The 5 Series lineup here in Australia has been slimmed down to just a single 520i variant for now, flanked by its battery-electric twin, the i5, with both designed to appeal to buyers in the premium sedan market.
With a huge reputation to uphold, let’s take a closer look and see just how convincing BMW’s updated 5 Series is, and how well it stacks up on value, driving engagement and technology against its rivals.
BMW 5 Series Competition
BMW 5 Series
|Alfa Romeo Giulia
Starting Price: $114,900
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How Much Does It Cost?
The BMW 5 Series is available in a single variant here in Australia, with the 520i priced at $114,900 before on-road costs are applied.
For reference, the battery-electric BMW i5 eDrive40 is priced at $155,900 while the flagship i5 M60 xDrive is priced at $215,900.
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BMW 5 Series (20i M SPORT MHEV) Specifications
|20i M SPORT MHEV
|PREMIUM UNLEADED PETROL
|8 SP AUTOMATIC STEPT
|DUAL OVERHEAD CAM / 16 valves
|4400 / 1500
|Fuel tank size
|Fuel usage specs
|0.0 / 0
|ANCAP security rating
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What Features Does the BMW 5 Series Have?
BMW’s entry-level 5 Series, the 520i comes riding on a set of 19-inch alloys and receives adaptive LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, a mix of Alcantara and vegan-friendly leatherette upholstery, dual-zone climate control, heated front sports seats, carbon fibre interior highlights, a panoramic sunroof, powered boot lift and an M Sport styling package.
On the tech front, the BMW 520i comes packing a surround-view monitor with front & rear parking sensors, a head-up display, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 14.9-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, ambient lighting, a wireless smartphone charger, semi-autonomous parking assistant and a 12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system.
Adaptive LED headlights
Alcantara & vegan-friendly leatherette upholstery
Adaptive cruise control
Powered boot lift
M Sport styling package
Heated front sports seats
Carbon fibre interior highlights
14.9-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
Surround-view monitor with front & rear parking sensors
Semi-autonomous parking assistant
12-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system
Is the BMW 520i Comfortable to Drive?
The 5 Series has always been at the pinnacle of luxurious motoring, designed to tackle stretches of the German Autobahn at 250km/h without any disturbances inside the cabin.
In its latest form, BMW has taken the recipe to a whole new level, with the 520i providing a remarkably smooth and stable ride quality that makes for a perfect place to sit on an arduous commute.
BMW’s 520i comes powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine with mild 48V hybrid tech that kicks out 153kW of power and 330Nm of torque to the rear wheels via an eight-speed transmission.
While we’d like to see some more powerful variants added to the 5 Series lineup here in Australia, the 520i offers very respectable acceleration off the line and particularly smooth driving with that eight-speed auto transmission.
On the road, you’ll notice almost immediately just how solid yet refined the 5 Series feels when you’re up and running.
It’s quiet, incredibly smooth and well-mannered around town with particularly good manners while navigating tight quarters thanks to the lightweight steering rack that offers a healthy amount of feedback as you pick up the pace.
The suspension package is certainly on the firm side, though it has no problem accommodating small and moderate bumps around town while offering a heap of performance when pushed on a twisty road.
It’s a joy to drive on those twisty roads, too, with the rear-wheel drive package offering dynamic handling and a heap of feedback to the driver that makes for a wonderful excuse to drive home the long way.
Where the 5 Series package truly shines, though, is when it’s able to stretch its legs on an open road and destroy kilometres thanks to its lovely grand touring DNA.
All up, the 5 Series is a wonderful saloon package that is a pleasure to drive both in the confines of the urban jungle and the highway, with its versatile nature offering strong performance as a commuter and long-distance tourer.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
BMW’s mild-hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine powering the 520i is rated at 6.8L/100km on a combined cycle.
These are pretty impressive fuel economy figures considering the 520i’s weight and the performance on offer and remain competitive when compared to its direct rivals.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The BMW 5 Series has always been a sublime place to sit and stretch out ahead of a long road trip.
The latest 520i is no different, offering a unique blend of sporty, high-tech and premium touches that are a treat for the eyes and offer a heap of space and practical touches that make it a truly versatile daily driver and family car.
Up front, the 5 Series cabin has been slingshot into the 21st century, with a massive infotainment display dominating the dashboard topping a range of unique highlights that look and feel truly premium.
Headroom is abundant in the front of the cabin, a great driving position and a heap of adjustability in the seat and steering wheel for drivers of all shapes and sizes.
The bulky centre console offers a generous range of storage options, with a large tray sitting behind the transmission dial, a pair of cup holders, storage inside the split-fold armrest and large door bins on either side of the cabin.
Move to the rear of the cabin and things are just as impressive as the front, with the 520i offering acres of legroom and enough headroom for tall adults to get comfortable, meaning you won’t hear a peep from kids seated in the rear.
The second row picks up a pair of ISOFIX anchors, top tether mounts and easy access to the rear bench from the wide-opening doors, with amenities like air vents, folding armrest and USB-C ports on offer to keep the family happy and charged-up on long trips.
Founding out the 5 Series as a practical package, you’ll find a very applicable 520L of cargo space in the 520i’s boot, which comes close to what’s on offer inside a comparable SUV package.
Is the BMW 520i Safe?
The BMW 5 Series range, including the battery-electric i5, has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating after scoring the following marks.
Adult Occupant Protection: 89%
Child Occupant Protection: 87%
Vulnerable Road User Protection: 86%
Safety Assist: 81%
As standard, the BMW 520i picks up autonomous emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, front and rear cross-traffic alerts, a surround-view monitor with front and rear parking sensors, semi-autonomous parking assistant and tyre pressure monitoring.
Our Verdict: Is the BMW 5 Series Worth it?
No matter how high your expectations may be for a premium, family-friendly sedan - the latest BMW 5 Series will confidently exceed them.
While we wish there was a bit more variety in the 5 Series range here in Australia, even the entry-level 520i meets all the important benchmarks buyers will be looking for in a premium saloon.
It floats around town comfortably, can put a smile on your face when the road begins to get curvy and can chew up long road trips in absolute comfort, making for a truly impressive and versatile package that feels very much at home in Australia.
If you’re looking to upgrade to a new car, be sure to reach out to one of our car-buying experts who can help find you the best possible price on your dream car.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Mild-hybrid 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder (153kW/330Nm)
Eight-speed automatic, rear-wheel drive platform
6.8L/100km combined cycle fuel economy figures
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
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