The BMW 5 Series has just two trim levels in the UK - SE and M Sport. The manufacturer claims that SE is better equipped than any rivals’ entry-level specification, and given the list of fitted kit we see no reason to disbelieve them.
Standard BMW 5 Series Saloon equipment
The 5 Series SE boasts a lot of standard kit, including:
- BMW Professional Multimedia infotainment system with sat-nav, 20GB hard-drive, traffic updates, DAB radio, Bluetooth, USB connectivity and voice control
- Dual-zone climate control
- Cruise control
- Drive modes
- LED headlights
- Front and rear parking sensors
- Automatic lights and wipers
- Heated front seats
Jump up to M Sport for a more aggressive look, including:
- M Sport-specific exterior body kit, larger alloy wheels, M badges around the car
- Sports steering wheel
- Black interior headlining
- Aluminium interior trim
- LED foglights
- M Sport upgraded braking system on all but 520i, 520d and 530e models
The BMW 530e iPerformance comes in SE or M Sport trims but also gains a few ‘eDrive’ badges on the exterior of the car, and a slightly different radiator grille to the other models.
Standard BMW M5 equipment
The M5 is a standalone model and features loads of kit as standard. Highlights include:
- M-specific bodykit
- Bespoke digital display
- M1 and M2 drive mode buttons on sports steering wheel
- Sports seats with electric adjustment
The M5 Drivers' Package allows the top speed to be raised to 190mph once a driver-training session has been completed.
If you pick the M5 Competition you can expect 20-inch lightwight alloy wheels, a revised chassis, 25hp more power and a sports exhaust.
BMW 5 Series Saloon optional extras
The new 5 Series may be better equipped than ever before, but this just seems to have made more room on the options list for even fancier extras.
Many options are bundled into packages, which represent better value than adding them individually. These include:
- Technology Package – adds BMW display key with 2.2-inch screen, gesture control for the infotainment system, enhanced Bluetooth with wireless phone charging, head-up display, Wi-Fi hotspot
- M Sport Plus Package – 19-inch alloy wheel upgrade, Harman Kardon sound system upgrade, M spoiler, sun protection glass
- Visibility Package – BMW Icon Adaptive LED heaflights, headlight washers, auto high-beam
- Comfort Package – reversing camera, keyless entry, auto-folding mirrors, electric seat adjustment
- Premium Package – electric tailgate, massage function for front seats, sunroof, comfort front seats
The individual options list is comprehensive, too. Those found in the bundles can be specified individually, as well as a host of other pieces of kit. Highlights include:
- Bowers and Wilkins Diamond Surround Sound media upgrade
- Adaptive cruise control
- Driving Assitant Plus (detailed in Safety section)
- Night Vision
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Apple CarPlay
The basic equipment list includes equipment that is standard across all versions of the BMW 5-Series Saloon.
Equipment by trim level
To view equipment options for a specific trim level, please select from the following list:
|Equipment included on some trim levels|
EfficientDynamics SE equipment
|EfficientDynamics SE standard equipment|
|Same as basic equipment|
|EfficientDynamics SE optional equipment|
M Sport equipment
|M Sport standard equipment|
|M Sport optional equipment|
|M5 standard equipment|
|M5 optional equipment|
|SE standard equipment|
|Same as basic equipment|
|SE optional equipment|
- Lots of high-tech safety kit...
- ...but much of it is only optional
- Windscreen wipers strangely poor
Euro NCAP gave the 2017 BMW 5 Series a full five stars when it tested it, and the standard specification covers all the critical bases, including six airbags, electronic stability control and tyre-pressure monitoring system.
The hybrid 530e comes with some extra tech including cross traffic alert, blindspot monitoring and active side collision protection.
Where it really gets exciting is in the realm of optional extras – particularly the Driving Assistant Plus package, which wraps up a whole suite of driver aids intended to keep you better informed and even take control of the car for short periods.
What Driving Assistant Plus includes:
- Evasion Aid – alerts you to unexpected obstacles ahead and helps control the car during sudden movements to avoid them
- Lane Change Assistant – pitched as “comfort enhancing”, actually allows you to change lane just by activating the indicator for two seconds, completely controlling the safe steering of the car into the next lane
- Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection – not only warns you if you’re about to stray out of lane but also if another vehicle seems set on a collision course
- Steering and Lane Control Assistant – will steer the car for short periods, as long as it can detect the lane markings either side; works up to 130mph and requires only a light touch on the steering wheel to reset, but is easily confused by sliproads
- Priority warning – spots and alerts you to places where you need to give way, especially stop signs
- Wrong-way warning – tells you if it thinks you’re about to drive the wrong way down a street or motorway
- Active Cruise Control – not only maintains a safe distance to the car in front but spots and can react to changes in the speed limit too
- Cross-traffic warning – detects vehicles approaching from the side, at junctions and when you’re reversing
Our only real negative on the safety front strangely comes from the windscreen wipers; they have only two standard speed settings, which means you can’t set them to maximum speed manually during really tempestuous weather.
The automatic setting will go faster, but doesn’t do so consistently – which can be unnerving in a downpour, to say the least.
WATCH: BMW 5 Series Saloon Euro NCAP crash test:
- Seats five in comfort and space
- Boot is smaller than that of the E-Class
- Hybrid version loses 120 litres of space
The 5 Series has a low, sporty seating position, which means even with the shift to a more coupe-like roofline for this latest model, there’s still plenty of room inside for up to five passengers.
Headroom is generous and it feels spacious and airy front and rear. We’ve already mentioned how comfortable the seats are – although as with most executive saloons, the middle rear passenger doesn’t get quite such a good deal with a large transmission tunnel where their feet should be.
The 5 Series is a large car – it’s quite long – but doesn’t feel intimidatingly large in car parks or tighter town streets. Parking isn’t too tricky thanks to standard-fit parking sensors all-around, while we’d consider going for optional reversing camera to make life that little bit easier, too.
It’s easy to judge the extremities of the car, though, so you shouldn’t struggle with manoeuvring it too much.
The boot is 530 litres in capacity – which is 10-litres shy of the Mercedes E-Class's but you shouldn’t need to pack too sensibly to fit in everyone’s bags on a holiday.
Interior storage is limited to the usual central cubbies, door pockets and glovebox. These struck us as neither especially large nor disappointingly small.
BMW 530e makes do with a smaller boot
Batteries to power the electric motor have been stashed under the rear seats, where the petrol tank usually goes, and this has been moved backwards where it eats into bootspace.
As such you now get 410 litres of capacity to load luggage into, but it does mean the boot floor sits flush against the lip, making it easier to pack heavy items. There’s also a small section of the floor that can be lowered, making a recessed section for smaller items to be stored in.
How does the boot space compare?
Check the table below to see how the BMW 5-Series Saloon compares to other similar cars in terms of available boot space.
|Lexus GS Saloon (12-18)||450 litres|
|BMW 5-Series Saloon||410 litres|
|Audi A6 Saloon (11-18)||375 litres|
|Mercedes-Benz E-Class Saloon||370 litres|