Review: BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017)


Great to drive with a perfect blend of handling and ride comfort. Top quality interior. Very refined at high speeds. Great engines including very efficient 520d.

Other estates this size have greater luggage capacity Very common failure of rear suspension airbags.

BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017): At A Glance

If you've read our review of the latest BMW 5 Series saloon you won't be massively surprised to learn that the Touring version is equally as good but with the added bonus of extra practicality. This is the fourth generation of the 5 Series Touring and it has the largest ever luggage capacity with 560 litres of boot space - although if it's outright carrying capacity you're after the E-Class still leads the way in this class with 695 litres.

But there's far more to the latest 5 Series Touring than boot space. Like the saloon version it's great to drive and handles superbly well for a car this size with a great suspension set-up that balances body control with a supple ride. Some may argue that the steering lacks the feel of the previous 5 Series. That's true to an extent, but you can happily forgive it that when you look at its overall qualities.

It's a great all-rounder that's as happy pounding the motorway with a full load of kids and shopping in the back as it is tackling twisty and demanding roads. Refinement is a real strength too with very little noise either from the road or the engine. Add in a high quality cabin and it's easy to see why this is the best executive estate around.

Equipment levels are impressive too and all models get Dakota leather upholstery, automatic air conditioning, self-levelling rear air suspension, Bluetooth plus both front and rear parking sensors.

Most buyers opt for the 520d which is incredibly efficient for any car - let alone one this size. The engine has been continually improved over the car's lifetime and not only does it return impressive economy - more than 60mpg in some versions - but it also provides strong performance. 

BMW 5 Series Road Test

What does a BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017) cost?

List Price from £37,600
Buy new from £31,756
Contract hire from £301.43 per month

BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4907 mm
Width 1860–2102 mm
Height 1462 mm
Wheelbase 2968 mm

Full specifications

This 5 Series has a larger boot than the previous model (up by 60 litres to 560 litres) and although other estates like the E-Class are bigger, the 5 Series Touring makes the most of what it has.

The boot area is wide and and there are no intrusions at the sides (from wheelarches for instance), so loading boxy items like the odd bit of furniture is easy and there's less likelihood of things getting marked or scratched.

There's no bootlip either as the load sill and floor are all in line. All models come with a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat which is unique in this class and the three backrests can either be individually or jointly folded down (as shown in the pictures). Folding them (almost) flat increases the total load area to 1670 litres and usefully all the backrests can be released and folded by pulling one of the two levers in the sides of the boot.

Four fastening points are fitted to the luggage compartment floor as standard and there is also the optional Extended Storage pack which includes bag hooks, fixing straps, a fixing net and two adjustable fastening points mounted on rails that run the length of the boot. To hide luggage below the boot, the new BMW 5 Series Touring has a wide, gas spring assisted floor panel, which can also be completely removed, creating a recess in which (using the Fix-kit from the BMW range of accessories) two bicycles can be transported.

Another useful feature is the seperate opening tailgate glass - helfpul if you're in a tight multi-storey car park with a low roof. This is another feature that's unique in this class and it can also be opened via a button on the remote. The 5 Series Touring can also be equipped with an electrically operated pivot-mounted towbar and the maximum towing weight is 2,000kgs (1,900kgs for the 523i Touring).

The rest of the interior feels well built, spacious and upmarket. It is similar to the latest 7 Series and the 5 Series GT with impeccable build quality and great ergonomics.

The driver's seat is perfectly placed and it's easy to get comfortable thanks to a wide range of adjustment in both the seat and the steering column. Visibility out could be a bit better, especially as the windscreen pillars are quite thick, but in terms of tight manoeuvres, it does come with front and rear parking sensors as standard.

Those in the back get well looked after with plenty of space, especially head and knee room, although you may struggle with three across the back as there's a pretty chunky central transmission tunnel which gets in the way.

Standard equipment from launch (September 2010):

SE Touring models all come with a high level of standard specification including 17-inch alloy wheels with run-flat tyres, Dakota leather upholstery, BMW Professional Radio, Bluetooth telephone preparation, Dynamic Stability Control +, front and rear Park Distance Control, Cruise control with speed limiting function, an independent opening tailgate window, automatic air-conditioning and partial Black Panel technology. A sixspeed manual gearbox is fitted as standard apart from the 535d Touring which comes as standard with an automatic.

M Sport models add 18-inch M Double-spoke style wheels with 245/45 R18 run-flat tyres, dark chrome exhaust tailpipes, Anthracite headlining, Aluminium Hexagon interior trim, M Sport multi-function three-spoke leather steering wheel, M aerodynamic bodystyling, M Sport suspension (can be deleted) and front, part-electric adjustment Sports seats.

Child seats that fit a BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017) like to drive?

If you're buying a 5 Series Touring the most compelling engine has to the 520d. It may be the entry-level model in terms of price but that only makes it even better value. It may lack the power of the performance engines but it certainly doesn't feel like the poor relation.

