BMW 5 Series

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BMW 5 Series
BMW 530d (F10) front-1 20100821.jpg
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1972–present
Body and chassis
Class Executive car / Mid-size luxury car
Body style Sedan
Station wagon ("Touring")
Predecessor BMW New Class

The BMW 5-Series is a mid-size luxury car manufactured by German automaker BMW since 1972. It is the successor to the 4-door sedan models of the BMW New Class and is currently in its sixth generation.

Initially, the 5 Series was only available in a sedan body style. The touring body style was added in 1991 and the 5-door hatchback ("Gran Turismo") was added in 2009.

It is BMW's second best-selling model after the 3-Series and in 2010 produced about 50% of the BMW's profits.[1]

On January 29, 2008, the 5 millionth 5-Series was manufactured, a 530d Saloon in Carbon Black Metallic.[2]

The 5-Series got its name by being the fifth of the "new series" cars after the V-8 and Isetta era[citation needed] and was the replacement for the older four-door New Class sedans. The current BMW naming convention began with the first 5-Series.

E12 (1972–1981)

BMW 5-Series (E12)
Bmw e12 v sst.jpg
Production 1972–1984
699,094 built[3]
Assembly Dingolfing, West Germany
Rosslyn, South Africa
Toluca, Mexico[4][5]
Cairo, Egypt
Shenyang, China
Jakarta, Indonesia
6th of October City, Egypt
Manaus, Brazil
Layout FR layout
Engine four-cylinder petrol
six-cylinder petrol
Transmission 4-speed manual
5-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,600 mm (102.4 in)
Length 4,600 mm (181.1 in)
Width 1,690 mm (66.5 in)
Height 1,425 mm (56.1 in)
Predecessor BMW New Class
Successor BMW E28
BMW 528 (E12) sedan (Germany)

The E12 5-series was produced from 1972–1981 (produced until 1984 in South Africa). The E12 is the first series to bear the 5-Series name: the '5' denoting BMW's fifth 'New Class' platform. Designed as a replacement for the BMW New Class mid-size sedan, the E12 5-Series models were smaller than the large BMW E3 sedan but larger than the two-door 2002 models.

The first generation's body was styled by Paul Bracq and Pietro Frua,[6][7] based on the Bertone 1970 BMW Garmisch 2002ti Geneva show car.[citation needed] The E12 was available only in the sedan body style with a manual transmission. There was an automatic transmission available for US and Japan-only versions.[6]

While there was no E12 BMW M5 produced, the E12 M535i is seen as the predecessor to the M5.

E28 (1982–1987)

BMW 5-Series (E28)
1983 BMW 528i (E28) sedan (21539857803).jpg
Manufacturer BMW
Production 1982–1987
722,328 built[3]
Engine four-cylinder petrol
six-cylinder petrol
six-cylinder diesel
Wheelbase 2,628 mm (103.5 in)
Length 4,620 mm (182 in)
Width 1,700 mm (67 in)
Predecessor BMW E12
Successor BMW E34
BMW 5 Series (E28) sedan (Europe)

BMW E28 is the second-generation BMW 5-Series, produced from 1982–1987. Styling changes to this model included revised headlights, thicker rubber bumper surrounds and large rectangular taillights. Mechanical changes included the addition of a six-cylinder diesel engine (in both naturally aspirated and turbocharged forms) and an automatic transmission.

The M5 model line began with the BMW E28 M5, which uses the BMW S38 six-cylinder engine. At its launch in 1984, the European specification E28 M5 was the fastest production sedan in the world.[citation needed]

E34 (1988–1995)

BMW 5-Series (E34)
BMW 525i E34.jpg
Production 1988–1995
1,333,412 built[8]
Assembly Dingolfing, Germany
Toluca, Mexico[9]
Designer Claus Luthe; Ercole Spada (1982, 1985)[10][11]
Body and chassis
Body style sedan
station wagon
Layout FR layout
all-wheel drive
Engine four-cylinder petrol
six-cylinder petrol
V8 petrol
six-cylinder diesel
Wheelbase 2,761 mm (108.7 in)[12]
Length 4,720 mm (185.8 in)
Width 1,751 mm (68.9 in)
1994 BMW 520i (E34) Touring (Australia)

The BMW E34 is the third-generation 5-Series, produced from 1988–1995. It had a stiffer body and was more streamlined than its predecessor.[citation needed] The E34 was among the most reliable luxury cars on the market, earning the best-in-class ratings from Intellichoice in 1991, and still considered one of the most reliable BMWs ever made.[13] It was also one of the safest cars on the road during its production, providing airbags, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes, and a very rigid body structure to protect occupants in the event of an accident.[13] It was also equipped with automatic stability control (ASC) or traction control (ASC+T) in later years on higher-specification variants.[14]

Mechanical changes over its predecessor included the availability of a V8 engine, all-wheel drive and a station wagon ("touring") body style.

