Review: BMW 5 Series Touring (2017)

Rating:

Rides superbly thanks to standard fit self-levelling air suspension. xDrive available on top models. Impeccable quality interior. All have 2000kg towing capacity.

Only 520i SE below £40,000. Steering lacks the weight of previous 5 Series.

Recently Added To This Review

13 June 2019 Tow Car Award for BMW 5 Series Touring

BMW 520d Touring xDrive M Sport named best in 1700-1899kg category of the 2019 Tow Car Awards. Read more

31 July 2018

Notified that an unexpected safety feature of 5 Series Touring is that unless 'P' on the gear selector is selected to apply the parking brake, rear passengers cannot buckle their safety belts. Read more

18 July 2018 Eight-speed Steptronic for 520d

The BMW 520d will now be fitted with the eight-speed Steptronic transmission as standard. Read more

BMW 5 Series Touring (2017): At A Glance

If you're after a big premium estate, you've never had it so good. The quality of models from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi mean there are really no bad choices.

Whatever you choose, you're unlikely to be disappointed. In fact there are such fine margins between them, heralding one as the 'best in class' is nigh on impossible.

But this generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring makes a very good case for itself. It's every inch the upmarket estate it presents itself as, with a beautifully finished interior, excellent refinement and a huge load area. 

Longer than before and with a bigger wheelbase, rear space has improved while the boot is a little larger too. The 5 Series Touring is also incredibly refined and the 520d - which is the most common model - is powered by one of the best 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines around.

Seriously, this thing is excellent. It's punchy, eager yet quiet and smooth too. It's also economical to run with claimed economy of more than 65mpg. There's no need to look at this as the 'poor relation' in the range, if anything it suits the BMW to a tee.

That said, the top diesel is immense. The 530d is available with xDrive four-wheel drive but at close to £50k it's not cheap. However, it's all the car you'll ever need - quick, capable and comfortable.

Even if you go for an M Sport model, the 5 Series Touring rides exceptionally well, helped in no small part by the automatic self-levelling rear suspension which comes as standard on all models. Also standard fit is an eight-speed automatic gearbox - you'll no longer find a manual transmission on a 5 Series Touring. All models can also tow up to 2000kg.

While the steering may lack the weight of the the previous 5 Series, this generation actually handles better with the reworked suspension giving it an agility that belies its size. It's speciality may be covering motorway miles in comfort, but the 5 Series Touring's forte is to be found in tight corners. 

It's hard to find fault with the 5 Series Touring - it does everything you ask of it impeccably. The ultimate estate car? We'd find it hard to argue with that.

BMW 5 Series Touring 2017 Road Test

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

List Price from £37,595
Buy new from £28,631
Contract hire from £290.39 per month
Get a finance quote with CarMoney

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

Dimensions
Length 4942 mm
Width 2126 mm
Height 1498 mm
Wheelbase 2975 mm

Full specifications

This generation of the 5 Series Touring has a slightly bigger boot than before - around 10 litres more. That's hardly a big increase but the previous model wasn't exactly small. With 570 litres, it's still smaller than the cavernous Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, but is pretty much on par with a Volvo V90 and Jaguar XF Sportbrake. 

Most people won't struggle for space and thanks to a wide opening tailgate and vertical sides, you can pack plenty in for a day out with the kids. If you do want to drop the seats, they fold 40/20/40 giving you extra flexibility if you want to carry something longer but still need space for someone in the back.

The back seats fold down flat via a button in the boot, although unlike a Land Rover Discovery, you have to manually lift them back up afterwards - but it's little hardship. One very neat feature is the fact you can stow the luggage cover and net away in a dedicated space under the boot floor. Drop all the seats and you've got a huge load space of 1700 litres.

Like the previous 5 Series, this one also features the handy separate opening window in the tailgate, which is really useful if you're parked close up to a wall and need to get something out of the boot. 

The rest of the interior is just as you'd expect from a high end BMW with a quality feel running throughout. The seats are incredibly comfortable and supportive, making this a great car for long distances. Taller drivers will appreciate the legroom too.

