2019 BMW 540I

BMW 540I Window Tinting at Tint Magic Window Tinting Coral Springs
2019 BMW 540I Window Tinting at Tint Magic Window Tinting Coral Springs

The 2019 BMW 540I luxury sedan doesn’t skate on its past accomplishments. Two years removed from an overhaul for the mid-size sedan, this year’s version adds automatic emergency braking to its standard repertoire and deletes a diesel powertrain before it became even more of a leper in the States.

What’s left is a sedan that rates at 7.0 on our overall scale, a respectable score that’s tilted toward the more affordable end where luxury features like in-seat massagers, fire-breathing V-8s, and active driver assistants can’t reach

This year, the 5-Series is available in 530e, 530i, 540i, and M550i xDrive variants that climb the ladder of performance and price

Base models start around $54,000, but that’s not the whole story—the 530e qualifies for federal tax credits and some state rebates that could push the final price below $50,000.

The 5-Series hasn’t met an engine it doesn’t like yet. Base 530i and 530e models are fitted with a strong turbo-4 that makes 248 horsepower (the 530e pairs an electric motor and 9.2-kwh hybrid battery to make the same figure) and drive the rear or all four wheels. The 540i’s 335-hp turbo-6 is the next step up. Its power is more than ample with a 0-60-mph sprint of less than five seconds.

The M550i xDrive reminds us of M-powered cars of yore, except for one key difference. Its 4.4-liter twin-turbo V-8 spins out more than 450 hp and rips off sub-four-second runs to 60 mph, but its standard all-wheel-drive system is a twist on those old, mean M machines.

In every case, the 5-Series gets a standard 8-speed automatic transmission and good, but sometimes light, steering.

The 2019 5-Series seats up to five adults, and it has a sizable trunk for their belongings. The cabin’s become more stylish and more comfortable; no 5-Series looks thrifty, though dark cabin colors can get busy with optional stitching and ambient lighting.

The IIHS called the 5-Series a Top Safety Pick+ last year and our opinion only improves this year: Automatic emergency braking is now standard.

A suite of driver assistance features is a spend-up extra ($1,700) and they’re helpful; the 5-Series can stay centered in its lane for nearly a minute without driver input.

That misses the point, though. Like other features in the 5-Series, the semi-autonomous drive feature complements the driver that’s already there. Likewise with the standard 16-way adjustable seats, two USB charge ports, 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.2-inch touchscreen for infotainment with Bluetooth connectivity and Apple CarPlay compatibility (free for the first year, but $80 for following years).

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