The BMW E34 M5 uses upgraded versions of the BMW S38 six-cylinder engine.

E39 (1996–2003)

BMW 5-Series (E39)
2000-2003 BMW 525i (E39) Executive sedan (2010-10-02) 01.jpg
Production 1996–2003 (sedan)
1996–2003 (station wagon)
Assembly Germany: Dingolfing
Mexico: Toluca[15]
Russia: Kaliningrad[16]
Layout FR layout
M54B20 I6 Petrol (2001–2003 520i)
M54B25 I6 Petrol (2001–2003 525i)
M54B30 I6 Petrol (2000–2003 530i)
M62B35 V8 Petrol (1996–1998 535i)
M62TUB35 V8 Petrol (1998–2003 535i)
M62B44 V8 Petrol (1996–1998 540i)
M62TUB44 V8 Petrol (1998–2003 540i)
M47D20 I4 Diesel (2000–2003 520d)
M51D25 I6 Diesel (1996–2000 525td)
M57D25 I6 Diesel (2000–2003 525d)
M57D30 I6 Diesel (1998–2003 530d)
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
5-speed automatic
6-speed manual
Wheelbase 2,830 mm (111.4 in)
Length 4,775 mm (188.0 in) (saloon)
4,806 mm (189.2 in) (estate)
Width 1,801 mm (70.9 in)
2003 BMW 525i (E39) Executive sedan (Australia)

The BMW E39 is the fourth-generation 5-Series, produced from 1996 until 2003. The design draws heavily from the E38 7 Series in body construction and electronic technology[citation needed] and the wheelbase grew by 2.7 in (68 mm) and overall length by 2.2 in (55 mm) over the E34.

The E39 5 Series was introduced into the US market in late 1996 for the 1997 model year. Models available were the 528i with the 2.8 L M52B28 I6 engine and the 540i with the 4.4 L M62B44 V8 engine. Transmission choices included a 5-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic for the 528i and a 6-speed manual or a 5-speed automatic for the 540i. The on-board computer, called the Multi-Information System (MID), was upgraded in mid 1997.

For 1998 optional rear side airbags became available, and both models also gained BMW's exclusive new Head Protection System, which consists of two tubular bags that inflate upon a side impact and pop out just above each front door. A new Sport Package for the 528i and 540i, as well as an automatic transmission 540i were added options. The Sport Package included black body trim (standard models had chrome around the top of the windows), a sport-tuned suspension, and 17-inch wheels and tires. In September 1998, the 540i's M62B44 was updated to the M62TUB44, adding 15 ft·lb (20 Nm) of torque. DSC first became available on 540i with automatic transmission as of 9/97 The high-performance M5 saloon returned to the BMW fold. Built in limited numbers, the M5 used a 400 hp (300 kW) V8 S62, and came with a firmer suspension, 18-inch wheels, a 6-speed manual transmission, and exclusive interior trim.[13] Lower-body rear side airbags were standard on the M5, remaining optional for other models.

1999 saw the introduction of the Touring (estate) body style and joined saloons in both I6 and V8 versions. New options for 1999 included brighter xenon headlights, Park Distance Control that warns of obstacles when backing up, and self-leveling rear suspension for estates. Standard on V8 models and newly optional for 528i versions was BMW's Dynamic Stability Control, designed to aid control in fast turns. The M52 2.8 liter I6 engines were now all aluminium block and head with the introduction of double VANOS, as opposed to the previous single VANOS iron block/aluminium head M52.

In 2000, rain-sensing windshield wipers and xenon headlamps became standard on the 540i, and were newly available for 528i models. The "M Sport" package was added (replacing the standard sport package), and included the M Sport steering wheel, door sills, and shift knob. The 528i versions also gained the 540i's standard stability control system. All models now had daytime running lights, and fog lamps.

