This vehicle is currently in stock at Grange Specialist Cars Swindon and can be purchased from Ford Ashford.
Our BMW 5 Series is fitted with £2,755 worth of optional equipment including Upgraded Alloy Wheels, High Gloss Interior Trim, Reversing Camera, Bluetooth Connectivity, Sun Protection Glass and Gearshift Paddles. It is finished in Black Paint with Black Upholstery plus 20 inch Alloy Wheels. Specification highlights include Electric Front Seats with Driver Seat Memory, Heated Front Seats, Isofix Preparation, Sports Seats, Split Folding Rear Seats, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, 12V Power Ports, Cup Holders, Centre Armrests, Front Fog Lights, Panoramic Roof, Auxiliary Connection, DAB Digital Radio, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, 10.2 inch Display Screen, Navigation System, Powered Tailgate, Stop Start and Hill Start Assist.
We pride ourselves in only providing cars of the highest of standards - all vehicles are taken through a pre-delivery inspection and are fully HPI checked for your peace of mind. We price our vehicles for sale on the basis of age, condition and mileage. The vehicles for sale may have previously been used for business or hire purposes and so may have had multiple users. Where we hold documents relating to vehicle history, these are available for inspection on request and we are happy to address any specific queries before you view or make an offer to purchase any vehicle.
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Please quote reference GU64WUA_8212
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Qualifies for Warranty4life
Service Log Book
Electric front and rear windows with fingertip open/close + anti-trap all round, Fogging sensor for front windscreen, Green tinted heat insulating glass, Heated windscreen washer jets, Rain sensor with auto light activation system
ABS/EBD, Aluminium brake calipers, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), CBC - (Cornering brake control), DSC+, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electromechanical parking brake + auto hold function, Hill start assist
Anthracite Velour floor mats
Drive Performance Control, Self levelling rear air suspension
BMW apps interface
BMW remote services, Front/rear park distance control, Servotronic PAS, Speed limiter
Automatic tailgate operation, Luggage compartment release button in drivers A pillar, Luggage compartment with electric unlocking via key remote control, Stop/start button
BMW emergency call, BMW Online services, BMW Teleservices, Check control system, iDrive controller and display with 10.2" monitor, Navigation System Professional Multimedia, On board computer, On board diagnostics, Outside temperature display, Personal Profile, Service interval indicator, Trip computer
Auto dimming driver's door mirror, Auto dimming rear view mirror, Body colour door mirrors, Electric + heated aspheric door mirrors, Electric folding door mirrors with reverse activated kerb-view adjustment on passenger's door mirror
Diesel particulate filter, Safety battery terminal
Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, Bluetooth audio streaming, BMW professional radio/CD/MP3, DAB Digital radio
Exterior Body Features
Body colour bumpers, Body colour door handles, Body colour sill mouldings, Chrome kidney grille with chrome trimmed black vertical slats, Dark chrome plated exhaust tailpipes, Dual opening tailgate with softclose, High gloss shadow line, M aerodynamic bodystyling, Panoramic opening glass sunroof, Shark fin roof aerial
Front fog lights, Headlight range control-electric, Headlight washers, Outer door handle illumination
12V power point front, 12V socket in luggage compartment, 2 load securing straps, 2 x 12v power sockets in rear of front centre console, 3 spoke M sports leather multifunction steering wheel, Anthracite headlining, Electric reach + rake adjustable steering column, Front and rear cup holders, Front centre armrest with storage box, Glovebox, Rear centre armrest with storage compartment, Removable load compartment cover, Securing rings in luggage compartment, Toolkit located in luggage compartment
