BMW 5 Series

2016 BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series has been around for a long time, and the 2016 model is expected to be the last of its generation, at six years old. It has aged well with its traditional looks (updated for 2015).

Some impressive challengers have a lot to offer, namely the Cadillac CTS, Audi S6 and S7, and Jaguar XF. Still, the 5 Series endures, with responsive driving dynamics, the right amount of luxury, but most of all some of the worlds best powertrains, chassis and safety.

The 5 Series is vast, from sedans to Gran Turismo hatchbacks, and engines including an economical turbo four, smooth inline six-cylinder, turbocharged V8, hybrid, diesel, all offering that great BMW ride and handling. Theres nothing new for 2016 except a standard Harman Kardon surround sound system and power trunk lid on the 550i.

The 528i uses a strong turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder making 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The 535i takes a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft, while the 550i boasts a twin-turbocharged V8 with an awesome 445 hp and 480 lb-ft. Theres also a high-performance M5, but the 550i is nearly as quick, with a zero-to-sixty time of just 4.5 seconds.

On the economy side, theres the relaxed and confident 535d, with its 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline six making 255 hp and 433 lb-ft. The ActiveHybrid5 uses a 300-hp turbocharged six with a 54-hp electric motor system and 1.3-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Its nearly as quick as the 535i.

The M5 is a performance icon. It makes a humongous 560 horsepower, and is available with a Competition Package that boosts it to 575. Choose between a six-speed manual transmission or seven-speed twin clutch and be thrilled either way.

Manual transmissions are available in the 5 Series models except for the hybrid, diesel and xDrive all-wheel-drive cars.

Fuel mileage runs the gamut of the engines, with the 528i bringing a strong 22 mpg city/34 mpg highway, pretty great for a luxury sedan, even better than the hybrid. Even the 4.4-liter V8 in the 550i brings mileage thats not much below 20 combined. Of course its the 535d diesel that wins, with 26/38. In one city/highway run in cold weather, we got 37 mpg.

The 5 Series get top crash-test scores from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) and federal government, except, significantly, for a Marginal rating in the IIHS telephone-pole (small overlap frontal) test.


2015 BMW 5 Series

Like a versatile actor, the BMW 5 Series is capable of playing many roles. Its a comfortable commuter, a roomy family car, and a capable sports sedan. It offers dynamic performance and handling, and can carry four passengers easily without feeling too cavernous.

Changes for 2015 are minor, and include a few new standard features that previously cost extra like Bluetooth audio streaming, a leather sport steering wheel and LED foglights. Luxury and M Sport trim lines continue, the Modern Line is discontinued. The current-generation 5 Series was launched for 2011 and updated for 2014.

The BMW 528i is powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder; the BMW 535i uses a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder. Line-topping 550i models use a 4.4-liter V8, good for 445 hp, and 480 lb.-ft. of torque. Its the fastest of the bunch, and BMW says the 550i can speed from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Perhaps our favorite variant is the diesel-powered 535d, which uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Not only does it get an EPA-rated 26/38 mpg City/Highway, but diesels well-known range helped our 535d test car go more than 500 miles on a single tank, and thats with spirited driving. Although it has a $1,500 price premium over the gasoline-powered 535i, those who travel long distances, especially at highway speeds, could be very satisfied with their return on the money.

The odd duck of the bunch is the Gran Turismo, which has more space for people and cargo, but whose high, boxy rear might not appeal to everyone. The GTs wheelbase is four inches longer than other 5 Series models, with a long hood and a low, coupe-like roofline. The Gran Turismo comes in two versions: the 535i GT with the turbocharged inline-6, and the 550i GT with the V8. Each is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.

All 5 Series models come standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Inside, materials and quality as are expected from a BMW, whose interior designs are often more interesting, with a variety of textures and colors, than the more austere Audi, yet not as daring as the swoopy, angular lines employed by Cadillac. Navigation comes standard on all models, as well as the iDrive interface, which uses a touchpad on top of the rotary controller that lets users draw letters and numbers with a fingertip, instead of scrolling through characters on the screen.