For the 2001 model year (Cars made from September 2000), BMW updated the E39 with newer, clear-lens tail, side marker, and headlights which first displayed the now-popular "angel eyes." Rear tail lights were changed to "wave-guide" LEDs (Hella, the OEM, refers to these lights as "CELIS"), while the side and rear turn signals were changed from amber lenses to clear. The black trim was now painted to match the body color, and the front bumper now featured rounded fog lights. Internally many changes were made to electronics; items such as window regulators and the air conditioning were updated. The 528i was replaced by the 530i which had a new 170 kW (228 hp) M54B30 3.0 L inline-6. A new entry-level 525i was introduced featuring a 143 kW (192 hp) M54B25 2.5 L I6 and a slightly lower price. The available navigation system was changed to a wide screen version. The front grill was also changed to a new, more pronounced design.

For 2002, BMW Steptronic-equipped E39s had their manual shift direction switched to match BMW's SMG (forwards to downshift, backwards to upshift). Also for 2002, the power of the 540i's 32-valve V8 engine was increased from 282 hp (210 kW) to 290 hp (216 kW) while torque remained the same. All models got a standard in-dash CD player, the 6-cylinder models added a standard power passenger seat, and the 525i received automatic climate control standard.[14] Consumer Reports declared the 2002 BMW E39 the best car they had ever reviewed.

2003 marked the last year for the E39 platform; models for this year were differentiated by the addition of extra chrome trim on the trunk (boot) and on the sides of the body. All 6-cylinder model 5-Series come with a standard sunroof. The optional navigation systems upgraded from CD-ROM format (8 CDs to cover the entire USA and Canada) to a single DVD-ROM.[15] The optional sport package on the 540i carried parts from M-technic. This included a full M-tech ground effects, M-tech II suspension, 18-inch wheels, and a variety of M badging. Isofix/LATCH child seat anchors were added. The E39 estate (touring) was continued into 2004 until the touring version of the new E60 5 Series was released.

Car and Driver often featured the E39 in its "10Best list".[17] The E39 BMW 5-series was considered the benchmark of its class[18] and Consumer Reports gave the 2001 530i its highest car rating ever.[citation needed]

The BMW E39 M5 uses the BMW S62 V8 engine.

E60/E61 (2004–2010)

BMW 5-Series (E60/E61)
BMW 530i (E60) Facelift 20090615 front.JPG
Production March 2004–2010
Assembly Dingolfing, Germany
Chennai, India
Rayong, Thailand
Toluca, Mexico[19]
6th of October City, Egypt[20][21]
Shenyang, China (BMW Brilliance)[22]
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)[23]
Jakarta, Indonesia (Gaya Motor)
Designer Davide Arcangeli (2000)[24]
Body and chassis
Body style sedan (E60)
station wagon ("touring", E61)
Layout FR layout
all-wheel drive
Engine four-cylinder petrol
six-cylinder petrol
V8 petrol
V10 petrol
four-cylinder diesel
six-cylinder diesel
Transmission 6-speed manual
6-speed automatic
7-speed SMG
Wheelbase 2,888 mm (113.7 in)
Length 4,841 mm (190.6 in)
Width 1,846 mm (72.7 in)
2008 BMW 520d (E60) sedan (Australia)

The BMW E60 is the fifth-generation 5-Series, produced from 2004–2010. Its non-traditional styling (designed by Chris Bangle and Adrian van Hooydonk) and many of its features received mixed reviews. Despite criticism over its exterior design and interior electronics, this became the best-selling 5-Series.[25]

The E60 represented a significant step forward in technology over the previous generation.[26] The controversial iDrive interface is used to control many aspects of the vehicle. All-wheel drive returned as an option to the 5-series for the E60. The E60 535i is the first 5-series to use a turbocharged petrol engine.

The pre-facelift 5-Series (left, right) in comparison to the E65 pre-facelift BMW 7 Series (middle)

Following the tradition of its previous generation models, the new 5 Series featured a longer and wider chassis while fitted with a new set of active safety & hi-tech components: iDrive, Active Roll Stabilization (ARS), Active Cruise Control (ACC), Park Distance Control (PDC) and a Harman Kardon Logic7 sound system. The 4.4L V8 engine now delivered a revised output of 325 hp and could be mated to either a 6-speed manual/automatic transmission or a newly developed 6-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox featuring steering-wheel-mounted shift paddles. This new generation vehicle also came with a completely new exterior & interior look and was available on both European and North American market. The 530i and 525i got a revised engine in 2006.

The 5 Series sedan received a slight facelift in 2007 called the LCI update. The front and rear fascias were freshened. The idrive was updated to a hard drive based system with a more user-friendly interface. The interior was freshened to a more updated door panel with proper wood inlays vs the old ones which were filled with lots of odd angles and weird sloping lines.

