While many cars have longevity, few have consistently shone as brightly as the BMW 5 Series. The 2014 5 Series is no exception, continuing to grow and improve its trade while the competition scrambles to catch up to the previous year's updates and improvements. The BMW 5 Series for 2014 represents one of the most complete luxury car lines in the industry, offering a base turbocharged sedan, a powerhouse high-performance M version, diesel-powered and V8 models, a hybrid and a somewhat controversially styled Grand Touring wagon/SUV. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) versions expand your 5 Series choices even further. You won't find a more complete lineup, not from Lexus or Infiniti or Audi or Cadillac, although the Mercedes-Benz E-Class comes closest.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you like your luxury, performance and technology delved out in equal parts, the 2014 BMW 5 Series won't disappoint. Contrary to popular belief, the manual transmission is not dead and its presence in the 535i and M5 is another reason true enthusiasts flock to this car.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you're the type who doesn't like complexities, either in your car or its pricing structure, the BMW 5 Series will likely have you seeing red. And while a fully-loaded Lexus, Acura or Infiniti remains sensibly priced, a decked out 550i can approach six figures.
A diesel sedan is added, while new standard features include xenon adaptive headlights, navigation and BMW Apps. New options include adaptive LED headlights, a rear-seat entertainment system and two new packages: Luxury and Modern. The 550i gains 45 horsepower, but loses its manual transmission.
Driving the 5 Series
Whether powered by its rear wheels or all four, the 2014 BMW 5 Series earns its accolades as one of the best driving, best handling cars in the world. BMW's...
... AWD provides year-round piece of mind, a bonus long denied previous generations powered solely by their rear wheels. Power is in abundant supply regardless of trim. From the base 528i's turbocharged-4 to the twin-turbochargers boosting the diesel and V8 models, there is a 5 Series to match just about every demand and price range – providing your price range starts above $50K. With a 0-60-mph time of 6.2 seconds, the 528i's performance belies its 4-cylinder powerplant, although its 34-mpg fuel economy rating seems right in line. That said, the sweet spot is probably where the 5 Series began, with a healthy turbo-6 (535i) propelling you at triple-digit speeds (where allowed).
ACTIVE STEERING The 2014 BMW 5 Series sedan is available with an integral active-steering system that, depending on vehicle speed, aims the rear wheels in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels for improved handling in both low- and high-speed driving conditions.
M SPORT PACKAGE Designed for those who wish to squeeze every ounce of performance from their 5 Series sedan, the M Sport Package ups the ante with a sport suspension, lightweight 18-inch alloy wheels and a higher electronically limited top speed.
2014 BMW 5 Series Details
The 5's interior space has grown slightly over the years, while the overall impression has grown almost exponentially. Already a strong suit, BMW paid special attention to ergonomics in the BMW 5 Series for 2014, with all displays, knobs and buttons located in the central portion of the cabin. And the choice of interior materials reflects a new maturity on the part of BMW management; considering this is where consumers spend most of their time, the new upgrades are fully appropriate to that. We'd take issue, however, with the standard-spec Leatherette seating, which has no place in a $50,000 luxury car.
In assessing the 2014 BMW 5 Series, it's helpful to have some background. The development of its chassis and body structure was performed in conjunction with the flagship 7 Series. As a result, the 5 is more grown-up, with the longest wheelbase ever to be found on today's 5 Series. The proportions and overall impressions of this current 5 Series aren't radically different from those of its predecessors, but if you liked the smaller footprint of the previous iteration, the new 3 Series might be worth your consideration. In contrast, the 5 Series sedan's architectural limitations make the spacious Gran Turismo variant an enticing proposition for anyone who needs a 5 Series with SUV-like cargo space.
In sedan or 5-door body style, every 2014 BMW 5 Series includes 10-way power front seats, an 8-speed automatic transmission, run-flat tires, xenon adaptive headlights, navigation and BMW's iDrive infotainment system paired to a 10-speaker audio system. Unlike the Infiniti M and Acura TL, the 5 Series sedan does not offer leather seating or a moonroof as standard fare. As expected, the 2014 5 Series is packed with a full range of active and passive safety features, including six airbags, adaptive brake lights that become brighter as braking forces increase and BMW Assist with automatic collision notification, emergency assistance and concierge services.
BMW offers a variety of appealing stand-alone options and packages to enhance the performance and refinement of you 5 Series. On the performance side, Dynamic Damper Control enhances the overall ride quality by automatically adjusting the suspension characteristics according to the current road conditions, while the available M Sport Package adds 18-inch performance wheels and tires, aerodynamic bodywork and a race-inspired M steering wheel. Likewise, the new Luxury Line and Modern Line design packages add style elements inside and out. Luxury and convenience options include a full-color head-up display and active front seats designed to help reduce the fatigue and a rear-seat entertainment system with tablet-style displays.
Under the Hood
Variety, thy name is 5 Series. With the introduction of a new turbodiesel, BMW offers a quadruple helping of turbocharged powertrains. Despite its "base" designation, the 2.0-liter four is one of the finest engines ever fitted to an entry-level vehicle. It delivers 240 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque and 32 mpg in the EPA's highway cycle. Perhaps the lack of an available manual transmission with the turbo-4 is a down note, but that absence can't last forever; the rumble for its return starts right now. The turbocharged inline-6 and its more powerful hybrid counterpart have their fans, while the 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 and the higher-output M variant seem to maintain the notion that too much power is never enough. The inline-6 twin-turbocharged diesel delivers V8-like torque with significant fuel economy increases over its gasoline counterparts.
The 2014 BMW 5 Series starts at a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of just over $50,000. The 5-door Gran Turismo comes in around $62,000, while the new high-performance M5 tips the scales at a lofty $92,000. Offering only marginal increases in both horsepower and fuel economy, the $62,000 ActiveHybrid 5 lacks a compelling sales message, especially with the 535d diesel starting around $57,000. Competitors like the Lexus GS and Infiniti M share a similar starting price with the 5-Series, while the Audi A6 undercuts the group by roughly $5,000. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class offers a comparable level of standard equipment, but commands a premium over the 5 Series. To see what buyers in your area are actually paying for their new BMWs, take a look at KBB.com's Fair Purchase Price tool at the bottom of this page. When it comes time to sell, the 2014 5 Series is expected to maintain higher residual values than its Audi, Infiniti and Mercedes-Benz rivals, but trails the segment-leading Lexus GS by a considerable margin.
Cons: "The Iconnect system and navigation system is awful"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"The car is great from a comfort and handling point. Also great looking car. As good as those things are though, the user friendliness is pretty bad. The Navigation and IConnect software need a lot more work and attention. I find them to be very annoying"
"With the M Sport package and a Stage 4 Dinan upgrade, this is the most powerful sport sedan I have ever driven. The handling/performance is superb and the appointments are best described as refined. With quality snow tires the AWD is great in the crazy Colorado winters."
Cons: "No button on door(OUtside) to unlock car without key fob in hand."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is without a doubt the best car i have ever owned. i have had infiniti, acura, bentley, mercedes. This 535 puts them all to shame. (Maybe not the bent) lol, BUT I am in love with everything about this car. The handling is impeccable, and driving in foot deep snow upstate was SO easy for this car. i take this car everywhere all the time, it is so easy to drive, easy to put children in the back, fun and sporty. i highly recomend ant one looking for a car that they give this one a chance. not one person in my large family that doesn't LOVE this car :) Oh and cheap to own. nothing eve goes wrong with it!!!"