You can’t just go ahead and call any car ‘The Best in the World’. Its an exercise you undertake at your own risk. A car may be number 1 in certain areas but may fail to register in other aspects, where another car might perform better. Also, mega fast race cars are not useful for driving your family to the mall for a day out. Despite all of this, if any person, out of their minds or too drunk to tell left from right, has attempted to declare one car as The Best, the BMW 5-Series has certainly made all of their shortlists.
The BMW 5-series is as close to perfect as a car can get, whether be its looks, features or performance. This car’s excellent overall run over the years has made it a benchmark that other luxury sedans must try and overtake.
Here we bring you the evolution of the BMW 5-Series over decades.
First Generation (1972 - 1981) E12
The first generation of the BMW 5-Series ran from 1972 to 1981. The car had a 103.8 inch wheelbase and the overall length was 181.9 inch. In the first gen 5-series, only a 2.0 liter engine was offered, which gave the car a 125hp. This engine was underpowered, compared to the other cars in its category, which is why it was not launched and marketed in the US before 1975. The first generation 5-series was just sold in Europe. But that did not stop this car from going on to become a success.
Second Generation (1982 - 1988) E28
Following a class act is never easy and that’s exactly what happened here. BMW designers made just minor changes to this second generation 5-series. Some say it was too minor to even tell a First Gen from a Second Gen. The most evident change that could be seen in this installment was the rear of the car, wherein the fender benders as well as the lid of the trunk stood high. Apart from these, one other significant change was the use of newer construction materials for the body and modern techniques, which made the car 132-200 pounds lighter.
Third Generation (1989 - 1996) E34
The 5-series design was starting to look old-fashioned now, having run its course over a couple of decades and the folks at BMW realized that. This is why the third generation 5-series had a complete design overhaul. This was a brand new car that was now introduced. This car had a wheelbase of 108.7 inches, had spacious interiors, a state of the art suspension, all of which made this a hugely popular car, with its elegance, performance and comfort. This was the version that made a mark in the automotive world and people started considering it as one of the best cars around. These cars were powered by 3.0 liter 32-valve V8 engines, giving it a 215hp. Alternatively, a 4.0 liter V8 engine was offered for the power hungry drivers.
Fourth Generation (1997 - 2003) E39
This car was a little wider and bigger in every respect. Sitting on a 111.4 inch wheelbase, the suspension system installed in this car were lightweight alloys, rather than being of steel, which reduced the weight of the car further. These featured a 6-cylinder engine, which raced this car with a whooping 282bhp. The fourth generation also had a Motorsport Edition that had a 5.0 liter V8 engine, boosting it to a humongous 392bhp.
Fifth Generation (2004 - Present)
The biggest change that the 5-series underwent was technologically. This is the 5-series that we see inside the showrooms and on the roads mostly, today. With a complete look overhaul, this car is acknowledged for its mechanical prowess. Yet another example of the 5-series outgrowing and overtaking its legacy cars. Now this beast sits on a wheelbase of 113.7 inches and stretches to 190.6 inches, making it the most spacious and roomier 5-series till date. The diesel version is the most popular variant and even that runs very quiet, making it ideal for everyday usage. This car holds a lot of value and prestige as its primary contenders, plus the running costs are fairly low. Think you’ve got your perfect car!