2018 Nissan Rogue Sport

Overview: Nissan Rogue Sport 2018

Introduced in 2017, the all-new Nissan Rogue Sport is a stunning crossover that offers good fuel economy, a comfortable interior, and a low price. However, there are a few pitfalls that stop this Nissan from securing a spot in our pick for the best crossovers introduced in the recent times. In terms of performance, the car isn’t very sporty, except maybe in its looks. Its sole engine lacks power and struggles when speeding up on highways. Although smaller and less expensive, the 2018 Rogue Sport is unable to match the charisma and performance of its larger Rogue sibling. Designed primarily for young singles and old empty-nesters, the Rogue Sport can be a delightful ride for those who’re not living in the fast lane.

Design

As mentioned earlier, the 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is much smaller and compact compared to its larger variants. It’s a great combination of elegance and versatility and has all the qualities that we’d expect from a crossover. Its relative lack of power and command on the roads doesn’t disappoint us; however, its price compared to the bigger Rogue does.

a)   Exterior

The Rogue Sport looks sleek and stylish on the outside. Complete with a V-shaped grille, the Rogue Sport successfully adapts the corporate look for smaller proportions. The headlights don’t reach all the way back to the fenders, and the hood sports small bulges near the wheel arches, which gives it a touch of fun. With signature Nissan styling cues such as the V-motion grille and sleek wraparound taillights, the Rogue Sport’s exterior design looks much nicer and funkier than the larger Rogue upon which it is based. A dramatic up-kick at the rear-quarter-panel glass, along with 19-inch alloy wheels gives the car a rather mean and sinister look. Compared to most competitors in this segment, this car is slightly larger, almost equal to the dimensions of larger SUVs like the Jeep Compass and Ford Escape.

b)  Interiors

The 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport is basically a smaller version of the Rogue and it’s no surprise the interior layouts are pretty much the same. The dashboard, instrument cluster, steering wheel, and door panels have a generic design but are well-organized and serve its purpose. The Rogue Sport seats five in two rows of seats. The front seats, which are borrowed from the larger variant, are pretty spacious, comfy, and there is enough legroom for tall adults but the rear seats fall a bit short in both headroom and legroom. While the rear seats can accommodate adults, it’s not ideal for a long road trip. The car has a quality interior with a good number of soft-touch surfaces. The cabin isn’t completely devoid of hard surfaces, but it doesn’t look out of place next to class rivals. Compared to its competitors, the Rogue Sport’s interior dimensions are right in line, with nearly 22 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats up, and 61.6 with them folded down. Most class rivals in this category can hardly match up to this number. Although the interiors might not be too exciting, it’s executed well and isn’t over the top.

Trim Levels

The Nissan Rogue Sport is available in three trim levels – S, SV, and the premium SL. All models of the car come with 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard, but you can add the all-wheel-drive feature to any trim at an additional cost of $1,350. The base S trim has a decent number of features but for the best combination of price and features, it is advisable to opt for the SV trim with the optional technology package. With the SV trim, you’ll get some impressive features like dual-zone climate control and push-button start, and the optional technology package adds some even more exciting features like blind spot monitoring, heated front seats, voice recognition, and 360-degree camera.

a)   Nissan Rogue Sport S

The Nissan Rogue Sport S is the base model and starts at $21,640. It comes with fabric seats, a six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat and a four-way manually adjustable passenger seat. It is also equipped with a 5-inch audio display, Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a rearview camera, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging, a USB port, and a four-speaker audio system.

b)  Nissan Rogue Sport SV

The Nissan Rogue Sport SV is retailing at $23,240 and comes with a six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, automatic headlights, a six-speaker audio system, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, and the Divide-N-Hide cargo system. If you’re tech-savvy, you can also opt for two packages at this trim level – an all-weather package ($920) and a technology package ($2,420). The all-weather package equips the car for harsh winters with heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, a heated steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, remote start, and fog lights. The technology package, on the other hand, arms the vehicle with the latest technology offerings such as rear cross traffic alert, voice recognition and navigation, a 7-inch touchscreen, a 360-degree camera, and blind spot monitoring.

c)  Nissan Rogue Sport SL

You can get the top-of-the-line Nissan Rogue Sport SL at $26,290. This model comes with leather seats, heated front seats, heated outside mirrors, a heated and leather-wrapped steering wheel, a leather-wrapped shift knob, fog lights, a 7-inch touchscreen, navigation, a 360-degree camera, remote start, and voice recognition. With the premium package, you can get additional features like high-beam assist, blind spot monitoring, rear-cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, LED headlights, and a moonroof.

