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BMW 5-Series Saloon verdict

2010 - 2017 (change model)
Parkers overall rating: 4.7 out of 54.7

Written by Richard Kilpatrick Published: 16 November 2023 Updated: 17 November 2023

Should you buy a used BMW 5 Series (F10) saloon?

As a family car the benefits of a saloon over a hatchback or estate are hard to define, but it’s a popular choice for families with older kids and it’s easy to see why. A well maintained, ULEZ and clean air zone compliant 520d will cost little to run in fuel terms, and with the help of a good independent specialist shouldn’t be too expensive to maintain either. It’s more fun than a Mercedes E-Class and should be more reliable than a Jaguar XF.

They’re well made, engaging and fun to drive – yet safe, if you’re not trying to be silly – and still look modern. There are some very cheap examples at the older end of the market, and we’d steer clear of those unless you have lots of experience maintaining your own car – no matter how tempting they look.

Petrol models are easier to recommend on the strength of the simpler emissions controls and prospect that they will not be subject to emissions-based road charging for a few years yet, but they do cost more to run and tax. They also have less of the joyful agility of earlier generations – another argument in favour of the low-down torque of the diesel models.

What we like

Genuinely high end engineering and build quality, clever technology for the era, upgradable and still relevant. Early Euro 6 diesels to beat ULEZ. Overall value for money if you get a good one.

What we don’t like

Heavy, sophisticated car can be ruined by cheap third-party parts and budget-minded maintenance. ActiveHybrid not worth the complexity and loss of boot space. V8 petrol not as robust as six-cylinder models.