BMW 530d Road Test: The Driver's Seat
- Apr 26, 2018
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I always wondered what it was about the BMW M5 that made it such a universally loved car. The fact that the M5 came into existence courtesy the demand for a car that had the comfort of a sedan with the performance of a sports car, did explain a thing or two about it. But when Lady Luck came knocking and gave me an opportunity to experience the thrill for real, I couldn't help but marvel at how my beliefs came nowhere close to reality. The BMW M5 was a bit more than that.
First and foremost, let’s be clear about the fact that this 2014 BMW M5 is just a facelift. There aren’t many changes on the outside. As part of its update, the ‘new’ M5 gets the BMW family kidney grille; the square LED rings, the larger M wheels, two-twin exhausts and refreshed taillights. Yes, the changes aren’t really substantial, even by facelift standards but despite that no points can be taken away from how stunning it still looks.
On the inside, there is a perfect blend of the motorsport atmosphere that the M stands for as well as the feel-good factor. Unlike the M6 Gran Coupe, the M5 feels a lot more airy. The controls on the chunky redesigned M leather steering wheel are all within reach and can be easily operated in every driving position. The high-quality M leather seats are comfortable and have support in all the right places to ensure that you feel one with the car. The M5 too gets the M1 and M2 preset buttons to recall your favourite steering, suspension and drivetrain setups. Behind the steering wheel there is also the coloured head-up display for the driver. Complementing the steering wheel is the huge 10.1 inch centre screen that sports BMW iDrive easy to use connectivity system. While most facelifted cars just get cosmetic upgrades, the 2014 M5 has a fair bit of change underneath as well.
The new M5, in Germany, now comes with an additional Competition Package that hosts the same 4.4-litre V8 engine with two twin scroll turbochargers, but is offered with a hike in the power output of 15PS raising it to 575PS while the torque remains at 680Nm. Thanks to the additional power the M5 now does the 0-100km/h haul in 4.2 seconds. The power boost is of a meager 2.6 per cent which isn’t really making much of a difference other than improving the standstill to ton time by just 0.2 seconds. The M5 also gets the same seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission that we experienced in the M6 Gran Coupe.
Now you might wonder if the addition of the Competition Package is just for better bragging rights then, but it isn’t so. Put the M5 under the magnifying glass and you will see that a lot of changes have been made in the right places to make it a more enticing overall package. Among these changes is the revision of the rack-and-pinion steering which is now more focused and sensitive during high speed cornering. Hit the Sport Plus button and the steering feels much more precise, better weighted and offers a lot more feedback even in three digit speeds. On the counter-side of things, in the Sport Plus mode, the steering feels quite heavy for everyday driving. And for that reason you have the Sport, Comfort and the Eco Pro modes, which gradually move from the increased sensitivity/high effort combination to the limited sensitivity/zero effort arrangement.
With the marginal increase in its performance, there is also an improvement in the braking. The new BMW M5 gets the M Ceramic brakes, which although being quite an expensive option, do the job with great effect. The subtle and easy to calibrate characteristic of the brakes comes to fore with great ease. They not only feel smooth and comfortable at slower speeds but hit the brakes hard from three digit speeds and they have enough bite to bring the car to a standstill without much drama.
2014 BMW M5: OFFICIAL VIDEO
Aside from the brake setup, the Competition Package has been lowered by 10mm. Now we drove the M5 on super smooth roads in Germany but will the ground clearance survive the wrath of Indian roads is something that is left to be seen. The 2014 BMW M5 gets a stiffer suspension as well. While this same setup has made the drive of the M6 Gran Coupe quite harsh, the M5 feels much more composed, planted and easy to live with. In fact, it lives up to its comfort-performance DNA pretty well.
So the 2014 BMW M5 not only holds true to its name but also serves as a good all-round car that can not only be used for your daily dash to office, in spectacular style mind you, and of course for the crazy weekend drives to the nearest hill station. Since the time the current generation BMW M5 hit the international market in 2012, its rivals have either introduced a new model like the Jaguar XFR-S or in the case of Mercedes-Benz, who have heavily upgraded its E63 AMG with enhanced performance and equipment. And despite that, the new BMW M5 with these subtle updates still seems to be a pretty competitive offering.