2021 BMW 5 Series: price, spec and release date revealed

Nick Lette van Oostvoorne
May 27, 2020

An updated BMW 5 Series Saloon and Touring estate have been revealed and here’s is everything you need to know about them.

Available as both a large saloon and Touring estate car, the 5 Series gets a range of updates to keep it fresh compared with newer alternatives like the Audi A6 and revised Mercedes E-Class.

So, the 5 Series gets a new design, more hybrid versions, updated infotainment and a new 530hp M550i saloon joins the range in the UK for the first time.

  • New exterior design with larger grille
  • New design for front and rear lights
  • Mild-hybrid tech for most of the range
  • M5 performance car expected later in 2020
  • M550i with 4.4 litre V8 now set for UK
  • Three trim levels available – SE, M Sport and M Sport Edition
  • 530e Touring plug-in hybrid available for the first time
  • 545e Saloon plug-in hybrid joins range, too
  • Price from £37k, on sale now

BMW 5 Series Design

The changes to the exterior design are subtle. The grille is wider and taller than before and the headlights and rear lights have been redesigned, as have the front and rear bumpers. Every model now has sporty-looking trapezoidal exhaust pipes, while M Sport models get new designs of 19- or 20-inch wheels.

BMW 5 Series Engines

The biggest changes to the 5 Series are in the range of engines. Almost every four- and six-cylinder engine now comes with a mild hybrid system. This is where a 48-volt starter-generator and a second battery help to improve fuel economy and provide a little power boost when overtaking. This system was introduced to the 525d in 2019 and has now been rolled out further across the 5 Series range.

As before, the BMW 5 Series comes with a range of petrol and diesel engines (six-cylinder twin-turbo pictured above) with rear-wheel and four-wheel drive options. Every 5 Series gets an eight-speed automatic gearbox – there are no manual models.

M550i XDrive

No details have been revealed about a new BMW M5 performance car – it is expected to be revealed later this year. So for the moment, the range-topper will be the M550i XDrive saloon. It gets a 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo engine with 530hp and 750Nm of torque. That means it can go from 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. Fuel economy figures have yet to be confirmed, but frankly who will care?

It also comes with exclusive 20-inch wheels, an M Sport differential, adaptive M suspension and a Harman Kardon premium stereo system.

It will cost from £67,595, about £30,000 less than the current M5. This model has been available in other markets before, but it’s the first time it will be available in the UK.

BMW 5 Series Touring

The 5 Series Touring never had the biggest boot of the posh German estate cars – that title goes to the Mercedes E-Class – but for this latest model boot space has actually decreased, albeit by just 10 litres.

Boot capacity is 560 litres with the seats up, compared with the 570 the current model has. This is down to the battery for the new mild-hybrid set-up, which eats a little into the Touring’s cargo bay. With the rear seats down, there is 1700 litres of load space, which is unchanged from the current model.

BMW 5 Series Specs

You will be able to buy your 5 Series in one of three trim levels. SE, M Sport and M Sport Edition.

As standard, SE cars get Dakota leather upholstery, dark matt trim, a leather steering wheel and heated front seats. You also get an electrically opening boot and the SE Touring gets split folding rear seats and matt silver roof rails.

For 2021, SE cars now also get folding mirrors, front electric lumbar support that makes long journeys less tiring and a Parking Assistant that allows the car to park itself. This tech also now comes with a reversing assistant which takes control of the steering while reversing for distances of up to 50 metres.

The M Sport trim level adds new alloy wheel designs and the M aerodynamics package that makes the exterior look a bit cooler and more sporty than the SE cars. Inside, there is an M-branded leather steering wheel and front sports seats. M Sport suspension is standard except on the 530e and 530e xDrive plug-in hybrid models.

The M Sport Edition comes in either Tanzanite Blue or exclusive Donington Grey and gets 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive LED headlights and red M brake callipers. It also gets an M rear spoiler and saloon cars also come with M multifunction seats.

BMW 5 Series Infotainment

The BMW 5 Series now comes with a 12-inch infotainment screen, compared with the 10-inch screen in the outgoing car. It runs on BMW’s latest software which means you get BMW Personal Assistant, which works a bit like Siri or Alexa – you say “Hey BMW” and then ask the car to carry out a range of tasks for you, such as adjust the air-con or change the volume on the stereo. It understands spoken English, so if you say “I’m hot” the car will lower the cabin temperature.

Finally, it will come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard – previously Apple CarPlay was an optional extra, while Android Auto wasn’t available.

BMW 5 Series Plug-in hybrid

The 5 Series Touring now has a plug-in hybrid option. Called the 530e, it was only available as a saloon, but from November 2020 you can buy the estate version. Fitted with a four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine, it will have a maximum combined power output of 292hp. Fuel economy figures have yet to be confirmed, but it is expected to be able to travel around 40 miles on electric power alone.

The 5 Series Saloon now has two plug-in hybrid options. Alongside the 530e, there’s a new 545e plug-in. Available only as a four-wheel drive (xDrive) model, it gets a six-cylinder 3.0-litre petrol engine. BMW has yet to release performance and economy figures for this version, but it is likely to be similar to the set up in 7 Series plug-in, which can manage around 36 miles on electric-only power.

BMW 5 Series Price and Release Date

A BMW 520i SE saloon will cost from £37,480, while the 520i Touring will cost £2250 more at £39,730.

M Sport models will cost £3500 more than SE versions, while M Sport Edition cars will cost £4500 more than M Sport. Full prices below. The car is on sale now, with customer deliveries expected to start in July.

BMW 5 Series Saloon

Model SE M Sport M Sport Edition M Performance
520i £37,480 £40,980 £45,480 N/A
520d £38,500 £42,000 £46,500 N/A
520d xDrive £40,500 £44,000 £48,500 N/A
530d xDrive £48,820 £52,320 £55,510 N/A
530e £47,130 £50,630 £53,820 N/A
530e xDrive £49,130 £52,630 £55,820 N/A
545e xDrive £54,945 £58,445 TBC N/A
M550i xDrive N/A N/A N/A £67,595


BMW 5 Series Touring

Model SE M Sport M Sport Edition
520i £39,730 £43,230 £46,730
520d £40,750 £44,250 £47,750
520d xDrive £42,750 £46,250 £49,750
530d xDrive £51,070 £54,570 £56,760
530e (from 11/20 production) £49,380 £52,880 £TBC
530e xDrive (from 11/20 production) £51,380 £54,880 £TBC
540i xDrive £51,795 £55,295 £57,485

Don’t want to wait for the new BMW 5 Series? Take a look at stock cars of the current version available for immediate delivery…