BMW 5 Series variants
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Finance representative example (PCP)

Total cash price £21,799. Borrowing £17,439 with a £4,360 deposit at a representative APR of 9.9%.

49 monthly payments
£257.18
Fixed interest rate
9.9%
Total amount payable
£27,288.63
Cost of credit
£5,489.63
Optional final payment
£10,584.00
Annual mileage limit
6000 miles

BMW 5 Series buying guide

The BMW 5 Series looks and feels premium both inside and out, has plenty of space, and delicately treads the line between sporty handling and a comfortable, relaxing ride on the road. Strong yet efficient engines power every version of the 5 Series, and there’s also a plug-in hybrid option that’s great for keeping your fuel bills down. 5 Series models come in a handful of different engine and trim specifications so read this guide to demystify the lineup.

What BMW 5 Series trim levels are there?

There are just two trim levels for the BMW 5 Series – SE and M Sport. Both come generously equipped.

Standard equipment for SE models includes alloy wheels, LED headlights, two-zone climate control, heated front seats, an infotainment system with sat nav, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, front and rear parking sensors, plus a reversing camera.

Μ Sport is BMW’s sporty trim level available across its entire range, and brings some of the mean styling found on its full-fat M cars to the regular lineup. For the 5 Series, M Sport models get larger alloy wheels, a more aggressive body kit, sports seats, M badges dotted here and there, and dark-coloured exterior detailing. Depending on the engine chosen, some 5 Series M Sport models also get upgraded brakes and suspension.

BMW 5 Series interior and technology

BMW has always made a good impression in the cabin and the 5 Series is no different. The dashboard’s centre panel is slightly tilted towards the driver, helping you feel like you're sitting in a focused sports car. BMW has also done a good job of pairing back the number of buttons and switches in the cabin to only those strictly necessary, helping to declutter the area. Fit and finish are excellent, with no squeaks or rattles to complain about.

BMW’s infotainment system has long been one of the very best on the market and it’s no less impressive in the 5 Series. All versions get an easy-to-use centre touchscreen, which can also be controlled by a rotary dial, making it easier to use without taking your eyes off the road. Some also include a digital screen in the instrument panel in front of the driver, replacing the traditional dials.

As a sizeable saloon or estate, there’s simply loads of room in the 5 Series. All seating positions enjoy ample headroom, elbow room and knee room, and parents will appreciate the extra space when manoeuvring wriggling kids into their car seats. Boot space is strong, with enough for at least two large suitcases in the saloon and potentially double that in the Touring estate model.

BMW 5 Series engine range explained

(Most popular!) BMW 5 Series 520i petrol

The entry-level engine for the 5 Series is called the 520i. This is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 184hp that’s enough to complete the 0-62mph time in a respectable 7.9 seconds.

BMW 5 Series 530e plug-in hybrid

If you want a little more firepower in your 5 Series while also cutting your fuel bills, consider the 530e. This combines the 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor for a total of 292hp, dropping the 0-62mph time to a hot-hatch-baiting 5.9 seconds. This plug-in hybrid variant can average more than 145mpg if you drive gently, or cover around 21 miles if you solely rely on electric power.

BMW 5 Series 520d diesel

BMW knows many 5 Series buyers cover high mileages so it still offers a choice of long-legged diesel models. The 520d might be the entry-point to this range but it makes a great all rounder, being able to hit 62mph from rest in 7.2 seconds, or average more than 60mpg if you drive economically.

BMW 5 Series 530d diesel

The 530d is a great choice if you want the long-distance touring ability of a diesel, but fancy a little extra power under your right foot. This six-cylinder turbodiesel makes 292hp and completes the 0-62mph run in just 5.4 seconds but, when driven sensibly, can return more than 50mpg. The 530d will also make a great choice for drivers that regularly tow trailers.

Your BMW 5 Series questions answered

BMW makes 5 Series models in two different forms. The first is the iconic four-door saloon that’s been a mainstay of the range since it launched in 1972. The other form is the practical five-door 5 Series Touring estate – this has a larger boot and rear hatch opening, making it a better choice if you regularly carry dogs, bikes or other large cargo.

As an executive car, the 5 Series is quite long, measuring in at just shy of five metres. That puts it in the same ballpark as its key rivals, the Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class. Compared to other models in the BMW lineup, the 5 Series is about 20cm longer than the 3 Series and about 20cm shorter than the 7 Series, perhaps making it the ‘Goldilocks’ model in the range. Passenger space is excellent, with lots of room for adults to get comfortable, even if you need to carry three across the back row. Cargo room is also generous but buyers in need of extra practicality should consider the 5 Series Touring estate for the best carrying capacity.

The BMW 5 Series is available with a range of petrol and diesel engines, ranging from 2.0 litres to 3.0 litres. There's also a plug-in hybrid version, called the 530e.

The BMW 5 Series is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive. The entry-level engines typically come with rear-wheel drive, with more powerful options getting BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system. Search for rear-wheel-drive 5 Series cars or four-wheel-drive 5 Series cars here.

The 5 Series has a decent, if not sparkling, reputation for reliability. With so much state-of-the-art technology on board, some issues may crop up – but reliability data suggests that the majority of cars will be trouble-free. If you’re concerned, you may wish to take out an extended warranty with your purchase.

A used BMW 5 Series may occasionally present large bills as it gets older, but routine maintenance can be taken care of with a BMW service plan. At the time of writing, it costs around £30 per month for a 5 Series, which covers servicing, fluid top-ups and seasonal vehicle health checks for three years.