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BMW 5-Series Review

The 2015 BMW 5-Series ranks 8 out of 17 Upscale Midsize Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the BMW 5-Series, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2015 BMW 5-Series has a smooth ride, potent engines and a comfortable cabin, though its unrefined engine stop-start system and small trunk lessen its appeal, according to test drivers.

The base 2015 BMW 528i comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, and reviewers agree that it provides ample power. They note that the 535i, which has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, and the fuel-efficient 535d, which comes with a turbodiesel six-cylinder, are also powerful. The top-of-the-line 550i and the sport-oriented M5 are equipped with different versions of BMW's twin-turbocharged V8, and critics say they are outrageously potent. An eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard in the 5-Series, and all-wheel drive is optional. The base 528i gets an EPA-estimated 23/34 mpg city/highway, which is very high for the class, while the 535d gets 26/38, which is outstanding for the class. The 5-Series is also available in a hybrid trim, the ActiveHybrid 5. It gets 23/30, which is low for a hybrid upscale car. Some test drivers think the 5-Series is among the most agile cars in the class, but others wish it felt more nimble around corners and write that its steering isn’t very accurate. Test drivers agree that the 5-Series has a very comfortable ride.

Test drivers say the 2015 BMW 5-Series has an attractive, tastefully designed cabin with premium materials, superbly comfortable front seats and spacious rear seats. However, they note that the 5-Series' trunk is small compared with those in other upscale midsize cars. Standard features in the 5-Series include navigation, smartphone app integration, a USB port, Bluetooth, a 10-speaker audio system, a moonroof and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. Available features include leather upholstery, heated and ventilated front seats, heated rear seats, a power trunk lid, a rearview camera, side- and top-view parking cameras, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a head-up display, night vision with pedestrian detection, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system. Some auto writers think BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is easy to use, but others write that it’s more complicated than the infotainment systems in rival cars.

  • "The 5-Series remains a fine choice for high-end shoppers who want to be fully immersed in the driving experience." -- Consumer Guide
  • "If you want your executive sedan to boast ample performance and technology along with luxurious amenities, the BMW 5 Series dishes out those traits in equal measure." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "Now well into its sixth generation, the 5-Series blends a host of powerful gasoline, diesel and hybrid powertrains with a smooth ride and a luxurious interior." -- Left Lane News
  • "Really, the only thing missing is the rewarding handling of yore, but for many shoppers, the 5 Series' space and comfort will be more than adequate compensation." -- Edmunds

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Other Cars to Consider

The Audi A6 gets great fuel economy, especially when equipped with its optional turbodiesel V6. Reviewers appreciate its composed handling and long list of high-tech features, and they say it has a gorgeous interior.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class earns praise for its cushy ride, opulent cabin materials and generous passenger space. The E-Class also has a large trunk for the class, and it gets excellent fuel economy in its base turbodiesel trim.

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

Details: 2015 BMW 5-Series

The 2015 BMW 5-Series seats five and comes in sedan and Gran Turismo (hatchback) body styles. It is available in 528i, 535i, 535d, 550i, M5 and ActiveHybrid 5 trims. The base 528i comes with a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is optional. The 5-Series hasn’t been fully redesigned since the 2011 model year and sees few changes for 2015. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2011 through 2015 model years.

See 2015 BMW 5-Series specs »

Review Last Updated: 8/25/15

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