2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel
- Three new variants for 2018: the 530e plug-in hybrid, the 540d diesel and the M550i
- Some options and packages have been adjusted
- Part of the seventh 5 Series generation introduced for 2017
- Wide range of powerful and relatively efficient engines
- A host of innovative features and leading-edge technology
- Interior quarters are quiet and comfortable
- Generous trunk capacity
- Some interior materials are a bit below segment standards
- Evolutionary styling doesn't stand out in a crowded class
Which 5 Series does Edmunds recommend?
Edmunds' Expert Review
Overall rating4 / 5
The 2018 BMW 5 Series lives up to the expectations set by its forebears. There's an engine for nearly every taste, and the car's handling capabilities are fundamentally sound. Factor in the 5 Series' latest tech and safety features, and you've got a prime pick for a midsize luxury sedan.
BMW redesigned its 5 Series last year, giving the car updated styling and a bit more interior room without increasing weight. This year brings more changes, too. The 2018 5 Series has three new powertrain options: a plug-in hybrid (530e), a six-cylinder diesel engine (540d) and a twin-turbo V8 (M550i) that puts the car very close to BMW M5 territory. We were already fans of the base 530i and the 540i, so these additions carry an added benefit, whether it be the efficiency of the 530e and the 540d or the muscular power of the M550i.
On the technology front, BMW continues to push the envelope, offering wireless Apple CarPlay integration, natural language voice recognition, and even a cool 3-D simulation of your car from the outside (you have to see to believe) by using the optional surround-view cameras. And as far as modern driver assist aids go, BMW's are among the best.
Of course, there are other luxury sedans you should consider, including the Audi A6, the Lexus GS and the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. We think highly of the 5 Series within this group, though, and it earns a solid recommendation.
Trim levels & features
The 2018 BMW 5 Series is a five-passenger sedan available in five trim levels, all with different powertrains. The 530i (248 horsepower, 258 pound-feet of torque) and the 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid (248 hp, 310 lb-ft) are powered by variants of BMW's turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Next are two six-cylinders: The 540i (335 hp, 332 lb-ft) gets a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six, and the 540d (261 hp, 457 lb-ft) has a 3.0-liter inline-six diesel. At the top of the range is the M550i with its turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 (456 hp, 480 lb-ft). BMW's all-wheel drive, called xDrive, is an option on the 530i, the 530e and the 540i. It's standard on the 540d and the M550i. An eight-speed automatic is standard across the board.
The base 530i and the 530e come pretty nicely equipped from the start with LED adaptive headlights, 18-inch wheels, and driver-selectable vehicle settings to alter steering, transmission response and throttle calibration. They also include power-folding and heated mirrors (the driver's side has auto dimming), automatic wipers, a sunroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power-adjustable steering wheel, power-adjustable front sport seats, driver-seat memory functions, a 40/20/40-split folding rear seat and simulated leather upholstery.
Standard technology features include the iDrive interface, with a knob and button-based touchpad controller and a 10.2-inch touchscreen display. Also standard: a navigation system, natural-language voice controls, Bluetooth, BMW emergency services, two USB ports, and a 12-speaker sound system with a CD player.
The 540i and the diesel-powered 540d are equipped very similarly to the previous two trims but have standard leather upholstery.
It's a bigger price jump to the new performance-focused M550i xDrive, which includes everything above plus 19-inch wheels with performance tires, an adaptive suspension with electronically controlled dampers, upgraded brakes, full LED adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, aerodynamic bodywork, a rear spoiler, upgraded power front seats, an M Sport steering wheel, keyless entry and a power trunklid.
With the exception of the M550i xDrive, after you decided what powertrain you want, you can select from one of three 5 Series styling packages. The Sport is the default choice and comes with gloss-black design elements on the bumpers. The Luxury style features chrome accents from the front grille to the rear tailpipes, with light alloy wheels and modified bumper inserts to match. The M Sport steps up the sportiness with an aerodynamic style treatment, a lower M Sport suspension, and Shadowline exterior trim.
