Should you buy a BMW 5 Series?
It may not look vastly different on the outside compared with previous models, but BMW’s stuck to its winning formula with the 5 Series, and it’s worked - like it has done generation after generation.
Whichever version of the 5 Series you get, it’s well-appointed, luxurious, spacious and excellent to drive. Most models won’t cost the earth to run, and the amount of technology on offer makes it a thoroughly modern executive saloon. It's also very easy to operate with a logical layout to the high-quality dashboard, without feeling intimidating to use.
Diving into the options list can prove costly, though, and the petrol models are much thirstier than the equivalent diesels, which are all very strong performers. There isn't really a bad version of the 5 Series though, and proves to be some serious competition for the Audi A6 Saloon and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. There's also a wide variety of engines to choose from - like you get in many BMW models - and all of them are more than fit for purpose.
While a 520d isn’t the cheapest to buy, it’s not far off being so and the blend of economy and performance on offer makes it excellent value for the majority of 5 Series buyers - it's the one we'd recommend over any other 5 Series, while in M Sport trim it's desirable and comes with a long list of standard equipment.
If you’re a company car driver, the plug-in hybrid 530e’s low BIK is by far the most appealing option. The 520i petrol comes after this, while the popular 520d isn't too far off in terms of monthly costs. The beauty of this is that there are plenty of options available to you, so you can pick whichever suits your needs the best. Just do the sums before you commit.
Performance fans should look straight to the M5, with searing speed that genuinely rivals that of modern supercars. The M5 Competition is also available as the more focused track-ready beast if that's your kind of thing.