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This car has been superseded by a newer model, click here to go to the latest BMW 5-Series Saloon review.

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Parkers overall rating: 3.5 out of 5 3.5
BMW 5-Series Saloon (96-03) - rated 3.5 out of 5
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PROS

Understated elegance, engines, driving pleasure

CONS

Little chance of finding a bargain

PROS

Understated elegance, engines, driving pleasure

CONS

Little chance of finding a bargain

BMW 5-Series Saloon rivals

The 5-Series is perennially popular for its image and appeal as an unquestionable status symbol. Few executive saloons signal success in the business and social arenas. Some say it’s brash, but equally there are those who find A6 and E-Class too understated and for whom Lexus lacks heritage and cachet. 5-Series retains the exclusivity that the cheaper 3-Series has lost.

Even early examples are reassuringly expensive. But if you can afford the high joining fee for the 5-Series club, you’ll find a model to suit your needs: from mile-munching modern diesels to posh load-lugging estates.

BMW 5-Series Saloon rivals

Other BMW 5-Series (1996 - 2004) models: