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2018 BMW 5-Series Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 8.6

Inside, the 2018 BMW 5 Series feels modern and refined. It pampers occupants with well-cushioned front seats, a quiet ride, and an abundance of high-tech features. Trunk space is among class leaders.

  • "This 2018 BMW 5 Series' elegant dash is covered in SensaTec faux leather or the real thing, has a horizontal layout, and controls for climate and audio are sensibly laid out. A 10.25-inch screen relays navigation, audio, car data and more. The jet-fighter transmission lever looks cool but can be awkward initially." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 5 Series GT's interior is as nice as some flagship luxury sedans because it's based on that of the previous-generation BMW 7 Series. Comfort and quality are excellent throughout, just as you'd expect." -- Edmunds (2017)
  • "BMW has added a layer of refinement that swaps the purposeful austerity of previous 5 Series cars for a newfound sense of luxury. From the materials and their aesthetics to the ambient nighttime lighting and airy feel of the cabin, this represents an improvement over the vehicle it replaces." -- New York Daily News (2017)

Seating

The five-person 5 Series sedan comes standard with synthetic leather seats and 16-way power-adjustable front seats. Upgrades include Nappa and Dakota leather upholstery, contrast stitching, 20-way power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and power rear sunshades.

This BMW earns lots of praise for passenger comfort, especially for the front seats. Here, it's easy to find the ideal position, even with the standard seats. The upgraded seats are even better, indulging occupants with heat, massage, and fatigue-reducing cushioning. The rear seats are also accommodating and have a generous amount of legroom.

For installing child safety seats, there are three tether anchors and two sets of lower anchors. The LATCH hardware is easy to locate and use.

  • "BMW does a good job allowing for a number of driving positions and placing controls in easy reach across their range. The 5 Series also has a roomy cabin, with plenty of rear legroom and enough headroom for most adults." -- Edmunds
  • "The cabin is impressively quiet, especially considering that the 5-series does without acoustically insulating side glass. Also impressive is the way the optional 20-way multicontour seats morph from plush loungers into rib-hugging buckets thanks to inflatable bolsters." -- Car and Driver (2017)
  • "The optional 20-way adjustable front seats are available with ventilation and a massage function that's almost as good as having an acupressure therapist working your backside." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)

Interior Features

Standard technology in a 5 Series is comprised of a 10.2-inch high-resolution touch-screen display, BMW's iDrive infotainment system, 12 speakers, HD Radio, and navigation. The base model also comes with dual-zone automatic climate control, a moonroof, push-button start, adaptive LED headlights, and the Active Protection System (which readies the car if it senses an impending collision).

Among the optional features is a panoramic moonroof, satellite radio, two different 16-speaker surround-sound systems (one by Bowers & Wilkins, one by Harman Kardon), a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system, Apple CarPlay, gesture control for the infotainment system, wireless charging for devices, and a Wi-Fi hot spot. Available safety features include comfortable, a surround-view camera, 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 infotainment interface is easy to use, and BMW offers numerous ways to change settings. You can use the touch screen, buttons on the steering wheel, a central control knob, voice commands, and even optional gesture control to operate the system. The iDrive system works well, and the breadth of ways to control it only improves usability.

See 2018 BMW 5 Series specs »

  • "The 5 Series is packed with technology, including some standard active safety measures. Extensive driver aids are available, which also add more safety features. The infotainment system supports touchless gesture controls, but it still offers a secondary knob controller and user-friendly interface." -- Edmunds
  • "… that 10.25-inch high-res color display – incorporating a new iDrive 6.0 interface – is a touchscreen, vastly improving user-friendliness. The displays for various systems – navigation, audio system, etc. – are spread out over two screen pages on six 'tiles,' each tile devoted to a system. The tiles can be arranged as you see fit, your favorite three always visible and the other three just a swipe away. … Touch a tile and the menu for that particular system pops up. Easy. Or, if you're a long-time iDrive die-hard, you can call up menus and functions using the iDrive controller in the center console." -- Automobile Magazine (2017)
  • "The iDrive 6.0 system includes a brilliant 10.3-inch display that doubles as a touchscreen. That firmly positions BMW's infotainment system as the industry's most redundant. Certain features can now be controlled via steering-wheel buttons, center-stack audio controls, voice commands, hand gestures, and the iDrive knob (with its own touchpad on top). This … works better than you might expect. It proves intuitive to drag a finger to scan the map, then scroll through audio channels with the iDrive rotary, then adjust the volume via the steering wheel." -- Car and Driver (2017)

Cargo

The 5 Series has an 18.7-cubic-foot trunk, which is quite large for a midsize car. You can fold down the rear seats in lots of configurations, thanks to their 40/20/40 split. This makes it easy to haul large items. BMW also offers a hands-free trunk lid.

  • "The 18.7-cubic-foot trunk is sizable for the class. Even better, the placement of the 530e's battery packs doesn't impinge on the cargo area. Split-folding rear seats mean the 5 Series can carry quite a bit." -- Edmunds
  • "The rear seat is roomy, and at 18.7 cubic feet, the trunk is huge." -- Kelley Blue Book

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