The performance-oriented M5 sedan is equipped with a 560-horsepower V8, available with a 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. Although it has the same amount of space as its more practical counterparts, the M5 feels tight and compact on the track, the sign of a well-engineered car. On an autocross course at BMWs new Performance Center in Thermal, California, near Palm Springs, we turned the fastest lap of the bunch thanks to the M5s powerful engine and lightning-quick dual-clutch gearbox. While others preferred to manually shift with paddles, we put it in Drive and let it do its thing. In Sport + mode, we had the perfect balance between slip and control, sliding around corners without knocking down cones.

Competitors to the 2015 BMW 5 Series are formidable, including the Audi A6, the Cadillac CTS, Lexus GS and Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Those considering the 5 Series Gran Turismo might also consider the elegant Audi A7, with its superior looks and ample cargo space. Although in our book nothing matches the M5 on the track, those interested in a high-powered midsize luxury sedan could also consider the Jaguar XF-R and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.


2014 BMW 5 Series

The BMW 5 Series offer a delightful balance of comfort and performance. Once known only as a four-door gasoline-powered sedan in the U.S., the 5 Series lineup has multiplied into more than a dozen variants, including a larger Gran Turismo body style, and a new diesel-powered sedan.

Mildly refreshed for 2014, the 5 Series gets a revised twin kidney grille, redesigned lower air intakes and new tail lamps. Like other BMW models on the market, the 5 Series is available in different lines: Luxury, Modern and M Sport, each with its own unique styling and trims.

Inside, the interior has been updated with standard navigation on all models and slightly more storage space, as well as new options like a rear entertainment system and personal concierge service. The updated iDrive interface also allows users to finger-trace letters and numbers on top of the control knob to enter information (similar to the touchpad found on Audi models).

The biggest news for 2014 is the 535d, available in both rear-wheel-drive and all-wheel-drive (xDrive) models, which uses a turbocharged, 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that makes 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque. Not only does it get an EPA-rated 26/38 mpg City/Highway, but diesel's well-known range helped our 535d test car go more than 500 miles on a single tank, and that's with spirited driving. Although it has a $1,500 price premium over the gasoline-powered 535i, those who travel long distances, especially at highway speeds, could be very satisfied with their return on the money.

Carrying over are the BMW 528i, BMW 535i and BMW 550i variants, powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, and a 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder, respectively. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard; the 535i can be equipped with an optional 6-speed manual.

Line-topping 550i models continue to use a 4.4-liter V8, but for 2014, the engine has been retuned to make 445 hp, and 480 lb.-ft. of torque, an increase of 45 hp and 30 lb-ft., respectively. BMW says the 550i can speed from 0-60 mph in 4.5 seconds.

Gran Turismo models ride on a wheelbase extended by four inches, with 2+2 seating behind a long hood and under a coupe roofline. The Gran Turismo come in two versions: 535i GT with the turbo I6 and 550i GT with the V8. Each is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.

The performance-oriented M5 sedan is equipped with a 560-horsepower V8, available with a 6-speed manual 7-speed dual-clutch transmission with paddle shifters. In addition to minor styling updates, the Competition package is also new for 2014, which bumps up horsepower to 575, and includes a different exhaust system, minor tuning revisions and unique 20-inch wheels.

Competitors to the 2014 BMW 5 Series are formidable, including the Audi A6, all-new Cadillac CTS (now larger than before), Lexus GS and the recently redesigned Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Those considering the 5 Series Gran Turismo might also consider the elegant Audi A7, with its ample cargo space. Rivals to the high-powered M5 include the Jaguar XF-R and the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG.


2013 BMW 5 Series

Recently redesigned, the BMW 5 Series gets two new models for 2013: the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 and the high-performance BMW M5. The 2013 BMW 5 Series now includes a dozen models, counting the variants with all-wheel drive.

