The BMW 5 Series saloon is a large executive car, and competes with rivals such as the Audi A6, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. It’s larger and more expensive than the BMW 3 Series, but more comfortable, better equipped and more refined, too.
There’s a wide choice of diesel and petrol engines to choose from, but there’s little point straying too far from the cheapest diesel models. The 520d makes the most sense, because it combines the lowest CO2 emissions with the best fuel economy and decently strong performance.
There’s also little point going above entry-level SE trim, thanks to its generous equipment list and keen prices. Just be sure to add optional Variable Damper Control suspension – without it, the 5 Series is merely average to drive, but with them, it’s one of the smoothest-riding and sharpest-handling executive cars money can buy.