In fact, it often feels far quicker than the figures suggest, especially in terms of in-gear acceleration. The 2.0-litre turbodiesel produces 184PS along with an impressive 380Nm which gives it a 0-62mph time of 8.3 seconds. Yet despite this strong performance, it's amazingly efficient, emitting just 138g/km of CO2 and averaging a claimed 54.4mpg (with the standard six-speed manual gearbox).

There have been criticisms of BMW manual gearboxes in the past and while this one still isn't perfect (it remains somewhat springy) it's certainly an improvement. That said the new eight-speed automatic suits the 5 Series better than the manual and is worth the extra money, especially when it comes to retained values.

It's available on all models (and is standard on the 535d) and while eight gears may seem over the top, stick it in D and let it do its own thing and you'll find it responsive with smooth changes.

The other diesel engines in the 5 Series Touring range are the familiar units. There's the 3.0-litre 525d with 204PS and the excellent 530d which uses the same engine but has more power with 245PS. It's incredibly refined and quiet, even at higher speeds but despite having huge reserves of torque with 540Nm on tap, it can still return 44.8mpg when fitted with the auto 'box.

Most would argue that the best engine in the range is the 535d - just for the sheer grunt it offers but without extortionate fuel bills. It produces 299PS and 600Nm of torque giving it a 0-62mph time of just 5.7 seconds (so is actually the quickest engine in the line-up). It's amazingly effortless when accelerating but still feels involving thanks to a great engine note. But the best bit has to be average claimed economy of 44.8mpg and emissions of just 165g/km.

The petrols are far less popular as you'd expect, but that doesn't mean they're not enjoyable to drive and reasonably economical given their power. The petrol line-up starts with the 523i and the 528i which both use the same 3.0-litre engine but with different power outputs of 204PS and 258PS.

However, the best petrol is the excellent 535i which is a unique 3.0-litre engine fitted with a twin-scroll turbocharger. With 306PS and a 0-62mph time of just 6.0 seconds it performs superbly when required, yet is gentle and docile at low speeds. Economy is 32.8mpg.

Once on the move you quickly realise that the 5 Series Touring is as good to drive as the 5 Series saloon. It has a longer wheelbase and overall length compared to the previous 5 Series but shorter overhangs. This is not only beneficial for cabin space, but also means the 5 Series Touring corners well with very little body roll.

There's an optional system called Drive Dynamic Control (or DDC) which lets you fine tune the ride and handling further with a choice of normal, comfort, sport and sport+ settings. The differences are really noticeable, especially between comfort and sport+, but the standard set-up of the 5 Series Touring is so good, you won't feel you're missing out if you don't have it fitted.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
518d 57–60 mpg 9.9–10.1 s 127–132 g/km
518d Automatic 55–63 mpg 9.8–10.0 s 123–134 g/km
520d 55–61 mpg 8.1–8.3 s 127–134 g/km
520d Automatic 55–63 mpg 8.0–8.2 s 123–134 g/km
520i 40–42 mpg 8.3 s 162 g/km
520i Automatic 40–45 mpg 8.3 s 152–162 g/km
523i Automatic 40–44 mpg 8.3 s 152–162 g/km
525d 52–54 mpg 7.2 s 141 g/km
525d Automatic 55–58 mpg 7.1 s 134 g/km
528i 39–40 mpg 6.4 s 162–167 g/km
528i Automatic 43–44 mpg 6.5 s 154 g/km
530d 47–48 mpg 6.2 s 155–159 g/km
530d Automatic 51–59 mpg 5.9–10.1 s 127–144 g/km
530i 35–36 mpg 6.7 s 183–187 g/km
530i Automatic 36–37 mpg 6.8 s 177–181 g/km
535d 50–50 mpg 5.4–5.5 s 148–149 g/km
535i 34–34 mpg 5.8 s 190–194 g/km
535i Automatic 37–43 mpg 5.8–6.5 s 154–179 g/km
550i 26–32 mpg 4.7–5.1 s 206–249 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

25–55 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Can I claim against the dealer for braking issues in my new 2011 BMW 530d?

Six weeks ago I bought a 2011 BMW 530d Touring with 99,000 miles from a non franchised dealer. The car has developed brake judder which was not evident at the time of purchase. Assuming it is the brake discs (which of course are a wear and tear item) would I have any claim against the selling dealer under the "fault developed within six months of sale" legislation? Or would brake discs/pads be excluded?
The judder is probably from warped discs from sitting on the brakes after a long brake (for example into a roundabout). This clamps the pads around the disc leading to the clamped section cooling at a different rate from the rest of the disc. As discs wear and become thinner, they are more prone to this. So, though your braking probably warped the discs, the state they were in when you bought the car led to the situation. But a difficult one to argue.
Answered by Honest John
More Questions

What Cars Are Similar To The BMW 5 Series Touring (2010 – 2017)?

Key attributes of the this model are: Comfortable seats, Estate, Family friendly, High quality interior, Large boot, Motorway cruiser and Large premium.

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What do owners think?

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  • 2 star 17%
  • 1 star 17%

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