Test Drive BMW 540i
We’ve highlighted five killer arguments to swap out the old F10 for the new G30. After all, you will still pay for the “five”, and you will actually drive the “seven”. That’s just what the owners of the flagship model feel like now …
1. The essence of the “seven”
Have you noticed? Cars, just like us, are constantly growing in size. Put the first and the modern MINI side by side and you will be amazed at how different they are. “Golf” has long been cramped in the class named after him. Marketers are forced to come up with all kinds of plus sizes for such overgrown people, in model language. And no one will surprise anyone with the terms C +, D +, and E +, and the latter really “run out” the representative F, which simply has no place to grow. And it’s not about the already sufficient passenger legroom. There will simply be problems with logistics – 6-meter sedans and limousines will not fit into the usual freight elevators, car transporters, etc.
Agree, regarding a model that has been relentlessly produced since 1972, it is more appropriate to talk about traditions, and not about trends. Over the past 45 years, it has sold 7.9 million copies. The estimate of the first “five” in the collectible condition is approaching 50 thousand euros.
At first glance, it seems that the G30 is only a restyled version of the F10, the most successful (2.2 million units) in the “fifth” family. But the longer you look, the more you realize that Karim Khabib has created one of the most proportional “five”. He not only managed to isolate the classic proportions but found the golden mean of the family. Joseph Kaban, who came to replace him in March, will probably redraw everything in his own way.
The Bavarians approached the problem in a creative way. Why increase the length-width height over and over again when you can just take the platform of the next family? Especially if, as in our case, it is a modular CLAR (classical architecture) platform? No sooner said than done. Plus, the “five” from the master’s shoulder dropped something on the little things: a fully-controlled chassis, a super-diesel with a quadrophony of turbines, a full laser head optics, a digital dashboard, a media center with a 10.25-inch touchscreen monitor, a gesture recognition system and a multi-function key with a touch screen trained to park a car.
2. Classic appearance
Did you see it? So far, even dealers have a hard time distinguishing the G30 from the F10. And this is great. Because the adherents of the brand are tired of the constant changes of the image of the “five”. She wanted to be passionate and mainstream, then she wanted to be comfortable and safe. This time, the team of the outgoing Karim Khabib worked, as they say, on hold. On the face of the continuity of generations. Despite the completely new hardware, the G30 looks like its predecessor F10 as brothers-the weather: from three steps they can be distinguished only by optics, “kidneys” and side stamping. In a word, this is again the “five” we are used to.
In colorful oriental language, the BMW 540i is a sleeping cheetah waiting for its hunter. Even on the way to the opera, he gives the desire to ride under the traction and look for the optimal trajectory at every turn.
3. Correct balance
The neophyte takes us back to the days of sports sedans with a harmonious inner world. It’s not about the price/prestige ratio (about prices, as usual, in the end), but about the balance of the most important driver qualities. Despite its looks, the G30 can be as sporting as the Smith Machine or the 900 Scott Spark. There is no ostentatious aggression here, but the 3.0-liter R6 motivates with offensive thrust, steering responses are quick and precise, and the chassis captivates with a thirst for cornering. That is, the newest “five” is exactly the way we fell in love with it with our nationwide love. Not a “black boomer” with its ambiguous reputation, but a sports sedan with a slight admixture of riot, judging by the acceleration “ringing” at traffic lights, drifting for any reason, and a willingness to compete even with the Porsche 911. But believe me, you will find yourself in the place of “that guy”, realized how sometimes it is difficult to restrain yourself and pretend to be a socially responsible citizen of the world. From excitement mixed with delight, the heart now and then beats more often, then it misses the blows. And the 8-hour spleen can be shaken off even if you live 15 minutes from work. What can we say about the 340-horsepower 540i, which conquers with a rare harmony of handling and smoothness for such a powerful sedan?
Of course, the creation of the “five” on the basis of the flagship model jeopardizes the sale of the usual “seven”, the base of which is only 9.5 mm longer. On the other hand, the appearance of an autopilot system in a business sedan is still perceived as a joke of humor.
4. Suspension for all occasions
The very architecture of the suspension has not changed, except that at the rear, the lower V-shaped arm was replaced with separate rods, plus another upper one was added and the “integral” was abolished. But the new platform, which, by definition, did not spare cartridges (that is, high-strength steel, aluminum, and magnesium) allowed the sedan to immediately throw off a centner. Add to this the ability to order adaptive dampers, active anti-roll bars, M-package, and rear-wheel steering. In a word, a paradise for a true connoisseur. Every time, changing to a refrain car with a passive suspension, I noted that the “base” is excellent. At first, it came to the ridiculous: when the sedan once again seemed to fly over irregularities, I wanted to go out and make sure that it had basic hardware and not an active suspension.
The G30, following the “seven” and the i8, received a full laser head optics Selective Beam with a half-kilometer range and a “glare-free” high beam. True, for the five it is offered as an option.
5. Provocative price
The “five” has lost it, perhaps, the main drawback – the high cost, which only Audi and Mercedes could keep up with. A couple of years ago, AVT “Bavaria” radically revised the pricing (primarily for basic equipment) for the brand’s sales locomotives. As a result, at the end of 2016, it took fourth place. Compare with Mercedes, Audi, Jaguar, Volvo, Infiniti, Lexus, the best of which are in the second ten.
The Bavarians have prepared engines for every taste for the “five”. But if everything is fine with regard to the basic suspension, then the motor should be more powerful than the 2-liter “four”. Otherwise, the chassis at every turn will hint to you that, they say, it would be nice to come here with half a hundred more forces. The modular B58 (340 HP, 450 Nm) impresses with its lively response to any movement of the accelerator pedal. The main thing is that the gust is supported by an 8-speed “automatic”. There is no doubt – the average driver would not notice anything, these nuances appear at speeds. And if in the basic 520i everything is more or less, then in the 540th it is clearly lagging behind in overclocking. Fortunately, the box can be adjusted to suit your driving style, sharpening its response.