Review - BMW 5

By Alexi Falson on 29 Nov 2021
image for Review - BMW 5 BMW’s 5 Series has been one of the leading luxury sedans for decades now. It has continued to impress new owners with its sleek looks, refined driving style and luxurious interior finishes while constantly butting-heads with cars like the Audi A6 and the Mercedes E-Class in the premium sedan market. The problem for the European establishment in recent times, though, is two-fold.

Not only are customers consistently moving toward larger, more family-friendly and adaptable SUV platforms, new-comers to the premium sedan market are often releasing competitive products while significantly undercutting their German rivals. So, with all that in mind, how well does the latest-generation BMW 5 Series uphold the company’s reputation for smooth, luxurious passenger cars, and how effectively does the 5 Series assert itself over the competition? 

In order to win over buyers that are gravitating toward SUVs, the latest 5 Series needs to perform to an exceptionally high standard, so let’s find out how well it performs. 

Starting Price: $99,400

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BMW 5 Series (20i M SPORT LCI) Specifications

Model Date 2021
Make BMW
Model 5
Series G30
Variant 20i M SPORT LCI
Drive RWD
Engine TDFI
Engine capacity 1998
Engine configuration VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
Engine RPM 5000 / 1350
Cylinders T4
Torque 290
KW 135
Fuel tank size 68.0
Fuel usage specs 6.2 / 0.0
CO2 141
ANCAP security rating 5

For more details and other variants, check BMW 5 Series car page.

How Much Does It Cost?

The BMW 5 Series lineup kicks off from $99,400 for the entry-level 520i, with prices rising to $119,400 for the 530i. The lineup then moves to the plug-in hybrid 5 Series variant, the 530e PHEV, which is priced at $122,400, moving to $125,400 for the 530d. 

Stepping up to the BMW M550i xDrive Pure comes at a cost of $139,900, while the M550i xDrive is priced at $154,900. BMW’s performance-based flagship sedan, the M5 Competition is priced at $244,900, while the range-topping M5 CS is priced at $274,900. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on road costs. 

How Much Can OnlineAuto Save You?

Using OnlineAuto, Australia’s leading car broker service, you could save by letting one of our car specialists to help you find the best value model for you. 

What Features Does the BMW 5 Series Have?

BMW’s entry-level 520i comes riding on 19-inch alloys, and receives a set of adaptive LED headlights with high-beam assistant, as well as an M Sport styling package. Also included on the 520i is an ambient lighting package, Dakota leather upholstery, leatherette dashboard finish, head-up display, parking assistant, reversing camera with front and rear-mounted parking sensors, wireless smartphone charging, keyless entry and start, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, as well as a 12.3-inch infotainment system fitted with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ digital radio which is paired with a 12-speaker sound system. 

The 530i and 530d receive an adaptive suspension system, as well as upgraded M Sport brakes and sports-derived automatic transmission with wheel-mounted paddles, as well as hands-free boot lift, heated front seats with lumbar support, and an upgraded 16-speaker Harman/Kardon surround sound system. 

Moving to the plug-in hybrid 530e adds BMW’s XtraBoost system, as well as eDrive services, a set of charging cables and acoustic alerts for nearby pedestrians and road users. 

Moving to the M550 xDrive range adds a larger set of 20-inch alloys, as well as an all-wheel drive system, M Sport differential and engine tune, adaptive M Sport suspension, four-zone climate control, a panoramic sunroof, BMW Laserlight headlights, metallic paint, rear spoiler and a leather finish for the instrument panel. The M550i xDrive Pure, on the other hand, does not receive the Laserlight system, glass sunroof or interior upgrades. 

The performance-based M5 Competition comes riding on a set of 20-inch alloys and receives an M Driver’s package, active M Sport differential and exhaust system, a carbon fibre roof, Merino leather upholstery with an alcantara headliner, head-up display, ambient air system, LaserLight headlights, metallic paint, sporty seats and a 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins surround sound system.

Opting for the flagship M5 CS adds 20-inch forged wheels, an alcantara steering wheel and headliner, carbon fibre bodywork, stainless steel exhaust system and a set of four carbon fibre M Sport bucket seats for the interior. 

Range Features: 

  • 19-inch alloys 

  • Adaptive LED headlights 

  • Digital driver’s display 

  • M Sport bodywork package 

  • 12.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and DAB+ 

  • Head-up display 

  • Dakota leather upholstery 

  • Wireless smartphone charging 

  • Parking assistant

  • Ambient lighting 

  • 12-speaker sound system 

  • Heated front seats (530i & 530d) 

  • Adaptive suspension (530i & 530d) 

  • M Sport brakes (530i & 530d) 

  • 20-inch alloy wheels (M550i xDrive) 

  • All-wheel drive system (M550i xDrive) 

  • M Sport differential (M550i xDrive) 

  • Panoramic sunroof (M550i xDrive)

  • BMW LaserLight (M550i xDrive) 

  • Active M Differential (M5 Competition) 

  • Sport exhaust (M5 Competition) 

  • M carbon fibre roof (M5 Competition) 

  • Stainless steel exhaust system (M5 CS) 

  • Carbon fibre M Sport bucket seats (M5 CS) 

  • Carbon fibre body panels (M5 CS) 

BMW 5 Series (M Sport Package) Colours

Alpine White Carbon Black Metallic
Black Sapphire Metallic Black
Sophisto Grey Brilliant Effect Metallic Phytonic Blue
Bluestone Metallic Tanzanite Blue Metallic
Alvite Grey Metallic Pure Metal Silver
Frozen Cashmere Silver Metallic Frozen Dark Silver
Brilliant White Metallic Frozen Brilliant White Metallic
Aventurine Red Metallic Bernina Grey Amber Effect

Is the BMW 5 Series Comfortable to Drive? 

It takes just a few minutes behind the wheel of the latest 5 Series to realise that this is a special type of vehicle, one that immediately defaults to offering the driver a more relaxed, comfortable and sophisticated ride. It’s worth noting, though, that with six main variants, the 5 Series lineup offers a whole range of performance, depending how high up the ladder you climb. 

It’s also worth taking into consideration that ordinary drivers will be more than happy with either of the entry-level variants, the 520i and 530i, which tick all the important boxes in terms of power, smooth driving dynamics and a comfortable ride. The diesel equivalent, the 530d, is also another gem of the range, offering even smoother acceleration thanks to the added torque, which makes taking off from the line completely effortless. BMW has also updated its plug-in hybrid variant for the latest model year, which has received more power from its petrol-electric motor that massively reduces fuel consumption. 

For drivers looking for some genuine performance from their 5 Series the M550i has a twin-turbo V8 lurking beneath the bonnet combined with an all-wheel drive system, while the flagship M5 Competition and CS variants offer absolutely insane acceleration and cornering abilities that rival a number of thoroughbred sports cars on the road. 

Regardless of which engine you opt for, power is sent to the road via a buttery eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission, and makes for a smooth, relaxing driving dynamic around town and on open roads. This makes the 5 Series lineup a perfect option for a daily commuter, thanks to its effortless acceleration, lightweight steering rack at low speeds and a comfortable suspension platform that is able to absorb bumps while keeping the car flat through the corners. This can, however, be improved by opting for the 530i or 530d, which receive an adaptive suspension system that is even more effective at eating the rough road surfaces in Australia. 

As a complete package, then, the BMW 5 Series is near faultless as a comfortable, family-friendly sedan, with higher-spec models benefiting from a two-tone personality that offers all the relaxed, smooth driving in mundane situations while being able to throw you back in your seat when the mood strikes. 

Is it Practical and Spacious? 

Considering the BMW 5 Series is widely used as a premium transport vehicle and even general-use taxi in markets like Germany, it should come as no surprise to hear that the entire range is a comfortable, practical and extremely spacious sedan. It’s so competent, in fact, that it gives a number of SUVs a genuine challenge when it comes to all-round occupant space and comfort, proving that SUVs aren’t necessarily the best option. 

Stepping inside the cabin, the driver and front passenger are treated to a wonderfully curated interior design that is every bit as understated as it is luxurious. The front of the cabin features a large central tunnel that separates the driver and front passenger, and hosts a large folding armrest with storage underneath, as well as a hidden set of cup holders in front of the gear lever. The climate control system retains physical buttons for easy, ergonomic access, while the large 12.3-inch infotainment system dominates the dashboard. 

