2016 BMW 5 Series Review

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Pros & Cons

  • Superb engines with impressive fuel economy in most forms
  • high-quality interior that's packed with high-tech features
  • comfortable and composed ride.
  • Ho-hum handling
  • relatively small trunk
  • intrusive auto stop-start system.
List Price Range
$16,866 - $41,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

In the last year before a full redesign, the 2016 BMW 5 Series remains a smart choice for a midsize luxury sedan. But some rival sedans are fresher and offer greater driver engagement.

Vehicle overview

With an all-new model waiting behind a curtain labeled "next year" and more recently refreshed competitors representing the latest, greatest and flashiest, BMW's midsize 5 Series sedan could be viewed as a lame duck. And yet there's really nothing about the 2016 BMW 5 Series that seems stale or behind the times. For those willing to make the "sacrifice" of not having the newest and hottest wheels on the block, you'll find a tremendously well-rounded luxury sedan.

As it has been since its debut for the 2011 model year, the current-generation 5 Series is a little different from those hallowed models that came before it. It's a big, comfy and impeccably refined sedan with an emphasis on luxury rather than sport. It doesn't provide the expected degree of handling precision and engagement that driving enthusiasts might want, but it does have a spacious cabin fitted with top-notch materials and a huge number of available comfort, convenience and high-tech features.

Even after several years on the market, the current-generation BMW 5 Series remains classically handsome.

For any shopper, the 5 Series' selection of powerful and surprisingly efficient engines is going to impress. For such a large sedan to go from zero to 60 mph in around 6 seconds and return up to 30 mpg combined (535d) is truly impressive and a major reason to consider this BMW. Stepping up to the 535i and 550i gets you even quicker acceleration and still respectable fuel economy.

It's true that many competing sedans are newer and bring much to the table. The Audi A6 is a sharper-handling sedan and can match the 5 Series for performance and interior quality. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class is, as always, a luxury sedan stalwart, while the Lexus GS 350 provides truly impressive craftsmanship and the promise of superior reliability. There's also the elegantly sporty Cadillac CTS, new Jaguar XF and Maserati Ghibli to consider. But even in its lame duck year, the 5 Series remains an excellent choice.

2016 BMW 5 Series models

The 2016 BMW 5 Series is a five-passenger four-door sedan available in four trim levels that correspond with different engines: 528i, 535i, 535d and 550i. You may see the term "xDrive" applied to their names, which indicates that the car has all-wheel drive. There are also ActiveHybrid5 and M5 variations that are reviewed separately, as is the 5 Series Gran Turismo hatchback.

The BMW 528i comes standard with 17-inch wheels, driver-selectable vehicle settings (altering steering, transmission response and throttle calibration), automatic and adaptive xenon headlights, LED accent lights, LED foglights, power-folding and auto-dimming heated mirrors, automatic wipers, a sunroof, cruise control, dual-zone automatic cruise control, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, 10-way power front seats with four-way power lumbar adjustment and driver memory functions, a 60/40-split folding rear seat and "SensaTec" premium vinyl upholstery. Standard technology features include the iDrive interface (knob/button controller and 10.2-inch display), a navigation system, voice controls, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, BMW emergency services, and a 12-speaker sound system with a CD player, HD radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, a media player interface and 20GB of digital music storage.

There's plenty of legroom and plenty of gizmos available for rear passengers.

Besides their more powerful engines, the 535i and 535d add 18-inch wheels and leather upholstery.

The 550i adds a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a power trunk lid, keyless ignition and entry, 14-way multicontour front seats, passenger memory functions, satellite radio and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon sound system.

There are several packages available throughout the 5 Series lineup. The Premium package (all but 550i) adds keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio and, on the 528i, leather upholstery. The Cold Weather package adds heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and retractable headlight washers. The Lighting package adds adaptive LED headlights and automatic high beams.

If you opt for the Luxury Seating package, you'll get ventilated front seats with a quasi-massage function and the 550i's 14-way multicontour adjustments. The Driver Assistance package (all but 550i) adds a rearview camera, front and rear parking sensors, a head-up display and an enhanced instrument cluster. Those items are also included in the Driver Assistance Plus package that adds side- and top-view cameras and a variety of accident avoidance technologies detailed in the below Safety section. The Dynamic Handling package (all but 528i) adds an enhanced, adaptive suspension for improved ride and handling. There is also the BMW Individual Composition option (all but 528i) that opens the door to a variety of distinctive interior leather colors and trims.

