BMW 5 Series (2010 – 2017) Review
BMW 5 Series (2010 – 2017) At A Glance
The BMW 5 Series was designed for Europe’s motorways. To allow a driver to while away the hours between business meetings, cocooned in a luxurious cabin and enjoying the latest tech. Launched in 2010, the 5 Series can list the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 as its chief rivals. For some people, there is only one. The BMW 5 Series is the five-star executive saloon.
This is the saloon car that executives dream of owning. They pray for the day when the fleet manager sends them an email to say that the BMW 5 Series is an option for their next company car. It’s the ‘have your cake and eat it’ saloon. Comfortable and composed on a motorway, but playful and agile when the road twists and turns.
Launched in 2010, this generation of 5 Series is less striking than its predecessor. It also lacks the sharpness of the current BMW 5 Series. It’s a more sombre affair, which actually means that it still looks fresh today. Stick a private plate on a 2010 or 2011 5 Series, and your neighbours will think you’re driving something much newer.
Aside from a subtle facelift in 2013, there’s little to distinguish a 2017 5 Series from a 2010 example. Even a car with 200,000 miles on the clock will look as good as new, helped in no small part by the fact that the majority of cars have led an easy life on the motorway. As former company cars, you can be sure that there will be plenty of stamps in the service book.
But why should you buy a used BMW 5 Series over rivals like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6? There are two main reasons: the way it drives and the quality of the cabin.
The 5 Series has always offered the best handling in its class. On a British B-road, the 5 Series will feel as agile as the 3 Series and as playful as a family hatchback.
On a motorway, it’s as comfortable and refined as the E-Class. If you’re considering a Jaguar XF or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class, we’d say the 5 Series offers the best of both worlds.
It was available with a wide range of engines, but most buyers opted for the brilliant 520d. The 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel engine offers a near-perfect blend of performance and efficiency, with enough power to make the most of the sublime chassis. The 530d is a worthy alternative, adding more power and a delightful six-cylinder soundtrack to the mix. There’s only a small penalty in terms of fuel economy.
A 518d is available if you’re on a strict budget, but we’d find it hard to look beyond the 520d. Petrol versions are rare, so you’ll stand more chance of sourcing a BMW M5.
As for spec, British buyers love the M Sport trim, so a 520d M Sport is the most common spec/engine combination. That said, the SE trim packs everything you need, especially if the original owner added a few luxuries from the options menu.
That was one of our criticisms of the car when it was new: the fact that some of the options can make the 5 Series look very expensive. That’s not a problem for you, because the majority of options add nothing to the resale value.
Prices start from £5000, but £10,000 is enough to secure a low-mileage example. That’s a small amount of cash for a car with some big selling points. Other executive saloons are available, but the chance are you fancy a 5 Series. You’re in good company.