BMW 5 Series Touring review

Category: Estate car

Section: Costs & verdict

Available fuel types:diesel, hybrid, petrol
Available colours:
BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 infotainment
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  • BMW 5 Series 2020 front tracking
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  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 infotainment
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  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 front tracking
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 dashboard
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 boot open
  • BMW 5 Series 2020 front tracking
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 rear tracking
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 dashboard
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 rear seats
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 infotainment
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 wide front tracking
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 front tracking
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 dashboard
  • BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 boot open
RRP £41,845What Car? Target Price from£38,113
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Costs & verdict

Everyday costs, plus how reliable and safe it is

Costs, insurance groups, MPG and CO2

Broadly speaking, the BMW 5 Series Touring is priced in line with its closest rivals, the Audi A6 Avant, Jaguar XF Sportbrake and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. The 520d (a mild-hybrid 2.0-litre diesel) is by far the most popular version and emits from just 134g/km of CO2, making it a great-value company car. That's quite a bit better than the E220d.

Then again, the 530e Touring is the best for company car users, with CO2 emissions of just 35g/km. However, when the battery pack is depleted and you're running on the petrol engine alone, you're likely to see lower fuel economy than you would in a diesel.

The desirability of the BMW badge helps keep other costs down. Resale values are among the best in the class, so if you're a private buyer you'll get back a decent chunk of the list price back when selling your car on. Leasing and PCP finance rates are usually highly competitive, too, and discounts are available if you're prepared to haggle. Or, to avoid haggling altogether, while still getting a hefty discount, check out our New Car Buying service.

Equipment, options and extras

Entry-level SE trim is the one we’d go for. It’s the cheapest and still comes with plenty of luxuries. These include leather seat trim, heated front seats with electric lumbar adjustment, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, cruise control, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 17in alloy wheels (18in on the more powerful engines), along with the infotainment system, LED headlights and taillights and the front and rear parking sensors we mentioned earlier. We'd add a few options, though, such as the adaptive suspension, and Driving Assistant Professional option (more on that later). 

M Sport trim is extremely popular, thanks largely to its more aggressive body styling and larger 19in alloys. You don't get a lot of extra substance for the added cost, but you do get a much stiffer ride. Then there is the M Sport Edition that adds even more visual garnish including 20in wheels, black rather than chrome exterior trim, M Seat belts, blue M brakes, sun protection glass, an M rear spoiler and adaptive suspension on all models aside from the ‘entry-level’ 520d and 520i.

BMW 5 Series Touring 2020 infotainment

Reliability

In the 2020 What Car? Reliability Survey, BMW finished 9th out of 31 manufacturers – behind Lexus, but ahead of Audi, Jaguar and Mercedes. That’s an impressive performance for the brand, but the 5 Series (in saloon form) performed even better, finishing at the top of the Luxury car class ahead of the E-Class, XF and Volvo V90.

Thankfully, if something does go wrong, all 5 Series' come with a three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, which is similar to the cover provided by most rivals.

Safety and security

All versions come with a minimum of six airbags and a host of electronic driver aids, including stability control. Automatic emergency braking (AEB), with pedestrian detection, is also standard to reduce the chances of you accidentally running into the car (or person) in front.

Optional safety kit includes lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam assist for the headlights, a driver fatigue detector and speed limit recognition. We’d recommend considering the Driving Assistant Professional option, which bundles together all of the key active safety aids for a reasonable price. In 2017 the 5 Series scored the full five-star Euro NCAP rating for safety, but it had a poor score for driver leg protection, and weaker scores for child chest protection than either the Volvo V90 or Mercedes E-Class. Pedestrian protection was deemed better for the 5 Series, though.

An alarm, engine immobiliser, deadlocks (which prevent a door being opened, even if the window is smashed) and locking wheel nuts are fitted to every 5 Series to ward off thieves. Security expert Thatcham awarded the car five out of five for its resistance to being stolen and four out of five for its resistance to being broken into.

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Overview

The BMW 5 Series Touring is quiet, smooth, classy, comfortable and well equipped. It’s also very practical, although it can't quite match the enormous boot that you get with a Mercedes E-Class Estate.

  • Very frugal and efficient 520d diesel
  • Outstanding refinement
  • Beautifully made, high-quality interior
  • Volvo V90 has more rear-seat space
  • Mercedes E-Class Estate has an even bigger boot
  • Unsettled ride with M Sport suspension or 19in alloys

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