$16,357 - $25,238

2013 BMW 5-Series Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2013 BMW 5-Series was new.


Interior: 7.8

While it’s not regarded as the most opulent interior in the class, critics say that the 2013 BMW 5-Series offers an attractive cabin that’s constructed with high-quality materials. Leatherette upholstery and dark wood trim come standard in the base 528i, and a number of option packages allow buyers to customize the 5-Series’ interior with upgraded leather seats and numerous comfort and convenience features.

  • "Interior materials are more ‘upscale with a purpose’ than full-out luxury. That's just fine, though, given the 5-Series' sporty pretense." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The rest of the interior is functional, pleasing and comfortable. It doesn't feel overly luxurious but you also don't feel short-changed." -- Jalopnik (M5)
  • "The interior and the body remain mostly unchanged. It's a quiet ride with premium materials and a comfortable setting." -- AutoWeek (2012)
  • "Inside, the car is just about perfect. I'd have to say BMW currently offers the best interior design of any German car company." -- Los Angeles Times (2011)


Reviewers generally agree that the BMW 5-Series’ front seats are extremely comfortable and supportive and that the back seat is spacious enough for a pair of 6-foot-tall passengers. Still, one test driver notes that leather seats should be standard, given the 5-Series' price. The 5-Series comes with leatherette upholstery and 10-way power-adjustable front seats, while optional features include a heated steering wheel, heated front and rear seats, leather upholstery, ventilated front seats and 18-way power-adjustable multicontour front seats.

  • "The 5-Series cabin is comfortable and spacious for adults of nearly every shape and size." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "In back, there's enough room for a pair of 6-foot adults to be comfortable, and the backseat is nicely contoured and padded." -- Edmunds 
  • "We'd take issue, however, with the standard-spec upholstery; black or beige Leatherette, on a car with a base price of over $48K, stretches - we think - credibility." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The seats are comfy but with a surprising amount of side support, and there's more than enough room for four adults and their luggage." -- Popular Mechanics (2011) 

Interior Features

The 2013 BMW 5-Series comes standard with a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a universal garage door opener, BMW’s iDrive system and a 10-speaker stereo with Bluetooth. Options and features available in packages include a rearview camera, side- and top-view cameras, parking sensors, a power trunk lid, a head-up display, navigation, a Bang & Olufsen sound system, night vision with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning.

Most reviewers agree that BMW’s iDrive multimedia interface is now much more user-friendly than it was in previous models. However, one test driver comments that Mercedes’ COMAND system is easier to use. The optional Bang & Olufsen sound system also earns praise for its exceptional sound quality.

See 2013 BMW 5-Series specs »

  • "Many audio controls are separate. Eight programmable buttons can be set for radio stations, shortcuts to an iDrive screen, or navigation destinations. This greatly eases everyday use." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The iDrive controller provides a large amount of customization of the car's features, though we think Mercedes' COMAND system is still a little easier to use overall." -- Edmunds 
  • "The audio system delivers outstanding music reproduction." -- CNET (M5) 
  • "The new BMW iDrive 4.2 is faster than the previous version and contains virtual 3D graphics. I found it surprisingly user-friendly and functional to navigate." -- Jalopnik (M5)


With 14 cubic feet of trunk space, the 2013 BMW 5-Series sedan has less room for cargo than luxury large cars like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. However, Gran Turismo models have substantially more room, with 63 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded.

  • "The trunk is wide at the back but narrows significantly between the wheels. It is also not as usefully shaped as most, partly because sickle-type lid hinges dip into the load area, though they're covered to avoid damaging cargo." -- Consumer Guide 
  • "The trunk, at 14 cubic feet of luggage capacity, is smaller than average for this segment." -- Edmunds
  • "Behold, there are real cupholders! Not the sturdiest ones, but worlds better than the flip-out dashboard cupholders employed elsewhere in BMW’s lineup." -- Cars.com (2010)

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