The BMW 528i sedan is the entry-level model, with a potent 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Then there is the BMW 535i sedan, with the sweet 300-hp turbocharged inline-6; and the 550i sedan, with a whumping 445-hp V8. The four-door sedan bodies are the same, and they all come with a smooth 8-speed manual automatic transmission.

The 5 Series cars come standard with rear-wheel drive, but each is also available as an all-wheel-drive xDrive model.

Gran Turismo models ride on a wheelbase extended by four inches, with 2+2 seating behind a long hood and under a coupe roofline. The Gran Turismo come in two versions: 535i GT with the turbo I6 and 550i GT with the V8. Each is available with xDrive all-wheel drive.

The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 combines the turbocharged 6-cylinder with a 54-horsepower electric motor to make an impressive combined 335 horsepower and deliver an unimpressive 23/30 City/Highway miles per gallon EPA rating. The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery in the trunk.

The 2013 BMW M5 features a 560-horsepower V8. The 2013 M5 is available with a 6-speed manual transmission or 7-speed double-clutch paddle-shifting transmission. The new M5 is ready for the track, but we found that for anything more than a handful of laps it needs ceramic brake rotors, which are expected to be an option for the 2014 model.

The 2013 BMW 550i gets a big bump in power. The V8 in the 550i is up from 45 horsepower to 445 hp for 2013, with torque increasing by 30 foot-pounds to 480 pound-feet.

The luxury midsize 5 Series was redesigned for 2011, and the 528i got its powerful and efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 2012. BMWs 2.0-liter turbocharged engine rivals Audis 2.0-liter turbo.

All three BMW 5 Series sedans are chic, crisp and distinguished for their aggressive styling and driving character. For the most demanding sporting driver, they are big and heavy, but their excellent dynamics and agility make them assertively proactive and manageable when faced with the necessity of an emergency avoidance maneuver, making them excellent family sedans.

The 5 Series offers a comprehensive inventory of passive safety provisions, with multiple airbags and structural provisions that protect occupants in the event an impact occurs. The 5 Series models are substantial, well-engineered passenger cars, yet they are gifted with an exciting athleticism that keeps the driving experience engaging and pleasurable.

BMWs fourth-generation iDrive cockpit-management system is much easier to use than previous versions, but it is still not always intuitive or straightforward. With patience and a little insight, though, iDrive can get you what you want. The 2013 models get further streamlining and simplification to the navigation and infotainment programs. Other than that, 2013 changes to the 5 Series are all to the option packages.

The modular BMW interior is handsome and contemporary. Glowing tan and matte-black contrast handsomely on the dashboard, these surfaces punctuated by elegant swatches of exotic wood. Instrumentation is comprehensive and flawless. Gauges are about perfect to look at and read. Those who see themselves as having reached a certain level of luxury should be satisfied in this stylish cabin. Those whose standards of ergonomics and efficiency are high, might find compromised areas.

With minimal frontal overhang and muscular flanks that seem shaped by this cars dynamic forward thrust, the 5 Series never quite looks at rest. But driving excitement has always been BMWs stock in trade. And the 5 Series, whether in its spirited turbocharged four-cylinder 528i form, its smooth-as-glass inline-6 535i form, or its forceful, V8-powered top-of-the-line 550i, fully earns its reputation in motion. Even the ActiveHybrid 5 is powerful, accelerating from zero to 60 in 5.7 seconds. And the M5s performance is purely awesome.

For those susceptible to real driving enthusiasm, the 5 Series models seem to exhort you to drive them vigorously, confidently, with pleasure. Their over-the-road qualities, or at least the promise of them, are surely what motivate many BMW aspirants. That these roomy sedans also provide safe, sumptuous family transportation qualify them as a highly desirable mid-size entries.

Shopping Tools

INVENTORY


Learn More

SERVICE & PARTS


Learn More

DEALER SPECIALS


Learn More

FINANCIAL SERVICES


Learn More

OUR STORY


Learn More

COLLISION CENTER


Learn More