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A stylish executive saloon
The BMW 5 Series has it all – class, comfort and driveability.
It’s also surprisingly economical to run, depending on your choice of engine. Not to mention impressively quiet at high speeds.
This makes it the perfect package for people who churn out the miles, but also want a car that oozes kudos.
And it’s far from being a one-dimensional motorway cruiser. The 5 Series has plenty of power in reserve at lower speeds and shows size isn’t an issue when negotiating corners.
Balance of economy and power
When it comes to engines, the 520d diesel stands out. It provides a superb balance of power and economy, so it’s an ideal companion if you regularly cover long distances.
The CO2 emissions are comparable to a supermini. But you can enhance those ‘green’ credentials further by opting for an Efficient Dynamics model. Add the eight-speed automatic gearbox, and it’s even more frugal on fuel.
The range’s other diesel engines – the 530d and 535d – pack more punch but can’t match the 520d’s efficiency. There are five petrol options available, from the 520i up to the lightening-quick, twin-turbo V8 M5.
BMWs are known for their handling, and the 5 Series is no different. It’s nimble, provides ample grip and, even when you change direction suddenly, remains well balanced. For a car of its size this is some achievement.
This agility means the 5 Series sacrifices some ride comfort at lower speeds. But the ‘softer’ adaptive suspension (added at a cost) does a good job of ironing out any bumps.
The 5 Series has a great safety record and was awarded five out of five in the Euro NCAP crash test. All versions are fitted with at least six airbags.
The 5 Series is also generously spacious. Drivers can easily find their ideal position and two passengers should have no trouble getting comfy in the back. The transmission tunnel limits leg room in the central rear position though.
The boot’s slightly smaller than average for the ‘large executive’ class, but it opens widely which helps when packing luggage or shopping.
As you’d expect, the materials and fittings are all top-notch quality. The dashboard and controls are logically laid out and simple to use, while the colour display is crystal clear.
BMW provides a long list of optional equipment, but all models come with sat-nav, xenon headlights, climate control and a CD player.
As a premium executive car, the 5 Series has few rivals. So why not find out for yourself just how good it is.
In a nutshell
Did you know? You can open the 5 Series boot by waving your foot at the sensor under the tailgate – ideal when you have you hands full with heavy shopping.