BMW 5-Series

#2 in Luxury Midsize Cars Overall Score: 8.9 / 10
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$51,200 - $72,500

2017 BMW 5-Series Overview

The 2017 BMW 5-Series ranks 2 out of 15 Luxury Midsize Cars.

The fully redesigned 2017 BMW 5 Series brings a slew of new features, making it one of the most technologically advanced luxury midsize cars. The 5 Series' ride emphasizes comfort, and while it's fairly composed, sportier rivals provide a more engaging driving experience.











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Pros & Cons

  • Potent lineup of engines
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Plenty of trunk space
  • Comfortable ride
  • Oddly shaped trunk in sedan models
  • Rivals offer sportier handling

Notable for 2017

  • Fully redesigned 

BMW 5-Series Rankings and Research

The 2017 BMW 5-Series ranking is based on its score within the Luxury Midsize Cars category. Currently the BMW 5-Series has a score of 8.9 out of 10 which is based on our evaluation of 17 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.


Overall: 8.9
Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.8
Safety: 9.6
Reliability: 3_5


2017 BMW 5-Series Pictures

2017 BMW 5-Series Review

By Courtney Jones July 13, 2017

The fully redesigned 2017 BMW 5 Series brings a slew of new features, making it one of the most technologically advanced luxury midsize cars. The 5 Series' ride emphasizes comfort, and while it's fairly composed, sportier rivals provide a more engaging driving experience.

Is the BMW 5 Series a Good Car?

The 2017 BMW 5 Series is less performance car and more cushioned cruiser. It shines on long distance rides, and its suspension absorbs every bump in the road. The 5 Series feels composed around corners, it just isn't as athletic as some rivals – unless you opt for the performance-tuned M550i.

The 5 Series' cabin is tailored toward driver comfort. The dashboard and controls are angled toward the driver, giving it a cockpitlike feel. First-rate materials and handsome trims adorn its interior. The infotainment system is high-tech, offering an abundance of functions and information, and it's easy to operate after some practice. Up front, you'll be treated to supreme comfort in the standard 16-way power-adjustable seats. Upgrade to the optional 20-way multicontour and massaging seats to experience some of the most pleasant seats on the market. The rear seats are spacious, with plenty of head- and legroom for most adults. The 5 Series also has plenty of trunk space for the class.  

Should I Buy the BMW 5 Series?

The 2017 BMW 5 Series ($51,200) checks nearly all the boxes for luxury sedan shoppers. Its engine lineup is strong, and its interior is upscale and exceptionally comfortable. The 5 Series' best features, however, will cost you extra. For example, its multicontour massaging front seats are some of the most comfortable on the market, but they don’t come standard. Leather upholstery also isn't standard in the 5 Series, but it is in rivals like the Audi A6 ($47,600).

Additionally, the 5 Series is fairly composed, but its ride is more about comfort. You can opt for the sport M550i if you want better handling and a potent engine, but you'll need to spend about $72,000 to get it. On the other hand, the Audi A6 costs significantly less while offering a stronger base engine and athletic driving dynamics. Another competitor, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class ($52,150), is balanced between sportiness and comfort. Wireless Apple CarPlay will cost you $300 in the 5 Series, but it comes standard in the A6 and E-Class. The 5 Series doesn’t disappoint, but before purchasing you should shop around. There are equally good, and less expensive, options.

Compare the 5 Series, E-Class, and A6 »

We Did the Research for You: 17 Pieces of Data Analyzed

To help you decide if the 2017 BMW 5 Series is a good choice for you, we analyzed 17 pieces of research and data from across the automotive industry, including reliability scores, EPA estimates, and the assessments of automotive journalists. We’ve done all the work so you don’t have to. 

The BMW 5 Series is fully redesigned for 2017.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our automotive team provides you with impartial and accurate buying advice when you're shopping for a new vehicle. We have been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs for nearly a decade, and we have a combined 75 years of experience in the automotive sector. You can trust our judgement because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automotive companies, and our advertising is managed by an outside firm.

How Much Does the BMW 5 Series Cost?

