BMW 5 Series

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BMW 5 Series
2018 BMW 520d xDrive M Sport Automatic 2.0 Front.jpg
Body and chassis
ClassExecutive car (E)
Body style4-door sedan
5-door wagon
5-door fastback
LayoutFR layout,
F4 layout (xDrive models)
PredecessorBMW New Class

The BMW 5 Series is an executive car manufactured by BMW since 1972. It is the successor to the New Class Sedans and is currently in its seventh generation.

Initially, the 5 Series was only available in a sedan body style. The wagon/estate body style (called "Touring") was added in 1991 and the 5-door fastback (called "Gran Turismo") was produced from 2009 to 2017.

The first generation of 5 Series was powered by naturally aspirated inline-4 and straight-6 petrol engines. Following generations have been powered by inline-4, straight-6, V8 and V10 engines with both natural aspiration and turbocharging. Since 1982, diesel engines have been included in the 5 Series range.

The 5 Series is BMW's second best-selling model after the 3 Series.[1] On January 29, 2008, the 5 millionth 5 Series was manufactured, a 530d Saloon in Carbon Black Metallic.[2]

BMW's three-digit model naming convention began with the first 5 Series,[3] thus the 5 Series was BMW's first model line to use "Series" in the name.

Since the E28, all generations of 5 Series have included an M version, called the BMW M5.

First generation (E12; 1972–1981)[edit]

BMW 518
BMW 528

The E12 is the first generation of 5 Series, which was produced from 1972 to 1981. It replaced the New Class sedans and the initial 520 and 520i models were powered by inline-4 engines. A year after launch, the first of the models powered by a straight-6 engine - the 525 - was introduced.

There was no M5 model for the E12, however the E12 M535i is considered to be the predecessor to the M5.[4][5]

The E12 was replaced by the E28 in 1981, although E12 production continued until 1984 in South Africa.

Second generation (E28; 1981–1988)[edit]

E28 528i
E28 528i

The E28 is the second generation of 5 Series, which was produced from 1981 to 1988. It was initially produced with petrol 4-cylinder and 6-cylinder engines. In 1983, a diesel engine was available for the first time in a 5 Series. The E28 was the first 5 Series with the centre console angled towards the driver and the option of anti-lock brakes (ABS).[6]

The first BMW M5 was produced during the E28 generation. It was powered by the S38B35 and the M88/3 straight-six engines.

Third generation (E34; 1988–1996)[edit]

BMW 525i
BMW 525i

The E34 is the third generation of the 5 Series, which was produced from 1988 to 1996. It was launched in the sedan body style, with the range expanded in 1990 to include the "Touring" wagon (estate) body style.

The E34 was the first 5 Series to be available with the wagon body style, the 525iX was the first 5 Series with all-wheel drive and V8 engines were also first available in a 5 Series during the E34 generation. It also saw the introduction of stability control (ASC), traction control (ASC+T) a 6-speed manual transmission and adjustable damping (EDC) to the 5 Series range.

There was an unusually large range of engines fitted over its lifetime, as nine different engine families were used. These consisted of 4-cylinder, straight-six and V8 engines.

The E34 M5 is powered by the S38 straight-six engine and was produced in sedan and wagon body styles.

Fourth generation (E39; 1995–2003)[edit]

BMW 525i Executive
BMW 525i Executive

The E39 is the fourth generation of 5 Series, which was sold from 1995 to 2004. It was launched in the sedan body style, with the wagon/estate body style (marketed as "Touring") introduced in 1996.

The E39 was the first 5 Series to use aluminium components in the front suspension. The proportion of chassis components using aluminium significantly increased for the E39,[7] in order to reduce weight. It was also the first 5 Series where a four-cylinder diesel engine was available.

V8 models use recirculating ball steering (as per previous 5 Series generations), however rack and pinion steering was used for the first time, in the four-cylinder and six-cylinder models. Unlike its E34 predecessor and E60 successor, the E39 was not available with all-wheel drive.

