Transmission: 8HP50 Steptronic 8-speed Sport automatic with Sport and manual shift modes, steering wheel mounted paddle shifters and Launch Control
  • Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / Rear Wheel Drive
  • Suspension: Front and rear self –leveling suspension
  • Front – Double wishbone with electronic Dynamic Damper Control System
  • Rear – Five Link with electronic Dynamic Damper Control System
  • Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel vented discs, , with DSC, ABS, DTC, CBC, DBC, Dry Braking function, and Fading Compensation
  • Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 245/40 R19 98Y front / 275/35 R19 100Y Rear mounted alloy wheels
  • Wheelbase: 117.1 inches
  • Length Overall: 194.6 inches
  • Width: 73.5 inches
  • Height: 58.2 inches
  • Curb Weight: 3,847 lbs.
  • Turning Circle: 39.5 ft.
  • Fuel Capacity: 18.0 gallons
  • EPA Mileage Estimates: 20 mpg city / 30 mpg highway
  • Drag Coefficient: 0.27
  • 0 – 60 mph 5.4 seconds
  • Top Speed electronically limited to 130 mph – 155 mph optional w/ M Sport Package