Comfort and Quality

The Rogue Sport is considerably smaller than the Rogue which is why the rear passengers bear the brunt of its more compact stature. The front seats of the car are agreeable and comfy for a wide variety of body types. Accommodating four adults in the car is possible with some adjustment between the front and rear-seat riders; however, fitting five adults in the Rogue Sport isn’t advisable. Despite considerable room inside the car, most of which is way up high, it can be a little challenging to store grocery bags and suitcases. This is why Nissan has made a cargo management system called Divide-N-Hide a standard feature on SV and SL trim levels that enables you to shuffle the load floor configuration for storing small objects. It may not bring about a major change, but it hoists small objects off the floor for better space utilization.

Performance

Performance isn’t the top selling point of 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport. More akin to an endearing nickname rather than a racy performance, the Nissan Rogue Sport comes with only one powertrain and is quite efficient. It is equipped with a 2.0-liter inline-4 engine which produces 141 horsepower and 147 pound-feet of torque with CVT, mated to the front or all-wheel drive. The Rogue Sport is not very fast and takes a long time to accelerate up to the desired speed. Acceleration can be rather leisurely but once it’s picked up, the engine settles into a respectable trot. The vehicle somewhat redeems itself with lively steering that absolves some of the engine’s shortcomings, but it’s hard not to notice that it’s lacking some fervor under the hood.

The vehicle comes with 17-inch wheels but you can also opt for 19-inch wheels with the top-end Rogue Sport SL. Nissan offers all-wheel drive on the Rogue Sport, but it’s best considered as all-weather traction rather than off-road ready—and even then, its value is questionable. All-wheel drive is a $1,350 option on all trim levels, thereby increasing the starting price of a Rogue Sport close to an all-wheel drive Rogue. The Rogue Sport offers 7.4 inches of ground clearance compared to the 8.4 inches from a Rogue, and while neither will be mistaken for a Jeep anytime soon, the Rogue is definitely more spacious and powerful.

Technology

The base version of the Rogue Sport comes with a four-speaker audio system with a 5.0-inch infotainment display, USB and Bluetooth connectivity, a rearview camera, and the freedom of an open road. That’s good base equipment, and the infotainment display is above average. The SV trim level offers more standard equipment and more available options including automatic headlights, power adjustable driver’s seat, a six-speaker audio system, dual-zone climate control, keyless ignition, and a cargo management system for the rear, cold-weather collection that adds heated front seats, a heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, leather-wrapped gear shifter, and heated outside mirrors.

A technology package adds all of the above, a larger 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, blind-spot monitors, a surround-view camera system, and satellite radio. In addition to all equipment from the SV trim level and technology package, the SL premium package includes a moonroof, along with some new-age safety features. All-in-all, a 2018 Nissan Rogue Sport SL with AWD costs around $31,000. With just a little more, or maybe less if you’re opting for the basic trim, you can buy the original larger Rogue, which is available with more standard and optional safety features.

Safety

The Nissan Rogue Sport 2018 hasn’t been officially tested by the major safety rating organizations in the U.S. so it lacks authorized safety data. For passenger safety, the car comes with airbags including front, side, and rollover airbags. It is also equipped with traction and stability control systems, which are standard safety features in most vehicles nowadays. The car also comes with a rearview camera which is standard equipment in all models. However, active safety features such as forward collision warnings with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warnings, and a surround-view camera system are reserved for the top SL trim level and even there, you’ll have to pay extra. This seems a bit odd as it turns out to be way more expensive than the well-equipped bigger Rogue that comes standard with automatic emergency braking.

