BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon G30
BMW’s low-profile G30 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon is quick, readily tuned and much better value than an M550i or M5.
The eye-wateringly expensive £102,000 G30 M5 and £72,000 G30 M550i xDrive might grab most of the 5 Series headlines, but the understated G30 540i xDrive M Sport has all the power and grip you’ll ever need – and is far better value. Readily tuned to 550i levels of performance with a simple remap it’s also capable of returning 40mpg-plus – and you can now pick one up for just £25,000.
Four-wheel drive is standard fit on BMW’s M5 and M550i Saloons but it’s also a popular option on the 540i Saloon, with xDrive transforming this under-the-radar 335hp cruiser into a proper performance machine. So whilst it may not appear to possess the power and aggression of its more illustrious siblings it can still breeze to 62mph in just 4.8-secs and accelerate with alacrity right up to the 155mph factory-limited top speed.
Reach for a stage 1 remap and the 2998cc straight-six turbo is good for 440hp and 460lb ft – with accompanying exhaust overrun burbles and bangs, recalibrated sports dials and a potential top speed of greater than 175mph. And the relatively low-profile M Sport styling means you’re far less likely than M5 drivers to suffer unwanted attention.
A car for every occasion, the 540i xDrive M Sport can deliver a calmer, more relaxed driving experience too – with a ride as smooth as silk. And it’s eminently well equipped: with front LED fog lights, sweeping headlight clusters, privacy glass, an electric glass sunroof, M Sport aerodynamic bodystyling, an M rear spoiler, twin tailpipes and 19-inch alloys – as well as head-up display, a Harman Kardon sound system, full smartphone connectivity with Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth, wireless charging and wi-fi hotspots.
UK sales started in early 2017 and ran until May 2020 when BMW introduced a facelifted Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) version. Facelifted 540is have a redesigned front and rear bumper along with new headlights and taillights and a sharper kidney grille design. The daytime running lights were also redesigned, whilst previously-optional adaptive LED headlights became standard. New options included 20-inch two-tone aerodynamic wheels as well as various new paint colours, and M Sport buyers could choose either red or blue brake callipers.
Meanwhile the interior make-over included a new 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system, featuring over-the-air updates, Personal Assistant Voice Control, integrated Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and BMW maps.
Prices for decent examples range from £25,000 right up to £46,000, with almost all cars over £30,000 in excellent condition. Like the 19,000-mile Alpine White 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon advertised at KT Green in Leeds (www.ktgreen.co.uk) for £30,995. A mint 2017 67-plater, it comes with a full BMW service history and Black Dakota leather upholstery – as well as over £8000-worth of optional extras. These include style 759 20-inch M alloy wheels, Variable Damper Control, head up display, a Harman/Kardon sound system, electric memory seats, a reversing camera, Comfort access and a heated steering wheel.
Condition and mileage play a bigger part than age in defining 540i values, with the similar-mileage Metallic Black 2018 18-plater advertised for just £995 more. For sale at Targa Florio Cars in Sussex (www.targafloriocars.com) it’s covered just 17,934-miles and also comes with Black Dakota leather, 19-inch gloss black M Sport alloys, blue M Sport brake callipers, heated front seats, a reversing camera and gloss black window trim.
Add a few miles and the price falls further – even at BMW dealers. So the immaculate 41,064-mile 2018 18-plate Metallic Bluestone 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon is stickered at just £29,000, on the forecourt of Sytner BMW Oldbury. It is an above average mileage, but this car comes with the reassurance of a BMW Approved Used warranty – and some tasty optional extras too.
These include 20-inch Individual V-spoke 759 alloys, a heated steering wheel, a reversing camera, front and rear heated seats, adaptive led headlights, enhanced Bluetooth wireless charging, Gesture control, wi-fi hotspot, head-up display, the Visibility pack and the Technology pack.
But however well-equipped your 540i xDrive might be it’s vital that you only consider saloons packing a complete BMW service history, just one or two owners and all recalls and software updates properly addressed.
Watch out for any iDrive screen display issues, broken oil filters, problems with the stereo, creaking from the dashboard and noisy runflat tyres. And check with the BMW dealers mentioned in the service record that they really did service the car you’re looking at as these things can be forged.
Grant Darling and Darren Parker at James Paul (www.jamespaul.co.uk), the BMW Car Club of Great Britain (www. bmwcarclubgb.uk), British Car Auctions (www.bca.com), Silverstone Auctions (www.silverstoneauctions.com), Bonhams (www.bonhams.com), Coys (www.coys. co.uk) Luzzago.com, Classic Car Auctions (www.classiccarauctions.co.uk), Glenmarch. com, www.bimmerforums.co.uk, Redish Motorsport (www.redish-motorsport.com) and Glass’s (www.glassbusiness.co.uk) their help with this feature.
BMW Car retail price guide
- Poor: Under £25,000
- Good: £25,000 to £30,000
- Excellent: £30,000+
- Special editions: None
Recent BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon auction prices*
Model Trans-Reg Mileage Sale mission Year Price
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2019/19 25,018 £27,700
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2019/69 5,001 £41,400
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2019/69 3,961 £37,200
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2020/20 8,719 £39,800
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2020/20 8,075 £40,800
BMW 540i xDrive M Sport Saloon Auto 2020/70 9,523 £46,400
*Sale prices of good-condition examples sold recently at British Car Auctions