Which used BMW 5 Series saloon should I buy?
The 520d isn’t just the most common BMW 5 Series; it’s also the best buy. With 163bhp (later 177bhp) it feels quick, but still provides good MPG figures. The 177bhp 525d isn’t worth spending extra on, but the 197bhp model from 2007 is noticeably quicker. The 218bhp 530d (later 235bhp) is also impressive, while the 268bhp 535d (later 282bhp) outperforms most petrol saloons.
As for the petrol-powered 5 Series models, the 520i (available until the end of 2004) feels a bit underpowered, but the 523i and 525i have decent pace.
An entry-level trim was available until mid-2006 that came with alloy wheels, climate control and electronic stability control. However, we'd recommend you look for an SE, because these also feature upgraded alloys and front and rear parking sensors.
Sport and M Sport models come with the firmer suspension, bigger alloys, tinted glass and half-leather upholstery.
From early 2009, the Business Editions upgraded SE and Sport models with full-leather upholstery, Bluetooth, sat-nav and a CD-multichanger.
Our favourite used BMW 5 Series: 520d SE