The 5 Series’ spacious cabin comes with bags of head and leg room, but annoyingly, electrically adjustable lumbar support and memory seats cost extra…
The seating position is excellent and every BMW 5 Series comes with plenty of adjustment to help you get comfortable. You can get even more comfortable seats for £1,705 but, rather strangely, lumbar support for the driver and passenger is a £225 option on all models. A memory function for the front seats – handy if you regularly lend you car to someone else – will set you back £895.
The rear doors open nice and wide so it’s a breeze to jump in the back. There’s absolutely loads of legroom and even your tallest friends won’t be left wanting for headroom. There’s more shoulder room for carrying three abreast than you’ll find in a Mercedes E-Class but the 5 Series’ rather hard central seat and large hump in the floor means your third passenger won’t be particularly comfortable on long trips.
Even M Sport cars – with their sporty black headlining – don’t feel too dark or dingy in the back but you can always get a glass sunroof for £995 to let in a little more light.
Fitting a child seat is dead simple. The rear doors open nice and wide and the Isofix anchor points are clearly marked with folding covers that you can’t lose in the depths of the cabin. You don’t have to stoop down too low to strap in a child, either, and there’s loads of room to lift in the seat itself.
Another handy feature are the optional soft-close doors. They’ll set you back £435 across the BMW 5 Series range but they make it almost impossible to slam the doors. They’ll even automatically close for you if you don’t give them enough of a push to shut the first time.
The BMW 5 Series comes with plenty of handy cubbyholes. Both the front and rear door bins are large enough to hold a big water bottle and there’s just enough room in those up front to tuck in a second, smaller bottle, too.
There are two large cupholders in the front and two in the back that flip out of the folding rear armrest. The front armrest splits in two to reveal a large storage bin and there’s a slot under the dashboard with a wireless charging pad for the optional £195 digital key.
The glovebox will easily hold a large bottle too, and there’s a small storage tray between the front seats for passengers in the back to throw a few bits and bobs. You also get smart aeroplane-style folding pockets behind the front seats instead of the more usual net or fabric items. Overall, the BMW 5 Series runs the E-Class very close indeed for clever cabin storage but can’t quite match the Mercedes’ capacious cubbyholes.
The 5 Series has a bigger boot than a 7 Series and its plush cabin comes with almost as much kit – what’s not to like?
The BMW 5 Series can carry 530 litres of luggage with the rear seats in place. That’s identical to the Audi A6 and only 10 litres less than the Mercedes E-Class. You’ll be able to fit a baby stroller, or two large suitcases and two small cases without folding the rear seats – and the small boot lip and wide opening make it easier to lift in large luggage than in the Audi or Mercedes.
You can fold the rear seats down in a two-way (60:40) split as standard using handy levers in the boot. A three-way (40:20:40) split – that’ll let you carry two rear passengers and long luggage at the same time – is offered as a £335 optional extra. Whichever option you choose, you’ll need to push the seats down from the rear doors before they’ll lie flat.
With the seats out of the way, the BMW 5 Series’ boot is big enough to carry a bike – if you remove a wheel first. Unfortunately, the boot itself isn’t quite as square as what you’ll find in a Mercedes E-Class so it’s a little tricky to squeeze in lots of bulky items.
You do get four tether points to help stop bags rolling around in the back while a netted cubby on the left and storage bin on the right will hold small items securely, too.