BMW 5 Series Review

Gumtree Rating

4.5 rating

With the perfect combination of style, space, and performance, the BMW 5 Series has been a staple in the luxury saloon market since 1972. There are six engine sizes and a staggering sixteen trims to choose from across the years, so you’ll be spoilt for choice when deciding on a model to buy. Whichever you opt for, it’s a family-friendly premium ride that offers comfort, a raft of safety features, and great use of modern technology. Petrol, diesel, and hybrid engines are available in both the saloon and touring models. Its agile, performance-driven acceleration and handling make it a star in the BMW range.

Take a look at BMW 5 Series model page for pricing and specs.

What we think about the BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series has everything you could wish for in a luxury saloon. BMW’s long history in providing high-quality executive cars is well known, and their 5 Series does not disappoint.



Wide range of models and trims


Long history of excellent performance


Great fuel efficiency


High-quality interior and infotainment system


Adaptive suspension isn’t available on the SE trim

M Sport suspension is a little stiff

Other similar-sized cars have a larger boot space and rear seats

Used car prices are higher than others in this class

Current 5 Series models date from 2017 and had an upgrade in 2020 to include a larger front grille, LED lights as standard, and an improved body kit. Trim options include the ever-popular SE, M Sport, and xDrive four-wheel drive. For an ultra-performance trim, the M5 is the sportiest option.

Driving performance of the Bmw 5 Series

Our Driving Rating8 / 10

You’ll feel in complete control of the BMW 5 Series with its agile handling. Where it might lack in front grip due to its rear-wheel-drive balance, it more than compensates with its responsive steering. The suspension does its job, but we’d recommend sticking to the 17 or 18-inch rims as it can feel a little bumpy on uneven roads with larger wheels using run-flat tyres. The xDrive four-wheel-drive system really helps to improve traction in the wet, and like the impressively smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, it’s available as an option with all engine models.

Safety and reliability of the Bmw 5 Series

Our Safety Rating8 / 10

Scoring a five-star Euro NCAP safety rating, the 5 Series has a large haul of electronic safety aids including automatic emergency braking, stability control, and pedestrian detection all fitted as standard. You’ll get a minimum of six airbags, while optional extras include lane departure warning and a driver fatigue detector, as well as speed limit detection and an automatic high-beam assist for the headlights. Look out for these in a bundle named Driving Assistant Professional. BMWs are known for their excellent reliability, and new vehicles come with an unlimited mileage three-year warranty.

Under the bonnet of the Bmw 5 Series

Our Engine Rating9 / 10

One of the most popular engines in the 5 Series is the diesel 520d, and no wonder – it offers a fantastic combination of power and efficiency. You’ll find great acceleration here with 0-60 achieved in just over seven seconds, and that’s paired with up to 58 mpg. For more diesel grunt, the 530d with six-cylinders will reach 60 mph in just five and a half seconds. Petrolheads will love the M550i, which is a 4.4-litre V8 engine and reaches 60 mph in less than four seconds. Plug-in hybrids are offered in the 530e and 545e and are, impressively, just as performance-driven.

What you'll find in the Bmw 5 Series

Our Design Rating8 / 10

A key part of the 5 Series’ success has been BMW’s ability to keep refining its design without completely reinventing the original concept. From its first launch, the two-part ‘Kidney Grille’ has been synonymous with BMW. Prestigious body kits and aerodynamic styling have enhanced the 5 Series’ appeal in recent years, while the flexibility of offering the saloon and the estate has considerably increased its practicality too. The bottom line is that this is a family-sized car with a sporty feel, even at its entry-level trim.

Comfort and interiors in the Bmw 5 Series

Our Comfort Rating8 / 10

Offering comfort and style, the 5 Series is great for long journeys, with large sweeping armrests and supportive seats. There’s even an option for fully electric memory seats that remember different posture settings – perfect if there’s more than one driver sharing it. It’s got great leg and headroom and can comfortably fit adults in the back. You may need to fit luggage as well as people though, and while not the biggest boot in the class, the 5 Series has a 530-litre capacity, so it’s plenty big enough for most holiday hauls. Just bear in mind that this is reduced to 390 litres if you have a space-saver spare wheel.

BMW 5-Series steering wheel

What features you'll find in the Bmw 5 Series

Our Features Rating8 / 10

The BMW’s large digital screen comes in handy when using its rear-view camera, which really helps with reversing and parking. It’s also got handy front and rear sensors, and later models have a nifty parking assistant system that can steer into spaces for you. Effective LED lights are provided as standard, but there’s also the option to upgrade to adaptive LEDs that automatically shape the light to avoid dazzling other drivers when on full beam. The 5 Series scores top marks on security with an alarm, immobiliser, and deadlocks offering great protection from theft.

What fuel efficiency to expect from the Bmw 5 Series

Our Fuel Consumption Rating9 / 10

Across the full range of engines, the BMW 5 Series offers great fuel efficiency given its performance. The popular diesel variants can achieve up to 58 mpg, but it’s the hybrid models that are (unsurprisingly) the real winners, with the 530e achieving an amazing 128-201 mpg. It’s also excellent on CO2 emissions with just 31 g/km, making it a popular choice for company cars – perfect for keeping an eye on your carbon footprint.

Running costs of the Bmw 5 Series

Our Cost Rating7 / 10

Most models of the 5 Series sit in the mid to high range of insurance groupings between 28-42, with the lowest being the SE 520d. You can expect to pay a higher premium for the M 550i as it’s classified in insurance group 44. On a more positive note, fuel economy is very good, especially on the hybrid models. Some of the 520d vehicles will have you paying as little as £20 in annual road tax where other models in the range can be closer to £500, so that’s another worthy consideration.

Our verdict of the Bmw 5 Series

4.5 rating

4.5 / 5 Gumtree rating

Fabulous to drive and with great curb appeal, the BMW 5 Series is a serious contender in the luxury saloon market. Its supreme performance, grippy ride and quality finish make it a fantastic choice.