By Asian Journal Auto Editor

2017-BMW-540i PIC 1Generally acknowledged as the world’s best all round sports sedans, the latest version of the BMW 5 Series 540 is all new and improved for the 2017 model year. For this review, however we will look at the 2017 BMW 540 xDrive sedan ($69,000 base MRSP) which offers its own unique and attractive features. In fact, with the spec we tested it was more like a well-equipped 7 Series BMW. On the exterior, the test 540 xDrive sedan looks suitably expensive and well attired in its lustrous Bluestone Metallic paint, restrained, subtly revised, taut, styling and sharp looking alloy wheels. The long hood, wide stance and short deck make the car look larger than the previous 5 Series – and it is by some 36 mm longer. It is also 100 kgs lighter (depending on trim).

The dedication to restraint and high quality is carried over to the cabin. BMW interiors are a rather intimidating blend of form, functionality and luxury. Every surface and fixture in the interior in our tester was finely detailed, exact and of the highest quality. Every knob, switch, button and control has a slick precise feel in its action. The power operated heated seats are super comfortable and finished in high quality Nappa leather as on our tester. And now to the technical information. BMW’s Twin Power Turbo inline-6 is an absolute jewel of an engine accelerates the big 540i to 100 kilometers an hour in just 4.8 seconds. Combine it with a slick-shifting eight-speed, beautifully calibrated 8-speed autobox and it is such a slick, refined powertrain. The retuned 3.0-litre inline six engines now boasts produces an n impressive 335 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1,380 – 5,200 rpm. Our BMW 540 xDrive sedan was equipped with BMW’s xDrive AWD system.

The list of standard and optional equipment is way too long to list, but the base 540 xDrive sedan model has all the power conveniences you could want and more. Safety is also well taken care of with, the Driver Assistance package equipped with features such as BMW Driving Assistant Plus, forward collision warning, lane departure warning, active blind spot detection, rear collision prevention, Active cruise control with stop and go, steering and lane control with traffic jam assist, active lane keeping with slide collision avoidance, and evasion assist.

Also added was the Interior comfort package ($2,500) comprising of: ventilated comfort seats, BMW individual reading lights, ambient air package, massage front seats. Also added was the Smartphone Connectivity Package, Apple Carplay prep, wireless, Bluetooth USB and WiFi Hotspot capability. If that’s not enough to get you out of breath, also equipped was the remote parking package ($1,500) and a bevy of standalone options including M Sport brakes, Adaptive drive with Dynamics Damper control, Night vision With Pedestrian Detection and Nappa leather trim. The price of the extras raises the price to heady $90,400 for our particular tester.

Of course, once you load up any BMW with the gadgets and option they start becoming ever so expensive. Worried about parking? Fear not! The Remote-Control Parking —  allows you to park the 5 Series in tight) remotely. Simply position the car in front of the desired parking spot and then, using nothing more than the new Display Key, you can guide the big 5 into the spot. The technology is simply awesome. To sum up the 2017 BMW 540 xDrive sedan is a world-class car offering engineering and pedigree as the gold standard in the high-end sports sedan market. Buy once – enjoy for a lifetime.

2017 BMW 540 xDrive: Base priced from $69,000. (Price as tested with options: $90,400)