What Car? says...
Few cars have such a wide range of talents as the BMW 5 Series. Larger and more comfortable than the company’s uber-popular 3 Series yet only slightly more expensive, it's been at the heart of BMW's range ‘since God were a lad'.
In that time it has been considered so consistently the best that it is almost the default choice for those looking for a smaller luxury car. For proof, just look at how the previous model (2009-2016) was a regular winner at our annual What Car? Car of the Year Awards, while the current model picked up the overall Car of the Year title in 2017.
Part of the reason for its sustained success is that BMW has done a great job of keeping the 5 Series up-to-date. Our favourite luxury saloon has already undergone a comprehensive mid-life facelift that saw the introduction of LED headlights as standard (with super-bright adaptive LED headlights as an option), a larger grille, a more aggressive bodykit and a smattering of extra standard equipment throughout the range.
But it isn’t just the frequent updates that make it popular – people also like the way the 5 offers buyers plenty of choice.
For a start, there are saloon and estate (Touring) bodies, a wide range of petrol and diesel engines, a couple of plug-in hybrids, the option of BMW’s xDrive four-wheel-drive system (on most models) and two performance-focused M versions – the M550i xDrive and BMW M5 Competition. The latter, which we’ve reviewed separately, is a thoroughbred performance car and a very different animal.
Of course, its main challengers also have their merits and produce ranges to suit various budgets and requirements. So, is the Audi A6, Jaguar XF or Mercedes E-Class an even better choice than a current 5 Series? Read on over the next few pages to find out. We'll also tell you which trim level and engine in the 5 Series range makes the most sense.
And don’t forget that you can save pots of cash when buying a 5 Series, or any new car of your choosing, with our What Car? New Car Buying service.
At a glance
|Number of trims||11 see more|
|Number of engines||6 see more|
|Available fuel types Which fuel is best for you?||petrol, hybrid, diesel|
|MPG range across all versions||156.9 - 58.9|
|Avaliable doors options||4|
|Warranty||3 years / No mileage cap|
|Company car tax at 20% (min/max)||£1,073 / £5,140|
|Company car tax at 40% (min/max)||£2,146 / £10,280|
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