In-depth reviews

BMW 5 Series review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

The 5 Series plug-in hybrid models are a top choice for business users, while economical diesel versions make sense if you frequently cover longer journeys

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

MPG, CO2 and Running Costs Rating

4.2 out of 5

£51,320 to £88,240
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Ever since launching its EfficientDynamics technology a decade or so ago, BMW has been leading the way for low running costs – and the new 5 Series is no exception.

If you're after a diesel model, it’s the 520d that makes the most financial sense. CO2 emissions from 126g/km place the BMW in the 30-31 per cent benefit-in-kind tax bracket. On top of that, the brand claims an impressive fuel return of 58.9mpg. Adding the xDrive four-wheel drive system increases emissions to at least 133g/km.

However, even the 530d delivers impressive low running costs, with claimed fuel efficiency of 51.4mpg and a CO2 figure of 143g/km provided you stick to SE trim.

As you’d expect, the petrol versions aren’t quite as efficient, but the 520i’s promises of 45.6mpg at the pumps and 142g/km of CO2 are good for such a big car powered by a four-cylinder engine. The M550i is the thirstiest model in the line-up, claiming to return just under 27mpg with emissions of 243g/km.

For company car users who do as much commuting as long trips, the 530e could be worth considering. The plug-in hybrid machine falls into the 12 per cent BiK tax bracket thanks to its ultra low CO2 output of just 31-35g/km. Obviously, to get anywhere near the claimed 188.3-201.8mpg you’ll have to plug the car into charge frequently and make plenty of short journeys in the electric-only mode.

Insurance groups

The 5 Series is a premium saloon that’s packed with technology, so it’s no surprise to find it falls into high insurance groupings. Lowest rating is the 520d, which fits into group 32, while at the other end of the scale is the M550i that attracts a grouping of 44. 

All the cars are fitted with a full suite of security measures, including a Thatcham category 1 rated alarm and immobiliser. BMW also offers its Trakstar service, which can locate your car in the event it is stolen.


Although customers may well be lured by BMW’s premium appeal, the 5 Series is only an average performer in terms of residual values. The best-performing 520i and 520d models hold onto around 45 per cent of their original showroom price after three years and 36,000 miles, which means that the 5 Series sits between the Audi A6 on 46 per cent and the Mercedes E-Class on 44 per cent.

Which Is Best


  • Name
    520i MHT SE 4dr Step Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price

Most Economical

  • Name
    530e M Sport 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price


  • Name
    M550i xDrive 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
  • Price
Executive editor

Paul was employed across automotive agency and manufacturer-side sectors before joining Auto Express in 2020 as our online reviews editor. After a brief sojourn at a national UK newspaper, Paul returned as executive editor where he now works closely with our commercial partners.

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