For With the right options, the BMW 5 Series strikes just the right balance between comfort, refinement and dynamic excellence. The interior is plush and feels suitably expensive.
Against If you don't add the right options, the 5 Series is disappointing to drive. Those extras aren't cheap, either.
What Car? says
A classy, spacious and refined executive saloon with low running costs and excellent engines. It's just a pity you need to add options to make the BMW 5 Series drive well.
What Car? readers say
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There are 28 BMW 5 Series versions available
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, particularly if you opt for the automatic, which is even more efficient than the manual and so offers impressively low company car tax costs and great real-world economy. 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:
The dealers never had test cars with VDC and they didn’t recommend it. After a few days in a 520d Luxury on 18inch run flats, I think the press are…
I have just taken delivery of my 64 reg 520d M sport Auto in Carbon Black. This replaced my 2012 almost like for like Alpina White. I had been told…
An absolutely superb car. a great driving experience with a unique blend of quality, performance, handling and economy, comfortably returning almost…
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,…