In the back there's plenty of space - helped by a longer wheelbase - and good headroom plus proper plastic covers for the Isofix points so getting child seats in as a doddle. There is however a big central tunnel which cuts room for your feet and means it's a real squeeze with three in the back.

BMW has updated its multimedia system with better graphics and nicer looking menus, although anyone familiar with the old system will find the new one very similar. It has the same rotary control dial by the gear lever but the main display is now also a touchscreen and even includes gesture control. Although it seems like a gimmick rather than something genuinely useful. 

There are no 'basic' 5 Series Touring models anymore, with the SE coming with pretty much everything you need, although as you'd expect, there is a very lengthy optional extra list with everything from a panoramic sunroof to soft close doors and massage seats.

Standard equipment from launch:

SE models have 17-inch light alloy V-spoke style 618 wheels (520i / 520d / 520d xDrive / 525d), 18-inch light alloy Multi-spoke style 619 wheels (530i / 540i xDrive / 530d / 530d xDrive), access to BMW Connected+ for 12 months from vehicle production (subscription required), active air stream kidney grille, air conditioning, automatic with two-zone control, ambient lighting, automatically retracting and lowering load cover, Bluetooth Hands-free facility with USB audio interface, automatic transmission with gearshift paddles (520i / 520d / 520d xDrive only), BMW ConnectedDrive Services, brake lights with LED technology, cruise control with braking function, DAB tuner, Drive Performance Control, exhaust tailpipes – single, round, left and right in chrome, exhaust tailpipes – single, quadrilateral, left and right in chrome (540i xDrive), floor mats in velour, interior trim in aluminium fine cutting with Pearl Chrome highlight, LED Headlights, luggage compartment dividing net retractable, navigation system – BMW Professional Multimedia, Park Distance Control (PDC) front and rear, rain sensor with automatic headlight activation, rear-view mirror automatically dimming, roof rails in matt silver, Seat adjustment front and partially electric, Seat heating front, split folding rear seat (40:20:40), sport automatic transmission with gearshift paddles (530i / 540i xDrive / 525d / 530d / 530d xDrive), sport leather steering wheel, three-spoke, tailgate operation automatic, tailgate window with independent opening and tyre pressure monitoring.

M Sport models have 18-inch light alloy M Double-spoke style 662 M wheels (520i / 520d / 520d xDrive / 525d), 19-inch M light alloy M Double-spoke style 664 M wheels (530i / 540i xDrive / 530d / 530d xDrive), door sill finishers with illuminated M designation, exhaust tailpipes – single, quadrilateral, left and right in chrome, exterior trim in high-gloss shadowline, headlining in anthracite, instrument panel in Sensatec, interior trim, aluminium rhombicle with pearl chrome highlight, LED fog lights, M aerodynamic bodystyling, M designation on front side panels, left and right M specific floor mats, M specific pedals, M specific steering wheel, M Sport braking system (530i / 540i xDrive / 525d / 530d / 530d xDrive) and roof rail in high-gloss shadowline.

Child seats that fit a BMW 5 Series Touring (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 (2017) like to drive?

Thanks to automatic self-levelling rear suspension, which is standard on all models, the 5 Series Touring rides very well, even if you go for M Sport models with bigger wheels and lower profile tyres.

Refinement is as good as you'd expect from a premium BMW estate with minimal noise in the cabin - even from the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel - helped by lots of sound proofing, while there's very little vibration. 

It's further aided by the fact the body of this 5 Series Touring is not only stiffer than before but around 100kg lighter. That hefty weight loss has other advantages - namely fuel economy and handling. True, the steering no longer has the nice weight it did before, but that's the only real criticism here.

Because, while the 5 Series Touring weighs less than before, at around 1800kg it's not exactly a lightweight - this is still a big car. Yet get it onto a nice quiet country lane and you'll see where your money goes. It's agile and surprisingly lithe through corners, with huge reserves of grip and impressive traction. Go for an xDrive model and it feels even more reassuring when accelerating away from a slow corner.