Individual options include (if not standard on an upper trim) the rearview camera, top- and side-view cameras, front and rear parking sensors, adaptive cruise control, night vision driver assistance, an automatic parallel parking system, the power trunk lid, soft-close doors, power rear sunshades and manual rear side sunshades, a dual-screen rear seat entertainment system, the Harman Kardon sound system and a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen sound system. Also available is Integral Active Steering, which provides the rear wheels with the ability to turn for improved stability and maneuverability.

2016 Highlights

A slew of feature availability changes highlight the updates made for the 2016 BMW 5 Series. Every model gets enhanced USB and Bluetooth functionality, while the 550i gets additional standard features like a power trunk lid, satellite radio and a Harman Kardon sound system. One other small update is that beige cabins now come with black carpeting and interior panels for improved longevity.

Performance & mpg

Every BMW 5 Series model comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is an option on all and is dubbed "xDrive." Also standard is an automatic stop-start function that shuts down the engine when the car stops in order to save fuel.

The BMW 528i is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. In Edmunds performance testing, a rear-wheel-drive version went from zero to 60 mph in 6.4 seconds, which is a solidly average showing for a base-model midsize luxury sedan. EPA-estimated fuel economy stands at an excellent 27 mpg combined (23 city/34 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 26 mpg (22/34) with xDrive.

The 535i has a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. With rear-wheel drive, it did the 0-60 sprint in 5.7 seconds -- another competitive result. EPA fuel economy stands at 24 mpg combined (20 city/31 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 23 mpg (20/29) with xDrive.

The 535d diesel is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6 good for 255 hp and 413 lb-ft of torque. It went from zero to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds in our tests, which is on par with the Audi A6 TDI but much quicker than the Mercedes E250 Bluetec. EPA fuel economy is 30 mpg combined (26 city/38 highway) with rear-wheel drive and 30 mpg (26/37) with xDrive.

The 550i has a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 good for 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque. BMW estimates that it will reach 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, which is very quick. Its EPA estimates are 20 mpg combined (17/25) with rear-wheel drive and 19 (16/25) with xDrive.

Safety

Standard safety equipment for the 2016 BMW 5 Series includes stability and traction control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and active front head restraints. The braking system also periodically wipes the brake rotors dry in wet conditions and automatically snugs the brake pads to the rotors in preparation when you abruptly lift off the throttle. Also standard are the BMW Assist and Remote Services emergency communications systems, which include automatic crash notification, an SOS button, remote door unlock and stolen vehicle recovery.

Parking sensors and a rearview camera are standard on the 550i and optional on other models. An upgraded side- and top-view parking camera system is optional. The Driver Assistance Plus package includes a blind-spot warning system, a lane-departure warning system and a forward-collision warning system with automatic braking. There is also the Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection system that uses an infrared sensor to detect people and objects outside of headlight range.

In Edmunds brake testing, various 5 Series models with optional summer run-flat tires came to a stop from 60 mph in distances ranging from 110-114 feet. Those are very good numbers, but they're pretty typical for sport sedans wearing summer tires. Most 5 Series models are equipped with all-season run-flat tires and will have slightly longer braking distances as a result.

In government crash tests the 5 Series received five out of five stars for overall and side crash protection, and four stars for front protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave it the best possible rating of "Good" in the moderate front overlap, side and roof strength tests, while the seat/head restraint design also received a "Good" rating for whiplash protection. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, however, the 5 Series received the second-lowest rating of "Marginal."

Driving

If the 2016 BMW 5 Series were judged on its engines alone, few would question its "Ultimate Driving Machine" status. The 528i's turbocharged inline-4 punches well above its weight class, and the six-cylinder 535i is a paradigm of smoothness. But the pick of the litter may well be the diesel-powered 535d, which is as fleet as the 535i and serves up 25 percent better fuel economy to boot. If you don't mind filling up more frequently, the 445-hp 550i throws down acceleration that's forceful enough to make an M5 fan think twice (especially given the 550i's more comfortable ride and lower price tag). Less appealing is the vibration caused by the automatic stop-start system, especially in the 528i and 535d.

