BMW has pulled the covers off their facelifted 5 Series, and it's more than just a cosmetic change. The mid-sized executive car gets technical updates inside, as well as under the hood. It could be said that the launch of the 2021 5 Series is timely. Its biggest rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, was heavily updated recently.

2021 BMW 5 Series updates, upgrades are beyond skin-deep image

For 2021, the 5 Series gets a new pair of headlights that now have a different set of LED daytime running lights. Laser-powered headlights can also be added to the car as an option. Also changed are the kidney grills and it's taken cues from the 7 Series flagship sedan. Bumpers have been re-profiled to give a more angular look, making the sedan longer by 27 mm and adding 21 mm to the Touring (wagon). Both models now measure in at 4,963mm.

Other exterior changes? There's a new set of alloy wheel options to choose from, depending on the model line chosen. Taillights also have a new LED pattern, replacing the old LED pipes with a single C-shaped look. Also, the rear bumpers get a slight tweak with the repositioning of the corner reflectors.

2021 BMW 5 Series updates, upgrades are beyond skin-deep image

Inside, both the sedan and wagon variants get a redesigned digital instrument cluster. It now looks like the one seen in the 7 Series and 8 Series with its counter-clockwise tachometer. BMW added interior color and trim options as well.

On the technology front, all 5 Series sedans and wagon are available with semi-autonomous driving capabilities. Aside from adaptive cruise control and automatic emergency braking, three active safety assists can be fitted to the car.

First is Steering and Lane Control Assistant, which prevents the vehicle from straying off the lane. The other feature is Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection, actively aiding the car in avoiding side impacts. Last but not least is Evasion Assistant, helping the driver avoid a potential collision by adding steering input.

2021 BMW 5 Series updates, upgrades are beyond skin-deep image

As for engines, most have been carried over from the current line-up. Depending on where it's sold, some of these engines will have mild-hybrid technology as standard, particularly the ones sold in Europe. Mild hybrid and non-hybrid models have the same power outputs.

That means the 520i still makes 184 PS and 290 Nm of torque. The 530i on the other hand puts out 252 PS and 350 Nm. For the boosted inline-six in the 540i, the 3.0-liter mill produces 333 PS and 450 Nm of torque. The M550i xDrive doles out 530 PS and 750 Nm of torque from its turbocharged 4.4-liter V8.

On the other hand, the diesel range consists of the 520d (190 PS/400 Nm), 530d (286 PS/650 Nm), and 540d xDrive (340 PS/700 Nm). BMW also expanded the plug-in hybrid range for the 5 Series. Aside from the 530e (292 PS/420 Nm), there's the 545e which is even more powerful than the 540i. With its 3.0-liter inline-six and powerful electric motors, combined output is rated at 394 PS and 600 Nm of torque. BMW claims that the 545e can even get up to 47.6 kilometers per liter.

The facelifted 5 Series will first be made available in Europe by July with the rest of the world to follow in the coming months. As for the Philippines, it might be a while before we see these cars sitting in our showrooms.