From this point, BMW offers a variety of packages, or "tiers'' in BMW lingo. The Premium package adds a power trunk, keyless ignition and entry, satellite radio, gesture control and heated front seats. Go with the Executive package to get full LED adaptive headlights with automatic high beams, soft-close automatic doors, parking sensors, an automatic parking system, a dynamic digital instrument cluster, and a surround-view camera system with 3-D mode.
Naturally, more customization is available. The Dynamic Handling package includes an adaptive suspension and active roll stabilization. For the M550i, which comes with the adaptive suspension, you also get Integral Active Steering, which is a rear-steer system. A Luxury Seating package bundles ventilated multicontour front seats with massage function and upgraded leather upholstery.
The Driving Assistance package has two levels, the first of which includes a head-up display, blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning. Upgrading to the Driving Assistance Plus version also gets you forward collision warning with object and pedestrian protection, adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assist.
Many of these features can be equipped as stand-alone options alongside Apple CarPlay, remote control parking, night vision with pedestrian detection, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat entertainment system, Harman Kardon or Bowers & Wilkins premium audio systems, wireless smartphone charging and ceramic-trimmed controls.
Noise & vibration4.5
Ease of use3.5
Getting in/getting out4
Child safety seat accommodation4
Audio & navigation3.5
Features & Specs
Our experts’ favorite 5 Series safety features:
- Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection
- Uses infrared technology to see and alert you of things such as people and animals in the road before they become visible to the naked eye.
- Active Blind Spot Detection
- Alerts you of vehicles in the adjacent lanes using radar sensors and will indicate if it's safe to change lanes.
- City Collision Mitigation
- Automatically brakes the car at speeds under 38 mph when it detects an imminent collision and the driver has taken no action.
BMW 5 Series vs. the competition
2018 BMW 5 Series
2018 Mercedes-Benz E-Class
BMW 5 Series vs. Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Both of these well-known sedans offer many engine choices, high-tech features, and high levels of quiet and comfort. The E-Class tends to be a little more conservative while the BMW emphasizes performance a bit more. The E-Class gains an advantage from its slightly nicer interior and better available semiautonomous systems, but its trunk is smaller and the standard suspension is on the stiff side. In the end, they're close enough that it will come down to personal preference.
BMW 5 Series vs. Audi A6
The 2018 Audi A6 has been in its current generation for six years and has been surpassed by the newer BMW in a number of ways. It is still roomy, offers powerful yet efficient engines, and delivers a good balance of performance and comfort. We like its infotainment system, but it's missing some current tech features. That is all about to change as a fully redesigned 2019 A6 is about to go on sale.
BMW 5 Series vs. Lexus GS 350
The Lexus GS 350 enjoys a price advantage over the BMW and offers a comfortable and pleasant interior. Unfortunately, the GS lineup (including the GS 300, the GS 450h and the GS F) doesn't offer quite as many engine choices. More significant drawbacks may be deal-breakers and include one of the most challenging infotainment interfaces we've ever experienced and rear seats that do not fold down to increase cargo capacity.
2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel Overview
The 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel is offered in the following styles: , and 540d xDrive 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbodiesel 8A).
What do people think of the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel?
Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2018 5 Series Diesel 5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2018 5 Series Diesel.
Edmunds Expert Reviews
Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel and all model years in our database. Our rich analysis includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2018 5 Series Diesel featuring deep dives into trim levels including 540d xDrive, etc. with careful analysis around pricing, features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving and performance. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.Read our full review of the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel here.
Our Review Process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
What's a good price for a New 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel?
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Which 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesels are available in my area?
2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel Listings and Inventory
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Why trust Edmunds?
Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including all models of the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel and all available trim types: 540d xDrive. Rich, trim-level features & specs and options data tracked for the 2018 BMW 5 Series Diesel include (but are not limited to): MSRP, available incentives and deals, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (interior and exterior color, upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, cruise control, parking assistance, lane sensing, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy and MPG (city, highway, and combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (interior cabin space, vehicle length and width, seating capacity, cargo space). Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds expert review, safety rating, and color.
Should I lease or buy a 2018 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.