One of the things that many people admire about the history of the 5 Series is that design changes from one generation to the next have always been relatively subtle. When BMW unveiled the E60 in 2004 many people were worried that they had change the design too much. But with the current generation, you can see that there was a method to their madness. There are many body choices available when it comes to the 5 Series as it is available as a saloon, touring or Gran Turismo. It looks likely that there will be a new 5 Series in 2017/2018.
BMW certainly understands how to make a large range of engines available. Customers won’t be stuck for choice. For good measure, BMW has even thrown in an Active Hybrid version that offers a nice 306hp. The petrol range will bring you from the 184 bhp in the 520i SE Saloon, to the 449 bhp in the 550i M Sport Gran Turismo. Then there’s the M5 with its incredible 560 bhp, 0-100km/h in 4.3 seconds. The diesel options are just as vast, starting off with the 518d which offers 150 bhp and peaking with the 535d M Sport giving 313 bhp.
Steering in the 5 series is well-weighted and precise. This machine is available with adaptive dampers which create brilliant road handling and ride. In terms of suspension the SE option is smooth whereas the M Sport suspension system is a little firm.
The 5 Series is perfectly insulated for road noise, and the only things you’ll here is the noise that BMW wants you too when you’re driving in higher powered engines. Both automatic and manual transmissions are a real treat too. Gear changes are smooth and precise.
Once again BMW delivers in the interior department. There’s nothing overly flash in here, but everything is precise, driver focused and abundantly functional. BMW’s infotainment system in is called iDrive and it is very easy to use.
The seats can be manoeuvred in many ways and the driving positions are excellent. Regardless of what trim you go for you will find the seats to be comfortable and of good quality. As standard you will find plenty of goodies including Bluetooth, USB Connectivity, DAB radio, SATNAV, and much more. There are a large range of optional extras available in all BMWs, but buyer beware, they can be expensive.
Safety is very important to BMW and this car reflects that. Apart from a large number of airbags, you will also find plenty of optional and standard safety equipment. One of the most notable systems is their “Traffic Jam Assistant”. What this does is it controls the speed of your car in relation to the car in front when you are in a traffic jam. This system is similar to adaptive cruise control, except that it operates at speeds between 0 and 69km/h. This system even takes over the steering while the car is in thick traffic.
The 5 Series offers plenty of space to the front and to the rear. This is a great family car and you certainly get what you pay for. While the boot offers 520 litres, it wouldn’t be as spacious as a Skoda Superb for example - which would be a good less expensive alternative to this car.