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 114g/km of CO2, making it a great-value company car. That's quite a bit better than the E220d.
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 and get a good discount, check out our New Car Buyer page.
Equipment, options and extras
Entry-level SE trim is the one we’d go for because it’s the cheapest and still comes with a good amount of luxuries. These include leather seat trim, heated front seats, 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, a powered tailgate, LED headlights and front and rear parking sensors we mentioned earlier. We'd add a few options, though, such as the variable damping control and front-seat lumbar adjustment.
M Sport trim is extremely popular, thanks largely to its more aggressive body styling and bigger alloys, but you don't get a lot extra of substance and a stiffer ride. As we said, you can delete the M Sport suspension and have the standard suspension instead for no extra cost – we advise you to do so.
In the 2019 What Car? Reliability Survey, BMW finished 21st in a list of 31 manufacturers; way below Lexus, but above Jaguar and Mercedes. That was for the brand overall, but a look at the Luxury Car league table reveals that the 5 Series (in saloon form) has proved pleasingly reliable for its owners.
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 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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