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Car Review

BMW 5 Series review

£50,700 - £87,850
Published: 09 Apr 2024
The latest 5 Series is every bit as brilliant as its predecessor. As you were...

Good stuff

Ride, handling, quality, does everything you'd expect from a BMW

Bad stuff

Slightly marmite looks, interior feels over designed in parts, no diesel (in the UK)


What is it?

It’s the eighth-generation BMW 5 Series (codename G60), which rolls out the doors over half a century after the first generation (E12) was born. It’s bigger than ever now too, measuring over five metres in length and with a wheelbase just shy of three metres. Hope you’ve got a big driveway.

Still, at least its design isn’t as, er, radical as some of BMW’s recent other monstrosities, with its nose job in particular on the conservative side (illuminated grille aside). Even so, it turns just as many heads for the right reasons as it does the wrong reasons. Rivals include the Audi A6, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

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What's under the bonnet?

In the UK, you've got the choice of mild- or plug-in hybrid, or fully electric powertrains. The entry-level variant is the familiar 520i, which gets a 2.0-litre turbocharged 4cyl engine paired with a 48V electric motor.

Your plug-in hybrid options are the 530e and 550e xDrive. The former gets a 2.0-litre turbo four pot and the latter a 3.0-litre turbo six. Those engines are then connected up with an electric motor and a 19.4kWh battery, good for of up to 63 miles and 55 miles of range respectively.

All get an eight-speed auto gearbox as standard. We’ve driven the two bookends of the range so far - 520i and 550e - and there's full details over on the Driving tab.

The all-electric i5 is available in two guises: the eDrive40 (335bhp/317lb ft/362-mile range) and the M60 xDrive (593bhp/605lb ft/321-mile range). We’re focusing on the ICE variants here but you can read all about the electric 5er by clicking these blue words.

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Has much changed inside?

The biggest talking point is the introduction of BMW’s familiar Curved Glass display, consisting of a 12.3in main instrument display behind the steering wheel and a 14.9in infotainment display merged into one unit. Take it from us: this is a hugely impressive bit of kit.

But it’s not without its drawbacks. Yep, you guessed it – gone is the climate control panel, with the controls now housed inside the touchscreen. However, BMW has used some common sense in retaining the iDrive rotary controller. Full details on the Interior tab.

How much does it cost?

Prices start at £51,000 for the mild hybrid 520i saloon, just shy of £60k for the plug-in hybrid 530e 4cyl, and £76k plus for the 550e AWD 6cyl.

The electric i5 starts at a whisker over £77k, with the entry price rising to nearly £100k for the all-singing, all-dancing dual motor all-wheel drive variant. Yikes... how much will the new M5 cost when it finally arrives?

Our choice from the range

What's the verdict?

Whatever model you go for though you can expect best in class dynamics, refinement, and all-round quality

Surprise, surprise: the eighth-generation BMW 5 Series is every bit as excellent as we expected. Even the entry-level 520i displays all of BMW’s fine driving characteristics, while the 530e and 550e xDrive plug-in hybrids offer a useful slug of e-range and - in the case of the latter - a remarkable split personality that allows it to be a comfortable wafter and a decent sports saloon. Whatever model you go for though, you can expect best in class dynamics, refinement, and all-round quality.

That said, it’s not perfect. This new 5 Series is arguably not as classy to look at as its predecessor, while there are parts of the cabin that feel a little cheap. Yes, we're looking at you, screens. Nor do we love the integrated climate controls, even if the rotary controller remains.

Look past all that though, and this is a mighty fine car indeed. While rivals stall or are on the chopping block, the 5 Series just keeps getting stronger.

The Rivals

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