Yet the 5 Series Touring manages to blend this with that excellent ride quality, and it feels incredibly stable at high speeds. This is, after all, a car designed for the Autobahn.

The most popular model is the 520d. No surprises there given that it's the most economical with the official figures suggesting it will return up to 65mpg. In the real world you'll be looking at 50mpg - check out Real MPG for the latest figures.

The 2.0-litre diesel is a great fit for the 5 Series Touring, with plenty of in-gear pace and low down pulling power, meaning you'll rarely be wanting for performance. It's quiet too (from in the cabin at least) and works well with the eight-speed automatic which is now standard on all 5 Series Touring models.

But diesel needn't be the default here. Indeed, if you're not covering long distances or do lots of shorter journeys, a petrol will be a far better bet - and will work out cheaper to buy. Plus you'll have no issues with DPFs.

The 520i is, according to BMW, a 'new-generation' four-cylinder petrol engine. Like its predecessor it produces 184PS but has more torque with 290Nm. However, the big change is an improvement in official fuel economy, up from 42.2mpg in the previous model to more than 52mpg. It's also a bit quicker from 0-62mph if that's your thing.

The 530i rather confusingly uses the same 2.0-litre petrol engine - it's no longer a six-cylinder engine - but it does have plenty of power with 252PS. If you do want a six-cylinder petrol, the 540i is the model for you. It's immensely quick with 340PS and sounds great, but economy is as low as you'd expect - just 38mpg officially and considerably less in real life.

The best engine in the range though? We'd say it's the 530d. Yes it's expensive, but it's pretty much perfect for the 5 Series. It has that lovely muscular six-cylinder nature, makes a great sound and doesn't hang about either. On paper it has 265PS but it's the huge 620Nm of torque which propels it along with such gusto.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
520d Automatic 59–60 mpg 7.8 s 114–119 g/km
520d xDrive Automatic 55–56 mpg 7.9 s 129–134 g/km
520i Automatic 46–46 mpg 8.2 s 132–136 g/km
525d Automatic 54–60 mpg 6.8 s 124–129 g/km
530d Automatic 51 mpg 5.8 s 131 g/km
530d xDrive Automatic 48 mpg 5.6 s 144 g/km
530i Automatic 46 mpg 6.5 s 139 g/km
540i xDrive Automatic 36 mpg 5.1 s 172 g/km

Real MPG average for a BMW 5 Series Touring (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

79%

Real MPG

21–55 mpg

MPGs submitted

72

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 (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

My BMW is being recalled and the replacement car isn't a suitable replacement - what do you advise I do?

My diesel BMW 5 Series Touring has a recall. When booking I was told (verbally) that the replacement part was in stock and that an X2 was available for loan - so I could load my fishing tackle. On taking the car in I have been informed that it could be 8 weeks as the part is not in stock and then I learn the loan car is not an X2, is not suitable for purpose and only available for one day. Then I find out that the rental will be provided if the part needs replacement but there is no choice with the vehicle. This means I might not be able to go fishing for up to two months. I really feel for the poor chap who had to deal with me because this seems to be a major issue. However, BMW is failing big time and letting their dealers down. Hearing about the dealer’s problems does not help, although I can sympathise. I could sign a disclaimer and have my car but suspect my insurance would become invalid. Apart from my confidence in BMW taking a massive hit, do you have any advice to offer? Of course, if my EGR is found to be okay, the problem goes away.
165,000 people are in the same boat and BMW is doing what it can to manage the situation. Some new EGR coolers are coming through and being fitted. The problem is having to suddenly remanufacture the numbers needed in the shortest possible time and put owners into courtesy or hire cars for the duration of the wait. I guess if you wanted to get stroppy you could tell the dealer you were hiring your own suitable car and then bill the dealer for it, following up with Small Claims if it failed to pay. But it'd be better if you tried to find a compromise. I would not continue to drive your car.
Answered by Honest John
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