New BMW 5 Series vs Mercedes E-Class

These luxurious saloons seem to have it all. But can the new BMW 520d outshine the equivalent Mercedes-Benz E-Class?...

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What Car? team
15 March 2016

Our verdict

The outgoing BMW 5 Series was always going to be a tough act to follow but BMW has totally nailed it with its replacement. In fact, the new 5 Series is so good that it’s better thought of as a more compact, sharper-driving and considerably better-value 7 Series than a step up from the 3 Series.

Specify it correctly (optional VDC suspension and wheels no bigger than 18in) and you’ll have one of the finest cars on the planet. The Mercedes E-Class is very good but is still some way off the pace.

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1st – BMW 5 Series

New BMW 5 Series vs Mercedes E-Class

For Superb ride and handling with optional VDC; plush interior; class-leading infotainment system

Against Modest rear leg room; slightly pricier to own

Verdict A brilliant all-rounder and an outstanding luxury saloon

New BMW 5 Series vs Mercedes E-Class

For Cheaper to own; snazzy-looking interior; stronger engine; lower CO2

Against Distracting infotainment system; blunt handling; interior looks better than it feels

Verdict Still a fine car, but second best here

Rated 4 out of 5

Read our full Mercedes-Benz E-Class review

Find a great Mercedes E-Class deal

Also consider:

Specifications: BMW 520d SE

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price £36,025

Target Price £34,277

Power 188bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 295lb ft @ 1750rpm

0-60mph 7.8sec

Top speed 146mph

Gov't fuel economy 68.8mpg

True MPG 43.5mpg

CO2 emissions 108g/km

Specifications: Mercedes E 220 d SE

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price £36,515

Target Price £33,468

Power 191bhp @ 3800rpm

Torque 295lb ft @ 1600-2800rpm

0-60mph 7.5sec

Top speed 149mph

Gov't fuel economy 72.4mpg

True MPG 44.8mpg

CO2 emissions 102g/km