2020 BMW 5-Series


The 2020 BMW 5-Series sedan gets relatively lost next to new convertible sports cars and crossovers in the same showroom. That’s a shame.

The 5-Series is BMW’s stalwart mid-size sedan, and still a beacon for relative value, performance, safety, and even efficiency, for now. 

It gets a 7.3 TCC Rating, boosted by great safety scores and impressive features. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

Review continues below

Like last year, the 5-Series is available in 530e, 530i, 540i, M550i, and M5 configurations. Base cars use a turbo-4 with or without hybrid batteries and electric motors, on up through turbo-6 in the 540i to twin-turbo V-8s in M-branded cars. All-wheel drive is available on every model, except the M550i and M5, where it’s standard equipment. 

The biggest news this year is a big bump in power for the M550i, which now makes more than 500 horsepower. It’s the sleeper of the bunch, and perhaps the best performance value for less than $80,000 to start. 

All 5-Series get straightforward sedan looks with luxury touches inside. A big 10.3-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility may take center stage, but the supporting cast of soft leather, real wood, and brushed metals is better. 

Some interior colors are busier than others, although soft ambient light can cool everything off in a hurry. (Pro tip: Blue is the best.)

The 530e’s efficiency is king and can travel about 20 miles on electrons alone. Those sedans cost about $55,000 and qualify for some tax breaks. The M5 Competition’s 617-hp V-8 drains wallets and gas tanks faster; it’s entertaining for more than $110,000 to start. 

Every 5-Series gets active safety features that include automatic emergency braking, and the IIHS called it a Top Safety Pick+ with advanced headlights. 

Base cars get 18-inch wheels, synthetic leather upholstery, a moonroof, dual-zone climate control, power-adjustable front seats, an 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, and that big touchscreen. We’d recommend a 540i for more oomph, leather hides, active safety features, BMW’s excellent driver-assistance features, and a few more convenience items that ring up to less than $70,000. That’s rich for any new 5-Series, but less than comparatively equipped crossovers sitting across the showroom.

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