2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan

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2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Review: Quintessential Midsize Luxury

BMW's venerable 5 Series executive sedan was introduced in its current, seventh generation in 2017, which means the time has arrived for a mid-cycle update. With such esteemed rivals as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6, the revisions ensure that the 5 Series maintains its lofty position in the segment. Much like other modern BMW sedans, the 5 Series has traded some of its famed dynamism for increased refinement and ride comfort. While this remains a controversial aspect of a car sporting the BMW badge, there's nothing controversial about the way the 5 Series performs, with everything from the 530i to the 523-horsepower M550i delivering superb acceleration. The handsome and spacious cabin remains a highlight and now receives several technological upgrades seen in newer BMWs, one of them being the Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument cluster. While some competitors may offer more flair inside and out, the 5 Series is an outstandingly accomplished executive sedan with few vices, and remains a top choice in the segment.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 7 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 7 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 8 /10
  • Reliability 8 /10
  • Safety 9 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2019 5 Series Sedan?

The 5 Series gets a host of technological upgrades in the cabin, with the latest iDrive 7.0 operating system and BMW's Live Cockpit Professional digital instrument display now fitted across the range. Other standard features that have been added are navigation and keyless passive entry. On the performance front, the M550i gets an increase in power from 456 hp to 523. This model also boasts heated front seats and an M Sport Differential as standard items. BMW has discontinued the diesel-powered 540d in the US for 2020.

Pros and Cons

  • Exemplary highway cruiser
  • Opulent and rock-solid cabin
  • Impressive array of technological features
  • Powerful and refined engines
  • Large trunk capacity
  • Restrained overall design doesn't stand out
  • Lacks that traditional sporty BMW feel
  • Expensive optional extras

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2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
530i Sedan
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
530e iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
530e xDrive iPerformance Plug-In Hybrid
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Plug-in Hybrid
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
530i xDrive Sedan
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
540i Sedan
3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
See All 2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Trims and Specs

Handling and Driving Impressions

Yes, a BMW 5 Series can still carve its way through a series of acute bends with more control and while carrying greater speeds than many of its competitors. Current generations remain supremely engineered machines - it's just that it doesn't thrill in the same fashion as older BMWs once did. In our test drive, the electronically assisted steering felt muted, offering minimal feedback. However, buyers seeking ultimate refinement and that feeling of stark isolation from the outside world will appreciate it. A lack of feel aside, there is plenty of grip on offer, and oversteer only comes into play at far higher velocities than most will indulge in. There are three driving modes: Eco Pro, Comfort, and Sport, with the latter adding a bit more heft to the helm, although actual feedback remains lacking.

The upside of the current suspension configuration is that the 5 Series is a properly cosseting executive sedan, with a pliant and controlled ride quality that is wonderfully relaxing when covering long distances. Typically well-damped, the suspension resists the floatiness that besets some luxury sedans. Even in the sportier M550i, this is evidently a car tuned more for comfort than thrilling dynamics.

Verdict: Is the G30 Generation 5 Series A Good car?

Despite SUVs accounting for a larger percentage of BMW sales in the USA than ever before, the marque continues to deliver outstanding luxury sedans and the 2020 BMW 5 Series is no different. While this isn't a car that bowls you over the first time you see it, it's the 5 Series' remarkably consistent spread of abilities that position it at the top of the class. Not only is it supremely comfortable, but it still corners with confidence. While the interior is now a feast for technophiles, most of it remains easy and natural to use. Add in those superb powertrains, the exemplary build quality, and enough space for the family, and it's easy to see why the BMW remains a default choice in this segment. While the privilege doesn't come cheaply - and accomplished rivals like the cutting-edge Audi A6 and opulent Mercedes-Benz E-Class are deserving of consideration - the 5 Series is one of BMW's best efforts, and this latest mid-cycle update only adds to its appeal.

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2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Comparisons

BMW 3 Series Sedan BMW
Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Mercedes-Benz

2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan vs BMW 3 Series Sedan

At an earlier stage in its life cycle than the 5 Series, the all-new BMW 3 Series is the more modern-looking and aggressive of the two. An equivalent 330i is also over $12,000 less expensive than the 530i. However, with its latest raft of tech upgrades, the 5 Series now offers the same level of functionality found in the 3. The 3 Series is the more agile handler of the two, but the 5 Series offers a much smoother ride. While the 3 Series has an edgier and more interesting cabin design, it also can't match the 5 Series for material quality. If comfort and a more sedate driving experience are high on your list of priorities, the 5 Series remains worth the extra cost over its younger brother.

See BMW 3 Series Sedan Review

2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

These arch rivals are more evenly matched than ever before. While both are conservatively styled, the E-Class' cabin boasts a greater sense of occasion, although actual quality is on par with the 5 Series. The Benz's expansive dual-screen infotainment and instrumentation setup is certainly striking, but the BMW's ergonomics are superior. Both are spacious, provide exceptional performance, and are packed with the latest technologies. However, the 5 Series provides a better ride and handling balance in comparison, especially since the E-Class rides a bit too stiffly on its standard suspension. The E-Class also has the smaller trunk capacity of the two. Still, both represent the cream of the mid-size sedan crop, and brand loyalists of each are unlikely to be swayed.

See Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Review

2020 BMW 5 Series Sedan Popular Comparisons

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