The BMW 5 Series starts at $51,200. Only a few cars are close to or more than that; the Mercedes-Benz E-Class ($52,150) is one. The Audi A6 is less pricey, starting at $47,600. The 5 Series' notable standard features include an infotainment system with a 10.2-inch touch screen, adaptive headlights, a driver drowsiness monitor, and navigation.

The 5 Series' base four-cylinder engine produces plenty of power for most shoppers, but the 540i's ($56,450) more powerful six-cylinder engine delivers stronger acceleration. Speed lovers will enjoy the M550i's ($72,100) potent V8. For the most part, options and packages are the same across trims, and there is a plethora to choose from, including a head-up display, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors for $1,800. For $2,300, you can add wireless charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, and a hands-free trunk lid.

For a detailed look at the 5 Series trims, prices, and options, see “Which BMW 5 Series Is Right for Me?” below.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

BMW 5 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: BMW 5 Series or Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class ($52,150) is a grand tourer like the 5 Series, so it’s another great option for those who enjoy ride comfort. The E-Class is also capable of delivering an engaging performance when you put it in Sport or Sport+ mode, so drivers can enjoy the best of both worlds. The 5 Series' base engine is slightly more powerful than the E-Class', but the E-Class has a wide range of available engines that deliver even more power. Inside, the E-Class' fit and finish is excellent, and the seats are nicely cushioned and supportive. The E-Class also performs well in crash tests.

However, there are some drawbacks to the E-Class: It has a smaller trunk than the 5 Series does, its infotainment system can take some time to master, and it gets lower fuel economy estimates.

Which Is Better: BMW 5 Series or Audi A6?

The Audi A6 ($47,600) is the better car for people who want more athletic performance from their luxury sedan. The A6 is one of the most nimble cars in the class, delivering confidence on winding roads. However, you have to sacrifice ride quality for agility. Its base turbocharged four-cylinder engine has more horsepower than the 5 Series' while earning the same fuel economy estimates. Additionally, the A6 comes standard with heated front seats, a rearview camera, wireless Apple CarPlay, and leather upholstery; these are optional in the 5 Series. The A6 also has outstanding safety scores and earns a Top Safety Pick award.

Compare the 5 Series, E-Class, and A6 »

5 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 5 Series Seat?

The BMW 5 Series seats five. Up front, occupants enjoy some of the most comfortable seats in the class. Opt for the 20-way multicontour and massaging seats to experience the ultimate in relaxation. In the back, most adults will have good space and comfort. However, those seats may feel too low-mounted for some taller riders, and leg and foot space are at a premium.

5 Series and Car Seats

There are two complete sets of LATCH connectors for child safety seats in the 5 Series’ back outboard seats. The rear middle seat has one upper tether anchor. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the 5 Series an overall score of Good, meaning it’s easy to connect and disconnect the connectors.

5 Series Interior Quality

The 2017 BMW 5 Series’ interior borrows many of the BMW 7 Series' upscale design cues. The 5 Series’ interior is geared toward driver comfort. The dashboard and controls are angled toward the driver, giving it a cockpitlike feel. It comes with chic and conservative styling, and top-notch materials cover every surface. However, the seats in base models are upholstered with leatherette. While leatherette is typical for base model luxury midsize cars, some competitors, including the Audi A6, come standard with leather.

5 Series Cargo Space

The 2017 BMW 5 Series sedan has 18.7 cubic feet of trunk space, which is much more than most competitors have. Hatchback (Gran Turismo) 5 Series models have up to 63.6 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has just 13.1 cubic feet of trunk space, while the Audi A6 offers slightly more at 14.1 cubic feet.

5 Series Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

The iDrive system in this 5 Series is the best iteration thus far. The large, vibrant 10.2-inch touch screen also allows inputs via voice commands, the iDrive touchpad with handwriting recognition, dashboard controls, steering wheel controls, and knobs. The 5 Series is also available with Gesture Control, which allows you to access some features by motioning in front of the screen. For instance, you can turn up the stereo volume by twirling your finger in front of the screen. The system is a bit of a novelty item that you may tire of, but if that happens, there are plenty of other ways to control the cabin's features.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a 12.3-inch touch-screen infotainment system with a touchpad. The system takes some time to learn, but once you do, it's easy to operate. The Audi A6's MMI infotainment system is one of the best available. It's controlled with a console-mounted knob that’s easily accessible.

