BMW 5 Series Driving, Engines & Performance | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
Car Review

BMW 5 Series

£ 37,375 - £ 64,795
810
Published: 13 Jan 2015
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Driving

What is it like to drive?

So far we’ve had the pleasure of the six-cylinder engines only – the 530d and 540i, not the 520d and 530i fours. Both sixes are class-leading for their evenhanded delivery, prompt response and high-revving enthusiasm. The calibration of the eight-speed auto is equally well-ordered. Steering weight, grip, traction, body roll and cornering balance are all spot-on – you can conduct a 5 Series down a twisty road in great serenity. But the last element of sharpness and involvement is missing from the steering. The xDrive models don’t really understeer, and the sDrive rear-drivers will, if you plead with them on a wet road, neatly loosen the tail. Meanwhile, ride comfort, at least when the adaptive damper box is ticked, rarely puts a foot wrong: it’s on the comfy side of sporting.

This car is at the leading edge of driver-aid tech, if you tick the boxes. But don’t go too far: on our test they needed too much oversight from the driver to be relaxing.

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Highlights from the range

the fastest

BMW 5 Series 545e xDrive SE 4dr Auto
  • 0-624.6s
  • CO2
  • BHP394
  • MPG
  • Price£ 56,705

the cheapest

BMW 5 Series 520d MHT SE 4dr Auto
  • 0-627.3s
  • CO2108.0g/km
  • BHP190
  • MPG
  • Price£ 38,945

the greenest

BMW 5 Series 520d MHT M Sport 4dr Auto
  • 0-627.3s
  • CO2108.0g/km
  • BHP190
  • MPG
  • Price£ 41,945
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