The 2014 BMW 5-Series starts as a luxurious sport sedan, but when well-optioned becomes a tech-rich powerhouse for those who appreciate innovation and advanced active-safety, entertainment, and information features.
Standard equipment is strong even on the base 528i. You'll find rain-sensing wipers, power heated mirrors, xenon headlamps, dynamic cruise control, and a dual-zone climate control system all included. On the rest of the lineup, upgrades like softer Dakota leather, dynamic multi-contour front seats, and a hard-drive navigation system put it in line with any luxury rivals-albeit at a slightly higher price. If you have the extra dough, there are so many ways to get that out of your hands; you'll find things like upgraded audio, heated rear seats, a rear sunshade, or one of many available trims and trim packages.
Active Blind Spot Detection, a Lane Departure Warning system, Xenon Adaptive Headlights with automatic high beams, Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go (capable of bringing the vehicle to a complete stop for up to three seconds before driver input), and a new second-generation night-vision system with pedestrian detection are all among the many tech options. Also available are a sonar parking assistant and advanced backup camera, and there's a new Harman Kardon premium audio option.
With either the Sport Package or M Sport Package provide a sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires, and an M Sport steering wheel, plus other dress-ups and additional features. BMW has also newly introduced Luxury Line and Modern Line appearance packages to the 5-Series for 2014; each includes its own special look, as well as a few exclusive features.
iDrive is also under the spotlight for 2014. Navigation is now included; and this iDrive version 4.2 includes a new interface with a touchpad that should make destination entry faster. There's also new BMW ConnectedDrive technology that offers dictation functions for replying to text messages and a Concierge Service for hotel reservations and other travel tasks.