Large Company Car of the Year 2022: BMW 5 Series
The BMW 5 Series is the 2022 Auto Express Large Company Car of the Year, with the BMW X5 and Porsche Taycan commended
Fifty years after making its debut, BMW’s 5 Series is still at the very top of its game. Now in its seventh generation, the evergreen exec makes more sense than ever, its blend of upmarket image, top-notch quality and cutting-edge tech making it the perfect addition to any corporate car park.
Like all BMWs, the 5 Series is a delight to drive, its precise steering and engaging handling helping to lift your spirits. Yet it’s also supremely comfortable, with a smooth ride and hushed refinement taking the sting out of the daily grind.
Inside, the BMW serves up plenty of space to stretch out in, while the lavish use of luxurious materials gives the cabin a true club-class feel. It’s also crammed with the latest tech, including a brilliantly intuitive infotainment system that shows BMW hasn’t rested on its laurels when it comes to connectivity and advanced in-car kit.
There’s also a choice of sleek saloon or practical Touring estate bodystyles, so there’s something for everyone. Plus BMW offers a wide range of engines, including mild-hybrid petrols and diesels – the latter ideal for high-mileage drivers – as well as the supercar-slaying M5 at the top of the range.
However, for business users with one eye on the bottom line, it’s the petrol-electric plug-in hybrids that make the most sense. Both the 530e and 545e manage well over 30 miles of all-electric driving, with CO2 emissions from as little as 32g/km. The latter also features the firm’s silky smooth 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, which combines with an electric motor to deliver a thumping total power output of 389bhp. Yet it will help higher-rate earners save nearly £2,500 in tax over an equivalent 520d.
With its high class, supreme comfort and great drive, this strength in depth is what makes the 5 Series such a formidable executive option, and one that rivals are going to struggle to knock off the top spot of the podium.
BMW 530e M Sport saloon (£55,075)
The plug-in hybrid models are the most appealing options for company car drivers, and the 530e combines a lengthy EV-only range with a total output of 288bhp. M Sport trim is our pick of the range, and with a £5,000 deposit and a 10,000-mile annual limit, a three-year PCP deal brings the overall cost to £821 per month.
If you want the ultimate all-rounder, then look no further than the exceptional X5. Blending luxury-car comfort, seven-seat versatility, rugged SUV appeal and genuine driver engagement, the brilliant BMW has every base covered. Yet it’s the plug-in hybrid xDrive45e version that makes it such hot property in the company car park, with CO2 emissions of 27g/km and a 54-mile EV range.
Porsche’s Taycan turned the high-performance EV class on its head, and three years later, rivals are still scrambling to keep up. It’s not cheap, but a low BiK rating means you’ll pay less in tax than on a mid-spec Mercedes E-Class. Crucially, this EV combines luxury with sports-car thrills – and with a relatively affordable rear-drive model, plus an estate version, the Taycan is a great option.
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