Parkers overall rating: 4.7 out of 5 4.7

Miles per pound (mpp) Miles per pound (mpp)

Petrol engines 5.4 - 9.7 mpp
Diesel engines 8.2 - 11.9 mpp
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 27.4 - 43.1 mpp
Low figures relate to the least economical version; high to the most economical. Based on WLTP combined fuel economy for versions of this car made since September 2017 only, and typical current fuel or electricity costs.
Based on "Weighted" mpg; figures depend on the proportion of miles driven in pure electric mode and may vary widely

Fuel economy

Petrol engines 25.2 - 45.6 mpg
Diesel engines 40.4 - 58.9 mpg
Plug-in hybrid petrol engines 128.4 - 201.8 mpg
  • Most efficient BMW 5 Series to date
  • Low consumption diesel and plug-in hybrid
  • Thirstier petrols, especially M5

With BMW’s typical brand cachet promising minimal depreciation, competitive servicing prices and packages, the 5 Series should prove a cost-effective premium executive saloon to run. All 5 Series feature stop-start, brake-energy regeneration, active and passive aerodynamic aids and an Eco Pro driving mode to help you save fuel in the real world.

As with fuel economy figures, the CO2 emissions emitted by the 5 Series depends largely on the alloy wheels fitted to the car.

All the diesels have an AdBlue tank to help cut down harmful NOx emissions.

The 5 Series engine range was updated in July 2020 to improve efficiency. As a result, mild hybrid technology is now fitted to 520i petrol, 520d and 530d diesel engines. Prior to this, the 520d was the sole engine to have this technology fitted from late-2019.

The diesels in particular should prove fast yet economical partners, so it makes sense that they’re regularly the most popular choice.

Most buyers will choose the 520d on this basis. Powered by a 2.0-litre diesel, BMW claims it’s capable of returning between 51.4-58.9mpg, depending on whether it’s an SE or M Sport model. Opt for xDrive all-wheel drive and this creeps down to 49.6-55.4mpg. It's also the least polluting, with a CO2 output of 126-143g/km on offer - creeping up to 133-150g/km for xDrive models.

The 530d xDrive is less efficient, as you'd imagine, but perhaps not by as much as some may expect. Claimed fuel economy figures range between 46.3-52.3mpg and 143-159g/km of CO2 output.

Understandably, petrol models aren’t as efficient, but not far behind. The 520i fuel consumption figures range between 40.4-45.6mpg, with CO2 output rated at 142-159g/km.

At the top of the regular petrol range is the M550i xDrive, with 25.4-25.9mpg and 247-252g/km of CO2, but we saw this tumble down to an indicated 11mpg after a hard day's testing.

Plug-in hybrid claims 30+miles on electric power

The plug-in hybrid 530e offers an eye-catching 156.9-201.8mpg and 31-41g/km of CO2 - with the xDrive achieving 134.5-176.6mpg and emitting 37-48g/km of CO2.

These figures are only realistically achievable if you make the most of the electric motor and its claimed electric range of 29.2-37.3 miles, with very little use of the engine at all. In everyday driving, you’ll be able to achieve over 50mpg easily, though, when the engine and electric motor are working together.

Charging the battery takes five hours from a normal domestic socket or under four if you have a 3.7kW wallbox. Charging to 80% takes 2.6 hours with the wallbox.

Official mpg figures for the 545e xDrive plug-in hybrid are yet to be published, but the claimed electric range is 34 miles, with CO2 output expected to range between 40-50g/km.

BMW M5 Competition running costs

Finally, the high-performance M5 Competition returns a claimed 25.2-25.4mpg and a CO2 output of 252-255g/km, but it’ll be all too easy to see fuel figures tumble if you try to eke out every ounce of power and performance on tap.

Furthermore, the M5 has the worst residual values in the 5 Series range, retaining 41% of its value after three years and 36,000 miles. Its insurance group of 49E isn’t going to make for cheap premiums either.

And finally, BMW’s unable to offer decent finance rates on the M5 either. It’s inordinately expensive compared with the Audi RS 6 Avant, for example, at time of publication. Porsche and Mercedes-AMG rivals are closer to the M5, but still not quite as aggressively priced. Good job the BMW is the best to drive, then…

Previously available engines

Depending on the size of the alloy wheels (and this is applicable to many 5 Series models), the 525d is capable of returning between 56.4mpg and 57.6mpg, while the more powerful 530d was available without all-wheel drive, offering up 55.3mpg. Note these figures are based on pre-WLTP figures.

Reliability

  • Two recalls for the 5 Series so far
  • High-tech 530e is a bit of an unknown
  • Should be a reliable car to own overall

BMW states it has carried out 4.7 million miles of testing on this car in an effort to ensure buyers have the best-possible experience, especially as it’s an all-new model.

While most engines here are used in other BMW cars and are the result of years of fettling, the hybrid drive in the 530e is a bit of an unknown element.

The 5 Series has been the subject of official recalls in its life – one relating to the brake switch, another whereby the steering rack might lock and one in 2019 that affected a small number of vehicles relating to the engine counterbalance shaft bearing. If you’re buying a used model, these issues will have been sorted out under warranty.

However, in mitigation there are only positive 5 Series owners' reviews on Parkers

Ongoing running costs

Road tax (12 months) £0 - £475
See tax rates for all versions
Insurance group 28 - 50
How much is it to insure?