$27,063 - $61,728

2016 BMW 5-Series Interior Review

Note: This interior review was created when the 2016 BMW 5-Series was new.


Interior: 8.1

The 2016 BMW 5-Series interior has a refined and understated design with lots of high-end materials, according to critics. The infotainment system (iDrive) elicits a range of reviewer opinions, from intuitive, to good but with a learning curve.

The front seats are top notch and offer ample support, while the back seats have plenty of room for tall adults.

  • "The 2016 5 Series cabin is attractive and trimmed with consistently high-quality materials, though it's not flashy. Elegant restraint is the name of the game here, and it's a game that BMW has played to perfection for decades." -- Edmunds
  • "The 2015 5 Series' 5-passenger cabin has familiar BMW design cues: a wide, driver-centric dash and controls, premium materials, and good room for occupants and their luggage." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)
  • "The interior materials are uniformly rich, and the restrained dashboard design -- including the center stack canted toward the driver -- is straight out of the 7 Series playbook." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "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 (2013)


Both the 2016 BMW 5-Series sedan and hatchback models have seats for five. Leatherette upholstery and 14-way power-adjustable front seats are standard, while leather upholstery, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, active front seats that help reduce fatigue, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel and power rear sunshades are optional.

The standard front seats are designed to adapt to a range of body styles and keep them comfortable behind the wheel. The rear seats are well-padded and roomy enough for tall passengers.

  • "The base front seats are some of the comfiest and most supportive found in any car, and the available multicontour seats are even better, providing a wide range of adjustments and sublime support for all driving scenarios. Rear outboard passengers will find satisfactory space in all directions, even if they're 6-footers, and the rear seats themselves are thoughtfully contoured and padded." -- Edmunds
  • "In our interior evaluation, we noted that even the standard 10-way power front seats are among the best chairs you'll find at this price. But it's worth stepping up to the 20-way Multi-Contour seats, as they're basically BMW's shot at building the world's best places to sit." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "The 5-Series cabin is comfortable and spacious for adults of nearly every shape and size." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Features

The base 2016 BMW 528i sedan comes standard with dual-zone automatic climate control, push-button start, a power 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.

Optional features include satellite radio, a power panoramic moonroof, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen surround-sound system, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, a rearview camera, side- and top-view parking cameras, a night vision camera with pedestrian detection, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking.

The iDrive infotainment system has sharp graphics and is simple to use. The system’s interface is well-designed and easy to understand, but there is a learning curve that drivers will need to overcome. Some competitors' infotainment systems are more straightforward.

See 2016 BMW 5-Series specs »

  • "The central nervous system of every 5 Series is the iDrive interface. … With practice it ultimately becomes user-friendly, but some rival systems seem to require fewer presses or twirls of their controllers to get what you want." -- Edmunds
  • "The 10.2-in central display screen features beautiful graphics and the most intuitive iDrive interface yet." -- AutoTrader (2015)
  • "Controls for climate, audio and vehicle dynamics are generally easy to use. BMW's large command dial to the right of the stubby gear selector requires a learning curve - we suggest putting the vehicle in park and practicing its functions before getting under way." -- Kelley Blue Book (2015)


The 2016 BMW 5-Series sedan has 14 cubic feet of trunk space, which is average for an upscale midsize car. Hatchback (Gran Turismo) models have up to 60 cubic feet of cargo room with the rear seats folded, and the ActiveHybrid 5 sedan has 10 cubic feet of cargo space in the trunk.

Sedan models, except the ActiveHybrid 5, come standard with a 60/40 split-folding rear seat; a power trunk lid is optional. Gran Turismo models come standard with a 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat and a power liftgate. Both sedan and Gran Turismo models are available with a hands-free trunk lid or liftgate, which opens when you wave your foot under the bumper.

The shape of the sedan’s trunk and lid hinges reduce useable storage space. Moreover, there are few places in the cabin to store small items, and the ActiveHybrid 5's battery pack significantly reduces the trunk's volume.

  • "Small item storage is limited, however, as is the relatively small 14-cubic-foot trunk." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2013)
  • "All this is not to say that the hybrid is totally free of drawbacks. The most notable is reduced trunk space. The battery pack is located behind the back seat and as a result, cargo volume drops by roughly one third." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 ActiveHybrid 5)

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