“It’s surprising how much more fluent the 5-Series is than the 7-Series. The 7, 5 GT and 5 share all the chassis tech (and a whole lot more), but the 7-Series in particular never feels at ease with itself. It’s sometimes wallowy, sometimes clunky, sometimes both at once, and the steering can be indefinite. The 5 GT was far better, and I asked the chief chassis bod why. “Software algorithms,” he said. “It’s all so complicated that we keep finding ways to improve. And the 5 saloon will be better again.” He was right.
The 5 gains from being smaller and lighter than the 7 (or 5 GT), but it’s also simply better developed. Maybe you’ll soon be able to re-flash the ROM of a 7-Series. All that said, while the active anti-roll works well, I’d still avoid the active steering option on the 5-Series, at least for British conditions. It’s for Alpine hairpins and high-speed autobahn driving, at the expense of normal-speed steering feel.
But it’s not just the cornering that’s cup-winning. The 5-Series’s ride is really excellent, both over big stuff and the sharp little zits that often upset ‘sporty’ saloons. And wind and tyre noise are way down.”