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2018 BMW 5 Series review

We put BMW’s class-leading executive saloon through its paces.


When you hear the name “BMW”, it’s likely that the first thing that springs into your mind is an image of a 5 Series.

The manufacturer itself has said that this highly successful executive saloon is the model that customers associate with its brand more than any other.

The 5 Series is designed to cater for hard-working business people who spend a lot of their time navigating the UK’s network of motorways as they make their way to various meetings and conferences.

This is a role that the 5 Series has become something of a champion for, making it the usual first choice of model in its market.

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Our test car was a 520d model, meaning it had an entry-level 2.0-litre diesel engine under the bonnet.

This powertrain is a perfect fit for the 5 Series – its 187bhp offers plenty of punch on a motorway cruise, while a combined fuel consumption figure of 69mpg means that there’s a balance of power and economy.

This engine also produces 400Nm of torque and enables a 0-60mph time of 7.3 seconds, as well as a top speed of 146mph.

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Ride & Handling

In terms of driving dynamics, the 5 Series is beautifully refined – virtually no road or wind noise can be heard in the cabin, while the ride is incredibly smooth.

However, this relatively large saloon also has no problem bombing down a back-road either, with the suspension holding up well in the corners and the 2.0-litre unit not struggling at all to keep the car moving.

Drivability is also enhanced by the car’s new lightened chassis, which not only makes the 5 Series better in the corners, but also helps improve fuel economy.

Interior & Equipment

As you would expect from an executive saloon car, the 5 Series’ interior has a real premium feel to it.

The build quality is top notch and there are soft materials everywhere, making for an ultra-comfortable environment. The cabin is hugely spacious as well, with tonnes of room in the front and rear for a total of five people.

The well-crafted interior is topped off by the inclusion of a high-quality touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument cluster.


The BMW 5 Series starts at £36,025, which buys you an entry-level 520d, while our test car was worth £37,060.

There are a wide variety of features included as standard, such as cruise control, satellite navigation, parking sensors, a digital instrument cluster, heated seats and a leather steering wheel.

Meanwhile, optional extras on offer include Alcantara headlining for £1,100, front comfort seats for £1,705 and a reversing camera for £375. There’s also the Driving Assistant Plus option, which costs £2,250 and gives you a number of safety features, such as adaptive cruise control, steering and lane-keeping assists and autonomous emergency braking.


The BMW 5 Series sits in a very competitive section of the marketplace, but it has once again claimed the title of the segment’s top dog.

If you cover a lot of miles, you’ll have a hard time finding anything that’s more enjoyable to drive, more relaxing on lengthy journeys or better value for money.

The 520d model in particular will also do the job for anyone who wants an economical every day runabout with a diesel powertrain and from a premium brand.

The stats

Model: BMW 520d

Price: £37,060

Power: 187bhp

Torque: 400Nm

Top speed: 146mph

0-60mph: 7.3 seconds

MPG (combined): 69mpg

Emissions: 108g/km


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