In-depth reviews

BMW 5 Series saloon - MPG, running costs & CO2

The latest BMW 5 Series is even more economical than the old one, which is an impressive achievement

Carbuyer Rating

4.6 out of 5

Owners Rating

4.0 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Executive expresses like the BMW 5 Series have to perform something of a balancing act: buyers at this end of the market expect low running costs paired with impressive performance, practicality and luxury – and that means powerful engines, big bodies and lots of equipment.

These demands tend to push a car's weight up, which is an enemy of high economy and low emissions. Carmakers must work hard to achieve all this, but the results can be impressive and the 5 Series is a case in point. Despite being fast, spacious and well appointed, it can return well over 50mpg with a diesel engine – and even more if you pick a plug-in hybrid model. Every four- and six-cylinder engine now gets mild-hybrid technology, recouping energy normally wasted under braking; helping them to be cleaner and reduce running costs for company-car drivers.

BMW 5 Series MPG & CO2

The BMW 520d is a stalwart of the 5 Series range. In standard rear-wheel-drive guise, it returns up to 58.9mpg in SE trim and emits 127-133g/km of CO2 when equipped with rear-wheel drive. Opting for the 520d with xDrive four-wheel drive reduces economy to 55.4mpg and pushes CO2 emissions up to 133-140g/km. These emissions figures mean company-car buyers will be liable for a middling Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) bill for both models. These are all factors that make the 520d a hit for business and private buyers who spend a lot of time on the motorway, where an electric car can lack range.

If you’re happy to trade some fuel economy for some extra performance, the BMW 530d xDrive M Sport manages up to 51.4mpg and emits 145-159g/km, putting it in pricey BiK bands. Be aware that all the 5 Series’ diesel engines use AdBlue to reduce emissions, which high-mileage users may need to top up in between annual services. See our article on AdBlue for more information.

The real economy star – on paper at least – is the petrol-electric plug-in hybrid BMW 530e, which officially returns as much as 201.8mpg in SE trim with rear-wheel drive. With the four-wheel drive xDrive model, this figure falls to a maximum of 176.6mpg. As with many hybrids, that figure might be tough to match in real-world conditions, but low CO2 emissions of 31-41g/km mean 530e customers won’t pay the London Congestion Charge, while business users get a significantly lower BiK liability. A faster 545e xDrive PHEV is also offered, which sees fuel economy drop to just over 160mpg and emissions creep up to 39-43g/km.

If your commute is under around 35 miles, you should be able to get to work in the 530e without using any petrol.

Those hankering for a conventional petrol engine can choose between the BMW 520i (which returns up to 45.6mpg) or the BMW M550i xDrive, which can only manage up to 26.6mpg and emits 243-247g/km of CO2.

After the first year’s CO2-based road tax (normally included in the on-the-road price) all versions of the 5 Series, including the petrol, diesel and PHEV models, are liable for the discounted VED rate. The M550i is the exception to this and is taxed at the standard VED rate. All models with a list price (including options) of more than £40,000 are liable for the additional VED surcharge from years two to six of ownership.

Insurance group

The BMW 520d should be cheapest to cover but considering it starts in group 38 out of 50, you can see that all versions of the 5 Series are relatively expensive to insure. The range-topping M550i xDrive isn't quite in the top band though, falling into group 46.

Servicing

All BMWs require servicing based on on-board indicators that use sensors to determine when maintenance is necessary. To ensure there are no nasty shocks when it comes to time to book your 5 Series in for a service, BMW offers servicing packages for its cars. Do investigate these, as they can be real money-savers.

Warranty

BMW’s three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty is reasonable if unexceptional – and identical to the policy that Mercedes provides.

Most Popular

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Best new car deals 2021
Skoda Fabia
Deals
16 Apr 2021

Best new car deals 2021

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail makes debut
2022 Nissan X-Trail - front 3/4 view
Nissan X-Trail
19 Apr 2021

New 2022 Nissan X-Trail makes debut

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Best cars
24 Dec 2020

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks