BMW 5 Series interior
The BMW 5 Series has a high-quality interior and one of the best infotainment systems on sale, but you’ll find more flair inside a Mercedes E-Class.
The BMW 5 Series’ interior is very high quality, and you won’t find any cheap plastics or creaking trims – no matter how hard you look or how determinedly you prod. This means it’s better than an E-Class or A6 in this regard, as those models have some minor but obvious cost-cutting materials.
The BMW 5 Series’ glossy centre console (that’s angled slightly towards the driver) and aluminium trims look great, but they’re quite plain. The E-Class’ wood trims aren’t to everyone’s taste but they do at least add some extra visual flair.
The 5 series’ seating position is excellent and the seats themselves are both soft yet supportive. You’ll likely want to add the Comfort Plus package, as this brings heated seats, four-zone climate control, a powered boot lid, keyless entry and an automatic tailgate.
Other notable option packs include the Technology pack, which adds a head-up display and wireless phone charging, and the Entertainment pack, which adds TV functionality for the rear seats via screens in the headrests.
All cars come with a digital driver’s display that replaces conventional analogue dials with a slick customisable screen – just like in alternatives such as the E-Class and Audi A6. Read on below for more on the car’s tech features.
- 1. Tell us what you want from a car
- 2. We’ll tell you if it matches
- 3. Only takes 1 minute
Every BMW 5 Series come fitted with BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system, and it’s one of the best in the business. It includes a 12.3-inch screen – which was enlarged in the 2020 models onwards. It’s mounted above the dashboard and there’s also a second digital display that replaces analogue dials behind the wheel. Sat-nav is fitted as standard to all models, with real-time traffic updates.
You can use a touchscreen, your voice or even hand gestures to navigate the menus, but the most intuitive is the simple scroll wheel mounted behind the gearlever. It allows you to quickly sift through the menus without taking your eyes off the road for too long and it’s far more responsive than using the occasionally unhelpful voice controls.
Both screens come with bright, high-resolution graphics and are easy to read – even in bright sunlight. Entering a destination into the standard satellite navigation system is fairly easy, although writing letters using your finger on the scroll wheel-mounted touchpad takes longer than you might expect. It’ll plot a route quickly but if you want to add a waypoint it’s more difficult than in an Audi’s sat-nav system.
Thankfully the car is now compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and the latter is available with rare wireless functionality, so you don’t even have to plug your phone in to get connected.
The standard stereo sounds pretty good but you can get two upgraded systems, which are worth investigating if you like your music. The Harmon Kardon option sounds crisp and clear, but if you’re a die-hard audiophile you’ll want to spec the expensive Bowers and Wilkins unit, which can blast out tunes loud enough to host an impromptu rave.