BMW 5 Series saloon (2010-2016) - MPG, running costs & CO2

Efficient diesel engines make the BMW 5 Series surprisingly cheap for company-car users – but private buyers shouldn’t discount petrols

Carbuyer Rating

4.4 out of 5

MPG, running costs & CO2 Rating

3.9 out of 5

BMW 5 Series MPG & CO2

In entry-level SE saloon form, both the BMW 5 Series 520d and 518d return 65.7mpg and emit 114g/km of CO2 – and that’s whether you go for the standard six-speed manual or the superb eight-speed automatic gearbox (a recommended, if quite expensive, option). However, and this applies most cars, the size of the wheels can have an implication on the car's CO2 emissions. Check this out before you buy, in case they're higher than expected.

With sub-120g/km CO2 emissions, the 520d will cost you nothing in the first year for road tax, followed by £30 a year after that, while business users will pay a Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rate of 22%, 1% more than an Audi A6 2.0-litre TDI 190 Ultra.

The slightly more powerful 525d is an interesting choice, but its running costs are just that little bit higher, making it an awkward halfway house. If you've some more money to spend and fancy something more powerful, then the 530d and 535d, both powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel engine, provide stunning performance. Impressively, they still return up to 55.4mpg economy, with CO2 emissions as low as 134g/km for road tax of £130 a year.

Petrol models are harder to recommend, because unusually they cost more than the equivalent diesel engine. That’s a shame, as they’re reasonably efficient and nice to drive, but the price premium coupled with the inevitable increase in fuel bills and road tax will be too much to for all but the most hardened diesel sceptics to bear.

The exceptions are the big-engined models – the 550i and M5. Both are powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, with 449bhp and 552bhp respectively, and will cost a small fortune to run. The official figures for the M5 are 28.5mpg and 232g/km of CO2, but use a fraction of its capabilities and you’ll get far less from a tank of fuel than that.

BMW also offers a 5 Series ActiveHybrid petrol-electric model, but the focus is more on performance than efficiency, which is why fuel economy is a slightly disappointing 44.1mpg.

Insurance group

Of course, it’s not just fuel economy and road tax brackets that contribute to the running costs of a car ­– insuring it can be a costly business, too. The 520d SE falls into insurance group 34 out of 50, so premiums will be on the high side of average.

Warranty

Every 5 Series comes with BMW's standard three-year/unlimited-mileage warranty, which is what you'd expect from a car in this class. Extended warranties are also available.

Servicing

To cut down the cost of servicing, BMW also offers a very reasonable £475 servicing pack, which provides five years or 50,000 miles of maintenance – whichever comes first.

Recommended

BMW 5 Series saloon review
BMW 5 Series saloon front 3/4 tracking
BMW 5 Series
16 Sep 2021

BMW 5 Series saloon review

Top 10 best motorway cars 2021
BMW 5 Series driving
Best cars
25 Aug 2021

Top 10 best motorway cars 2021

Top 10 best saloon cars 2021
BMW M550i
Best cars
28 Jun 2021

Top 10 best saloon cars 2021

Most Popular

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed
Toyota RAV4 Adventure
Toyota RAV4
14 Sep 2021

New 2022 Toyota RAV4 Adventure revealed

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Tips & advice

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

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks