(F10) BMW 5 Series review - (2010-2016) - Engine and gearbox

BMW’s 5 Series: so good, it’s all the car you’d ever need

Evo rating
Price
from £31,115
  • Great engines, superb chassis, lovely interior
  • Bland exterior styling, very common now

Engine and gearbox

The usual superb and expansive range of turbocharged units, in four-, six- and eight-cylinder formats. Badges you’ll see on the rear-ends of 5 Series models: for petrol power, there’s the 520i, 528i, 535i and 550i; diesels are 518d, 520d, 525d, 530d and 535d. Petrol power runs from 181- to 444bhp, while the diesels offer up anything between 148- and 309bhp; comparative torque figures are 199-480lb ft for the petrols and 266-465lb ft in the diesels. 

Four-pot engines are found in the 518d, 520i, 520d, 525d and 528i, with straight-sixes for the 530d, 535i and 535d. The 550i is a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8. Every engine is available in the saloon, the Touring misses out on the V8 only and the GT has a range that runs 535i and 550i, 520d, 530d and 535d.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Anything up to the 525d can be had with a manual, six-speed gearbox, with all models from 528i upwards coming as eight-speed automatics only (optionally with paddle shifts); both autos are options on the lower portion of the range. Also, the Gran Turismo is auto-only, as is the ActiveHybrid 5, which – for reference – makes 335bhp and 332lb ft.

'In the 528i there's no creamy straight-six hum, no BMW specific signature. That's because the new 528i has a 2-litre engine with four cylinders. The downsizing fairy has visited and has brought with it a twin scroll turbocharger and every efficiency trick in the book, from a stop-start to throttle-less Valvetronic valve-lift control. Thirsty nat-asp sixes are history.' John Simister, evo 164.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/news/22743/gordon-murray-automotive-t50-revealed-the-real-mclaren-f1-successor
News

Gordon Murray Automotive T.50 revealed – the real McLaren F1 successor

Gordon Murray’s T.50 is the pinnacle of supercar engineering on the eve of an electrified future
4 Aug 2020
Visit/ferrari/202963/ferrari-roma-2020-review-a-new-take-on-the-italian-gt
Ferrari

Ferrari Roma 2020 review – a new take on the Italian GT

Direct, engaging handling and superb ride quality, plus strong performance: the sharp-suited Roma nails its GT brief
5 Aug 2020
Visit/features/202947/bmw-m3-gts-vs-mini-gp-vs-renault-sport-megane-r26r
Features

BMW M3 GTS vs Mini GP vs Renault Sport Mégane R26.R

You could spend £250,000 on a 700bhp hardcore machine, but is there just as much fun to be had – if not more – with less power and for less outlay?
1 Aug 2020
Visit/ford/202957/mountune-ford-focus-rs-m520-2020-review-less-hot-hatch-more-throwback-to-group-b
Ford Focus RS

Mountune Ford Focus RS M520 2020 review – less hot hatch, more Group B throwback

The idea of a 500-horse Focus won’t be for everyone, but for the rest it’s a glorious dose of internal combustion madness
31 Jul 2020