India-spec BMW 5 Series LWB revealed with best-in-class dimensions

    Once it’s launched on July 24, BMW India will have three long-wheelbase sedans in its model range.

    Published On Jun 15, 2024 07:00:00 PM

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    The BMW 5 Series LWB has made its India debut, with ours being the first market outside China ­­– and the only right-hand-drive market – to get the stretched executive luxury sedan.This makes it the third long-wheelbase sedan in the brand’s India range, after the 3 Series Gran Limousine and the 7 Series, and as such is a more direct rival for the segment leader, the long-wheelbase Mercedes E-Class. Prices will be revealed on July 24, 2024, as will additional technical details, but here is what we know so far.

    2024 BMW 5 Series LWB dimensions, exterior design

    The big talking point with the new 5 Series is its expanded dimensions, which are not only far greater than those of its predecessor but also the E-Class LWB, making it the largest car in the class. In fact, at 5,175mm long, 1,900mm wide and 1,520mm tall, with a wheelbase of 3,105mm, it’s even larger than the next-generation E-Class LWB (L/W/H: 5,092/1,880/1,493mm, WB: 3,094mm), which is due to be launched later this year. An interesting side note regarding nomenclature: BMW calls this the ‘5 LWB’, whereas the stretched 3 Series is called the Gran Limousine.The 7 Series gets no suffix at all.

    BMW 5 Series LWB
    Its wheelbase is 11mm longer than the next-gen E-Class. 

    BMW calls this a ‘2.5-boxdesign’, alluding to its flowing roofline that’s meant to give a more coupe-like shape, and has used contour lines and contrast colours strategically on the bodywork, but none of thisis enough to disguise the sheer size of the LWB 5 Series. What doesn’t help is the use of 18-inch wheels, whose small size relative to the large dimensions make them look meek, even though they use a sporty Y-spoke design. What’s more, tyres all around are narrow 225/55 R18s with tall sidewalls, whereas the old 5’s staggered setup, with fat 275/40 R18s at the rear, gave it its characteristic sporty stance. The tall rubber only serves to highlight the large wheel-arch gaps, although the resultant ground clearance, a common concern with long-wheelbase sedans, does at least appear to be generous, and 19-inch wheels will be available as an option.

    BMW 5 Series LWB
    18-inch wheels do not fill the wheel wells.

    The car seen here is the range-topping M Sport variant, featuring a generous use of sporty trim inserts in the front and rear bumpers. Light gold brushed metallic trim is a welcome replacement for chrome, and features in the bumpers, window surround and grille. Speaking of the grille, true to BMW form, it’s much larger than before, but not quite as big as on the brand’s SUVs. It also features a more horizontal orientation befitting a sedan and canbe backlit at night, in case you’re so inclined. The swept-up headlamps are reminiscent of the E60 5 Series (the generation that debuted the model in India back in 2007), while the tail-lamps have been simplified into slim horizontal strips.

    2024 BMW 5 Series LWB rear seat

    The 3,105mm wheelbase is 110mm longer than the standard-wheelbase model (available in India as the i5), and 212mm longer than the previous 5, and this has all gone into the back seat. You lift the flush door handle and swing open a very long rear door that encapsulates the rear quarter glass, and thus requires care in tight spaces. Ingress is easy, the bench is not set too low, and the first sensation is of space. Legroom is vast, head room is generous, and the large windows and moon roof let a lot of light in. On that topic, the large roof-mounted glass is one large fixed-glass pane, as BMW says this allowed for a larger glass area and better head room than an openable dual-pane sunroof, but a glaring omission is sun shades for the rear windows and rear windscreen; something even the old 5 Series had!

    BMW 5 Series LWB
    It is quite roomy at the back, but lack of sun shades is a glaring omission. 

    Perhaps even more noticeable is the absence of any form of rear-seat adjustment; a feature that’s one of the big draws of the 5’s long-wheelbase rival from Mercedes. BMW says it was under consideration during development, but was ultimately dropped in favour of a fixed seat with thicker cushioning. Adjustable seats require more space for their range of movement, hence need to have thinner cushions, argues BMW, and the motors simply add complexity and cost. Instead, the seat back has been angled at a generous 31 degrees (a fully reclined E-Class seat sits at 37 degrees), and the seats are thickly padded and heavily contoured for two. The cushioning even extends onto the sides – like in the iX – providing added shoulder support, and there are neck pillows for more comfort. Truth be told, it works, and it’s a genuinely comfortable seating experience, but there’s no denying that the recline function would have added some wow factor and that Business Class feel.

    2024 BMW 5 Series LWB features and tech

    It could have also allowed rear passengers to move the front passenger seat, but that too is missing. You don’t get the 7 Series’ fancy in-door touchscreen controllers, but there is a touchscreen for the rear climate control, as well as a rear wireless phone charger, in addition to two up front. On the topic of features, there are some welcome inclusions like front-seat ventilation, matrix LED headlamps, an 18-speaker, 655W Bowers & Wilkins sound system and 6 USB-C ports. While you don’t get the 7’s roof-mounted 8K TV screen, you can add a conventional two-screen rear-entertainment system as an option. There’s also a more robust ADAS suite than the previous 5 Series, and itincludes front collision warning and braking, lane keep assist and parking assist, but no adaptive cruise control.

    Up front you’ll find the smart-looking dual curved screenlayout made up of a 14.9-inch touchscreen and a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display. As we’ve seen in the 7 Series and iX, both are crisp, smooth and colourful, with futuristic graphics, but the new iDrive 8.5 UI can feel a bit too cluttered and complex. The centre console houses the iDrive rotary controller, volume control, drive modes, parking assist, and of course, the gear select toggle, but AC controls have been relegated to the touchscreen.

    BMW 5 Series LWB
    Many bits borrowed from the more expensive 7 Series.

    As in the 7 Series, the AC vents are hidden in the dashboard and are operated by electronic toggles, which,though unintuitive, gives it a minimalist look. The ‘interaction bar’ – a strip of crystalline trim with adaptive ambient lighting behind it – is also borrowed from the 7, and this changes based on the drive mode.It even houses touch buttons for functions like door lock/unlock, AC air flow and the hazard lights. Quality is excellent all around, with the open-pore wood, metal speaker grilles and well-built steering wheel being standouts. Speaking of which, this is the first BMW to feature a fully vegan-upholstered interior.

    2024 BMW 5 Series LWB expected price and launch

    The new 5 Series LWB will not only replace the 5 Series but also (eventually) the 6 Series GT, and as such, it has to serve both models’ customers. And the fact that the more expensive (and back-seat-focused) 6 GT outsold the 5 significantly in recent years, makes it clear that this segment has shifted firmly to chauffeur-driven customers. Thus, the decision to make the new 5 an LWB model is no surprise, given the success of not just the E-Class LWB but also the 3 Series LWB lower down.

    BMW 5 Series LWB

    With this repositioning will no doubt come a price climb, and with all the additions, we expect this new-gen model to be more expensive than even the current 6 Series GT (Rs 73.5 lakh to Rs 78.9 lakh), even though it misses out on features like air suspension and rear-seat recline that the 6 gets as standard. Moreover, its arch rival, the E-Class, is due for a new-generation model this year, and its price will go up as well. We’ll know the price on July 24, when the 5 Series LWB is launched, and somewhere in between, we should be able to share our full review as well. What’s clear is that luxury sedan buyers will soon be spoilt for choice.

    Also see:

    BMW 5 Series LWB walkaround video

    BMW iX xDrive50 review: More power, more range, more features

    BMW 1 Series gets major styling overhaul

    Production spec BMW Skytop concept could be sold in limited numbers

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