Ambient interior lighting, Footwell courtesy lights front and rear, Front/rear courtesy lights with soft on/off dimming, Front/rear reading lights
Advanced Head Protection System front + rear, Child locks on rear doors, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Driver and passenger airbags, Driver/front passenger side airbags, Driver/Passenger airbags (Impact dependent), Electronic tyre pressure monitoring, Fuel cut off safety device, Passenger airbag deactivate switch, Passenger occupancy sensor, Three inertia reel rear seatbelts, Warning triangle and first aid kit
3 rear head restraints, Adjustable rear seats, Electric front seats + driver memory, Front head restraints, Heated front seats, Inertia reel front seatbelts+auto belt tensioners, Isofix child seat attachment, Part electric driver and passenger sports seats, Split folding rear seat
Engine immobiliser, Keyless ignition, Remote central locking, Remote control Thatcham category 1 alarm
Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors
Run flat tyres
|Badge Engine CC:||3.0|
|Based On ID:||N|
|Coin Series:||M Sport|
|Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07:||44D|
|Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years:||6|
|Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years:||3|
|NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Child Occupant Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09:||N|
|NCAP Pedestrian Protection %:||N|
|NCAP Safety Assist %:||N|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage:||999999|
|Standard manufacturers warranty - Years:||3|
|Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months:||N|
|Timing Belt Interval Mileage:||N|
|Vehicle Homologation Class:||M1|
|Standard Euro Emissions:||EURO 6|
|Cylinders - Bore (mm):||84|
|Cylinders - Stroke (mm):||90|
|Engine Layout:||NORTH SOUTH|
|Fuel Delivery:||COMMON RAIL|
|Number of Valves:||24|
|EC Combined (mpg):||48.7|
|EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies:||True|
|EC Extra Urban (mpg):||54.3|
|EC Urban (mpg):||41.5|
|0 to 62 mph (secs):||6.2|
|Engine Power - BHP:||258|
|Engine Power - KW:||190|
|Engine Power - PS:||True|
|Engine Power - RPM:||4000|
|Engine Torque - LBS.FT:||413|
|Engine Torque - MKG:||57.1|
|Engine Torque - NM:||560|
|Engine Torque - RPM:||1500|
|Tyre Size Front:||245/45 R19|
|Tyre Size Rear:||275/40 R19|
|Tyre Size Spare:||RUN FLAT TYRES|
|Wheel Style:||V SPOKE|
|Wheel Type:||19" ALLOY|
|Height (including roof rails):||N|
|Width (including mirrors):||2140|
|Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres):||70|
|Gross Vehicle Weight:||2570|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Down):||1700|
|Luggage Capacity (Seats Up):||500|
|Max. Loading Weight:||630|
|Max. Roof Load:||75|
|Max. Towing Weight - Braked:||2100|
|Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked:||750|
|No. of Seats:||5|
|Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb:||12.2|
By Jonathan Crouch
BMW's 5 Series Gran Turismo brings SUV, large estate and luxury saloon qualities to a package that offers executives something very different. There's nothing quite like it.
5dr executive hatch (Petrol - 6 cylinder 306bhp [535i], V8 407bhp [550i] / Diesel - 2.0 184bhp [520d], 3.0 6 cylinder 245bhp [530d] or 299/313bhp [535d] - trim levels SE, Luxury, Executive & M Sport)
Back in 2009, we all thought that with its 7 Series luxury saloon, its huge 5 Series Touring executive estate and its X5 luxury 4x4, BMW had pretty much covered all the bases for well-heeled family buyers. Not a bit of it. The Bavarian maker also decided that there was room in the market for a model combining the best bits of all these cars: long distance comfort, practical carrying space and purposeful elevated SUV style. They called it the 5 Series Gran Turismo. It was a rather awkward-looking thing but it was extremely spacious and extremely luxurious. BMW initially said it wouldn't offer the car with xDrive 4WD, but later relented and made this feature available as an option. The 5 Series Gt range was facelifted in 2013, at which point an entry-level four cylinder 520d diesel variant was added to the line-up. The car sold slowly until early 2017, after which it was replaced by the slightly more up-market 6 Series Gran Turismo model.
