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For Effortless, powerful and refined, the six-cylinder engine in the 535d turns in the 5 Series into diesel-engined performance car.

Against On standard suspension, the 5 Series isn’t comfortable enough for an executive saloon, and it’s not as much fun to drive as it should be. Adaptive Drive rectifies this, but costs thousands extra.

BMW 5 Series Saloon

What Car? says

4 out of 5 stars

There's a lot to love about the 535d - especially the silky smooth six-cylinder diesel engine - but choose your options carefully.

What Car? readers say

4.6875


Key facts

0–60mph
5.3 secs
Top speed
155 mph
Average mpg
50.4
Tank range
776 miles
See all running costs

View the whole BMW 5 Series Saloon range

Read in full

The full BMW 5 Series review


Buyer's notes

Target Price team says:

The 535i, 550i and the mighty M5 will deliver all the thrills you need, but the 5 Series will mainly be bought by pragmatists rather than enthusiasts.

That's why the 520d is the best option. This model's 2.0-litre diesel engine promises average almost 63mpg, and if you're a company car driver, the CO2 output of just 119g/km places the car in a low tax bracket. The six-cylinder 530d is also worth a look if you fancy a bit more power.

However, the standard suspension gives a lumpy ride and disappointing handling. That's why we recommend adding optional adaptive suspension (called VDC on four-cylinder models, Adaptive Drive on six-cylinder cars). These systems bring sharper handling and a more controlled ride.

Whichever engine and suspension you choose, entry-level SE trim is all you need; this comes with leather seats, a sat-nav, a DAB radio and xenon headlights.

Reader test team says:

BMW 5 Series Saloon M5 4dr

One thing I didn't reckon on when I bought my M5 earlier this year was the number of admirers. Whether waiting at lights, on the motorway or parked,…

Chris Laythorpe

5 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Saloon 535d M Sport 4dr

After moving to the dark side having spent the last three years in the fabulous Jaguar XF 3LDiesel S, I compared the new 535 DM Sport with the Jag.…

Philip Donetti

5 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Saloon 520d SE 4dr

I am a company car driver and took delivery of my 520d SE manual back in May 2011. To date I have covered over 95,000 miles with a real mixture of…

RICHARD WHITE

5 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Saloon 520d SE 4dr

I must be the only one who disagrees with VDC option as it is not necessary and expensive. If you want sharp handling then buy an M Sport version and…

Khaled Zureiqi

5 out of 5 stars
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