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2018 BMW 5-Series Review

The 2018 BMW 5 Series finishes in the top third of our luxury midsize car rankings. It has a range of potent powertrains, enjoyable handling, an opulent interior, and a near-perfect predicted reliability rating.

Pros & Cons

  • Robust and diverse powertrain lineup
  • State-of-the-art, user-friendly technology
  • Quiet, comfortable cabin
  • Huge trunk
  • More expensive than rivals

New for 2018

  • 530e plug-in hybrid trim
  • M550i and M5 sport-tuned trims
  • Gran Turismo hatchback retired




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 9.1
Interior: 8.6
Total Cost of Ownership: 6.9
Safety: 10.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 BMW 5-Series Overview

Is the 2018 BMW 5 Series a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 5 Series is a great vehicle. It offers just about everything you could want from a luxury midsize car.

There are numerous reasons to buy the 2018 5 Series:

  • Stellar predicted reliability rating
  • Posh, quiet cabin outfitted with high-end materials
  • Intuitive infotainment system
  • Comfortable seats
  • Spacious trunk
  • Five powertrains, including a plug-in hybrid and a diesel
  • Refined ride
  • Athletic handling

That's not to say there isn't a downside to this BMW:

  • High average price for the class
Why You Can Trust Us

Our BMW 5 Series review includes far more than just one person's opinion. We collected professional evaluations from 16 sources and combined them with concrete data like fuel economy estimates, safety features, and performance specs to help you make an informed buying decision.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, we never accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2018 BMW 5 Series?

Based on listings for the 2018 BMW 5 Series on our site, the average price is $49,800. Prices range from $40,000 to $63,300 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 BMW 5 Series Cost to Own?

The 2018 5 Series’ five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be about $32,180, or $6,436 per year. That’s above average for a luxury midsize car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New 5 Series?

The 2019 BMW 5 Series sedan starts at $53,400. That’s a bit more than you’ll probably pay for a 2018 model, but the new model comes with a number of high-tech upgrades, including standard Apple CarPlay, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and blind spot monitoring. You may find some of these features on used 2018 models that have certain packages. There is one feature you can find in the 2018 5 Series that you won’t find in the 2019: an available turbodiesel engine. Still, considering the price jump from used to new, we recommend first shopping for a used model to see if you can save some money.

Read about the new BMW 5 Series »

The BMW 5 Series was last redesigned in 2017. For 2018, BMW retired the Gran Turismo hatchback body style and added a plug-in-hybrid model. High-performance trims were also added: the M550i and the M5 (reintroduced after its 2017 hiatus).

Compare the 2017, 2018, and 2019 5 Series »

See the Best New Car Deals »

See the Best New Car Lease Deals »

How Reliable Is the 2018 BMW 5 Series?

The 2018 BMW 5 Series has an excellent predicted reliability rating of 4.5 out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about 5 Series reliability »

2018 BMW 5 Series Recalls

At the time of writing, there are two recalls for the 2018 BMW 5 Series sedan:

  • Charging cable may cause shock or fire
  • Crankshaft sensors firmware may cause stalling

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on BMW 5 Series safety recalls »

Which Used BMW 5 Series Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 BMW 5 Series comes in six trims: 530i, 530e, 540i, 540d, M550i, and M5. Each trim in this lineup features a different engine. Choosing the right trim mostly comes down to your power and fuel efficiency needs.

  • BMW 5 Series 530i: The base 5 Series 530i has a 248-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine. Standard features include synthetic leather upholstery, dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, adaptive LED headlights, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a 10.2-inch high-resolution display, a rearview camera, navigation, 12 speakers, and HD Radio.
  • BMW 5 Series 530e: The BMW 530e is a plug-in hybrid. Its powertrain consists of a four-cylinder engine and a single electric motor that produce a combined 248 horsepower. It has the same standard features as the 530i.
  • BMW 5 Series 540i: The BMW 540i comes with a 335-horsepower six-cylinder engine. It doesn’t add many features, aside from genuine leather upholstery.
  • BMW 5 Series 540d: The BMW 540d has a 261-horsepower six-cylinder turbodiesel engine and all-wheel drive.
  • BMW 5 Series M550i: The BMW M550i is the first of two high-performance trims. It comes with a twin-turbo 456-horsepower V8 and all-wheel drive. Other standard features include adaptive suspension, performance brakes, parking sensors, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround-sound system, and a power trunk lid.
  • BMW 5 Series M5: The range-topping BMW M5 comes with a 600-horsepower V8 and all-wheel drive. Standard features include Active Driving Assistant (unavailable in all other trims), which bundles forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, blind spot monitoring, and lane departure warning.

See 2018 BMW 5 Series trims and specs »

What Does BMW's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

The BMW Certified CPO program is available on vehicles with between 300 and 60,000 miles on the odometer. The program covers buyers for one year with unlimited mileage after the four-year/50,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty has expired. This warranty can be renewed for a fee, but there is a maximum of five years of coverage. Each BMW must pass a road test and a 196-point inspection before earning CPO status. Additional benefits like towing and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available. Restrictions apply on transferring CPO coverage to subsequent owners. Read the BMW warranty page carefully.

BMW has one of the less-attractive CPO programs among luxury car manufacturers, according to our research. You’ll get better warranties from Mercedes-Benz, Audi, and Jaguar.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the 5 Series?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2018 BMW 5 Series a Top Safety Pick+, the agency’s top award. The 5 Series received the highest rating of Good in all six crash tests the IIHS administered. Models equipped with either the Premium or Lighting packages earned a top rating of Good for how well the headlights illuminate the road ahead. Other models received the next-to-worst rating of Marginal. Properly equipped 5 Series models receive a Superior rating for front crash prevention.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration did not evaluate the 5 Series sedan.

