Performance and 0-60mph time
Little short of brilliant across the range, as – even in 518d Touring format – any 5 Series will do 0-62mph in less than 10 seconds and can hit at least 130mph. It doesn’t take much of a step up the ladder either to find the models that hit the Germans’ self-imposed 155mph limited ceiling, with the 528i saloon, 530d Touring and 535i GT all capable of this figure.
And because all engines are turbocharged units, they have plenty of torque to make them all decently quick in the midrange, which is where most owners will do the majority of their work. For reference points, the 518d manual saloon does 0-62mph in 9.5 seconds and 135mph flat out, while at the other end of the four-door chain, the 550i turns in astonishing stats of 0-62mph in 4.6 seconds and 155mph; that former figure beats the old V10 M5, by the way.
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The slowest Touring is also the 518d manual, taking 9.9 seconds to hit 62mph from rest and topping out at 130mph, while the quickest wagon is the 535d, with admirable figures of 5.4 seconds and 155mph. Model for model, the Gran Turismo is a bit tardier than the regular Fives, with the 520d turning in 8.9 seconds for 0-62mph and 134mph, while the 550i does 0-62mph in 5.0 seconds dead and 155mph. The ActiveHybrid 5 records 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds and is also limited to 155mph.
All UK 5 Series models are rear-wheel drive. BMW claims the xDrive system can’t be easily adapted for right-hand drive Fives, so we miss out on such examples… and that means we’re denied the storming M550d, which is xDrive only.