Part of the optional Sport package ($3300) is one of the more curious techno-innovations of the new 5-series, "active steering." Instead of simply lightening the effort of steering at low speeds through a conventional variable-boost system, active steering changes the ratio of the steering. If a driver turns the steering wheel 10 degrees off-center, the front wheels will turn more at lower speeds than at higher speeds.

The BMW E60 M5 uses the BMW S85 V10 engine.

F10/F11/F07 (2011–present)

BMW 5-series (F10/F11/F07)
2011 BMW 535i -- NHTSA 2.jpg
Production 2011–present
Assembly Dingolfing, Germany
Chennai, India
Cairo, Egypt (BAG)
Toluca, Mexico[27]
Rayong, Thailand
Shenyang, China (BMW Brilliance)[28]
Kaliningrad, Russia (Avtotor)
Shah Alam, Selangor, Malaysia[29][30]
Jakarta, Indonesia (Gaya Motor)
Designer Jacek Fröhlich (Sedan) [2006][31]
Jean-Francois Alexandre Huet (Station Wagon) [2008][32]
Body and chassis
Body style saloon (F10)
station wagon (F11)
five-door fastback (F07)
Layout FR layout
all-wheel drive
Engine 2.0 L turbo I4
2.5 L I6
3.0 L I6
3.0 L turbo I6
4.4 L Turbo V8
2.0 L I4 diesel
3.0 L I6 diesel
Transmission 6-speed manual
8-speed ZF 8HP automatic
Wheelbase 2,968 mm (116.9 in)
Length 4,899–4,907 mm (192.9–193.2 in) (2011– sedan)
Width 1,860 mm (73.2 in)
2010 BMW 528i sedan (Australia)

The F10/F11/F07 is the sixth-generation 5-Series, produced from 2011–present. The platform is based on the F01 7 Series; improvements include a front dual ball joint short-long arm suspension (replacing the MacPherson strut suspensions BMW previously used), and a rear multilink suspension.[33]

The interior marks the return of the centre console being clearly angled towards the driver, another marked change from its immediate predecessor which was noted for its non traditional BMW design.[34][35] However, opinion is divided, as a reviewer described the F10 as too bland and conservative, compared to the E60 predecessor, as well as having too much of a resemblance to the E90 3-Series.[36]

The F10 M5 uses the S63 twin-turbocharged V8 engine and is the first M3 or M5 to use forced induction.

A long-wheelbase version is sold in China.[37] Mexican-built armored BMW 5 vehicles are also built on the wheelbase from the Chinese long-wheelbase model. This armoured model is known as the BMW 5 Security and only is available in long-wheelbase form with the 4.4L V8 engine.

5-Series Gran Turismo (F07)

BMW 535i Gran Turismo

In 2009, BMW released the 5-Series Gran Turismo (F07), a five-door fastback of similar body style to the Porsche Panamera. The GT is taller than other fastback competitors.[38]

The F07 (designed by Christopher Weil) shares the same F01 7 Series-derived platform, powertrain, and mechanical package with the F10. However, the F07's fascia has different headlights and bumper, with a larger split-kidney grille similar to that of the F01 7 Series. The F07 is also taller, resulting in a higher center of gravity and its greater length allows for more rear legroom.[citation needed] The F07 also features frameless doors and a double-pane liftgate truck.[39]

The F07 is the first BMW to receive the new ZF eight-speed automatic transmission, along with a new Brake Energy Regeneration system.[40]

BMW 5-Series ActiveHybrid

The hybrid electric concept version of the BMW Hybrid-series, introduced as BMW Concept 5-Series ActiveHybrid, was unveiled at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show. The use of BMW ActiveHybrid technology allows the hybrid electric version to reduce both fuel consumption and emissions by more than 10%.[41] In 2012, BMW introduced the production version of the 5-series ActiveHybrid.[42][43]


The E39 5-Series was on Car and Driver magazine's annual Ten Best list for six years straight, from its introduction in 1997 through 2002. It was also Motor Trend's Import Car of the Year for 1997 and What Car? Executive Car of the Year 1997 through 2002. The E60 was named "Best New Luxury / Prestige Car" in the 2006 Canadian Car of the Year awards. Active Seat [44] continuous passive motion seating comfort technology recognized as one of the Best Inventions of 1998 by Popular Science magazine. Consumer Reports found the E39 5-series their best car tested in 2001–2002. The JB car pages have awarded the BMW 5-Series a best-in-class 4 1/2 star rating.[45]

Production and sales


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