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera
  • adaptive LED headlights
  • BMW’s Active Protection System (tightens seatbelts and closes the windows and moonroof when a potential collision is detected; brakes are activated when an impact occurs)

Available advanced safety features:

  • surround-view parking camera
  • night vision camera with pedestrian detection
  • front and rear parking sensors
  • parallel park assist
  • a head-up display
  • adaptive cruise control
  • blind spot monitoring
  • lane departure warning
  • forward collision warning
  • pedestrian detection
  • automatic emergency braking

See 5 Series safety scores »

2018 BMW 5 Series Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW 5 Series or 2018 Lexus GS?

Like the BMW 5 Series, the 2018 Lexus GS ranks in the top third of the class and comes with a long list of standard safety features, including lane departure warning with steering assist, lane keep assist, a pre-collision system with pedestrian detection, blind spot monitoring, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control. Most of these features are options in some 5 Series trims. To top it off, the GS has one of the best predicted reliability ratings in the class. The 5 Series has a richer cabin and stronger engine lineup, but it also costs considerably more. Both these cars are excellent choices, but your budget and preferences will be the deciding factors.

Which Is Better: 2018 BMW 5 Series or 2018 Audi A6?

The 2018 Audi A6 is similar to the 5 Series in many ways. It’s a German-engineered car with an upscale interior, a range of powerful engines, and nearly identical (and impressive) fuel economy estimates. However, there are a few notable traits that set them apart. The A6 has a sportier suspension, so its ride is on the firm side. On the other hand, the 5 Series’ suspension delivers a better blend of comfort and agility. The BMW is likely to cost you a lot more than the A6, but its many standard features and superior predicted reliability rating may be worth the cost for some.  

Compare the 5 Series, GS, and A6 »

2018 5 Series Performance

How Does the 2018 BMW 5 Series Drive?

While the base 530i’s turbocharged four-cylinder engine is strong and delivers satisfying acceleration, you may want one of the available V6 or V8 engines for authoritative power. A slick-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission comes standard in all trims.

The 5 Series is a joy to drive, thanks to its sharp handling agility and balanced ride comfort. Sport-tuned M550i and M5 models offer corner-carving driving dynamics. You can also adjust the 5 Series’ performance using the Driving Dynamics Control, which has Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport modes.

  • Base engine: 248-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available powertrains:
    • 335-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder (540i)
    • 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor with a combined 248 horsepower (530e)
    • 261-horsepower turbodiesel 3.0-liter six-cylinder (540d)
    • 456-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (M550i)
    • 600-horsepower twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (M5)
  • Drivetrain: standard rear-wheel drive in 530i, 540i, and 530e trims (all-wheel drive available); standard all-wheel drive in 540d, M550i, and M5 trims.
  • Transmission: eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters
Does the 2018 BMW 5 Series Get Good Gas Mileage?

The base BMW 530i returns some of the best fuel economy estimates in the class. The diesel-powered 540d does even better.

  • 2.0-liter turbocharged, RWD (530i): 24/34 mpg city/highway
  • 2.0-liter turbocharged, AWD (530i): 23/33 mpg
  • Plug-in hybrid, FWD (530e): 72 MPGe, 29 mpg combined city/highway
  • Plug-in hybrid, AWD (530e): 67 MPGe, 28 mpg combined city/highway
  • 3.0-liter turbocharged, RWD (540i): 21/30 mpg
  • 3.0-liter turbocharged, AWD (540i): 20/29 mpg
  • 3.0-liter turbodiesel, AWD (540d): 26/36 mpg
  • 4.4-liter V8, AWD (M550i): 16/25 mpg
  • 4.4-liter V8, AWD (M5): 15/21 mpg

To learn more about MPGe, check out our article, What Is MPGe?

2018 BMW 5 Series Alternative Fuels and Charging

On a full charge, the BMW 530e plug-in hybrid can drive about 16 miles in all-electric mode. You can fully charge the battery in three hours with a 240-volt outlet.

Read more about 5 Series performance »

2018 5 Series Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 5 Series Seat?

This BMW’s front seats are comfortable, and it’s easy to find the perfect seating position. The upgraded seats are even better, providing occupants with heating and massaging functions, as well as plush cushioning. The rear seats have generous legroom. Overall, the 5 Series has an exemplary cabin with outstanding fit and finish, sophisticated styling, and high-end materials.

Standard seating features:

  • synthetic leather upholstery
  • power-adjustable front seats

Available seating features:

  • genuine leather upholstery
  • contrast stitching
  • heated and ventilated front seats
  • massaging front seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • power rear sunshades
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 BMW 5 Series?

The 2018 5 Series has two complete sets of LATCH child car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave this system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use.

2018 BMW 5 Series Features

The infotainment system is a cinch to operate, whether you’re using the touch screen with available gesture control, steering wheel buttons, the central control knob, or voice commands.

  • Standard infotainment features: a 10.2-inch high-resolution touch-screen display, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, 12 speakers, HD Radio, and navigation
  • Available infotainment features: satellite radio, a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, Apple CarPlay, gesture control for the infotainment system, wireless device charging, and a Wi-Fi hot spot
  • Additional standard features: dual-zone automatic climate control and a moonroof

See 2018 BMW 5 Series specs »

Read more about 5 Series interior »

2018 BMW 5 Series Dimensions

BMW 5 Series Cargo Space

At 18.7 cubic feet, the BMW 5 Series has one of the largest trunks in the class. You can also fold the rear seats, which have a 40/20/40 split. A hands-free trunk lid is available.

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 BMW 5 Series Length and Weight
  • Length: 16 feet, 2 inches
  • Curb weight: 3,750 to 4,390 pounds

Where Was the 2018 BMW 5 Series Built?

BMW built the 5 Series in Germany.


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