The BMW 5 Series is an executive sedan that slots between the entry-level 3 Series sedan and the flagship 7 Series sedan. It combines luxury and family friendliness into one high-end package. Being a BMW it’s notable for its driving dynamics which are sharp and responsive.

In 2017 BMW launched the seventh generation of this executive sedan, with the first generation model starting way back in 1972. These early 5 Series were popular cars due to their blend of comfort and sport.

The BMW has a fairly conservative exterior, but the interior is offered with an array of nice finishes and appointments.

It’s also full of high tech features like gesture controls and a touch screen key that can show you information like fuel level, window, and lock status as well as allow you to park the car remotely.

BMW 5 Series

The 5 Series fills a lot of space in the sedan segment, with humble 530i models that are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder to beastly sport focused M550i models with large V8 engines. There is also a 530e model with a plug-in powertrain. The mid-pack model is the 540i, which features a solid straight six-cylinder engine. All models feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, and most models come standard with rear-wheel-drive, with BMW offering xDrive all-wheel-drive for an extra cost. Adrenaline junkies can sign up for the 600-horsepower, all-wheel-drive BMW M5, which isn’t covered here.

The BMW 5 Series is made at the BMW Group Plant Dingolfing in Dingolfing, Germany alongside the BMW 4 Series, 7 Series and 8 Series.

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BMW 5 Series Specs


Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine
Output: 248 horsepower, 258 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: rear-wheel-drive, available all-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 24 MPG city, 34 MPG highway, 27 MPG combined (RWD) 23 MPG city, 33 MPG highway, 27 MPG combined (AWD)
0-60 MPH time: 6.0 seconds (RWD) 5.8 seconds (AWD)


Engine: 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with an integrated electric motor
Output: 248 horsepower, 310 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: rear-wheel-drive, available all-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 72 MPGe and 29 MPG combined (RWD) 67 MPGe and 28 MPG Combined (AWD)
0-60 MPH time: 6.0 seconds (RWD) 5.8 seconds (AWD)


Engine: 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder
Output: 335 horsepower, 332 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: rear-wheel-drive, available all-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway, 24 MPG combined (RWD) 21 MPG city, 29 MPG highway, 24 MPG combined (AWD)
0-60 MPH time: 4.9 seconds (RWD) 4.7 seconds (AWD)


Engine: 4.4-liter turbocharged V-8 engine
Output: 456 horsepower, 480 lb-ft of torque
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Drive Wheels: all-wheel-drive
Fuel Economy: 18 MPG city, 25 MPG highway, 20 MPG combined (AWD)
0-60 MPH time: 3.9 seconds

BMW M550i xDrive

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BMW 5 Series Fuel Economy

bmw 540i

The BMW 5 Series is offered in a number of different engines and drivetrains which all impact the fuel economy ratings. The most affordable models are the 530e and 530e xDrive, which are plug-in hybrids. The rear-wheel-drive version of the 530e earns 72 MPGe and 29 MPG combined, while the all-wheel-drive version earns 67 MPGe and 28 MPG combined.

The next most fuel-efficient model is the 530i, which uses the same powertrain as the 530e, but without the electrified components. It earns 24 MPG in the city, 34 MPG on the highway and 27 MPG combined in rear-wheel-drive form. The all-wheel-drive 530i has the same combined rating, but slightly less MPG in the city and highway, earning 23 MPG and 33 MPG respectively.

From there, the 540i is the next step up. It earns 21 MPG in the city, 29 MPG on the highway and 24 MPG combined in rear-wheel-drive form, but these ratings are the same for all-wheel-drive versions.

The M550 has the worst rated fuel efficiency of the 5 Series lineup. It uses a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 paired to an all-wheel-drivetrain that earns 18 MPG in the city, 25 MPG on the highway and 20 MPG combined.

Read More 5 Reasons the 2018 BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid is Better Than the Gas-Only Model

BMW 5 Series Safety Rating

The BMW 5 Series has been awarded the Top Safety Pick + rating by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. This is the highest award by the institute meaning the 5 Series is quite commendable for its safety record. It earns top scores across the board in crashworthiness, even acing the tough small overlap and moderate overlap crash tests.

The only places where the 5 Series struggled involved the headlights on base models. The IIHS found that the illumination on the left side was inadequate. However, when testing models equipped with the Lighting package, the IIHS gave the 5 Series a top score.

Furthermore, the IIHS has just a small issue with the 5 Series rear child seat anchors, noting that they are difficult to maneuver around.

BMW 5 Series Features

The BMW 5 Series comes with a lot of standard features, a calling card of its luxury origins and steep price-tag.

Starting with the exterior equipment, the base 5 Series comes with a set of 18-inch wheels in addition to power-folding, heated side mirrors. The car also features adaptive LED headlights, a set of black chrome exhaust tips and chrome-line exterior trim.