A 5 Series GT is certainly big - longer than a Land Rover Discovery - and looks it, despite the stylists' efforts to disguise the fact with frameless side windows, prominent swage lines down the flanks and a plunging roofline at the rear. At least it's unmistakably a BMW, though as to what kind, the 5 Series badge is a little misleading since this car actually sits on a 7 Series platform and is 300kg heavier. Despite all that bulk, there's still only room for five inside. Well, more accurately four, since at the back, the middle seat leaves you perched uncomfortably on a fold-out armrest, so is only for occasional use. Higher trim levels discard it completely, concentrating simply on providing more opulent rear space for two. Mind you, even in the theoretical five-seat configuration most examples tend to feature, the two brilliantly comfortable rear seats really are from the super-luxury level, sliding back and forth by up to 100mm and reclining for greater comfort on longer trips, with the result that they offer you the legroom of a limousine and the headroom of an SUV. Relaxing here, enjoying the airy feel provided by the standard full-length glass panoramic sunroof, you realise at last where the designers' priorities lay in using all of that body length. It wasn't in bootspace, the 440-litre standard capacity easily bettered by the 500-litres you'd get in a 150mm-shorter 5 Series Touring from this era. Still, if you're bothered about that, the GT is ready to make amends by offering you a super-clever dual-opening boot arrangement. As with the first car we saw this on, Skoda's Superb, the idea is that you can use your car either as a saloon or a hatchback. You either open the lower half of the tail like a conventional boot lid, or, using a separate catch, the whole tail, including the rear window, as one unit. Access the rear like this in hatchback form and, as you would expect, luggage capacity can be increased by split-folding the rear seats - giving you up to 1700-litres of space, though the seats don't fold completely flat. You don't even have to worry about the huge rear parcelshelf getting in the way as it can be stowed neatly away in a special compartment made for it under the load floor. Slam down the hatch and examine it carefully and you notice a couple of things. First that there's no rear wiper - a little irritating in a car this expensive claiming hatchback versatility. Second that that the actual clear glass section isn't very great, meaning that from the front, rearward visibility isn't very good. Still, when you are at the wheel, it's as plush as any 7 Series luxury saloon, but with its own distinctive style offered by a backlit matt silver insert that runs the width of the dashboard and a fascia that lights up with smart digital dials.
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Many 5 Series GT owners we came across in our ownership survey were quite satisfied. However, there were a few issues reported, by far the most regular one being issues with the air suspension. Quite a few owners we came across had had to replace their cars' rear air suspension airbags; apparently, the 'bag on the nearside is particularly prone to damage from kerbside rubbish. Quite a few owners also reported excessive tyre wear: that seems to be due to the characteristics of the standard runflat tyres and incorrect chassis geometry settings. One owner we came across reported a gearbox fault. Another experienced an oil leak. And yet another had the rear electric windows in his car fail. There are also issues with the surfaces of the alloy wheels pitting: check the rims carefully on the car you're looking at.
(approx prices based on a 2014 520d GT ex VAT) An air filter costs in the £47 to £63 bracket, an oil filter costs around £14 and a fuel filter costs in the £27 to £30 bracket. Brake pads sit in the £33 to £50 bracket for a set. Brake discs sits in the £195 to £205 bracket. You'll pay around £19 to £26 for a drive belt, around £35 for a thermostat, around £85 for a water pump and around £500 for a radiator. Tyres sit in the £35 to £45 bracket. Wiper blades cost in the £4 to £18 bracket, though you could pay up to around £38 for pricier brands. The wing mirror glass is priced at around £13. Shock absorbers cost in the £80 to £85 bracket, though you could pay up to around £125 for a pricier brand. A cylinder head gasket costs in the £30 to £47 bracket, though you could pay up to around £67 to £125 for a pricier brand. On The Road
At the wheel, since this car sits 8cm higher than a conventional saloon, you're seated high and SUV-like, which is always nice. There's nothing SUV-like though, about the driving experience, with its remarkable agility for a car of this size and tenacious grip, despite the absence of four-wheel drive, even as an option. True, the steering could do with a bit more feel, but you can do something about that thanks to the standard fitment of what BMW calls 'Dynamic Drive Control' which can adjust the steering, throttle and gearshift eagerness of the standard 8-speed ZF automatic 'box through four different modes - comfort, normal, sport and sport+. You simply choose your mode depending on the kind of roads you're travelling on and the kind of journey you're hoping to have. It's worth pointing out though that this won't do much to change the ride quality, nor may it be enough for you to keep that expertly-driven sports saloon behind you on your favourite back route into work. For that, you've to go for a car whose original owner went a stage further and spent another £3,500 to tick the boxes for 