BMW 5-Series Review
The 2013 BMW 5-Series ranks 9 out of 15 Luxury Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 34 published reviews and test drives of the BMW 5-Series, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
Test drivers agree that capable performance and a comfortable interior make the 2013 BMW 5-Series a great choice for shoppers who want a luxury car with fun driving dynamics.
The 2013 BMW 528i has a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which most test drivers say provides plenty of power. Combined with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission, the EPA reports that the 528i gets 24/34 mpg city/highway, which is better than most cars in the class. If you want more power, BMW offers engines that range from a turbocharged six-cylinder in the 535i, to a twin-turbo V8 in the high-performance BMW M5. While prior 5-Series models often set the benchmark for handling among sport sedans, some reviewers write that the current model became larger and less nimble when it was redesigned in 2011. However, others note that the 2013 5-Series offers both athletic handling and a comfortable ride, making it one of the most well rounded luxury large cars. The 2013 5-Series also stands out with one of the best safety scores in the class.
Test drivers say that the 5-Series has an attractive and functional cabin that’s built with upscale materials. Although one auto writer is let down that the 5-Series doesn’t come standard with leather upholstery, others agree that it offers comfortable front seats and a spacious back seat. The 5-Series sedan doesn’t have as much trunk space as cars like the Audi A7 and Infiniti M, and while BMW’s iDrive infotainment system has improved, one test driver says that Mercedes’ COMAND system is still easier to use. The 5-Series comes standard with a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a universal garage door opener and a 10-speaker stereo with Bluetooth. Options and features available in packages include a rearview camera, parking sensors, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation and blind spot monitoring and lane departure warning systems.
- "The 5-Series remains a fine choice for high-end shoppers who want to be fully immersed in the driving experience." -- Consumer Guide
- "When this generation of the 5 Series debuted two years ago, it took to the stage with larger dimensions and a decidedly more relaxed personality. For those who put a premium on comfort and space, the compromise was certainly justified." -- Edmunds
- "While the majority of its competition tend to lean in a particular direction when it comes to comfort, performance and practicality, the 2013 BMW 5 Series offers equal quantities of all three, even in base form." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "With its power and high-tech handling, the 2013 BMW M5's potential feels wasted on public roads, yet its driver-assistance and cabin-tech systems are the best in the business for road trips and daily commutes." -- CNET
Other Cars to Consider
Test drivers say that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers a stylish cabin that’s built with top-notch materials. Like the 5-Series sedan, the E-Class earns great safety scores, but it also has a larger trunk, as well as an infotainment system that some reviewers consider easier to use.
The Audi A6 3.0T has slightly more power than the BMW 535i, as well as standard all-wheel drive and an interior that reviewers say is one of the nicest available. The A6 3.0T also earns top safety scores, and is priced less than the 535i.
Details: 2013 BMW 5-Series
The 2013 BMW 5-Series seats five and has standard rear-wheel drive. Sedan and Gran Turismo (hatchback) body styles are available, as well as optional all-wheel drive. The 5-Series sedan is available with three engines: a 2.0-liter turbocharged engine in the base 528i, as well as turbocharged six- and eight-cylinder engines in the 535i and 550i, respectively. Gran Turismo models are available with the same six- and eight-cylinder engines, but no four-cylinder is offered. An eight-speed automatic transmission comes with all models, while a six-speed manual is also available on 535i and 550i sedans. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is reviewed separately. For 2013, BMW has updated the 5-Series’ iDrive system and reintroduced the high-performance M5 sedan, which comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine and the choice of a six-speed manual or a seven-speed automated manual transmission. These updates aside, the BMW 5-Series is basically unchanged for 2013. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2011, 2012 and the current model year.
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