Fuel Economy

The 2018 Nissan Rogue is quite fuel-efficient thanks to its small size and automatic transmission. Its fuel economy is the best in the entire Rogue lineup, but it’s also smaller. In the small crossover category, Rogue Sports falls just short of a vaunted 30 mpg combined rating, which few rivals can claim. The EPA rates front-drive Rogue Sports at 25 mpg city, 32 highway, 28 combined, which is pretty efficient. The Rogue Sport is competitive against its immediate rivals including the Subaru Crossover (29 mpg combined), Mazda CX-3 (31 mpg combined), and Chevy Trax (28 mpg combined).

The Verdict

2018 Nissan Rogue Sport can be quite delightful as a subcompact SUV with a tall ride height and affordable base models. It offers a nice balance of features, price, accommodations and good fuel economy, along with a comfortable and relaxed ride and generous cargo area. But don’t get your hopes up on this one just now! The car comes with an outdated infotainment system and languid acceleration holds it back from being the best in class. Although it is devoid of Rogue’s 3rd-row seat and a larger cargo space, the Rogue Sport features the same dashboard, and by default most of the same infotainment and safety features. The Rogue Sport’s rear seat could be a little more versatile and spacious like a few of its rivals. And while we love the idea of a pint-sized Rogue, the Sport lacks in power and doesn’t really pack a punch! It is also devoid of some must-have options, such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Despite its shortcomings, with consumer appetite for crossovers seemingly insatiable, manufacturers are working tirelessly to keep showrooms stocked.

Kia Stinger

A Review: 2018 Kia Stinger

 

Kia’s Stinger is aggressive – it stings like a bee and floats like a Cadillac

Kia’s Stinger is a Gran Turismo that is fast, suave, and pretty luxurious for two couples and their luggage for a weekend getaway or a long spirited drive to the countryside. The all-new Stinger is by far Kia’s most ambitious project and a promised turning point for the South Korean manufacturer, best known for economy cars. It is essentially a sports sedan; a strong performer, fine-looking, and potent in all the same ways as its German contenders including BMW Series 3 and Audi A5 Sportback Prestige, both of which are far more expensive.

As stylish as the latest offerings from Kia have become, they typically haven’t had the performance and handling at par with the competitors in their respective segments. However, the Stinger represents a significant step forward for the car company. With sports back styling and a world of improvement in safety tech, the Stinger is a one-of-a-kind luxury car. Moreover, it performs as well as it looks, which is well above our expectations given its modest price.

Trim Levels

For its debut year, the Stinger is introduced in five trim levels – base, Premium, GT, GT1, and GT2. The base and Premium models feature a four-cylinder engine with a twin-scroll turbocharger and an output of 255-horsepower. However, every GT edition is powered by a 365-hp twin-turbo V6 engine. Irrespective of the engine you select, the Stinger is equipped with an eight-speed fully automatic transmission.

Kia Stinger Base

As mentioned above, the base model comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and rear-wheel drive. The interiors have posh leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a fancy steering wheel wrapped in leather. Some of the other high-end features present in the base model include a UVO infotainment system, six speakers, and Apple CarPlay. Moreover, a 7-inch touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, proximity key entry, parking sensors, and a rear-view camera are also included in the Stinger.

Kia Stinger Premium

Some of the highlights of Stinger Premium include a moonroof, an 8-inch touchscreen, navigation system, and a 15-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

Kia Stinger GT

One of the best features of the Stinger GT is its 3.3-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine. The Stinger GT enjoys some top-of-the-line sporty trimmings like aluminum pedals and a flat-bottom steering wheel. The base GT comes with a 7-inch touchscreen and nine speakers. The GT2 system is upgraded in the GT1 to include an 8-inch touchscreen and navigation. A host of comfort and standout features are also added to the GT2 including Nappa leather upholstery, extra power adjustments for the front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, a hands-free power trunk lid, along with an array of high-tech safety features.