'Adaptive Drive' and 'Integral Active Steering'. If you've got yourself a 5 Series GT with these features fitted, those four driving modes really start to mean something thanks to adaptive dampers, active anti-roll bars, a variable ratio and variable assistance steering system and even rear wheel steer, to help with parking at low speeds and tight corner turn-in at higher ones. However your car is specified, it's an accomplished performer given its size, thanks to the use of underpinnings from the 7 Series saloon, elements of which are also used by the stratospherically-priced Rolls Royce Ghost. Double wishbone front suspension is combined with an air-sprung multi-link rear set-up, perfect for Grand Touring but slightly less impressive when you're travelling more slowly over badly pock-marked B roads, particularly if you've selected the optional 20-inch wheels. And it's at low speeds, threading through city streets, that you really realise the sheer size of this BMW. Under the bonnet, most customers will choose the 245bhp 3.0-litre six cylinder diesel 530d GT version, though a few might be tempted by a couple of petrol options, the 306bhp 3.0-litre turbocharged 535i GT or the 407bhp 4.4-litre V8 550i GT. Given that neither of these variants is appreciably faster than this diesel though, we can't really see the point. Rest to sixty in just over six seconds is quite as fast as you'd want to go in a car of this kind. And it's speed that's achieved with awesome levels of refinement and quite astonishing waves of torque: even at 125mph, the engine's still relaxing at 2,200rpm. Very GT. BMW said at this model's original launch that its xDrive 4WD system wouldn't be offered, but this was made available as an option to buyers later in this car's model life.
It's hard to fault the thinking behind this 5 Series Gran Turismo. You'd think, after all, that there would be a significant number of luxury saloon buyers wanting SUV-style road presence, plenty of SUV owners needing something a little less in your face and even a fairly large-sized batch of executive estate customers wanting something a little more interesting this time round. Now all of these people had options before this 5 Series GT came along of course, but these always required compromising on the core values that each group held dear. In contrast, this BMW offers more of what they want with none of the concessions normally needed. Of course, there's always the danger that in trying to be too many things to too many people, you can end up pleasing nobody, but then this German brand has never been a company averse to taking a few risks. In this case, that's brought us a fascinating blend of upmarket class, refinement, and practicality. It's over long distances at high speeds though, that it really comes into its own. A Gran Turismo - just as BMW promised.
By Jonathan Crouch
Once merely a bigger 3 Series sports saloon, BMW's Five Series has in more recent times become more of a shortened 7 series luxury limo. That was obvious when it came to the sixth generation version, though with the right spec, this model could still be a good driver's choice in the full sized executive class. Here, we're evaluating the post-2013 facelifted MK6 version of this car as a used buy, a model which brought buyers more engine options, higher-tech equipment, greater efficiency and a subtle restyle. There's very little not to like.
4dr executive saloon and 5dr Touring estate (Petrol - 2.0 184bhp [520i] & 245bhp [528i], 6 cylinder 306bhp [535i & ActiveHybrid5], V8 449bhp [550i], V8 560 or 575bhp [M5] / Diesel - 2.0 143bhp [518d], 184bhp [520d] or 218bhp [525d], 3.0 6 cylinder 258bhp [530d] or 313bhp [535d] - trim levels SE, Luxury & M Sport)
For well over four decades, the question facing customers in the segment for full-sized executive cars has less been why they should choose a BMW 5 Series but why they shouldn't. This was the car that ruled its marketplace, the business buyer's 'ultimate driving machine'. It's dangerous to meddle with such an enduring success story, but the Bavarians did just that in 2010 with the launch of the sixth generation 'F10' version. Faced with stronger competition from the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-Class and the Jaguar XF, BMW decided that this car needed wider appeal, an approach requiring a few changes to the way it was presented. A 5 Series could still be a dominant driving machine - but with this MK6 model, you had to specify lots of costly extras to make it so. And it could still be a class leader for running costs - but you had to pay extra for a green-focused 'EfficientDynamics' version to achieve it. Those not prioritising these things could save their money - or spend it on less sensible attributes. You might have expected these changes to frustrate the 5 Series faithful but the sales figures didn't reflect that. Indeed, this model quickly became the most successful car of its kind that BMW had ever made, racking up over a million sales in its first three years on sale. By 2013 though, rivals had upped their game, so to keep the MK6 model 5 Series sales momentum going, it was necessary for the Bavarian brand to do the same. Hence the need for this revised model with its extra engine options, additional equipment and subtle restyle. Hardly the most far-reaching package of changes - but then you don't dramatically update a winning formula, then do so once again after just a few years on sale. No, you create a car, well, much like this one. It sold until the all-new seventh generation 5 Series model was announced, late in 2016.