We also don't like how the 5 Series never feels as nimble or precise as we'd like when going around turns, even with the car's Sport settings engaged. The steering also lacks the precision for which it used to be renowned. So that's the bad news. The good news is that the 5 Series is blessed with a smooth, absorbent ride quality. If a luxurious day-to-day experience is more important to you than driver involvement, you're going to like how the 2016 5 Series behaves in the daily grind.

Interior

The 2016 5 Series cabin is attractive and trimmed with consistently high-quality materials, though it's not flashy. Elegant restraint is the name of the game here, and it's a game that BMW has played to perfection for decades. The instrument panel is a clear connection to the company's past with its classic twin analog gauges. Another heritage touch is the dashboard's understated center stack (the portion that includes the climate and audio controls), which cants toward the driver for an easier and quicker reach.

The 5 Series' dash isn't all that stylish, but it's impeccably built and the controls are generally easy to use.

The central nervous system of every 5 Series is the iDrive interface, consisting of a high-resolution 10.2-inch display in the center of the dashboard and a rotary controller on the center console with surrounding menu buttons. With practice it ultimately becomes user-friendly, but some rival systems seem to require fewer presses or twirls of their controllers to get what you want.

The base front seats are some of the comfiest and most supportive found in any car, and the available multicontour seats are even better, providing a wide range of adjustments and sublime support for all driving scenarios. Rear outboard passengers will find satisfactory space in all directions, even if they're 6-footers, and the rear seats themselves are thoughtfully contoured and padded. Small item storage is limited, however, as is the relatively small 14-cubic-foot trunk.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2016 BMW 5 Series.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

