The BMW 5 Series first appeared in the BMW portfolio in 1972, receiving its name by being the fifth vehicle introduced in a new “series” of cars. While the naming may not be clever, the 5 Series is an essential car to the BMW lineup, being one of their best selling cars behind the 3 series. It is our top pick for luxury cars under $30k.
5 Series Size
The 5 Series is a mid-sized luxury, sport sedan designed for those who enjoy uncompromised luxury, performance and driving capability.
The 2003-2010 BMW 5 Series, named the E60 to BMW enthusiasts, came in two, distinct styles: sedan and station wagon. The E60 BMW 5 Series is a highly Followed car on Mojo Motors. It did have detractors, however. The rear end design of the 5 Series has been deemed the “Bangle-Butt” because designer Chris Bangle added a distinct lip that juts out from the car.
The current generation BMW 5 Series, the F10 in BMW-speak, is available in three body styles: sedan, station wagon, and Gran Turismo hatchback. When BMW unveiled the 5 Series Gran Turismo, which was an homologation of crossover like utility with the look of a sedan, they said it was to replace the wagon, which was seeing lagging sales at the time.
The engines offered in the E60 BMW 5 Series sedan and wagon are as follows:
- 3.0-liter inline-6 (BMW 528i sedan)
- Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 (BMW 535i sedan and wagon)
- 4.8-liter V-8 (BMW 550i sedan)
The engines offered in the F10 BMW 5 Series sedan are as follows:
- Turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4 (BMW 528i sedan)
- Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 (BMW 335i sedan)
- 3.0-liter inline-6 hybrid (BMW ActiveHybrid 5 sedan)
- Turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 (BMW 550i sedan)
The engines offered in the F10 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo are as follows:
- Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 (BMW Gran Turismo 335i)
- Turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 (BMW Gran Turismo 550i)
5 Series Gran Turismo
5 Series Wagon
5 Series VS A6
No BMW comes without competition, and the BMW 5 Series is no different. The German sport sedan market is packed with willing competitors, but the 5 Series exudes a certain penchant of luxury and performance.
The problem facing the Audi A6, a competitor to the BMW 5 Series, is its styling—or lack thereof. With Audi’s design ethos, it is hard to distinguish the differences between most of their lineup. The Audi A4 and A6 look quite similar, something BMW has avoided with the 5 and 3 Series.
A difference between the A6 and 5 Series is engine lineup. BMW has offered a plethora of engines for the 5 Series, opting to maintain a powerful V-8 engine within the trim offerings. Audi, on the other hand, has dropped its V-8 engine, instead offering a supercharged V-6 engine for its top luxury vehicle. The only V-8 available on the Audi A6 is on their high performance S and RS trim line of vehicles. At this price point though, anything less than a V-8 would be sacrilegious.
The BMW 5 Series is a better luxury car than the Audi A6, because it still allows you to experience the serenity of a luxury V-8 engine.
5 Series VS E Class
The E Class is one of the BMW 5 Series’ longest and most demanding competitors, but it competes in a very uncompetitive way. The BMW 5 Series is designed as a performance sedan with the goal of offering luxury in a very fun-to-drive package. The E Class has taken a different route, sacrificing the enjoyment of driving for the poshness of luxury. The BMW 5 Series is simply the perfect balance of everything that really matters to a sport sedan buyer.
Both offer a slew of engines of varying displaces and cylinders, but BMW excels at drivetrain development. The combination of exceptional engines and smooth, responsive transmissions, sets the BMW 5 Series a class above the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.
Written by Anthony Alaniz