By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 8.4
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.
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.
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 Impressions 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).
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.
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.Exterior
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.
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.
2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (528i)
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/34 mpg (RWD), 22/33 mpg (AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 (535i, 535i GT)
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 (manual, RWD), 20/30 (automatic, RWD), 20/29 (automatic, AWD), 19/28 mpg (GT, RWD), 18/26 mpg (GT, AWD)
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 hybrid (535 Active Hybrid)
335 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg
3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 diesel (535d)
255 horsepower @ 4,000 rpm
413 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-3,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/38 mpg (RWD), 26/37 mpg (AWD)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (550i, 550i GT)
445 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
480 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/25 mpg (RWD), 16/24 mpg (AWD), 16/25 mpg (RWD, GT), 16/24 mpg (AWD, GT)
4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8 (M5)
560 horsepower @ 6,000-7,000 rpm
500 lb-ft of torque @ 1,500-5,750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (manual), 14/20 mpg (automatic)
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.
By LB on Friday, June 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,700overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Simply a fun car to drive."
Cons: "Navigation system does not display speed limit."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Purchased new. Three years and 30,000 miles later, this car is absolutely the best moderately priced sport car on the road. Have recently driven a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for one week and could not wait to get back into my BMW. Responsiveness and handling are tops. BMW could put a few more luxuries inside such as A/C seats and tire monitoring system that tells the air pressure."
16 people out of 34 found this review helpful
By Usmcmal on Thursday, May 29, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Truly the ultimate driving machine"
Cons: "rear seat room"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Terrific -- it's the 5th BMW I've owned. However, rear seating is not adequate (foot room) and function control wheel is very complicated to use. I'm certain there are many functions I don't use/understand. Turbo much quicker than a similar 528i, even if only 75 hp more. If you like music, be sure to upgrade radio/CD system as the standard one is sub-par and I'm not prepared to have an upgrade installed at the dealership for $4,500-$5,000. If you find one already installed by the factory, it only costs an additional $800-$1,000, Also, I'm very lucky to have found this used, spotless 2013 535i 4 wheel drive with only 9,500 miles on it! I think the ride is far superior to a similiar Mercedes Benz."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Talkingbeer on Sunday, May 04, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive; fast; dependable; perfect int. room"
Cons: "Nothing noted; I-Drive over-complicated"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I have a 2013 BMW 535i, loaded -- M PKG, lease, had it for 15 months. - Love it; fun to drive; fast;"
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Chris on Monday, March 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good compromise car"
Cons: "Horribly soft wheels"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Watch the potholes! As a former M3 driver, the 5 series M-Sport is a great compromise car for running the family around while retaining the ability to engage in spirited driving. Unfortunately the 19" wheels bend far too easily. Had two wheels straightened in 3 months of winter driving. Car looks great. Plenty of power at 300 hp for the 535. Went with Xdrive for practicality. If you live in a climate with snow, opt for the 18" wheels, or buy a 911 for fun, and a Wrangler for winter."
19 people out of 29 found this review helpful
By Born to be Wild on Friday, March 14, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "cachet name"
Cons: "bland interior, mediocre performance"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I was in the market for a an upscale midsize sports sedan so I test drove the BMW 5281 2013. Stepping into the car I was underwhelmed. for a $50,000 car it was so Spartan with its uncomfortable synthetic leather seats and simple dashboard design but it is a BMW so I agreed to drive it. I had earlier driven the Tesla and Infiniti M37S and made some comparisons while driving. The Tesla S was smoother than the BMW and the Infiniti had a gorgeous interior and clearly out handled (0-60 in 5 seconds) the BMW. IMHO, I think the BMW 5281 is a good car as Consumer Report gave it 82 points but they also gave the Infiniti M37 93 points and Tesla its highest score at 99 points. I won't tell you which car I bought but I certainly didn't spend $50,000 on a 5 series with vinyl seats. If you want something more than a Cachet name then do some reading and then do some driving..... its the only way to buy a car :}"
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By GREENWICH on Thursday, March 06, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "GAS MILEAGE NOT AS ADVERTISED, BMW SERVICE A JOKE."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"GOOD LUCK HAVING THIS CAR TOWED. THE TOW TRUCK DRIVER HAS TO CRAWL UNDERNEATH IT TO PUT IT IN NEUTRAL. HE TOLD ME HE WOULD NEVER DO THAT ON THE HIGHWAY SO YOU RISK DAMAGING YOUR TRANSMISSION WHEN THEY LOAD IT. FYI RUN FLAT TIRES SOUND LIKE A GREAT IDEA BUT ARE $300 TO REPLACE EACH TIME YOU HAVE A FLAT. THE BMW SERVICE CENTER TOOK TWO WEEKS TO GET A MUFFLER PART FROM GERMANY AND THEN TOLD ME IT NEEDED ANOTHER PART THAT WAS BACKORDERED TWO MONTHS! WHEN I COMPLAINED THEY SUGGESTED I JUST DRIVE IT WITH THE DAMAGED MUFFLER. I'M PAYING $1000/MO FOR THIS BAD SERVICE? THE DEALER COULD'T CARE LESS AND WOULDN'T GET INVOLVED. I'M GOING BACK TO MERCEDES."
8 people out of 12 found this review helpful