This shape of the 'F10' sixth generation 5 Series, with its short overhangs, heavily contoured bonnet and strong side creases, caused a lot less controversy than that of its angular pre-2010 predecessor. Apparently, this model was styled to match its weight distribution, the bonnet, front wings and doors being fashioned from aluminium to help maintain the 50:50 weight distribution over the axles that the Bavarians feel is so important. Here, we're looking at the facelifted MK6 model launched in 2013. BMW rarely makes radical mid-life changes to its mainstream models - and didn't do so here. As part of the updates, all models got either xenon headlights or extra cost Adaptive LED lamps. There were additional contour lines around the trademark BMW kidney grille and a restricted lower air intake, plus the indicator repeaters were moved into the door mirrors. Moving further back, the revised tail lights got slender, elegant LED strips and there was an additional crease in the rear apron supposed to emphasise the car's width and sporting stance. One of the major changes made to the sixth generation 5 Series when it was originally launched was the increase in size over its predecessor. This was brought about by an 80mm increase in its wheelbase and the installation of a platform originally developed for much bigger models like the large 7 Series luxury saloon and the huge 5-door 5 Series Gran Turismo. That gave this car a slight advantage over its rivals, something you most keenly feel when sat in the back. If your only experience of 5 Series motoring dates back to the old pre-2010 'E60' MK5 model, then you'll find that this car is far more spacious with significantly more leg and shoulder-room. Indeed, were it not for the prominent central transmission tunnel, you'd probably have reasonably comfortable long distance room for three adults. At the wheel, the changes made to this revised post-2013 MK6 5 Series model were even more subtle than those made outside. Owners of the original version of this design might notice chromed strips bordering the central Control Display, while those who specified the optional Professional Media Package infotainment system got a larger rotary iDrive controller with a touchpad that allowed occupants to 'write' addresses with their fingertips. That was about it - but then few changes were needed. Even today, the sweeping dash still looks modern and the sensible layout means that you'll quickly feel at home. And the iDrive infotainment system, once hopelessly clunky and complex to use, is clever and intuitive. As is the big, clear typically BMW instrument display that on an M Sport model, you view through a lovely grippy three-spoke leather-trimmed wheel. Next to the shard-like gearlever, you'll find the buttons to operate the Drive Performance Control system which enables you to adapt the behaviour of the car to the mood you're in and the road you're on. As you flick between the various modes, the digital display on the large screen that dominates the top centre part of the dash graphically changes to suit. It's all very slick. And luggage space? Well, you can get to it a little more easily on post-2013 MK6 models fitted with the 'Comfort Access' option which, if the key is in your pocket, enables you to open the bootlid by merely waving your foot beneath the bumper. A great boon if you're approaching the car laden down with bags or boxes. Once revealed, the 520-litre cargo area of the saloon variant is actually a touch smaller than obvious rivals - all that extra wheelbase space went to benefit folk in the rear. Still, we're only talking 10 or 20-litres less than a rival A6 or an E-Class, which won't be a large enough margin to matter very much to many potential buyers. More of an issue is that BMW, like Mercedes, insisted on charging extra for the folding rear backrests that really help if you've got exceptionally bulky loads to carry. That means some cars you'll come across won't have this feature. If you're likely to be needing it on a regular basis of course, you're more likely to be considering the Touring estate 5 Series variant where the 560-litre boot (already large enough for a washing machine) can be extended to 1,670-litres. Or perhaps the Gran Turismo five-door hatch where the respective figures are 440 and 1,700-litres.
