2021 BMW 540i xDrive. German Perfection

2021 BMW 540i xDrive

Overview

2021 BMW 540i xDrive is a very reasonable choice if you opt for this model family of the Bimmer. The BMW 5 Series is almost half a century old. BMW launched the first generation 5 Series in 1972. Now the 7th generation is on the market and had a recent facelift for 2021. BMW’s executive class sedan (or the upper-middle-class sedan as Germans call it) is one of the most recognizable models in the German-dominated luxury class, competing with Mercedes E Class and Audi A6 before anything else. This car is a fine example of sophisticated and refined German engineering. BMW offers the 5 Series with several engine options: We tested the 540i model with the six-cylinder inline engine and all-wheel drive. There are also one 4-cylinder engine and two eight-cylinder options available in Canada.

Engine & Powertrain

540i X Drive is powerful and torquey with the three-litre six-cylinder engine delivering 355 horsepower and two 332 pound-feet of torque

2021 BMW 540i xDrive, our tester had a three-litre six-cylinder engine delivering 355 horsepower and two 332 pound-feet of torque.  This engine is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which BMW uses across different models. This powerplant is a powerful combination in daily driving no matter in the city or on the highway. The acceleration and torque are superb. You will probably not miss the more powerful eight-cylinder engine. You will likely conclude that the difference does not matter so much on the highways of North America, where there are speed limits up to 120 kilometres per hour. However, when you want to reach the top of the model range and plan to drive on track too, you may consider the range-topping M5. (Please wait to read our M5 review at the end of May.)

Interior

After early 20 years, the infotainment system with its i-Drive control became an example of engineering and design perfection

2021 BMW 540i xDrive does not disappoint when it comes to the interior. We, as www.AutoAndRoad.com, Have been testing tens of BMW vehicles since 2010. I believe we have the right to make one major critique: As the BMW model range became more extensive and more comprehensive, the interiors became more and more similar and almost identical in many cases. I can call this also brand identity on steroids. Imagine somebody sits you blindfolded behind the steering wheel of a BMW. Once you see the interior, you may even experience some difficulty in identifying which model of BMW you are in. On the other hand, the interiors of all vehicles from Bavaria became so much more refined the feeling of quality and superb craftsmanship is the same whether in 3, 5 or 7 Series. The i-Drive control and the infotainment system deserve the most significant accolade. I remember testing the first i-Drive system in the 7 Series in 2003, almost 20 years ago. By then, this technology was not only impressive but also a troublespot. Over the years, BMW perfected this system and raised it almost to world standard. The current I-Drive functions flawlessly, fast and with minimal distraction. The menus are easy to navigate and can be controlled with actual buttons without touching the screen, and the high-resolution graphics a feast to the eye. The seats in the M package are very comfortable but maybe slightly narrow for some body types. The layout of the digital instrument cluster is almost perfect. Overall, a Bimmer is a car built around the driver with superb ergonomics. The ultimate driving machine, as the German carmaker, defines its vehicles.

The leg and headroom in the rear is not noticeably more spacious the the smaller 3 Series

Even a BMW interior is not prone to criticism. The Bavarians used black piano surfaces extensively, which is not easy to maintain and keep shiny in the long term. Over the generations, the difference in interior dimension between the 3 and 5 series became smaller. In the current model, in the Five series, you feel that this car is not much more spacious than its more compact cousin, the 3 series.

Driving Impressions

2021 BMW 540i xDrive is a great driver’s car. In its 7th generation and with a history of almost 50 years, the 5 series is an example of perfection in engineering. The 540i drives almost perfectly with very reliable road-holding. It has excellent sound isolation. With a largely aluminum chassis and adaptive suspension, it is more comfort-oriented. The all-wheel-drive system whit rear-wheel-drive bias is reliable and also provides a perfect weight distribution. If you are familiar with the previous generations of the 5 series, you argue that the earlier models had a much sportier character. You would be right. The 2021 5 series is a sophisticated German car and is more comfortable and luxury-oriented. If you want to experience the more performance and sporty site of the BMW 5 Series, you should probably consider the M5 and accept a price tag that may reach 150K, including the options.

The 20″ aluminum wheels are part of the optional the 2K Performance Package

The combination of the engine and the transmission is almost perfect and very efficient. We observed an average fuel consumption of 9.5 litres after a one-week test drive in mixed mode. this average is impressive for an all-wheel-drive vehicle in this weight category.

The competition in the luxury sedan market is heating up. Established brands like BMW face newcomers also from Korea, such as Genesis, the luxury brand of the Hyundai-Kia Group

You can read our review on Genesis G80 3.5T at https://www.autoandroad.com/2021/04/2021-genesis-g80/

Pricing & Equipment

For details of 2021 BMW 540i xDrive pricing, equipment and options, please see the window sticker below:

Conclusion

Since the beginning of the first five series set down almost 50 years ago, the BMW model family got much more extensive and now includes SUVs in every segment. However, the driving pleasure and prestige a BMW vehicle provide remain valid also today.

It was exactly 30 years ago, as I tested a BMW 5 Series vehicle for the first time. And I am glad to see how BMW vehicles adopted the best and most advanced technologies over three decades.

For more detailed information, please visit: http://www.bmw.ca

Article by Varol McKars

Photos by Dan Gunay