The E39 M5 sedan was introduced in 1998, powered by the 4.9-litre S62 V8 engine.

Fifth generation (E60/E61; 2003–2010)[edit]

BMW 530i
BMW 520d

The E60/E61 is the fifth generation of the 5 Series, which was sold from 2003 to 2010. The body styles of the range are:

The range was launched in 2003 in the sedan body style. In 2004, the estate body style was introduced.

The E60/E61 introduced various new electronic features to the 5 Series, including iDrive, head-up display, active cruise control, active steering and voice control. The E60/61 also was the first 5 Series to be available with a turbocharged petrol engine, a 6-speed automatic transmission and regenerative braking. New safety features for the E60/E61 included adaptive headlights, night vision, active headrests, Lane Departure Warning and high intensity emergency brake lights. Unlike the three previous generations of 5 Series[8][9] and the F10 successor,[10] the E60/E61 centre console is not angled towards the driver.

The M5 variant was released in 2005 and is powered by the S85 V10 engine. It was sold in the sedan and wagon body styles,[11] with most cars using a 7-speed automated manual transmission ("SMG III").

Sixth generation (F10/F11/F07; 2010–2016)[edit]

BMW 5-series
BMW 528i

The F07/F10/F11/F18 is the sixth generation of 5 Series, which debuted in November 2009.[12] The body styles of the range are:

The F07 Gran Turismo is the first 5 Series to be available in a fastback body style. The F10 is also the first 5 Series to offer a hybrid drivetrain, a turbocharged V8 engine, an 8-speed automatic transmission, a dual-clutch transmission (in the M5), active rear-wheel steering (called "Integral Active Steering"), electric power steering, double wishbone front suspension, an LCD instrument cluster (called "Black Panel Display") and automatic parking (called "Parking Assistant").[13]

The F10 M5 is powered by the S63 twin-turbo V8 engine with a 7-speed dual clutch transmission. It is the first M5 to use a turbocharged engine.

Seventh generation (G30/G31/G38; 2017-Present)[edit]

BMW G30 5 Series
BMW G30 5 Series

The BMW G30/G31/G38 is the seventh generation of the 5 Series. It was officially announced in October 2016, and sales began in February 2017.[14][15][16]

The body styles of the range are:

The fastback 5 Series GT model from the previous generation is no longer part of the model range, because it has been moved to the 6 Series model range.[17]

The G30 is based on the same modular platform as the 7 Series (G11). BMW plans to release a saloon- and estate-style plug-in hybrid, the 530e iPerformance, which would have the advanced driver-assistance systems found in the 7 Series.[18]

The M5 version of the G30 has the development code F90, and it is the first M5 to feature BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system. It is powered by an evolution of the S63 found in the previous generation of the M5, a 4.4L twin-turbo V8 producing 441 kW (600 PS; 591 bhp) and 750 N⋅m (553 lb⋅ft) of torque, and reaches 100 km/h (62 mph) in 3.4 seconds.[19]


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 [20] 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.[21]

Production and sales[edit]

Current production is located in Dingolfing, Germany and Magna Steyr, Austria.

Calendar year Total production US sales China sales
1995 22,637[22]
1996 22,775
1997 228,800[23] -
1998 221,600[23] -
1999 201,400[23] 38,218[24]
2000 191,546[23] 39,703
2001 193,948[23] 40,005[25]
2002 172,323[23] 40,842
2003 185,481[23] 46,964[26]
2004 229,598[23] 45,584[27]
2005 228,389[23] 52,722[28]
2006 232,193[23] 56,756
2007 230,845[29] 54,142
2008 202,287[30] 45,915
2009 175,982[31] 40,109[32]
2010 211,968[33] 39,488 42,076[34]
2011 332,501 51,491[35]
2012 359,016 56,798
2013 366,992[36] 56,863[37]
2014 373,053 52,704[38]
2015 347,096[39] 44,162[40]
2016 331,410[41] 32,408


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