BMW 5 Series Review 2022

BMW 5 Series At A Glance

5/5
Honest John Overall Rating
The BMW 5 Series saloon is a barometer for the premium market. Be in no doubt, the BMW 5 Series is a brilliant executive saloon. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class may have a slightly more luxurious feel to its cabin, but the BMW is the more involving to drive.

+Superb refinement and quality, impressive handling, decent equipment levels, automatic as standard.

-Not quite as plush as a Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

New prices start from £40,125
Insurance Groups are between 30–45
On average it achieves 57% of the official MPG figure

The 5 Series is a superb executive saloon, with top notch refinement and quality throughout. Like its predecessor, BMW's trademark driving enjoyment shines through on a challenging road, although some might feel that the interior feels a little flat against the equally excellent Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However, if your heart’s set on the BMW, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. It has a wonderfully finished cabin and is packed with the latest convenience and safety tech. It also provides ample space for a family of four and is an outstanding long-distance motorway cruiser.

As the sector’s regular best-selling model, when things are good for the 5 Series, they are good for everyone. This is because when the Five is booming, business is booming thanks to the BMW being the desired choice of so many company car drivers.

Launched in 2017, this generation of 5 Series refined BMW’s executive saloon to the point where it’s debatable if you need to bother with any of its bigger or more overtly sporting large cars. It also gave the Audi A6, Jaguar XF and Mercedes E-Class renewed cause for concern.

It’s easy to see why, too. The 5 Series is a superb executive saloon, with top notch refinement and quality throughout. Like its predecessor, BMW's trademark driving enjoyment shines through on a challenging road, although some might feel that the interior feels a little flat against the equally excellent Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However, that’s a very subjective matter.

If your heart’s set on the BMW, you’re unlikely to be disappointed. It has a wonderfully finished cabin and is packed with the latest convenience and safety tech. It also provides ample space for a family of four and is an outstanding long-distance motorway cruiser.  

That’s true even if you go for the basic 520i or 520d models. Despite forming the entry point into the 5 Series range, both come with an automatic transmission as standard, plus they are powerful, torquey and quiet, providing plenty of overtaking punch. Should your budget or company car allowance permit, then the 530i or 530d are even quicker, yet still economical. You also have the choice of a 530e hybrid model, as well as the 540i and 550i models for superlative performance.

As good as the 5 Series is on a long run, it really stands out on a country road. Compared to rivals from Mercedes-Benz and Audi, the BMW is a touch much more poised and direct, giving a real sense of connection between the driver and the road. If you really enjoy driving, this is the best car in its class and puts even the Jaguar XF in the shade.

The front seats provide plenty of adjustment, while the back row provides ample space. The boot, too, is a decent size but since this is a saloon its practicality is limited if you want to carry bulky stuff. But if space is a big concern you can always go for the Touring version, which is about as practical as cars come.

It means the BMW is very easy to recommend, though you may want to try the Merc just to make sure the 5 Series is perfect for you.

Ask Honest John

Blocked DPF - what should I do?
"The diesel particulate filter (DPF) on my BMW 520D G30 is blocked, what should I do?"
Get it cleaned or replaced. Some of our readers speak highly of Ceramex DPF cleaning method. Take note, however, a modern diesel engine needs at least 15-miles per journey to complete a DPF regeneration and burn off the soot. If you use your car for lots of short trips then you will run into more problems with the DPF after it has been cleaned or replaced.
Answered by Dan Powell
Which car should I buy for motorway commuting?
"I am looking for a car for motorway commuting and I am spiralling down an endless rabbit hole of options! I drive around 500 miles a week - a mix of 80% double carriage/motorway and 20% single carriage/broads/town. Comfort and economy are important to me so ideally I'm thinking of a biggish car (though I'm not keen on SUVs). I do quite like my options too (i.e. adaptive cruise control, digital dashboard). My budget is around £30k and I'm considering the following: Mercedes-Benz C-Class or E-Class, BMW 3 Series or 5 Series, Skoda Octavia or Superb, Jaguar XE or XF, or Volkswagen Arteon. What do you recommend? "
The Skoda Superb estate scores well for user satisfaction and your budget will get you a post-facelift example with all the toys you mention. For ultimate comfort, the Mercedes C-Class is a good shout and it's just been replaced so there may be deals to be done on slightly older cars. The E-Class is even more comfortable and many of them will have been specified with air suspension that takes them to another level compared to the rivals you mention. The Jaguars offer a great balance between comfort and handling, particularly the XF, but they're feeling a little dated now. The BMW prioritises comfort at the slight expense of comfort, but both the 3 and 5 Series are still great cars to do lots of miles in.
Answered by Russell Campbell
Should I buy a hybrid or plug-in hybrid car?
"I always bought new cars every 3 years and, in 2015, with 2 grandchildren, bought a BMW 218d Gran Tourer. Great car; no complaints and no issues. Don't believe in electric cars so due to the shunning of diesel and petrol cars — I held off buying a new car. But now I'm hankering for a car like my 2000 Jaguar XJ and its comfort. Having looked at secondhand prices, BMW 7 series seem good value so was thinking of a 740e Hybrid or PHEV. Is it a good buy? What year would you suggest and should I go hybrid or plug-in hybrid? The 745e is still too pricey. I would, as ever, appreciate your advice."
Tread carefully. A BMW 7 Series is a huge luxury car that's quite complex before you start adding hybrid power to the mix. Have you considered a BMW 530e instead? They're more popular – so finding a good used example will be easier – and, with less weight to haul around, it should be more efficient. It'll still feel like a step up in terms of refinement compared to your 218d Gran Tourer. To get the best from a PHEV, you'll need to be able to charge at home and cover mainly short journeys. Careful, though, once you discover the benefits of a PHEV, it's a slippery slope towards an electric vehicle...
Answered by Andrew Brady
Can you recommend a safe, economical car for driving in narrow lanes?
"We currently have a BMW 5 Series on a lease. We drive around town and do a 60-minute motorway commute (roundtrip) each day. We’re moving to a rural cottage down narrow country lanes, but will still be doing the commute, so thinking of swapping the lease car to something cheaper. What car is good for narrow roads in winter. i.e. not too big, but still safe, economical and good to put a dog in the back?"
How about a Volkswagen Golf Estate? It'll be spacious enough for your dog (with easy access) yet smaller (and cheaper) than your current 5 Series. Alternatively, a Honda Jazz could be a good option. It's smaller still but extremely versatile and the latest model uses a hybrid powertrain. The rugged Crosstar version might suit country life.
Answered by Andrew Brady
More Questions

What does a BMW 5 Series cost?