BMW 5 Series Review< Back to blog
There’s no surprise the 5 Series was the winner of the What Car? Best Luxury Car 2018, because stepping into the front is a joyful experience for anybody.
Simplicity comes to mind when you compare the 5 Series next to the meaner-looking Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. But it’s more to do with the comfort and premium feel of the car that really sells it. Looking around the inside, there’s no cheap plastics to be seen.
One thing to be mindful of is the white leather, which can be a stained if you constantly wear jeans. For what it’s worth (a minor wardrobe revamp, to be exact), there can be no denying the quality of what BMW have on offer. A lot of the interior comfort comes down to how well-positioned you are as the driver. The seats seem to mould to your shape. And the driver arm rest make it a breeze to switch to the standard cruise control for premium comfort on longer journeys.
Infotainment and tech
As standard, BMW have been rather generous with their car tech – giving the 5 Series a crisp and hefty infotainment display. It’s a joy to use with BMW’s iDrive, which may not look as modern as the likes of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. But it’s up there when it comes to performance.
A satnav is standard on the 5 Series and boasts a range of smart features to help keep you safe on the road. For example, when your route takes you to a junction, the car communicates this to the drive system. It then automatically selects the right gear to take you into it.
All-round parking sensors make tucking your elongated 5 Series that much easier. But upgrading to a reverse camera gives it the complete package. It’s an extra £375, but if you’re a typical Brit and hate parking with a passion, it’s worth the additional cash.
The 5 Series makes you wonder why you would need the giant 7 Series. Simply because from a practicality point of view, it’s good enough. Passengers in the back have plenty of room thanks to the latest models being wider than before, so anyone over six-foot will have plenty of leg and headroom. The middle seat is rather raised compared to the other two. And a large hump in the floor makes carrying a third adult a bit of a squeeze – but only for them. So, if there’s three in the back you may want to draw straws over who sits there.
Onto the boot, and the BMW 5 Series has a 530-litre capacity, which is aided by a nice square-shaped opening. This makes it easy to load most items. The downside is that three-way folding seats is only available as an upgrade. As good as the boot size is, it’s still 10 litres smaller than that of the Mercedes E-Class. Storage nets on the side are a nice addition to the cargo, however there’s no boot floor storage like you find on some Audi and Mercedes models.
On the road
The 5 Series may not look like much, but its rear-wheel drive-chain does give it that feel of a sports car when out on the road. BMW have also included the option to turn stability control completely off. All you daredevils should only engage this when letting off steam in an empty car park, and not on the open road!
To make the car feel even sportier, you can choose to upgrade to the M Sport suspension. Or, you can make the car comfier with the optional adaptive dampers. These minimise road and wind noise to make for a quiet, smooth drive.
All BMW 5 Series models get an eight-speed, auto transmission which is both smooth and responsive, as opposed to other clunkier transmission. A rapid 540i, 3.0 litre petrol is available. But the 2.0 or smoother 3.0 diesel is the one to go for if you want better fuel economy and less noise.
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