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Most of the 5 Series drivers owning models from the 2013 to 2016 era seemed to be pretty happy with their cars on the evidence of our survey. However, inevitably, there were issues. One owner found his engine jerking at 40-50mph, this issue traced to a computer fault. Another reported steering wheel rattles, while yet another said the steering wheel squeaked, this latter problem traced to a slip ring that needed replacing. There were some issues with the sunroof assembly too. One owner found that it came apart on his car: another said the whole area just rattled. Look for that on your test drive. One owner found that the driver's electric window went down every time he switched the engine on, while another said the radio kept turning itself on for no reason. On that subject, the useful mobile data element of the iDrive system was only provided to owners from new for the first three years of ownership and many didn't pay the money to renew it: find out from the seller if this has been done. One owner found that the cruise control kept switching on by itself. And there were issues reported with worn alternator bushes and a faulty screen washer pump. On owner complained about the lack of an oil dipstick on the car, which does seem to be an omission. Apparently, dealers say you just wait for the low oil light to illuminate on the dashboard, then chuck a litre of oil in. There are also issues with the surfaces of the alloy wheels pitting: check the rims carefully on the car you're looking at.
(approx prices based on a 2014 520d ex VAT) An air filter costs in the £47 to £63 bracket, an oil filter costs around £14 and a fuel filter costs in the £27 to £30 bracket. Brake pads sit in the £33 to £50 bracket for a set. Brake discs sits in the £195 to £205 bracket. You'll pay around £19 to £26 for a drive belt, around £35 for a thermostat, around £85 for a water pump and around £500 for a radiator. Tyres sit in the £35 to £45 bracket. Wiper blades cost in the £4 to £18 bracket, though you could pay up to around £38 for pricier brands. The wing mirror glass is priced at around £13. Shock absorbers cost in the £80 to £85 bracket, though you could pay up to around £125 for a pricier brand. A cylinder head gasket costs in the £30 to £47 bracket, though you could pay up to around £67 to £125 for a pricier brand. On The Road
You come to any 5 Series with high expectations when it comes to the driving experience it'll offer. Previous versions, after all, have leaned heavily on the company's competition heritage and benefitted hugely from all the weeks BMW insisted they had to spend pounding round the Nurburgring. Yet this is at odds with the kind of driving most owners do. Over 90% of 'Fives' are, after all, bought with auto gearboxes by older customers who spend most of their lives on the motorway. Mindful of that, the engineers had a re-think for the original version of this 'F10' sixth generation model. It was time, they decided, to get a bit more real. Which is why in completely standard form, even with the few minor suspension tweaks made to this revised post-2013 design, you may not feel this car to enjoy quite the sporting advantage over its rivals that older 5 Series models have had. But that depends a little on the way that the example you have in mind has been configured. By that, we mean the spec that was chosen for it at time of purchase and the set-up you select once out on the road. Let us explain what we mean. Down by the gearstick, you'll find the rocker switch for the Munich maker's clever 'Drive Performance Control' system. It'll tweak the steering, throttle, gearchange response and stability control system thresholds depending on the operating mode you select. Ignore it, or select the relaxed 'Comfort' or efficient 'ECO PRO' settings, and the travelling experience in this car, though very comfortable, isn't especially memorable. Push the rocker switch forward into 'Sport' though and the reaction you get immediately feels keener and more alert. More like the kind of 5 Series enthusiasts used to love. To really create that kind of car though, original buyers had to spend a bit of extra money on a few extra key features. First, and we'd say most important, is the 'VDC' 'Variable Damper Control' set-up. The object of VDC is to tweak the suspension so that it even better suits the 'Sport' and 'Comfort' Drive Performance Control settings you select. In each case, VDC also allows you to get a step more extreme, with ''Sport+' and 'Comfort+' options. The second important dynamic option that original owners of this BMW could specify from new was the 'Integral Active Steering' system. When you're travelling above 37mph, this set-up is able to turn the rear wheels very slightly in the same direction as those at the front as you pitch the car into a corner, which means a sharper turn-in with extra stability. The system also has the extra bonus of being able to work in reverse at lower