Design

The Stinger is slick and fantastic to look at and even better to drive! It’s equipped with a chassis that can throw a stiff competition to any top of the line German sports sedan. The overall design of the vehicle is certainly aggressive, especially with the brand’s distinct ‘tiger nose’ grille in place. Kia’s European design studio in Frankfurt has come up with a futuristic and innovative design for a luxury sedan like the Stinger. Its low stance and muscular body effectively distinguish the automobile from anything else the company has produced. The Stinger’s fastback roofline, rear-drive proportions, and a long wheelbase lends it an air of elegance and sophistication. Complex LED headlights to flank the grille, which features a chrome-studded design similar to a Mercedes-Benz. All in all, the Stinger’s unique fastback design and great attention to detail makes it stand out among the relatively anonymous sedans within the same price range.

Interiors

The five-seater Stinger boasts of a roomy and opulent cabin. There’s plenty of room in the front and rear seats for four adults although anyone in the center position in the back is likely to feel cramped. But there’s more legroom than a Mercedes-Benz C-Class or Alfa Romeo Giulia. Standard leather upholstery and heated front seats add to the car’s comfort quotient. While the more expensive rivals such as BMW 3 Series and Mercedes C-Class come with standard leather seats, Kia includes genuine leather upholstery in every Stinger. The fit and finish throughout the cabin is excellent. A nice addition to the interiors are the exposed speaker grilles and Mercedes-Benz-style eyeball center vents.

Cargo Space

The main advantage of owning a sportback sedan like the Stinger is the large cargo space of 23.3 cubic feet, which far more than the class average. The Stinger is ideal if you’re planning for a short vacay or a road trip so you can carry large or bulky items. You also have the option of folding down the rear seat for up to 40.9 cubic feet of cargo space.

Performance

The Stinger comes with two engine variations: a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 255 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque, and a 3.3-liter twin-turbo V-6 with 365 hp and 376 lb-ft. Both engines are paired exclusively with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Smooth, powerful, and with an excellent engine note, this is definitely the powerhouse of this car, and worth the premium you have to pay. Moreover, a choice of rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive in every trim level also boosts the Stinger’s performance chops.

Both the engine variations are turbocharged, providing quick acceleration every time you ask. However, to experience the ultimate KIA performance and the ability to reach 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, we’d advise you to go with the 365-horsepower V6. With its four-cylinder engine, the Stinger offers a mileage of 22 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. These ratings are a little lower than the typical fuel economy for a luxury small car. Moreover, the estimates might further drop to 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway with the V6. An 8-speed automatic transmission is connected to both engines. A manual would be fun but we’re not complaining about how quickly this automatic shifts, both on its own and when using the steering-wheel-mounted paddles.

The Stinger maintains a good balance between comfort and performance. When accelerated along hilly roads and twisty canyons, it stays glued to the road and absorbs all the imperfections and bumps for a seamless and smooth ride. Steering and braking are also quite responsive and predictable.  

Safety

On the safety side, in addition to the airbags and usual array of stability controls, the Kia Stinger is equipped with front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, and a cool brake fade compensation. Safety features like forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, lane departure warning, driver drowsiness warning, automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, rain-sensing wipers, and adaptive cruise control are also present in the new Stinger.

Infotainment & Navigation

The infotainment system – led by Kia’s latest UVO interface – is new-age, simple and very easy to use compared to the complex tech from Lexus and BMW. The infotainment system has straightforward menu options, and the location of buttons allows the driver to access a range of controls without having to take their eyes off the road. Moreover, bonuses like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto add to the Stinger’s user-friendliness. For an extra boost, you can add on the 15-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system.

Price

The 2018 Kia Stinger costs considerably less, almost a few thousand dollars than a typical luxury small car. Models start at $31,900 and can reach as high as $49,200. These figures refer to the rear-wheel-drive editions, but you can add all-wheel drive to any trim for $2,200.

Although the BMW 3 Series is a great choice, it is way more expensive and isn’t quite as good of a value as the Stinger. It has a higher base price by a few thousand dollars, and you’ll have to shell out more to pep things up a little, like leather seats, power-adjustable or heated front seats, satellite radio, or Apple CarPlay. In comparison, all of these come standard in the Stinger.

