Used BMW 5 Series Touring 2004 - 2010 review

Category: Estate car

The BMW 5 Series Touring is as practical as it is enjoyable - it's a classy estate, but dear to buy used.

BMW 5 Series Touring (03 - 11)
  • BMW 5 Series Touring (03 - 11)
  • BMW 5 Series Touring (03 - 11)
Used BMW 5 Series Touring 2004 - 2010 review
Star rating

What's the used BMW 5 Series estate like?

Put simply, the BMW 5 Series Touring is one of the finest estate cars around, and not just because of its boot.

It's a great choice for keen drivers who need a practical load-lugger, providing agile handling, incredible poise and a range of strong, smooth engines. Every 5 Series Touring also has self-levelling rear suspension to ensure that heavy loads don't affect its road manners.


The BMW 5 Series Touring is as practical as it is enjoyable - it's a classy estate, but dear to buy used.

  • The 5 Series Touring is great to drive and impressively spacious
  • The iDrive infotainment system in earlier versions can be fiddly to use

Drivers will be comfortable behind the wheel, thanks to a wide range of adjustment, and there's plenty of space for three in the back.

The well shaped boot is big, although the rear seats don't fold completely flat when you want to extend the load bay. Some cars are fitted with the optional electrically operated tailgate, which is a useful touch.

The interior looks and feels classy, and every car is luxuriously equipped. Yes, there are cheaper estate cars out there, but the 5 Series oozes prestige and is a delight to drive.

Ownership cost

What used BMW 5 Series estate will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a BMW 5 Series estate?

The BMW 5 Series Touring is a desirable car, and holds on to its value well, so its second-hand prices are not exactly the most affordable. It's not especially cheap to run, either: most fuel-efficient is the 520d, which returns an official 46.3mpg average; the 525d manages 40.4mpg and the 535d, 34.4mpg.

Petrol versions will hit your wallet harder: best is the 523i at 32.5mpg, while the 525i returns 31.7mpg, the 530i averages 30.7mpg and the 550i returns a lowly 24.6mpg. However, whatever the official figures say, many BMW owners have reported a much poorer fuel economy for their own car.

Insurance costs are high, too, as are bills for maintenance and repairs; labour rates at BMW dealerships are among the highest around.

Our recommendations

Which used BMW 5 Series estate should I buy?

Our favourite is the 525d SE. Its 177bhp diesel engine has more than enough punch to pull this estate, it's reasonably fuel-efficient and is generously equipped with cruise control, climate control, stability and traction control, a CD player, parking sensors and alloys.

The six-cylinder petrol engines - the 171bhp 523i, the 212bhp 525i and the 254bhp 530i - are all smooth and powerful, which makes the expensive 550i seem redundant.

Diesel buyers can also choose the 520d, the 530d and the 535d, and all offer plenty of pull even when the car is fully loaded. However, none has the same blend of power and economy as the 525d.

All 5 Series models get a six-speed manual gearbox; a six-speed automatic is optional, but fitted as standard on the 535d. Entry-level – and our preffered – trim is SE; M Sport models add a bodykit, unique alloys and part-leather seats, but we don't think they're worth the money.

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What alternatives should I consider to a used BMW 5 Series estate?