speeds, so below 37mph, the rear wheels move very slightly in the opposite direction to those at the front as you turn, tightening the turning circle and improving low speed response. The final key dynamic option that buyers from new could consider was limited to those who'd selected a 5 Series with more than four cylinders. Pricier variants allowed customers to specify an 'Adaptive Drive' option, there to reduce lean in the corners by actively twisting the anti-roll bars. Three key items then, and if you're fortunate enough to find yourself a post-2013 MK6 model 5 Series fitted with all of them, you'll get yourself a car that really comes alive, its lane-changing fluid and accurate with cornering akin to a shark turning towards a meal. Brilliant. Just as a BMW should be. Of course, you may not want your car to be like that. For you, it may be enough for your 5 Series to merely be a luxurious, comfortable and user-friendly means of executive transport - essentially the shortened 7 Series that a detailed examination of the underpinnings suggests it is. If that's the case, then even the standard version is unlikely to disappoint, with its exceptionally high standards of refinement that are less due to copious soundproofing and more down to careful engineering at source. A polished ride too, further aided on Touring and Gran Turismo models by the standard fitment of air suspension. You'll also like the seamless elegance of the 8-speed auto gearbox that's optional on four cylinder models and standard on larger-engined ones. We're not surprised that virtually all buyers from new tended to specify it. No rival transmission is smoother or more efficient, always ready with the right gear at the right moment. So. There are two distinct characters this car could assume - laid back or sporty. But what kind of engine should drive the set-up chosen? Let's start with petrol power. There's a 2.0-litre four cylinder unit that develops 184bhp in the 520i and 245bhp in the pokier 528i, the power increase able to reduce the 0-62mph sprint time from 7.9s to 6.2s in the case of the faster car. If you want more, there's a six cylinder 306bhp 535i model that powers to 62mph in just 5.7s, a V8 449bhp twin scroll turbo 550i variant that trims that to 4.6s and a flagship M5 super saloon that ups the output of that V8 to at least 560bhp and launches itself to the 62mph benchmark in just 4.3s. M5 buyers might find themselves a car that was specified with the optional 'Competition Package' that tweaked the handling for track heroics and boosted power to 575bhp. All very interesting - and largely irrelevant to the vast majority of buyers who'll be wanting a diesel. The version the vast majority of them will choose is the 184bhp 520d. It uses the same four cylinder 2.0-litre diesel you can get with less power in the 143bhp 518d or with more grunt in the 218bhp 525d. For most people most of the time though, the performance the 520d offers - rest to 62mph in 8.1s en route to 141mph - is quite sufficient. A 518d needs 9.7s for the sprint, while a 525d manages that in 7s dead. But, as we said, the 520d offers a good balance between the two. If you do need more pulling power than that, then one of the 3.0-litre six cylinder diesels will probably fit the bill, either the 258bhp unit from the popular 530d, good for 62mph from rest in 5.8s. Or the 313bhp powerplant from the potent 535d, a car able to trim that sprint figure back to 5.3s. Both variants must be artificially restrained at 155mph. If you're looking at either of these, an intriguing alternative option is the petrol/electric Active Hybrid5 model which mates the 306bhp petrol engine from the 535i with a 40KW electric motor to offer a decent balance between performance and parsimony.
Despite its enormous success over nearly half a century, BMW's 5 Series remains a car that's often underestimated. That's a little unfair, for if properly specified, this revised MK6 model can not only be the most efficient contender in its class from its era but also the best one to drive, a combination that takes some beating. Bear in mind that in developing this car, BMW's design team had not only to manage that but had also to cover off the build integrity segment buyers expected from an Audi and the gadgetry and ride quality such people would want from a Mercedes-Benz. An enormous task. But not an impossible one, as this improved F10 generation 5 Series proved. True, it's a pity that in buying this model, if you're to really get yourself 'the ultimate driving machine', you've to find an example optioned up with pricey dynamic driving options. But even in standard guise, this is a hugely accomplished car, if one requiring familiarity and plenty of mileage over varying roads before its true qualities really begin to shine through. As you'd expect, it's quiet and roomy and in this post-2013 guise, it's also smarter, cleaner and even better on the balance sheet. A benchmark business BMW then. Just as a 5 Series has always been.