By Colin Ryan
Excellent and multitalented sedan
All-wheel drive is available
Plug-in hybrid variants offered
Three high-performance M5 versions
Higher trims get pricey quickly
530e/530e xDrive models now come with 19-inch alloy wheels
M550i xDrive gains remote start function as standard
Limited-run M5 CS model debuts
Lower models become ineligible for the Parking Assistance package
Wi-Fi (except in the M5) and wireless charging discontinued
Price: The 2022 BMW 5 Series starts at $54,200.
The 2022 BMW /zigman2/quotes/202432319/delayed XE:BMW +0.35% 5 Series is the premium midsize sedan for people who really like driving. Not just people who don’t mind it, who use travel time to listen to audiobooks and let their minds wander.
We mean those who tune into what the steering is telling them, who notice how the front end responds to changes of direction, and revel in the engine’s effortless power delivery. Yet they still want luxury, technology, and something relatively spacious.
There are a few great alternatives providing luxury, tech, and space, but the BMW 5 Series has that special driver appeal as well. How old is the current generation of 5 Series? This seventh generation debuted for the 2017 model year, but received a mid-cycle refreshment for 2021.
This year is special in the history of the 5 Series. It marks the introduction of the 2022 M5 CS — the fastest, most powerful production car BMW has ever built. It’s a limited edition, only available for this model year.
Along similar lines, there was an M3 CSL nearly two decades ago. It quickly became a collector’s car. However, even the least powerful new 5 Series is a special car.
2022 BMW 5 Series pricing
The 2022 5 Series lineup starts with the 530i, whose Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price is $54,200 plus a destination charge. The 530e plug-in hybrid is priced from $55,550.
It’s virtually $60k for the 2022 540i, almost $77k for the M550i xDrive, and precisely $103,500 for the M5 — with an extra $38,500 required for the 2022 M5 CS. Adding all-wheel drive to those models that are eligible costs $2,300.
Taking an M550i xDrive and going lavish with options can ramp the price up to around $94k. No BMW 5 Series is a bargain.
That said, it keeps company with some equally expensive contenders. The Audi A6 starts at close to $56k and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class is about $55k. If this is all a bit too heady, consider the Genesis G80 for around $48k.
Before buying, it’s always a smart call to check out the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to find out what others in your area paid for their new 5 Series. Resale values are expected to be above average for the class.
Driving the 2022 BMW 5 Series
Finding the ideal driving position is easy enough, even with the standard 16-way power-adjustable front seats. These chairs are comfortable as well, it’s just that the optional 20-way multi-contour versions are awesome.
Outward vision is good, but we’re always happy to have blind-spot monitoring on board. Everything feels upscale and positive. And we haven’t even pressed the Engine Start button yet.
When that does happen in the 530i, it soon becomes apparent that the 248 horsepower 4-cylinder is muscular enough to please a lot of buyers. The chassis feels well balanced, and the way it reconciles agility with luxury is a master class in suspension tuning.
As we climb the power ladder, the thrills accelerate and accumulate. There’s something like a $25k price difference between the M550i xDrive and the proper M5, but no difference in torque (the force that creates thrust) and only 77 horsepower. It’s a superb machine.
Then again, the 600-horsepower M5 is really something. How fast is the 2022 M5? It will blast from standstill to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, which is just this side of unreal. This year, there’s a new ultimate 5 Series, the 2022 M5 CS. It performs that same dash in 2.9 seconds and is 230 pounds lighter than the M5 Competition version.
Spacious, especially up front, with adequate headroom in the rear, the interior of the 2022 5 Series is well up to the levels required of a luxury car. The standard perforated simulated leather upholstery feels durable and not at all plasticky. And the quality of materials only improves from this point.
The dashboard, which can be covered with synthetic or real leather, houses the twin 12.3-inch screens displaying driver information and infotainment system menus. The latter has reduced the need for a bunch of buttons, but requires a little time spent on familiarization.
Anyone lucky enough to climb into the M5 CS will notice that the driver can only scare three passengers with car’s rapid acceleration, since there are just two bucket seats in the back. The best seat in that particular house is behind the wheel anyway.
Trunk space of 14 cubic feet is great for the class. The plug-in hybrid’s batteries reduce that to a still usable 10 cubic feet, and it retains the split/folding rear seats.
A few recent BMW models, like the 4 Series and X7, have shown the company growing more daring with grille sizes, made to look even bigger when LED technology allows thinner headlights to go on either side. That’s not the 5 Series.
No doubt such a conservative approach appeals to the kind of person who would buy a 5 Series. Attracting attention can be overrated.
The bigger the engine, the more aerodynamic additions are attached to the body and the more colorful the brake calipers. Most paint choices are still on the subdued end of the spectrum, though. Even the ultrafast M5 CS comes with a gray metallic finish or a Frozen Deep Green metallic.
Live Cockpit Pro That’s what BMW calls its twin-screen arrangement. For the driver, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. For the infotainment system, a 12.3-inch touchscreen. It’s the high-resolution highlight of the 5 Series’ human-machine interface.
Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system It’s a hefty $3,400 option and only available in the M550i xDrive, but this glorious-sounding system might well be enough to sway a potential M5 buyer with discerning ears toward this model instead.
