Beyond the obvious talents the BMW 5 Series is praised for by so many road testers, buyers are drawn to the executive saloon for the restrained style and competent driving experience it offers.
Buyers tend to appreciate the business-like interior and class-leading dynamics, but would rather not draw too much attention to themselves. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, the colour options BMW provide are rather conservative – a sea of greys, silvers and blacks.
At the cheapest end of the spectrum, the 5 Series is available in two solid finishes at no added cost. For a car priced at the premium end of the market, we would suggest skipping these and spending a little extra for the metallic finishes unless you absolutely have to save money.
Alpine White £0
Whilst white is undoubtedly a fashionable shade at the moment, a solid finish on such a large car looks a little cheap to our eyes. Unless you aim to spec your car with the M Sport bodykit and the largest set of alloy wheels possible, we’d recommend avoiding white.
Jet Black £0
If the thought of spending extra for paint really troubles you, then Jet Black will be a reasonable option. If you’re set on a black 5 Series – many owners clearly are – then this is the easiest and cheapest way into one.
BMW offer nine separate metallic finishes for the 5 Series, but don’t get too excited just yet. The vast majority of options don’t deviate very far from the monochrome scale, so it’s more a case of how dark you’d like your executive car to be.
Mineral White £675
As with the white mentioned previously, we’re not convinced that such a bright colour works on a large, understated car. If you live in California or the Middle East then it might work but, in dreary British weather, it can’t quite pull it off.
Glacier Silver £675
Silver has always been a traditional colour for German manufacturers, and it gives their cars a feeling of quality and style. It works well here, too, and as a result it’ll be a sensible option from a resale point of view.
Cashmere Silver £675
Cashmere Silver adds a delicate gold tone compared to a regular silver, and it’ll be up to you to decide which you prefer. This shade will likely appeal to the more mature buyer that will make up a large proportion of 5 Series customers.
Space Grey £675
This inoffensive, smart mid-grey shade compliments the inoffensive, smart styling of the 5 Series and, as a result, you’re sure to see many of these on the road. If you notice them at all…
Callisto Grey £675
The second of many grey shades, Callisto grey is very slightly darker than Space grey. Only a serious BMW anorak will be able to notice the difference and, if you like one, then you’ll more than likely appreciate the other.
Sophisto Grey Xirallic £675
As well as the usual metallic shades, BMW offer two ‘Xirallic’ finishes. Due to a finely crystallised metallic flake, the paint finish is more flawless, more intense and more sparkly.
For the same price as the regular metallic shades, Sophisto grey looks like a regular dark grey. Until the light catches it, that is, when a very fetching, almost iridescent sparkle reflects from the surface. Well worth checking out in person.
Black Sapphire £675
Black Sapphire is a standard metallic black found throughout the BMW range. It’ll be fairly easy to sell on when the time comes and, in the mean time, we’d avoid combining it with privacy glass unless you want to look like a taxi for the rich and famous.
Carbon Black £675
Available exclusively on the M Sport models, if you look closely enough you’ll discover that Carbon black is in fact a very dark metallic grey. It’s a modern take on a regular black, and suits the character of the sporty trim line well.
Imperial Blue Xirallic £675
The second Xirallic paint scheme in the 5 Series range offers a dark blue. The oxidation process used in producing the metallic flake adds extra depth to the shine which, when caught in the light, makes the colour appear more special than the £675 price tag suggests.
Brown is a desirable colour on executive cars currently, and they possess the added bonus of never looking particularly dirty. For some it’s an acquired taste though, so think about how many people will want to buy a brown car once your finished with it…
Referred to as ‘individual’ by BMW, the pearlescent paint colours tend to offer a fetching shimmer in sunlight. At £1,700 each, the cost of these special finishes is significant, but are certainly worth considering if you’d like something a little more exclusive.
If a regular silver isn’t quite your thing, then Moonstone may be worth a look. The pearl effect certainly makes for a more special finish, but in addition to the extra initial cost, any little scratches or bumps will be much more expensive to repair too.
Champagne Quartz £1,700
Another shade which goes along with the love for all things brown. The special finish makes it appear more grey from some angles and more gold from others. Looks fairly classy, but only time will tell how well it ages.
Pyrite Brown £1,700
The same of Champagne Quartz could be said of Pyrite Brown. We’d be worried that, although it looks good in a brochure or on a motor show stand, on a wet and rainy morning in Wolverhampton it may just look a little too miserable, especially a few years down the line.
Azurite Black £1,700
Azurite Black is a very dark blue and it’s perhaps one of the more desirable and timeless shades available in the 5 Series range. We think it’ll compliment a beige or tan leather interior very well indeed – if you can stomach the price.
Citrine Black £1,700
The final Pearlescent colour is a very dark brown, which is probably subtle enough to be desirable on the used market. It still might be a tough ask to justify shelling out an extra £1,000 beyond a regular metallic colour though.