76 year old guy who still likes his BMW 540 IX.
Richard H. Sweat,10/24/2015
535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I bought my first BMW in 2014, a 4 cyl diesel. My other two cars are a 2014 Prius Sedan and a 2014 Prius V. I have owned GM's, Fords, Cadillac's, Jeeps, but for some reason I like diesel engines better. The first BMW, I absolutely fell in love with that car. I got 40mpg in town and 45 to 46 mpg on the highway. The car was so good, I wanted bigger, and decided to buy the 2016 BMW 535 diesel with the 6 cylinder engine. BMW did not skimp on quality or luxury with this car. I have never had any maintenance problem with BMW's, I keep my cars properly serviced and inspection clean. I get better mileage then what BMW says on their sticker, because, just like a Prius, you have to learn HOW to properly drive one. Some pro drivers don't like the cut off feature when the vehicle is stopped, and restart, but it never bothered me. It's a fuel saver. BMW diesel engines make very little noise. They are a pleasure to drive, and the car remains tight and noise free. The technical features are numerous but only add to the enjoyment of the vehicle. Just take a test drive in either the gas or diesel and you will see what I'm talking about. Note: I wrote this review last year at age 72. My opinion remains the same. Only the millage has changed. UPDATE April 29, 2017: My review of this car remains unchanged. In fact, I usually trade cars about every three years, but am considering just keeping this one. I keep the car garaged, had opti guard put on it when new, use a leather conditioner that is used on Rolls Royce cars, and keep the car in show room condition. The ride is still great and long drives are relaxing, comfortable and the six cylinder is plenty of power. Plus as I keep saying, a diesel engine will perform under the worst conditions and abuse. My dealership has an outstanding service department that checks on me now and then to see if everything ok or if I need any service. My other BMW is a 2016, 228i coupe 4 cyl turbo that is another great car. UPDATE November 1, 2017: Mr review of this car remains unchanged. I did have the wiper blades changed out, but the performance and ride have been 5 star. I did trade my 2016 228i coupe for a 2017 M240, but for trips out of town, the BMW diesel remains my most favorite car of all. UPDATE: November 2,1018. I did trade m BMW for a 2018 , BMW 540iX drive. I wanted a diesel but the surrounding BMW dealers had none. The 5 remains a strong steady car, though I do miss my diesel, and next trade in I will go so far as to order a 5 Series in a diesel. This car has some added features, luxuary interior, and is a pleasure to drive. 6cylinder turbo..what more do you need. I don't plan on going from 0 to 50 in x number of seconds. The power is there for hills, and sudden acceleration if needed. Very comfortable inside and ambient lighting just adds to the feeling of luxuary. I have just over 2,000 miles on the car and have taken one long trip in it, completly relaxing. I did also get a 2018 328D, which is another favorite and rated as one of the most reliable cars. The only complaint is that they have run flat tires,but I have never had a flat. Changing weather dictates you monitor the air pressure, so my purchase of a portable air pump that you set the lbs on, and it does the rest makes it an easy task. UPDATE: 4/02/2019 I still have the 540I X drive and it still the most comfortable and relaxing car I have ever owned. The car is a beautiful blue with white interior and I hand wash and detail it myself, and keep it garaged with a cover over it. Always kept show room perfect, but then again, I am retired and able to put the time in ....especially just driving around with nice music playing in the background. There is nothing negative I can find with this auto. My local BMW dealer keeps all the updated checks and records on it. I changed the oil due to time owned, and not milage. I also bought a BMW 530e 4 cylinder to drive locally on battery alone. But for long trips the 540 will be my choice. Frankly, the car will probably outlive me. BMW did it right with this one.
Leaves the MB-E350 in the Rear View Mirror
B. Rupp,05/02/2016
528i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
In moving from a Mercedes E-350 Sedan after two years to the BMW 528i (Premium, Luxury, Seating, Driver Assistance Pkg.) I'm now asking 'what took me so long'? From handling to comfort to every bell and whistle, and the turbo engine (who needs the 535i) it's simply a much better automobile.
2016 528 I (The Best in it's Class)
Philip,09/01/2016
528i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A)
Driving my third 528 I series in the last 7 years , I really Speak from the heart and experiance.This car by far exceeds performance and looks and reliability, I would not even put it in class with the E350 and the Lexus G.S.All I'm telling you is Please drive all three cars .It really is the Ultimate Driving Machine . Good luck .
A Beautiful Classic, But Handling Could be Tighter
Jeff Fancher,02/27/2016
535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A)
I Purchased my new 535I one month ago with most of the bells and whistles and from a technology, beauty, and build perspective this car can not be beat. The interior is amazing and all the electronics work like a charm. The navigation, voice system, and radio interface is awesome and the heads up display system is crazy good. The way the heads up display integrates everything, you really never have to look down. The biggest downside so far is that the car does drive like a large sedan and even in sport mode it does not hold the road as well as I expected. Acceleration in the 535I is excellent, but it feels like it is floating more than i would like when cruising on the highway. The run flat tires make the ride somewhat rough i think and generate extra road noise. I will have to consider changing those out for traditional all season tires and just hope for no flat tire. The Jaguar XF felt like a sportier ride and also has great electronics, but in my case it had some other drawbacks such as the low ground clearance and interior color selection. The BMW is a great car, but as in all things there is some room for improvement in the ride.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover5 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover9.3%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Good
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2016 BMW 5 Series

Used 2016 BMW 5 Series Overview

The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series is offered in the following submodels: 5 Series Sedan, 5 Series Diesel. Available styles include 528i 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 535i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 8A), 528i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 8A), 550i xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), 550i 4dr Sedan (4.4L 8cyl Turbo 8A), 535d 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A), and 535d xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 BMW 5 Series?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 BMW 5 Series trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 528i xDrive is priced between $16,866 and$26,900 with odometer readings between 35428 and128203 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive is priced between $19,281 and$41,995 with odometer readings between 27856 and90070 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 528i is priced between $19,072 and$22,780 with odometer readings between 50434 and89676 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 535d is priced between $26,936 and$26,936 with odometer readings between 36431 and36431 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 535i is priced between $20,998 and$20,998 with odometer readings between 69901 and69901 miles.
  • The Used 2016 BMW 5 Series 550i is priced between $28,211 and$28,211 with odometer readings between 59050 and59050 miles.

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Which used 2016 BMW 5 Serieses are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2016 BMW 5 Series for sale near. There are currently 21 used and CPO 2016 5 Serieses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $16,866 and mileage as low as 27856 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2016 BMW 5 Series.

Can't find a used 2016 BMW 5 Seriess you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used BMW 5 Series for sale - 8 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $9,113.

Find a used BMW for sale - 12 great deals out of 17 listings starting at $13,078.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW 5 Series for sale - 3 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $23,746.

Find a used certified pre-owned BMW for sale - 10 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $22,336.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 BMW 5 Series?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out BMW lease specials
Check out BMW 5 Series lease specials