BMW 5 Series
(2017 - 2022)

  • Loaded with tech, equipment and features
  • Incredibly safe
  • Wide range of variants to cater for nearly every desire
  • Showing excellent reliability, so far
  • Depending on when you buy it, depreciation can hit very hard
  • Ex-Police Highway Patrol cars will have most likely lived a very hard life
  • Sheer amount of technical features are almost overwhelming
  • Engines, driveline and equipment systems are incredibly complex
Overview

For seven generations BMW’s 5 Series has built a reputation is the quintessential large luxury sedan. Like key nemesis Mercedes-Benz E-Class, there has been purple and not so colourful patches in the 5 Series linage and brand loyalists will forever debate which generation is good and which is better.

But if you want the newest, techiest, most 7 Series-limousine-like experience, the latest version, currently still on sale in facelifted (aka LCI) guise, is your foil.

The latest 5 Series arrived in March 2016 and has been offered in Oz in sedan (G30) and wagon ‘Touring’ (G31) body styles. And while there’s a fairly logical structure to the complete ‘5er’ line-up offered to date, deciding on the right variant for you is large down to personal preferences sympathetic of your available budget. That’s because there are a lot of options and much to unpack.

The range launched with four turbocharged engines. Petrol choices were the 185kW/350Nm 2.0L-four 530i and 250kW/450Nm 3.0L-six 540i. The two diesel options were the 140kW/400 2.0L-four 520d and the 195kW/620Nm 3.0L-six 530d. All eight-speed autos and rear-drive.

Three months after its debut, a (2.0L) petrol-electric hybrid 530e was launched at around $109k, or the same price as the 530i. Initially, at least, the 5 Series range was bookended by the base 520d Luxury Line ($93k) and the tree-topping 540i that could be had in either Luxury Line or M Sport guises ($136k) for the same coin.

In July 2017, a cheapy 520i, with an under-baked 135kW/290Nm low-power 2.0L four, marked a new $90k entry point to the range. Here, the Touring wagons also lobbed, if limited to four-pot 530i and 520d power (from $100k) for the duration of the G31 lifecycle.

Whether you prefer the comfier Luxury Line or more spirited M Sport themes, they could be had up and down the range at different price points. Still, if you wanted fancy features either way, BMW charged extra and handsomely at that. Well-optioned examples are usually good used finds.

Outside of that, the regular 5 Series typical brims with tech, especially as standard on the pricier six-cylinder 540 badged stuff. Of course, the more you spent the more elaborate the spec and equipment. And come 2017 performance and pricing took big leap with the arrival of the M5.

The M5, a proper M-car, is such an animal apart it gets its own F90 model designation. With its hellacious 441kW and 750Nm bi-turbo 4.4L V8 and (switchable) all-wheel drive, the regular M5 Launch Edition ($200k) could dispatch 0-100km/h in 3.4sec. A more potent 460kW M5 Competition was also offered, dropping performance times and raising the entry price ($230-plus).

Something of a sweet spot in range was the 2020 arrival of the (G30) M550 xDrive. In either full-fat ($150k) or stripped-back Pure ($135k) guises, it was the missing link between mainline 5ers and the manic M-cars, fitting a different 390kW/750Nm turbo 4.4L V8 to the M5 if still offering wild, sub-four-second performance via all-paw traction.

The LCI facelift, in July 2020, brought minor styling changes and updates for the 2.0-litre petrol and diesel powertrains. Cabin also got a flashier and more elaborate multimedia system.
To date, the king of heap remains 2021’s “track-focused” 467kW M5 CS, with a 3.0sec 0-100km/h claim and a circa-$306k price tag.

The G30 remains on sale as of June 2022.

Ads goes here
What goes wrong?
  • In terms of the exterior, there are reports that the sunroof seals can make a whistling sound or exhibit additional noise due to it apparently not being installed correctly.
  • In-terms of ex-Police patrol cars, make sure any accessories (Lights, bar work, aerials etc) have been removed correctly as chipped or scratched paint on metal panels can result in corrosion and eventually rust.
  • Some scratching and light damage, especially front and rear bars being slightly loose is to be expected with former Police cars also.
  • Inside, there are reports of rattles and squeaks forming around the centre console/armrest, door inserts/trim, under various seats in the car or the a-pillar.
  • There are also reports of the air conditioning fan speed changing by itself randomly, as well as not producing air that’s actually all that cold even when you’ve selected cold.
  • The Head Up Display is known to glitch or flicker and instruments are known to show information that isn’t always correct i.e: seat belt reminders when the seat in question is empty.
  • For ex-patrol cars, check for excessive wear on seat belts, seat bolsters, interior trim and excessive holes that once attached accessories.
  • Mechanically, the B48 and B58 petrol engines are commonly regarded as being quite reliable. So far none of the chronic waste gate rattles and injector failures seen in the likes of the N54 and N55 are commonly apparent.
  • Evidence so far suggests that in terms of oil leaks, cooling system complications and general reliability, the B48 and B58 are a considerable improvement over its predecessors however, we suspect cooling system issues, leaking valve covers, oil filter housings, and oil pan gaskets will be common B48 and B58 engine problems in the future. These are pretty common issues among almost all BMW’s.
  • The less common N63 twin-turbo V8 has something of a reputation for excess oil consumption, occasional timing chain failures, leaking valve stem seals and fast battery drainage issues.
  • In regards to the diesel engines, there are no commonly reported catastrophic failures. Although, typical for late model diesel engines there are reports of EGR and DPF complications.
  • In some cases, this can be attributed to extended condition based service intervals. We highly recommend owners service their 5 Series at least every 10,000kms or every 6 months especially if you plan on keeping the car for any length of time.
  • Occasionally on all variants the tail shaft flex coupling fails prematurely and there are a few problems with engine mounts but it should be noted, these are not common issues.
  • There are more common complaints related to software and technical gremlins which may not be a huge problem when the car is under warranty but if these issues continue post the warranty period, the repair bills may stack up.
  • We should also mention that all of the engine and driveline options are extremely complex. While yes at this age the 5 Series is very reliable, it is inevitable that as they age things will fail and they are going to be expensive to repair and maintain.
  • In-terms of the ex-police highway patrol cars, it’s important to know these cars are put through some of the most mechanically stressful conditions possible. Having a car sit by the side of the road, idling for hours at a time only to be driven aggressively at full throttle in sporadic bursts puts a huge strain on all mechanical components.
  • Plus, even though highway patrol cars are maintained fastidiously and often serviced far more regularly than what BMW suggests, they are driven with minimal mechanical sympathy and if not a Police vehicle, in a way that many would regard as abuse.
  • We should also note that there have been a few factory recalls for this generation so if you’re in the market for one, make sure they’ve been seen too
  • Also, it’s important to remember that as this generation of 5 Series is far more complex and technical than ever before, there is so much more that can go wrong in the long term and fixing these issues can become very expensive.
Model range, pricing & features

520d/520i

  • Price when new: $89,990 - $103,200
  • Price used: $45,000 - $105,000

The 520d/520i are the entry models in the 5-series range. The models came standard with the luxury line package, with an option to upgrade to the M Sport package.

The 520d was fitted with a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel engine and the 520i was fitted with a 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol engine, both mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The 520d was also available in a 5-door wagon, which was discontinued for the Australian market with the mid-2020 facelift/update.

With a facelift and update that occurred in mid-2020, the 520d (diesel) was dropped and the 520i remained. The model came standard with the M Sport package, and received several M Sport package features, as well as adaptive LED headlights, a 12.3-inch drivers instrumentation display, 12.3-inch iDrive infotainment display and wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Standard features:

18-inch alloy wheels
Chrome exterior and exhausts
Diesel particulate filter
Brake energy regeneration
Driving modes: Sport, Comfort, ECO PRO modes
5-star ANCAP safety rating (tested 2017)
7 airbags: driver, front passenger, driver’s knee, front side and full-length curtain airbags
Height adjustable seatbelt pretensioners with load limiters
3-point seatbelts for all passengers
ISOFIX child restraints and top-tether points
Head restraints for all seats
Dynamic braking lights
Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
Electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD)
Concerning brake control (CBC)
Traction control
Dynamic stability control (DSC)
Autonomous emergency braking (AEB): city, high-speed and pedestrian
Blind spot monitoring (BSM)
Lane keeping assistance
Front cross traffic alert and crossroads warning
Speed limiter
Speed limit display
Fatigue reminder
Front and rear parking sensors
Surround and panorama view camera
LED headlights, daytime running lights and fog lights
Automatic headlights
Rain sensing wipers
Adaptive cruise control with start/stop function
Run-flat tyres with run-flat indicator
Keyless entry through proximity sensing key
Start/stop button
Personal profile (customised control functions) saved into the keys
Digital instrument/driver’s display
Head-up display
Gearshift paddles
Multi-functional leather steering wheel
Power steering
Electrically adjustable steering column
Electric mirrors with anti-dazzle function and auto-dipping on passenger’s side
Electric windows with auto up/down function for all windows
Dual-zone climate control
Leather upholstery
Driver’s electric seat adjustment, including headrest with memory function
Passenger’s electric seat adjustment
BMW’s ConnectedDrive Services
205-watt 12-speaker sound system
10.25 infotainment system (iDrive)
DAB+ digital radio
CD player
Bluetooth connectivity and audio streaming
Satellite navigation system
AUX (3.5mm) input
2x USB ports
4x 12V power sockets
Heat protection glazing
Exterior door handle lighting
Door exit lights
Interior ambient lighting
Velour floor mats
Warning triangle
First aid kit
40:20:40 split rear folding seats with through loading system

2020 Updates:

19-inch alloy wheels
M high-gloss shadow line
M Aerodynamics package
M Sport Suspension
Steering and lane control
Evasion aid
Reversing assistant
Adaptive LED headlights
High-beam assist
12.3-inch digital instrument driver’s display
12.3-inch infotainment system
iDrive (BMW Operating System 7.0)
Vehicle apps
1x USB Type A (1.5 Amp)
3x USB Type C (3.0 Amp)
1x 12V power socket
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

530i / 530d

  • Price when new: $119,900 - $125,900
  • Price used: $46,000 - $135,000

The 530i and 530d models were the next step up in the 5-series range, both receiving more powerful turbocharged 4-cylinder petrol and diesel units, respectively.

Both the 530i and 530d came standard with the M Sport package, however buyers could opt for the Luxury Line package at no-cost.

Additional features include 19-inch alloy wheels, M Aerodynamics package, LED headlights, front sports seats (heated), 600-watt Harmon/kardon sound system and a 12.3-inch infotainment system.

The 530i was also available in a 5-door wagon, which was discontinued for the Australian market with the mid-2020 facelift/update.

Adds:

19-inch alloy wheels
M Aerodynamics Package
Dynamic Damper Control
M Sport brakes
Adaptable LED headlights
BMW selective beam
High-beam assist
Auto up/down boot/tailgate
M leather steering wheel
Front sports seats
Lumbar support for driver and front passenger
Heated front seats
600-watt 16-speaker Harman/kardon surround sound system with digital amplifier
12.3-inch high resolution display & infotainment system (iDrive)

2020 Updates:

M Sport brakes
Adaptive suspension
Comfort access
Digital key unlock/lock and engine start
iDrive (BMW Operating System 7.0)
Vehicle apps
1x USB Type A (1.5 Amp)
3x USB Type C (3.0 Amp)
1x 12V power socket
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

530e

  • Price when new: $109,990 - $125,400
  • Price used: $109,900 - $136,000

The 530e is the 5-series plug-in hybrid model, fitted with a 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and an electric motor.

Additional features included more hybrid/electric orientated features such as eButton, charging cable, BMW eDrive connected services and the ability to stationary cool, pre-heat or pre-cool the vehicle.

As with other 5-series models, the 530e came standard with the M Sport package.

Adds:

eButton – adjustment of electric/hybrid drive modes
High-voltage 12.0 kWh gross capacity
Charging cable with 1.8kW max charging capacity
Mode 3 charging cable for public charging stations
“”XtraBoost”” – additional 30kW power burst (up to 215kW) for 10 seconds
Stationary cooling, electric pre-heating or cooling
BMW eDrive Connected Services

2020 Updates:
M Sport brakes
Adaptive suspension
Comfort access
Digital key unlock/lock and engine start
iDrive (BMW Operating System 7.0)
Vehicle apps
1x USB Type A (1.5 Amp)
3x USB Type C (3.0 Amp)
1x 12V power socket
Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto

540i

  • Price when new: $136,900 - $142,900
  • Price used: $75,000 - $95,000

The 540i was the top-of-the-range model and featured a turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine, and gained 20-inch alloy wheels, Sport+ mode, electric sunroof, electric sun blinds for rear window, Nappa leather and seat ventilation.

The 540i was discontinued as part of the mid-2020 facelift/update; and replaced with the M550i.

Adds:

20-inch alloy wheels
Adaptive Drive with active anti-roll bars (includes Dynamic Damper Control)
Sport+ mode
Electric glass sunroof
Metallic paintwork
Electric sun blinds for rear window
Manual sun blinds for rear-side windows
Comfort seats with memory function for driver and front passenger
Nappa leather upholstery
Seat ventilation for front seats
Ambient Air with Air ionisation and eight interior scents

M550i xDrive Pure

  • Price when new: $134,900 - $142,900
  • Price used: $133,000 - $150,000

The M550i xDrive Pure added a bi-turbo V8 engine and all-wheel drive (AWD) and featured luxury features similar to that of the 540i in M Sport guise, and was introduced as part of the mid-2020 refresh of the model.

Adds:

20-inch alloy wheels
M Rear Spoiler
M High-Gloss shadow line
Grey exterior styling package on BMW Grille, front apron air intake inserts, BMW M logo on front side panel, mirror caps and M550i badge on boot lid
Adaptive M suspension
M Sport Differential
Electronically controlled limited slip differential
Sport+ mode
Tyre repair kit
4-zone climate control

M550i xDrive

  • Price when new: $149,900 - $157,900
  • Price used: $135,000 - $176,000

The M550i was also introduced during the mid-2020 facelift/update and replaced the 540i as the top-of-the-range model. The M550i xDrive included most of the 540i equipment as well as adding active steering, BMW Laserlight, soft-close doors and a leather instrument panel trim.

Adds:

Adaptive M suspension professional
Active sterring
Anti-roll stabilisation
BMW Laerlight
BMW Selective Beam
Electric glass sunroof
Metallic paintwork
Soft-close function for doors
Leather instrument panel trim
Ambient Air with Air ionisation and interior scents

Should you buy it?

Buying this generation of 5 Series has less to do with the 5 Series and more to do with your net worth.

No matter what trim or model or spec, the 5 Series is a truly superb car. If you require a fuel efficient quiet and luxurious cruiser, there’s a 5 Series for you and if you want a car that will rearrange your perception of physics while injecting genuine fear into your passengers while you tear through corners at near impossible speeds, there is also a 5 Series for you.

And if you want all the warm and fuzzy’s that come with feeling like a highway patrol cop yet don’t want to put your life on the line every time you go to work, there are the ex- highway patrol cars.

But the problem is, as we’re already seeing with this generation and as we’ve seen from previous generations of 5 Series, they do have a habit of depreciating in value at near terrifying speeds and unless they’re maintained fastidiously they unfortunately don’t show great longevity.

Therefore while yes the 5 Series is a superb car, unless you have the financial means to deal with not only the depreciation and the maintenance required to keep these going, but you can easily afford to pay for what may be some scary repair bills in the future, no you should not buy a 5 Series.

Overall, if you have money to burn, sure buy a 5 Series they’re awesome, but if you’re on a tight budget, sorry but no, it’s not worth the risk. A Lexus GS may be a safer bet.

In-terms of if you should buy an ex-Police highway patrol car, while you may save thousands of dollars, it can be nearly impossible to ascertain just how much use (or abuse) an ex-patrol car has been subjected to.

It’s honestly up to you if you want a car with a good service history, or a history of good service.

Warranty & servicing

Warranty:

3 years/unlimited kms

Servicing:

12 months/10,000kms

Tech specs

Body Style:

4-door sedan (520i, 530i, 530d, 530e, 540i, M550i)
5-door wagon/estate (520d, 530i) – discontinued from Australian market mid-2020.

Engines:

2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (520i, 530i)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (520d, 530d)
2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol plug-in hybrid electric (530e)
3.0 litre inline six cylinder turbo petrol (540i)
4.4 litre V8 bi-turbo petrol (M550i)

Power:

135kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (520i)
140kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (520d)
185kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (530i)
195kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (530d)
185kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol plug-in hybrid electric (530e)
195kW – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol plug-in hybrid electric (530e) – from 2020
250kW – 3.0 litre inline six cylinder turbo petrol (540i)
390kW – 4.4 litre V8 bi-turbo petrol (M550i)

Torque:

290Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (520i)
400Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (520d)
350Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol (530i)
620Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo diesel (530d)
420Nm – 2.0 litre 4-cylinder turbo petrol plug-in hybrid electric (530e)
450Nm – 3.0 litre inline six cylinder turbo petrol (540i)
750Nm – 4.4 litre V8 bi-turbo petrol (M550i)

Transmission & drivetrains:

8-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive – RWD (520i, 520d, 530i, 530d, 530e, 540i)
8-speed automatic, all-wheel-drive – AWD (M550i)

Fuel Consumption:

2.3 – 10.7L/100km

Length:

4936 – 4983mm (4-door sedan)
4942mm (5-door wagon/estate)

Width:

1868 – 1903mm

Height:

1467 – 1479mm (4-door sedan)
1498mm (5-door wagon/estate)

Kerb Weight:

1685 – 1990kg (depending on variant and model)

Towing:

750kg (unbraked)
2000kg (braked)

Disclaimer

Information correct as of June 3, 2022.

The advice provided on this website is general advice only. It has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of the advice, having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

Read our full terms and conditions here.