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 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."
8 people out of 10 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 :}"
3 people out of 6 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."
5 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By WanderLuster on Wednesday, February 26, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Not reliable
Pros: "Great handling, nice features"
Cons: "Not reliable"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I didn't think I could ever drive anything but a Bimmer. The handling, ride, and features of BMW are great- when they're working. My 535i had electrical issues, brake squeaks that could never be resolved, and spent significant amounts of time in the shop for warranty work. The run-flat tires caused the sensors to alert frequently (temperature variations, etc.) The last straw was when the car completely shut down WHILE DRIVING DOWN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD. Fun fact, there's no easy way to put a BMW into neutral and push it out of a busy roadway after the electrical system shuts down. Mind you, the car was only about 20 months old. It was ridiculous driving a beautiful new BMW and having squealing brakes at every stop, which the dealer never resolved and even tried to blame on the way I was braking."
6 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By UDM on Wednesday, January 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,400overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fast, great looking, all the creature comforts"
Cons: "Weight, run-flat tires, steering and Nav"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love almost everything about this car, and it is certainly one of the best 4-door sedans in its class ever made. I prefer light colored exteriors (look good even a week after they're washed), and lighter interiors with good contrast (easy to see how absolutely incredible the BMW interior is), which can be a bit hard to find on these cars. I found a white one with the Oyster on Black interior which looks fantastic. The Beauty: To start, there is not a better looking sedan on the road, IMHO. The styling says class while retaining the strong, aggressive stance that BMWs are known for, and avoids the over-styling of many of the Japanese and American makes. The seats are some of the best in the business (make sure and get the sport buckets!), and the interior appointments are driver focused but make passengers feel like welcomed guests. The Beast: 450 lb-ft of torque matched to one of the smoothest 8-speeds in the business. It needs to be in Sport mode to really get a sense for what this car can do. With loads of torque to spare, the drivetrain gets this 4,600 pound beast moving 0-60 in about 4.5 seconds (yes, the xDrive is 0.3 faster than the RWD!). You won't see many cars on the road that are faster. Even a late model Carrera with a stick will have to hit every shift just right to take this car. And they can't take their friends to lunch in that little coupe. My only beefs with the car? 1) Too heavy makes it less responsive than it could be, so-so on gas, and bad on tires and brakes 2) run-flat tires (uugghhh) 3) Connection to the road a tad numb (the suspension is ok, it's the steering that is most wanting) and 4) the Nav system is a bit clunky (just get Google maps and/or iOS in there!) Still, this is the best sedan on the market IMHO - good enough to keep a smile on your face everyday - and that's how much you will want to drive it. It is a near perfect balance of power, comfort and styling. And hey, if there weren't any flaws, I wouldn't have an excuse to upgrade in a few years. :)"
5 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By windsor1888 on Friday, January 17, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Back seat! Style, features"
Cons: "GPS, mechanical issues,"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I've had this car for about 5 months bought it as a CPO with 14K miles on it. It has had some mechanical quirks -which have required multiple trips to the shop. The car is a head-turner, reading the reviews on line I expected people to tell me how much they hated it but in fact most people say that they love it. It fits the child seats in the back seat very nicely -there is much more room in the back seat than my old 2001 5 series. The sport mode is my favorite to drive in. We have been able to take it on 2 road trips -both times it handeled the weekend luggage and kept us all very comfortable on the ride. I'm going to get a cargo liner for the rear compartment, and I had the windows tinted - I'm hoping the mechanical issues settle down so I can truley enjoy the car."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful