BMW just unveiled its latest generation of 5 Series, the last internal combustion 5er that will ever be made. That makes it a special car, so it got a special design. Love it or hate it, BMW actually created an interesting design that actually has some nuance for a change, rather than just brash, in-your-face styling. It’s a design that I don’t absolutely love but one that I like and am very happy with. However, my first though upon seeing the new 5 Series was “this is what the 7 Series should have been.”
Find me someone who looks at the 7 Series and tells me it looks like a flagship car and I’ll show you a liar. The new 7 Series is an excellent luxury car. It’s incredibly comfortable, nearly Rolls-Royce-quiet, has a fabulous interior, drives well, and is packed with tech. But holy flippin’ moly it’s rough to look at. From the front, it looks like a squinting pig, from the back, it’s about as generic as cars get, and from the side it looks like someone sat a small rectangle on top of a big one. It doesn’t look expensive, nor does it look exciting. But you know what does? The new 5 Series.
I’ll admit, the new 5er isn’t perfect. Its front bumper is too messy and its headlights look lumpy. The rest of it, though, I think looks great. Its profile is lovely and genuinely looks like an athletic, expensive, and exciting car. It catches the eye in so many different areas, with interesting lines, angles, and design choices. At the back, its taillights are simple and modern but not boring. It’s a car that makes you keep looking, to see new and interesting bits of design.
It also matches the interior design perfectly, something the 7 Series does not. Both the 5 Series and 7 Series have essentially the same interior design but it looks far more at home in the interesting looking 5 Series than it does in the toothy 7 Series.
Looking at the 7 Series after the new 5 Series makes me wish BMW had designed the 5er first and then just made it bigger for the 7 Series. BMW’s argument would be that it doesn’t want to make its cars look too similar but customers don’t mind similarity, so long as the designs are good. Mercedes and Audi got away with same-sausage-different-length design for years because their cars looked brilliant. So if the 7 Series was just a longer, more luxurious looking version of this 5er, I think we’d all be pretty happy about it.