The Verdict

Right off the bat, Kia got it right. Whether it’s by appearance or the overall performance, the Stinger impressively challenges similar luxury-branded vehicles. Although there are still going to be some traditional Audi, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz shoppers who won’t bother with the Stinger because it lacks the badge and the prestige associated with it. The Stinger isn’t just good for a Kia — it is phenomenal compared to anything in and well above its price.

Should I Buy the Kia Stinger?

You should opt for the Stinger if you’re looking for a sophisticated but sporty ride that can easily pull daily-driver duty. With some of the performance scores among small luxury cars, the Stinger promises engaging agility with two potent powertrains to choose from. One of the Stinger’s drawbacks is its newness to the segment. Some shoppers might question if Kia has been successful in building an authentic rear-wheel-drive sports sedan that can compete with class heavyweights like the BMW 3 Series. However, many may find it difficult to opt for a car wearing a Kia badge instead of a long time luxury stalwart like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class.

With a starting price of about $32,000, the Stinger offers the best value in the class. It is priced lower than most of its competitors – and thousands of dollars less than the BMW 3 Series or Mercedes C-Class. For your money, you’ll get standard amenities like a well-equipped infotainment system and leather seats, along with one of the longest warranties on the market. Kia’s Stinger stands out for being a well-rounded package at a great price.

If the exquisite experience of a true luxury sports sedan is a no-compromise zone, you have no choice but to spend another 20 grand for a premium mid-sizer. But if you can accept a little step down in overall finish and aura, and if the muscle of the automobile is important, then the Stinger delivers speed in a package that looks as if it drove off an auto-show turntable.

 


 

2018 BMW 5-Series

A Review: 2018 BMW 5-Series

For more than forty years, the BMW 5-Series has been the go-to executive sedan for millions of business-type mile-crunchers with a passion for driving. With show-stopping performance and precision driving, the 2018 5-series is one of the most interactive and innovative vehicles in the BMW lineup. It lives up to the expectations set by its forebears and is available in both sedan and estate form with a choice of three petrol engines – the 520i, 530i, and 540i – three diesels – 520d, 525d and 530d, and one hybrid – the 530e iPerformance. To top is up is the fully loaded 592bhp M5. In addition to the saloon reviewed here, BMW also sells a Touring estate version of the 5-series, available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, rear or all-wheel drive and a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox. The 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid and the newly launched M5 model ensure BMW has everything it needs to compete with the likes of Audi A6, Jaguar XF, and Mercedes E-class.

This high-end, uber-luxurious car is packed with some highly commendable and rarely matched features for an out-of-the-world driving experience and a supremely comfortable ride. Even with all these improvements, is it appealing enough to remain in the league of modern machines and keep car aficionados hooked? Let’s find out.

Design

The latest BMW 5-Series remains quite conservative, and we for one don’t mind that at all. It borrows heavily from the larger 7-series but gets its own details. Thankfully, the gaping grille has been discarded, retaining just the latest version of BMW’s signature twin-kidney design, flanked by headlight housings that now meet each grille’s edge. Regardless of the trim, the 5-series takes an evolutionary approach to styling compared to its predecessor. It flaunts a sharper nose and more tapered profile along the sides. Creases along the doors under the windows and door handle and updated LED tail lights and chromed exhaust ports finish the 5-series off in its own effortlessly stylish way. Although it may not be a leap beyond the last generation, the 5-series has a handsome interior and good-looking exterior.

Interiors

The 2018 BMW 5-Series is a mid-size luxury sedan with a suite of top-notch features. It nearly aces our comfort index with great front and rear seats, spacious interiors, and plentiful cargo storage. The interior is exquisite with soft-touch surfaces, trimmed in rich leather and super expensive upholstery, although some combinations can get a tad bit distracting and over-the-top – we’re not complaining!

Space

The 5-series has drastically increased in size since it first went on sale in the 1970s which means that you get plenty of room by class standards. There is ample room for one tall adult to sit behind without cause for complaint, and only if somebody sits in the middle of the rear seats that things can get a little uncomfortable. With an inflexible center backrest and a large lump in the floor to straddle, this middle seat is definitely the short straw as far as passenger comfort goes.

