This, for the time being, is the only petrol-powered variant of this new ‘G30’ 5-series until the M5 sports sedan comes together, or unless BMW decides to bring the six-cylinder 540i to India. On the tangent of cylinders, the first 5-series to return to India, the E60, also had a variant called the 530i, but that utilized a 3.0-litre naturally aspirated straight-six, as its name implies. This brand new 530i receives a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, which it shares with all the 3-series sedan along with the GT, and let us face it, the days of this high-revving, naturally aspirated straight-six have long gone, therefore there is no point lamenting the downsizing.
It’s not only the engine however, but likewise the trim level. BMW offers the 530i in just the bottom Sport Line variant, also you may identify that immediately by the paucity of chrome on the exterior (most of it has been replaced with a shiny black finish), the different design for your 18-inch wheels, and also the simple fact that the headlights have gone out of adaptive full-LED units, to more basic semi-LED units. In reality, the headlights make a big difference as they utilize a much simpler interpretation of BMW’s ‘corona ring’ DRL signature which makes this seem like the last-gen 5-series, instead of an amazing one.
Some equipment was missing from the mid-range Luxury Line spec too. This includes the distinct climate control zones to the back, the touch-sensitive AC controls in the front, keyless entry, the Harman Kardon hi-fi audio system, the 360-degree cameras, the more hands-free parking assistant and wireless phone charging. And though you still receive the touch-sensitive ‘Display Key’ fob, it no longer gets the trendy remote parking attribute. But there is still no lumbar support modification and they are nowhere near as comfy as the ‘Comfort’ chairs in the M-sport variant.
What is it like to drive?
Whereas in the 3-series, this ’30i’ is the more powerful range-topping engine, here in the 5-series, it’s only the basic petrol engine, and that is kind of how it feels. It’s not merely that this is a bigger, heavier car for exactly the exact same 252hp and 350Nm of torque to maneuver, but also the simple fact that it’s more refined than the 3-series that changes how it seems. The gearbox — although being the exact same eight-speed ZF unit since the 3-series — appears to have been improved here too. This, however, is an issue restricted to stop-and-go traffic, as after you are on the move, the 530i feels adequately powerful. It’s also very refined, and even once you rev it out, the noise it creates is far from unpleasant or loud. And even at high speeds, even though it’s not quite as simple as a six-cylinder motor could have been, most will not be left wanting for greater power.
The steering here feels ever so slightly more expensive than in the diesel cars too, likely owing to this lighter weight across the front wheels, but it’s still quite direct and weighs up nicely as you cycle through the driving manners. It’s good that even this foundation model 5-series gets dynamic dampers, although their impact is delicate, they operate if you want them the most; the tauter Sport setting is very good at keeping body motions in check when you are driving challenging or even if you’re cruising at high speeds. In general, the car rides very well too.
Can I purchase one?
At Rs 52 lakh (ex-showroom), the 530i Sport Line costs just up to the 520d Sport Line, so for once, spec for spec, there is no price disparity between gasoline and diesel. Mechanically, it seems totally noise, if not as thrilling as you might think a car with all the ‘530i’ badge ought to be (that position now goes back to the 540i). The performance is all about there, but it does not feel electrifying. It will get the job of this ‘token gasoline variant’ done, especially on the refinement front, but the diesel motors these days do this fairly well too. Let us hope they include more trim levels with this motor in the long term.