Both the E-Class and A6 come standard with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration, but only Apple CarPlay is available in the 5 Series.  

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

5 Series Performance

5 Series Engine: Power at Every Level

The redesigned 2017 BMW 5 Series' base engine is a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 248 horsepower. The 540i gets more power with its 335-horsepower turbocharged six-cylinder. The 530e hybrid gets 180 horsepower from its turbocharged four cylinder and 111 horses from its electric motor. And power cravers can enjoy the M550i's 456-horsepower V8.

From the base 530i's turbocharged four-cylinder to the performance-tuned M550i's potent V8, you'll have plenty of power for day-to-day driving no matter which engine you choose. Additionally, even the base engine produces a hearty engine note.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class' base engine is similar to the 5 Series'. It's a turbocharged four-cylinder that generates 241 horsepower and delivers brisk acceleration. There are several other engines to choose from, including a 402-horsepower V8. The Audi A6's base turbocharged four-cylinder is a little more powerful than the 5 Series and E-Class' base engines, generating 252 horsepower. A supercharged V6 is also available, producing up to 340 horsepower.

5 Series Gas Mileage: Better Than Most

The base 530i gets great fuel economy estimates compared with other similarly powered sedans. It returns 24 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway. The Audi A6 gets the same estimates. The 540i gets 20 mpg in the city and 30 mpg on the highway.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class earns 22 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway.

5 Series Ride and Handling: Comfort Over Cornering

The BMW 5 Series is fairly nimble and handles corners with composure, especially the track-friendly M550i. However, this car is about comfort, not performance. If you want to tighten its performance, putting it in Sport mode will make a notable difference in driving dynamics. However, the 5 Series isn’t quite as athletic as rivals like the Audi A6. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class' ride is comfortable, and when in Sport mode, it turns into quite a corner carver.

Read more about performance »

5 Series Reliability

Is the BMW 5 Series Reliable?

The 5 Series sedan gets a score of 3.5 out of five for predicted reliability, according to J.D. Power and Associates. The Audi A6 receives the same rating, while the Mercedes-Benz E-Class gets a 4.5.

BMW 5 Series Warranty

BMW covers the 2017 5 Series with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 have the same warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

5 Series Safety

5 Series Crash Test Results

Neither the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety nor the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has crash-tested the 2017 BMW 5 Series.

The Audi A6 gets a perfect rating from both agencies, as well as an IIHS Top Safety Pick award. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class also gets perfect scores from the NHTSA, and the E-Class coupe gets a score of Good, the highest offered, in all four IIHS tests.

5 Series Safety Features

The BMW 5 Series has just a few standard active safety features. It comes with adaptive LED headlights, which adjust the direction of the car's headlights based on steering wheel inputs. It also comes with a driver drowsiness monitor, which gives the driver a warning when a lack of focus is detected based on driving patterns. Also standard is BMW's Active Protection System, which detects imminent accidents and prepares by automatically tightening seatbelts, closing the windows and moonroof, and activating post-crash braking.

Like most luxury midsize cars, the 5 Series can be equipped with a wide array of driver assistance systems to help prevent an accident. An available rearview camera gives you a view behind the car, while a top-view camera shows you the ground around every side of your car. Front and rear parking sensors detect how close you are to objects as you pull into or out of parking spaces.

Lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring complement each other as you drive along multilane roads. Blind spot monitoring warns you if a vehicle is in the lane next to you, while lane departure warning tells you when your vehicle starts to drift outside your lane. Forward collision warning can tell if you're likely to hit something in front of you, and it will automatically apply the brakes to minimize any damage.

An optional night vision camera with pedestrian detection lets you see up to 330 feet in front of you when driving in the dark. The system can differentiate pedestrians from the background and will highlight them on the screen so you will be aware of their presence before you actually see them.