Storage is on par with the standard, whether it’s the large door bins or numerous storage trays for holding phones, keys, and wallet. The boot is a huge space so you can easily transport a couple of large cases without a care in the world. To make more space for your luggage, the rear seats can be folded flat in a 40:20:40 split, but only if you specify this as an optional extra. However, the 530e plug-in hybrid loses a large chunk of boot space in order to accommodate the battery for its electric motor.

Comfort

The BMW 5-series is as comfortable as it gets! It is supremely quiet on all road surfaces, with the only disturbance at 70 mph being light rustling sound around the wing mirrors. BMW, like always, has gone to town with the seats too! You can opt for the massage function that turns every journey into a trip to a luxury spa.

Performance

If the driving experience is truly important to you, then the 530i is a sedan to consider. With the exception of upgraded brakes, this BMW doesn’t completely rely on sheer horsepower or road grip to sling it around corners. Instead, you get you a wholesome package that feels extremely well-rounded, which is far better. Some of the latest models to be introduced this year include a V-8-powered M550i xDrive, a diesel-powered 540d, and a plug-in hybrid 530e. The 2018 BMW 5-Series is available in 4-, 6-, and 8-cylinder options, but this is only the tip of the iceberg – we haven’t even considered the hybrid yet. Let’s proceed cautiously then!

The base turbo-4 is fantastic in the 530i, but it’s the transmission, ride, and handling that left us absolutely awestruck. The first option for many buyers is usually the turbo-4 found under the hood of the 530i. It makes 248 hp and 258 lb-feet of torque, and can power the rear wheels as standard or all four via the optional all-wheel drive (AWD), also called xDrive. It boosts the vehicle up to 60 mph in just six seconds, which should be enough for most buyers.

The next step up for car enthusiasts is the 530e, which is powered by a turbo-4 along with a 9.2-kWh battery and electric motor for a combined output of 248 hp and 310 lb-ft. The battery and combustion engine seamlessly work together, with barely a shift in performance from the 530i to the 530e. They both manage the 60 mph sprint in 6.1 seconds. However, the only gripe from this model is that the hybrid running gear adds more than 600 pounds to the overall mass. Most BMW aficionados might be familiar with the 540i badge, but maybe not its brand new engine configuration. A turbo-6 engine replaces the V-8, typically found in 540i models and provides an output of 335 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. It can propel the car to make 60 mph in less than five seconds with rear- or all-wheel drive.

The all-new, flagship 5-Series M550i xDrive mates a 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 with AWD running gear to charge up to 60 mph in less than four seconds. The 456 hp and 480 lb-ft would be enough to thrill most drivers.

Most models can be equipped with rear-wheel steering and an adaptive damper system that helps improve the car’s ride and behavior. Although we don’t recommend the rear-wheel steering setup as it felt a little out of place, all in all, the 5-series has an overall good steering setup with a direct electrically powered system that responds appropriately. The standard eight-speed automatic gearbox is extraordinary, and the option of having xDrive four-wheel drive turns the 5-series into a true all-weather vehicle. If you explore the available options, you can even specify the car with a remote control parking function that lets you drive the car forward or backward when you’re not in it by using the key – this can be helpful for getting into tight parking space, or simply showing off to your friends.

Features

The 2018 BMW 5-Series places a lot of emphasis on technology with a host of convenience features that can transform the luxury sedan into a mean machine. BMW has been a pioneer in the field of dashboard technology and infotainment system, and the 5-Series is no different. The dashboard layout borrows heavily from its flagship 7-series, which is brilliant. The quality of material used and the range of colors and fabrics available for customizations is almost endless. But its seamless operation is something that really impresses. Considering how much technology it’s got on board, the 5-series is a charm to use – be it simple tasks such as adjusting the heating or more complicated ones like navigating the iDrive infotainment system.

A sharp 8.8-inch LCD screen has been planted in front of the driver inside the instrument cluster, along with a 10.2-inch touchscreen which is perched atop the dashboard. Besides the standard infotainment controls, the introduction of a state-of-the-art touchscreen is BMW’s way to push for connected-car technology, called Connect+. It offers a host of services ranging from trip notification and calendar updates to email alerts and entertainment. It’s an ambitious move for the car company with an eye on the future for self-driving cars.

