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2013 BMW 5-Series Review

The BMW 5 Series has crisp driving dynamics and robust engine performance. However, its classmates have higher reliability ratings and lower ownership costs, keeping this BMW from ranking higher in a fiercely competitive class.

Pros & Cons

  • Athletic handling
  • Strong turbocharged engines
  • User-friendly infotainment system
  • Rivals have more luxurious interiors




Critics' Rating: 8.3
Performance: 8.3
Interior: 7.8
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.3
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 BMW 5-Series Overview

Is the 2013 BMW 5 Series a Good Used Car?

The BMW 5 Series – available as a sedan or hatchback – makes a fine used luxury midsize car. It strikes a great balance between ride comfort and handling, making it a very enjoyable car to drive. It also boasts brawny engine power, roomy seating space, and easy-to-use features. Despite these positives, the BMW falls short of top competitors like the 2013 Lexus GS when it comes to reliability. The 2013 BMW 5 Series Hybrid is reviewed separately.

Used 2013 BMW 5 Series Performance and Interior

The 5 Series has four turbocharged engine options. The 528i has a four-cylinder with 240 horsepower. It hits the sweet spot in this lineup, providing brisk acceleration, strong passing power, and high fuel economy of 24 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway. The 535i has a six-cylinder with 300 horsepower, and the 550i has a V8 with 400 horsepower. Both feel more muscular, blasting the BMW to 60 mph in under six seconds. However, fuel ratings dip to about 20/30 and 17/25 mpg, depending on the engine. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; all-wheel drive (xDrive) and a six-speed manual are available.

The racy M5 has a twin-turbo V8 with 560 horsepower. A seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard; a six-speed manual gearbox is available. The M5 accelerates with dizzying speed, with a zero-to-60 time of just 4.2 seconds. The trade-off is poor fuel economy: 15/22 mpg city/highway.

The 5 Series rides comfortably on most road surfaces while still inspiring confidence around turns. Body lean is well controlled. The steering feels responsive and nicely weighted, and the brakes bring the car to a stop commandingly. The M5 sharpens these driving dynamics even further, but that comes at the expense of ride quality. It tends to skip over bumps rather than soak them up, even in its Comfort setting.

Read more about 5 Series performance »

The 5 Series comes in two body styles: a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback (Gran Turismo). Both seat five and offer generous head- and legroom. The front seats are nicely shaped and comfy. However, it’s worth looking for a model equipped with the available multi-contour seats, which feel especially cozy thanks to their wide range of adjustments. Notably, both rows are available with seat ventilation and heating functions. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for securing child car seats. The 5 Series sedan has a decent 14 cubic feet of trunk space. The 5 Series Gran Turismo has 15 cubic feet of cargo space behind its rear seats, expanding to a roomy 63 cubic feet with these seats folded.

All 5 Series models have BMW’s iDrive infotainment system and display screen as standard. Satellite navigation and a 10.2-inch screen are available. The system is controlled using a rotary dial and buttons on the center console. Some iDrive functions can feel tedious, but the system works well overall and responds quickly to inputs. The dashboard features clean styling and handsome materials like soft-touch plastics and rich wood trim. That said, the interior design does come across as fairly plain by class standards. The cabin also lets in more road noise than expected.

Read more about 5 Series interior »

Used 2013 BMW 5 Series Prices

The price of a used 5 Series sedan ranges from around $20,000 for a 528i model to $30,800 for a 550i model. We currently do not have pricing for the M5. Prices depend on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »
We Did the Research for You: 45 Reviews Analyzed

We’ve researched 45 BMW 5 Series reviews, as well as hard data points like reliability scores and cost of ownership estimates, to help you make the best car-buying decision possible.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our team has decades of experience in the auto industry. Though we’re passionate about cars, we’re even more committed to providing helpful consumer advice. To maintain objectivity, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies.

How Reliable Is the 2013 BMW 5 Series?

The 5 Series has an above-average score of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about reliability »

How Safe Is the 5 Series?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 BMW 5 Series sedan a Top Safety Pick. The sedan received the highest score of Good in four out of five areas tested, and a next-to-last Marginal score for small overlap front crash tests. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the BMW a perfect five-star rating for overall, side impact, and rollover safety, as well as four stars for front crash safety.

BMW offers the 5 Series with an available rearview camera, a head-up display, parking sensors, parallel park assist, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, a 360-degree parking camera, night vision with pedestrian detection, and adaptive pivoting headlights.

See 5 Series safety scores »

Is the 2013 5 Series the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 model is a fine starting point, but you’ll want to consider used 2012 and 2014 models before you buy. The 2012 BMW 5 Series is a better value for most shoppers. It offers the same features as the 2013 model – minus the M5 trim – typically at far lower prices. On the other hand, the 2014 5 Series ushers in refreshed styling and a fuel-efficient diesel engine.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 BMW 5 Series »

Which Used BMW 5 Series Is Right for Me?

The 5 Series sedan comes in four trims: 528i, 535i, 550i, and M5. The 5 Series Gran Turismo is available in 535i and 550i trims. Each corresponds with engine performance. Standard features include an iDrive infotainment screen, satellite radio, USB input, Bluetooth, dual-zone automatic climate control, remote keyless entry, a moonroof, leatherette upholstery, and alloy wheels.

Available features include a navigation system with a 10.2-inch screen, a rearview camera, parking sensors, proximity keyless entry, heated and ventilated leather seats (front and rear), DVD players, a power tailgate, adaptive suspension (Dynamic Damper Control), and a suite of active safety features.

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned 5 Series. Each CPO BMW receives the balance of the original new-car warranty, plus an additional one- or two-year/unlimited-mile warranty. Other benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the BMW warranty page carefully.

Read more about the BMW certified pre-owned program »

2013 BMW 5 Series and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 BMW 5 Series or 2013 Mercedes-Benz E-Class?

The often-pricier 2013 Mercedes E-Class can’t match the BMW’s sporty driving dynamics. If you’re okay with that, the Mercedes is the better buy. The E-Class boasts a more luxurious interior, superior ride comfort, and very high reliability ratings. Both offer a long list of available active safety features.

Which Is Better: 2013 BMW 5 Series or 2013 Audi A6?

The 2013 Audi A6 is another great option in the luxury midsize car class. It splits the difference between the E-Class and 5 Series; it’s not as agile as the BMW, but its ride is more serene. The A6’s gorgeous, top-quality interior is its best trait. As long as you’re not looking for a sports car in sedan clothes, the Audi is a better pick.

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

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