In-depth reviews

BMW 5 Series review - MPG, CO2 and running costs

Low emissions and strong residuals make the 5 Series a top choice for business users and private buyers

Ever since launching its EfficientDynamics efficiency 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 of 127g/km place the BMW in the 29-32 per cent tax bracket for the 2020/21 financial year depending on trim. 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 144g/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 44.8mpg 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 10 per cent benefit in kind 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.

Then there’s the 545e: it falls into the 10-12 per cent company-car tax brackets depending on spec, so it won’t cost that much more in Benefit-in-Kind. Whether you think it’s worth it for the added performance is another matter.

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.

Depreciation

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% of their original showroom price after three years and 36,000 miles, which means that the 5 Series just out performs the Audi A6 on the second-hand market, but still trails the Mercedes E-Class.

Next Steps

Which Is Best

Cheapest

  • Name
    520i SE 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £36,525

Most Economical

  • Name
    530e SE 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £45,915

Fastest

  • Name
    M550i xDrive 4dr Auto
  • Gearbox type
    Semi-auto
  • Price
    £68,610

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