The basic 530i configuration comes with standard 17-inch wheels, a moonroof, power-adjustable front seats, dual-zone climate control, 8.8-inch digital instrument cluster display, LED headlights, synthetic leather upholstery, Bluetooth connectivity, and a 10.2-inch touchscreen for infotainment. That’s impressive standard equipment, especially the touchscreen. The 5-Series also offers an exciting range of options that can transform the sedan into a lavish affair.

Reliability

The latest 5-series is quite new for any model specific data to be available, but BMW as a brand didn’t perform too well over the last 2 to 3 years, lagging behind Mercedes, Jaguar and Volvo, but still ahead of Audi in most surveys. The car comes with a warranty that lasts for unlimited miles over its three years. This matches Mercedes and beats Audi, which limits its warranty cover to 60,000 miles.

Fuel Economy

With the 530e hybrid, you should be able to exceed 140 mpg, but that’s only if you regularly plug-in to make use of its pure electric range of up to 30 miles. Fail to do so and economy can easily drop by 100 mpg.

For most drivers, the 5-series will be at its most efficient in the 520d Efficient Dynamics version, in which it returned more than 70 mpg most fuel economy tests. However, you should expect closer to 45 mpg in normal use, but that still places it marginally ahead of a similarly powerful Mercedes E-class or Jaguar XF. The six-cylinder 530d offers a mileage of more than 40 mpg on a long run, which is great considering the performance on offer.

Affordability

Let’s face it, the 5-series was never going to be a cheap car, but neither are its rivals. Indeed, BMW has kept prices in line with offerings from Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes, while strong resale values help to keep leasing costs attractive.

Standard Spec

The 5-series range starts with the SE, which includes 17-inch alloy wheels, heated leather seats, the 10.2-inch touchscreen with satellite navigation, front and rear parking sensors, LED headlights, and dual-zone climate control among its long list of standard equipment. M Sport comes with larger wheels, sportier suspension, and more aggressive body styling, none of which do anything to help ride comfort. However, just because the 5-series is well equipped as standard, that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope for jazzing up the car with expensive optional extras.

The options list is endless with so many features to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice. You can add tens of thousands to the bottom line of any 5-Series model.

Some of our favorites:

  • The freshly introduced Premium Package that adds entry-level luxury conveniences such as heated seats and exterior chrome accents.
  • Two levels of driving assistance add confidence to safety features or semi-autonomous driving features that can pilot the car for less than a minute.
  • The latest version of BMW’s infotainment system, iDrive, incorporates wireless CarPlay, which is hugely useful.
  • At $4,200 the Bowers & Wilkins stereo might be the most expensive car stereo system on the planet, but it happens to travel in one of the nicest packages.

We would, however, skip the optional gesture control, which uses a gaggle of sensors that watch for hands and fingers to change volume, skip tracks by circling, waving, or otherwise gesturing the touchscreen. While fascinating from a technical standpoint, in practice it’s little more than a gimmick.

It’s also refreshing to note that BMW has retained its large rotary controller and a series of shortcut buttons for the iDrive, both of which make it easy to navigate through functions when on the move.

Finally, a word for the optional and excellent head-up display, which projects a full-color representation of the speedometer and satnav on to the windscreen. BMW has long been at the front of the field for such systems, and the 5-series is no different.

Safety

Not all the safety data for the 2018 BMW 5-series is in but what’s available is good so far! All models have six airbags and an autonomous emergency braking system that can automatically apply the brakes if it thinks you are going to collide with another vehicle or pedestrian.

BMW’s Driving Assistant option bundles together most of the safety features you could wish for – lane departure warning, blind spot monitors, and automatic closing of windows and sunroof in an emergency braking situation to ensure occupants are protected as much as possible.

The Verdict

Is the BMW 5-series the best car in the world? Certainly, one of the top contenders, thanks to an amazing combination of performance, ride comfort, luxury, indulgence, and technology that edge it ahead of its key rivals. By any measure, it’s a truly outstanding machine that worth every penny!