At its 530i entry level, the 2022 5 Series comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, full adaptive LED headlights with automatic high beams, rain-sensing wipers, moonroof, keyless entry/ignition, 12.3-inch digital driver information display, 16-way power-adjustable sport front seats, perforated simulated leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient cabin lighting, self-dimming rearview and driver’s-side mirrors, and 40/20/40 split/folding rear seats.
Safety and driver-assistance features include forward-collision warning with automatic emergency braking, front/rear parking sensors, lane-departure warning, and Active Blind Spot Detection.
The infotainment system is based around a 12.3-inch touchscreen and features Apple /zigman2/quotes/202934861/composite AAPL +1.92% CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, navigation, satellite radio, voice control, two USB ports, plus a 205-watt/10-speaker audio system.
Plug-in hybrid drivetrain, dedicated instrumentation, audible warning for pedestrians when running silently, and 19-inch alloy wheels aside, the 530e has a similar equipment inventory. The 540i is also more or less the same, except for the 6-cylinder engine.
The M550i xDrive piles on the plushness to complement its extra power, with real leather upholstery as standard, heated/20-way power-adjustable/multi-contour front seats, powered trunk lid, and a Harman Kardon surround-sound system. Other enhancements include M Sport differential/brakes/aerodynamic package, adaptive M suspension, sport-tuned transmission, and a rear spoiler.
As well as the extras included with the M550i xDrive, the high-performance M5 has nicer leather upholstery, quad-zone automatic climate control, remote start, heated steering wheel, head-up display, Wi-Fi, and gesture control for the infotainment system.
In the comparatively humbler models of the 2022 5 Series range, things like real leather upholstery, massaging/multi-contour front seats, gesture control, head-up display, and larger alloy wheels are available as options. An M Sport package is another extra, even for the 530e/530 xDrive plug-in hybrids. It brings variable-ratio sport steering, M Sport suspension/aerodynamic additions/M steering wheel, and M-design 19-inch alloy wheels.
The 540i/540i xDrive qualifies for a Dynamic Handling package that includes an adaptive suspension, active roll stabilization, and rear-wheel steering. The M550i xDrive has an adaptive M suspension in its Dynamic Handling package. A Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound system is also offered with the M550i xDrive.
The M5 is eligible for soft-closing doors and the M5 Competition package, which nudges up the horsepower, while adding stiffer engine mounts, M Sport exhaust system, firmer sport suspension, 20-inch alloy wheels, plus a Track setting to the selectable driving modes.
The 627-horsepower 2022 M5 CS supplements those additions with an Active M differential, carbon-ceramic brakes (an $8,500 option in the regular M5), M carbon front bucket seats (heated), two rear bucket seats, carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof/hood/aerodynamic additions, and ceramic controls.
All versions of the 2022 5 Series have the option of the Driving Assistance Professional package with more driver aids. And a couple of models can be ordered with a Parking Assistance package — see the Safety Technology section below for more details.
Engine and transmission
The 530i and 530i xDrive variants of the 2022 X5 use a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine making 248 horsepower. An 8-speed automatic transmission directs that to the rear wheels (RWD) in the 530i or all four (AWD) in the 530i xDrive.
The 530e/530e xDrive plug-in hybrid variants also have a turbocharged 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, but this is paired with an electric motor (running off a lithium-ion battery) to create a total of 288 horsepower.Same transmission, same RWD/AWD formula.
The EPA calculates miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) figures for electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids. In combined driving (a mix of city and highway cycles) and with the 21 miles of electric-only range factored in, the 530e can achieve 64 MPGe. When working as a regular hybrid, it returns 26 mpg.
There’s a different kind of hybrid system in the 540i/540i xDrive. It’s a 48-volt mild-hybrid setup that energizes and smooths the engine stop/restart function that saves fuel while idling. It also helps the engine under acceleration and light loads alike.
The combustion engine itself is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 developing 335 horsepower. See above regarding transmissions and driven wheels.
The M550i xDrive has a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 generating 523 horsepower, going to all four wheels through an 8-speed automatic transmission.
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Another twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 endows the M5 with 600 horsepower, 617 in the M5 Competition, or 627 in the new-for-2022 M5 CS. These high-performance variants have M-tuned 8-speed automatic transmissions and M all-wheel-drive systems.
All models of the 2022 5 Series require premium gasoline. Most of these EPA fuel economy figures below are from 2021, but we don’t anticipate any changes for 2022.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (530i/530i xDrive)248 horsepower @ 5,200-6,500 rpm258 lb-ft of torque @ 1,450-4,800 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/33 mpg (RWD), 23/32 mpg (AWD)
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 + electric motor (530e/530e xDrive)288 total horsepower310 lb-ft total torqueEPA combined fuel economy: 64 MPGe/26 mpg (RWD), 62 MPGe/25 mpg (AWD)Electric-only range: 21 miles (RWD), 19 miles (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (540i/540i xDrive)335 horsepower @ 5,500-6,500 rpm332 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,200 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/32 mpg (RWD), 22/29 mpg (AWD)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M550i xDrive)523 horsepower @ 5,500-6,000 rpm553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-4,600 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M5)600 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,690 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M5 Competition)617 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,860 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M5 CS)627 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm553 lb-ft of torque @ 1,800-5,950 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/21 mpg