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 is by far the most popular version, mainly due to its mid-fifties official average fuel economy and competitive CO2, which equate to a lower band of company car tax than the E220d Estate. And the 520d is RDE2 compliment, so you won't need to pay the 4% diesel surcharge.
Then again, the 530e Touring plug-in hybrid is the best for company car users, with fantastic tax breaks that cut your company car tax rate by roughly a third. And if you can keep the battery charged and make use of its electric range you’ll save a fortune on fuel. Just remember that if you don’t charge the battery and you're running on the petrol engine alone, the average fuel economy will be a lot lower than the diesel.
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, dual-zone climate control, ambient interior lighting, cruise control, a powered tailgate, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, 17in alloy wheels (18in on the more powerful engines), along with the infotainment system, LED headlights, the front and rear parking sensors and the rear-view camera we mentioned earlier.
M Sport trim is extremely popular, thanks largely to its more aggressive body styling and bigger alloys. You don't get a lot of extra substance for the added cost, apart from sports front seats, privacy glass and a much stiffer ride courtesy of the M Suspension. A Pro Pack can be added to M Sport models that adds even more visual garnish, including 20in wheels, black rather than chrome exterior trim and blue M Sport brake calipers. On more powerful versions, it also adds adaptive suspension that improves the ride.