The front of the cabin features a pair of comfortable seats with electronic adjustment, allowing you to get the perfect seating position for longer journeys. All up, the wide cabin offers ample shoulder room to stretch out, with absolutely no complaints in terms of seating position, visibility and headroom. All the designs and textures have a quality feel to them, as well as the switchgear and buttons that you’ll press during daily driving which adds to the air of sophistication that surrounds the 5 Series lineup. Higher spec variants add a number of special touches to the interior, but as a whole, the cabin retains a large, comfortable and almost lounge room-like feel which is lovely on long journeys.  

Move to the rear of the cabin and you’ll find a comfortable bench seat that can comfortably accommodate three people, although adults might notice the lack of shoulder room when three-abreast on longer journeys. For the majority of situations though, with just a pair of passengers in the rear cabin, the 5 Series is an exceptionally comfortable vehicle that rivals the amount of space you’d find in an equivalent SUV. The cabin offers a significant amount of legroom for the segment, and while headroom is somewhat limited due to the sloping roofline, anyone up to 190cm will be able to get comfortable on longer journeys. 

For the parents out there, BMW has installed easy-to-access ISOFIX anchor and top tether points in the rear of the cabin which can accommodate bulky child seats, and the amount of boot space available in the 5 Series is a timely reminder that a sedan can truly meet the needs of a family. In all but the plug-in hybrid variant, there is 530L of boot space available in the rear of the 5 Series, which drops to 410L in the hybrid variant, due to the lithium-ion battery pack underneath. 

Is the BMW 5 Series Safe? 

The BMW 5 Series range has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five star safety rating, scoring 91 out of 100 for adult protection, 85 for child protection, 81 for vulnerable road user protection and 59 for active safety assistance. As standard, Australian 5 Series models are packaged with BMW’s Driving Assistant Professional system, which includes autonomous emergency braking, semi-autonomous steering and lane keep assistance and blind spot management. 

Is it Fuel Efficient?

The question of whether or not the BMW 5 Series is a fuel efficient sedan depends largely on the variant you opt for. The entry-level 520i is rated at 6.8L per 100km, while the 530i offers a figure of 6.7L per 100km on a combined cycle. Opting for the diesel brings this figure down to 5.5L per 100km, while the performance-based M550i and M5 Competition are rated at 10.7L and 10.6L per 100km respectively. 

The undisputed king of fuel efficiency within the 5 Series lineup, though, is the 530e plug-in hybrid variant, which returns a combined cycle figure of just 2.3L per 100km on a combined cycle thanks to its petrol-electric powertrain. 

Our Verdict: Is the BMW 5 Series Worth it?

While it might be under some significant pressure from new-comers to the world of premium sedans, and a non-stop assault from the SUV segment, the latest generation BMW 5 Series is by far the most capable, versatile and sophisticated model yet. While it might not be the sales-topping king that it used to be, the latest 5 Series proves that BMW is not giving up on its iconic luxury sedan any time soon. 

As a complete package, there are very few cars on the road today that can tick the boxes that the 5 Series manages to, and even fewer that achieve this with the same confidence. It’s a near faultless premium sedan, and is more than deserving of a spot on your shortlist. On that note,  if you’re in the market for a new car, you can get a free quote and see how much OnlineAuto can save you on your next car, or call us on 1300 719 925.

Five Specs You Need to Know

  1. Five star ANCAP safety rating 

  2. Three-year, unlimited KM warranty; can be extended to five-years

  3. Six engine options including one plug-in hybrid (530e) 

  4. 530L cargo capacity in boot

  5. 2.3L/100km fuel economy for 530e plug-in hybrid 


  • Smooth engine and transmission combinations 

  • Impressive fuel economy for plug-in hybrid variant 

  • Sleek interior design, packed with technology and features 


  • Limited warranty coverage 

  • Pricey options list 

  • Minimal styling changes from previous generations 

OnlineAuto Rating: 8/10

BMW 5 Series Competition

BMW 5 Series

Mercedes-Benz C-Class
Volvo S60
Audi A6
Mercedes-Benz E300
Mercedes-Benz C300


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

Have any questions? Call us on 1300 719 925

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