Specs and Rivals
Rivals for the saloon and Touring are obvious, such as the Mercedes E-Class, Audi A6 and Jaguar XF. The basic cost of all four cars is within £5000 of one another, the Mercedes being the most expensive and the BMW being the cheapest.
The Mercedes is much newer than the BMW and offers a far more refined drivetrain, that helps justify the slightly higher price. The cabin in the E-Class, which feels like a slightly scaled down S-Class, is more sophisticated than the BMW's. Overall, although the Mercedes is an enjoyable car to drive, it sacrifices dynamic thrills for overall luxury.
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The Jaguar is closest in philosophy to the BMW, however the 5 Series feels marginally lighter and wieldier – especially the more performance oriented variants. However, the BMW is due to be replaced soon, which will make things even more difficult for the Jaguar.
The 5 Series GT is a little trickier to classify; about its nearest competitor is the Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake, a car we much prefer to the Gran Turismo.