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Overall verdict

The Top Gear car review: BMW 5 Series

Overall verdict
Typically BMW for its sheer composure on the road and fine refinement.


As ever, the ride/ handling/eco/quality compromise is spot on


Focus has shifted from handling to comfort


What is it?

The new BMW 5 Series, which is like saying the new VW Golf or the new Mini. Even though it has almost all new parts, we all know exactly what it’s going to be: a fine-driving, well-built, refined luxury car, with an options list that crosses the whole dealer forecourt. The new parts, by the way, are based on the floorpan and chassis of the new 7-Series. The body is impressively light thanks to aluminium all over the skin, but the 5 doesn’t have the fancy carbonfibre structural members of the more expensive 7. 

In the UK for launch we get the choice of two turbo petrols (530i and 540i) and two diesels (520d and 530d). More engines will follow, then Touring estates, M5 and more.


Highlights from the range

Title 0–62 CO2 MPG BHP Price
The fastest
540i xDrive M Sport 4dr Auto
4.7s 165g/km 38.2 340 £52,740
The cheapest
520i SE 4dr Auto
7.8s 127g/km 49.6 184 £37,375
The greenest
530e SE 4dr Auto
6.1s 36g/km 156.9 252 £46,765