2024 BMW 530i First Drive Review: The Sport Sedan Lives

Updated styling and improved performance are the highlights of the redesigned 5 Series.

2025 BMW 5 Series parked on a street by some trees.Perry Stern


For more than 50 years, the BMW 5 Series has helped define the traditional German sports sedan. Now, the redesigned eighth-generation 2024 5 Series arrives to continue its role as one of the definitive examples of the breed.

Performance, luxury, and technology comprise the formula that has kept the 5 Series at the top of its game. The all-new version improves on those ingredients, ensuring BMW retains its place as a credible rival to its traditional competition, the Audi A6 and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

In addition, BMW has launched the first-ever electric 5 Series, the BMW i5. You can learn more about that model in our 2024 BMW i5 review. This review focuses on the 530i, which has a traditional internal-combustion engine.

Base prices for the new 5 Series start in the high $50,000s for the 530i, ranging up to the mid-$60,000s for the higher-performance 540i xDrive. Expect additional variants, including a plug-in hybrid and the high-performance M5, to arrive soon.

2025 BMW 5 Series parked by trees, rear angle.Perry Stern

What's New for the 2024 BMW 5 Series?

The 2024 5 Series arrives with a fresh, modern look that brings the sedan forward while remaining unmistakably a BMW. The traditional kidney-style grille is larger and has available illumination for a bolder appearance. Slim LED headlights with vertical running lights flank the grille. Out back, LED taillights stretch around the corners towards the center of the trunklid while simulated exhaust outlets adorn the lower fascia.

Sport seats are standard and revised to provide better comfort and support. BMW wraps them in synthetic leather called Veganza and uses the same material on the doors, dashboard, and steering wheel. It's almost impossible to tell it's not real hide, but merino leather is available.

Improvements under the sheetmetal include an updated chassis boasting a 50:50 weight distribution for superior ride and handling. In addition, the wheelbase is longer and the track is wider, which contributes to improved driving dynamics.

The 530i gets the next generation of BMW's turbocharged, mild-hybrid 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. That represents a slight bump in power compared to the outgoing version. Rear-wheel drive is standard, and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive is available.

Moving up to the 540i brings standard xDrive and a healthy increase to 375 horsepower from the updated turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. The upcoming 550e xDrive plug-in hybrid promises 483 horsepower and around 30 miles of all-electric driving range.

2025 BMW 5 Series front seats and steering wheel.Perry Stern

Behind the Wheel of the 2024 BMW 530i xDrive

For this review, I drove a 2024 BMW 530i xDrive sedan in Greenville, South Carolina. Options in the Cape York Green Metallic four-door included the M Sport Package, Premium Package, and the Bowers & Wilkins high-end audio system. Those brought the manufacturer's suggested retail price to $70,745, including the $995 destination charge to ship the BMW from Dingolfing, Germany, to the dealership.

The 530i xDrive has the lowest power output of the new 5 Series lineup, so it takes almost six seconds to reach 60 mph. That's respectable but not exactly quick. Still, as I discovered exploring the back roads outside BMW's production facilities, the new 5 Series demonstrates excellent driving characteristics.

The 530i felt planted to the road through sweeping turns and sharp corners, delivering a confident ride and trustworthy handling. The midsize 5 Series drives like a smaller, more agile car thanks to its precise steering, optional M Sport suspension, all-wheel-drive grip, and stout brakes. More power would have added to the driving enjoyment, and I suspect I would prefer the extra output of the 375-hp 540i.

2025 BMW 5 Series engine bay.Perry Stern

The driving dynamics that make the 5 Series pleasurable on a winding road provide a solid yet smooth ride while tooling around town or cruising at 70 mph on the freeway. The suspension absorbs bumps on rough surfaces without feeling too soft. With tunes playing on the Bowers & Wilkins surround-sound audio system and the comfortable, supportive seats, the 5 Series makes a great road trip car.

While the 2.0-liter turbo lacked outright power, it made up for this shortcoming with impressive fuel economy. The EPA estimates the 530i xDrive achieves 27/35/30 mpg in city/highway/combined driving. The trip computer indicated 29 mpg during my drive, nearly matching the EPA estimate.

2025 BMW 5 Series infotainment screen display.Perry Stern

New BMW 5 Series Gets Advanced Technology

Driving the new 5 Series is enjoyable, but the latest advanced driving-assistance systems can take over some of those tasks. For example, for the first time on the 5 Series, BMW offers Highway Assistant, which works with the Active Driving Assistant system to provide hands-free highway driving capability.

Highway Assistant is available only on designated limited-access freeways and with a destination plugged into the native navigation system. You activate it like a typical adaptive cruise-control system. I set the speed at 70 mph, and with all criteria met, the lights on the steering wheel turned green, letting me know it was safe to let go of the wheel.

The system keeps the car in the center of the lane, even when going around curves, and if it comes upon a slower vehicle, the speed adjusts to maintain a safe distance from the car ahead. At that point, the system asked me via a message on the driver display if I wanted to change lanes to go around the slower vehicle. A glance in the left mirror is all the confirmation the system needed, and the turn signal activated as the car changed lanes on its own, returning to 70 mph. During my evaluation, Highway Assistant worked flawlessly and is an ideal driving aid for long freeway trips.

It's important to note that this is not a fully autonomous drive system. A camera watched my eyes and head, and when I looked away for more than five seconds, the Highway Assistant warned me to pay attention.

A look inside the cabin reveals more new technologies, the most obvious of them the new curved screen that houses the 12.3-inch digital driver's display and 14.9-inch infotainment display.

2025 BMW 5 Series front seats from passenger side.Perry Stern

The 2024 5 Series uses the latest version of BMW's iDrive infotainment system. Intuitive and easy to use, it displays information tiles you can swipe through, plus quick access to the entire collection of applications. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connect wirelessly with a simple setup process.

You control the infotainment and climate functions through the touchscreen, a control knob on the center console, or the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant voice control. Virtually all physical buttons and knobs are gone, adding to the interior's modern look.

BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant is one of the best natural voice-recognition systems available. Say "Hey, BMW" to rouse the assistant, which can then handle various tasks. For example, when I said, "Hey, BMW, I'm cold," the driver's side cabin temperature increased by 5 degrees Fahrenheit, and the assistant asked me to let it know if I got too hot. The more I used it, the more I liked it.

2025 BMW 5 Series parked on tree-lined street.Perry Stern

2024 BMW 5 Series: Competitors

The redesigned 2024 BMW 5 Series arguably sets the bar for modern midsize luxury sport sedans. In addition to the excellent driving dynamics that are a hallmark of the BMW brand, the new 5 Series brings a fresh look, advanced technology, a premium interior, and improved performance to the segment.

Still, several alternatives exist if this BMW's styling fails to please you. They include the Audi A6, Cadillac CT5, Genesis G80, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Like the BMW 5 Series, the E-Class is also all new for 2024.

BMW provided the vehicle for this 2024 5 Series review and paid for airfare, lodging, meals, and experiences during the evaluation period.

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Perry Stern
I have loved cars and trucks since childhood, and that fascination with anything that drives is just as strong today. As a teenager, I knew I wanted to become an automotive journalist, and during the past three decades, I have driven, written about, and photographed all manner of automobiles ranging from affordable econocars to exotic supercars. With the idea that there is a perfect car, truck, or SUV for everyone, my goal is to help consumers determine the right one for their wants and needs.