Read more about safety »

Which BMW 5 Series Model Is Right for Me?

The BMW 5 Series starts at $51,200. It comes in sedan and hatchback (Gran Turismo) body styles. There are five trims: 530i, 540i, 550i, 535i GT, and 530e (hybrid). Each model comes with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard. All-wheel drive is optional in all trims but comes standard in the 550i.

Which model is right for you depends on how much power you need. The base 5 Series' engine produces brisk acceleration and should cover the needs of most shoppers. Those who want to boost highway acceleration should go for the more powerful 540i.

A number of stand-alone options are available at each trim level where they aren’t standard. A Harman Kardon stereo is priced at $875, wireless Apple CarPlay is $300, and dynamic damper control costs $1,000.

BMW 5 Series 530i

The base BMW 530i ($51,200) is equipped with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a moonroof, a 12-speaker audio system, HD Radio, a USB port, Bluetooth, and BMW's iDrive infotainment system, which includes a 10.2-inch high-resolution display, navigation, a console-mounted control knob, and a touchpad that recognizes letters and numbers written with your fingertip. New for 2017, the 5 Series also comes with adaptive LED headlights, a driver drowsiness monitor, sport seats, and an Active Protection package.

An $800 cold weather package adds a heated steering wheel and heated front and rear seats. For $1,800, you can get a head-up display, a rearview camera, and front and rear parking sensors. Add $1,400 to that package, and you also get automatic parallel park assist, and a surround-view camera. Multicontour, ventilated, and massaging front seats are priced at $1,600. A $2,300 package adds wireless charging, a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio, and a hands-free trunk lid. Many of these features are also available as stand-alone options. All-wheel drive is priced at $2,300.

BMW 5 Series 530e

The BMW 530e ($51,400) hybrid has a 111-horsepower electric motor and a four-cylinder twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that produces 180 horsepower.

BMW 5 Series 535i

The BMW 535i Gran Turismo ($60,900) is the 5 Series' hatchback body style. It comes with a turbocharged 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It adds air suspension, leather upholstery, a power tailgate, and front and rear parking sensors.

BMW 5 Series 540i

The 540i ($56,450) comes with the same features as the 530i, but it has a more powerful turbocharged, 335-horsepower 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine.

BMW 5 Series M550i

The performance-tuned M550i ($72,100) comes with a 4.4-liter V8 engine that generates 456 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. It also comes with leather upholstery, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, a Bowers & Wilkins premium stereo or a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, satellite radio, a power trunk lid, front and rear parking sensors, and a rearview camera. Performance upgrades include a self-leveling rear air suspension. This trim was formerly called the M5.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local BMW dealer. You can also find excellent manufacturer incentives on our BMW deals page.

See 2017 BMW 5 Series specs and trims »

The Final Call

If you’re looking for comfortable cruising, the 2017 BMW 5 Series will satisfy your desire. It’s a nice ride for commutes and road trips. However, it doesn’t have the nimble handling of some rivals, including the Audi A6. Each engine in its lineup is strong, and with the base engine, fuel economy estimates are great for the class.

Inside, the 5 Series has quality materials, exceptionally comfortable front seats, and a straightforward infotainment system with lots of features. Trunk space is also good for the class.

The 5 Series is priced near the top of the class, but it's in line with many of its close competitors, including the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "Against a field that includes the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-Class, the Cadillac CTS, and the Lexus GS, the new BMW 540i feels very strong indeed. Only a proper comparison test could crown a winner. But one thing is abundantly clear: BMW messed with a good thing and made it way better." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "If you want a midsize-luxury sedan with all the expected premium trappings, loads of technology and an edge for drivers who enjoy engaging manners, the 2017 BMW 5 Series remains the one to beat. A pedigree spanning over four decades doesn't hurt, either." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Based on this initial experience with BMW's 2017 5 Series, I'm confident in reporting that it represents a dynamic benchmark within its segment if not a leader in terms of design and technology." -- New York Daily News

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