A little while back, I personally declared the new G30-generation 5 Series the best 5er since the famous E39-generation. I still stand by that claim. However, I may not have a lot of company. Car and Driver recently drove the new BMW 540i and, while they seemed to like it overall, seemed a bit disappointed in some of the driving aspects of the car.
Admittedly, C&D gave the 540i more praise than anything else. It received high remarks for its brilliant engine, fantastic interior and superb ride comfort (on adaptive M Sport dampers). These are all points we agree with, as the engine is the best in class as is the interior. The only that comes close, in my humble opinion, is Audi’s 3.0 liter Supercharged V6 which is a brilliant engine. And the only cabin that comes close is the Mercedes-Benz E-Class’ which is more luxurious but lacks some of the ergonomics and quality of the 5er’s.
However, the folks at C&D were a bit disappointed with the 540i’s steering feel. While its handling actually impressed them, besting their skidpad best on all-season tires (with the only cars in the class beating it wearing summer tires), they weren’t as pleased with the steering feel. The steering is extremely accurate and weights up nicely through corners, something they do mention. However, they felt that it’s completely devoid of any sort of feel.
When you compare it to the E39-generation, yes, it lacks feel. However, C&D mentions that BMW does this intentionally, though, as customers simply do not want steering feel anymore, they want isolation and comfort. So BMW gives them what they want. It’s just the way of the world. If you want steering feel, get an E39. If you want a modern luxury car that’s superb at literally everything else and handles very well, get the new G30.