BMW M550i xDrive

Interior features include 16-way power adjustable seats up front and rear seats that fold with a 40/20/40 split. Seats are upholstered with BMW’s SensaTec faux-leather, and you’ll find an anthracite headliner. Around the cabin, you’ll find the fineline ridge wood interior accent trim.

The infotainment system is controlled by iDrive, which includes a rotary control knob and a 10.2-inch touchscreen. Base models feature 12-speakers and Bluetooth connectivity and two USB ports for charging. The instrumentation includes a rear-view camera.

Base BMW 5 Series also include luxury features like dual-zone automatic climate controls, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, auto-dimming rearview mirror, a universal garage-door opener, power glass moonroof, rain-sensing windshield wipers, front and rear parking sensors.

Finally, the 5 Series comes with the Active Driving Assistant, which is pedestrian detection, frontal collision warning with collision mitigation, lane departure warning, active blind spot detection, and rear cross traffic alert.

BMW 5 Series Pricing

The BMW 5 Series starts at $54,395 for a 530i. This price includes the $995 delivery fee. Adding xDrive all-wheel-drive costs an extra $2,300 leaving the 530i xDrive to cost $56,695 in total. Luxury line models add an extra $1,450 while M Sport line models are an extra $5,050. Metallic paint finishes are an extra $550, while the Rhodonite Silver Metallic finish is a whopping $1,950. Larger, 19-inch wheels can cost an extra $600. When it comes to interior trim, you can spend an extra $1,460 on a selection of Dakota Leather upholsteries, or $2,450 for the Nappa Leather upholstery. Those looking for something extra special will be looking at spending $5,150 for Merino Leather. Extra cost interior accents include the individual piano black finish or the plum brown wood finish which are both $1,080. There are a few optional packages like the $1,400 Convenience, $1,250 Premium and $1,850 Executive Packages. Further packages include the $1,700 Driving Assistance Plus Package, the $1,950 Dynamic Handling Package, a $1,050 Lighting Package, the $1,600 Luxury Seating Package and the $700 Parking Assistance Package. If these packages don’t interest you, there are a number of individual options to pick and choose from including the $1,100 head-up display, the $2,200 rear seat entertainment, the $1,000 dynamic damper control, and the $750 multi-contour seats.

In a surprising twist, the plug-in hybrid version of the 5 Series is the same price as the gas model. That means that the 530e costs $54,395  while the 530e xDrive starts at $56,695.

The six-cylinder 540i starts at $59,945 while the xDrive equipped version is $62,245. The Luxury line is the same cost, but opting for the M Sport line is an extra $3,600.  Paint options are priced the same as the 530i while the interior options are slightly more affordable at $1,000 for the Dakota leather and $3,700 for the Merino Leather. The Convenience, Premium, Executive, Lighting, Luxury Seating, Parking and Driving Assistance Packages are the same cost as the 530i models, but the Dynamic Handling package costs $3,500 in the 540i.

Finally, the performance-focused M550 starts at $75,445. Different paint finishes are free of charge, and buyers can opt up to 20-inch M style wheels for $950 or $1,100 for models with Pilot SuperSport tires. The M550i comes with Dakota Leather, while Merino Leather is an extra $1,000. The M550i is offered with a $1,250 Premium Package, a $1,100 Executive Package, a $1,200 Luxury Seating Package, and a $3,600 Dynamic Handling Package. The rest of the packages are the same cost as the 540i.


BMW also offers extended vehicle maintenance programs so you don’t have to worry about paying for repairs, even for wear and tear items like brakes. These packages start at $700 for three-years or 36,00 miles of coverage but can be extended up to an additional 4 years or 89,000 miles.

BMW 5 Series Competitors

The BMW 5 Series Competes with other entry-level, compact sedans like the Audi A6, Mercedes E-Class, Genesis G80, Lexus GS, Infiniti Q70, Cadillac CTS and the Jaguar XF.

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BMW 5 Series Future Plans

bmw i vision dynamics concept

BMW just released the seventh-generation 5 Series, so there aren’t too many future plans in the works. Expect a mid-generation refresh to include new engines, borrowed from other vehicles in the BMW lineup, like the new 4-cylinder found in the Z4 and 3-Series, or the new six-cylinder and V8 engines in the X5. BMW is also looking towards electrifying its lineup, so perhaps a fully electric model is on the way to compare with the Tesla EVs out there.

Detailed Specs

Engine / 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
Horsepower / 248
Torque / 258 lb-ft
Transmission / eight-speed automatic
0-60 MPH / 6 seconds

Our Final Verdict

It’s impossible to be unimpressed with the BMW 5 Series. There are so many different configurations and features that it is easy to be overwhelmed, but once you get it all sorted out, this is an incredibly versatile luxury sedan with a lot to like.