2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Test Drive Review: Still The Benchmark Performance Sedan

by Ian Wright

We’re now halfway into the seventh generation of BMW’s luxury midsize sedan, the BMW 5 Series. That means it’s time for a refresh featuring the now-requisite longer kidney grille, revised headlights and taillights, some new paint choices, and refinement for hybrid models, along with the accompanying revision of the interior to finally include Android Auto. But even with comprehensive revision, the 5 Series recipe is much the same as it was before. It’s a sedan that has long been a benchmark for premium sedans that are as happy on a long freeway ride as they are in heavy traffic or on a winding backroad – a true driver’s luxury sedan, if you will, that prioritizes performance over the comfort of a Mercedes-Benz E-Class or the technocentricity of the Audi A6.

However, the newest generation of 5 Series is one of the most well-rounded yet. It has encroached more on Mercedes territory while retaining a sharp chassis and great driving dynamics. With power ranging from 248 horsepower to 523 hp and engines including turbocharged four-pots, plug-in hybrids, and a twin-turbo semi-M V8, there’s something for everyone.

2021 The Seventh-Generation BMW 5 Series Changes: ๐Ÿš™Whatโ€™s the difference vs 2020 5 Series Sedan?

For 2021, the BMW 5 Series receives a few exterior design tweaks, a larger touchscreen interface, and the addition of a 48-volt mild-hybrid system for the six-cylinder variants. Starting with the outside, the latest 5 Series receives a revised grille and reshaped headlamp clusters with distinctive LED daytime running lamps. At the back, the taillights also received a refresh, while there are new tailpipe finishers as well. As a result of these changes, the 5 Series is now 1.2 inches longer than before. The range-topping M550i receives the aerodynamic kit that forms part of the M Sport package.

Inside, the central touchscreen has grown to a 12.3-inch unit, while Android Auto is finally standard. There is also a new cloud-based system called BMW Maps for a better navigation experience.

Mechanically, the 540i variants now benefit from a new 48-volt starter-generator that boosts efficiency and improves responsiveness when accelerating, even though maximum horsepower is unchanged. The 530e plug-in hybrid versions receive an extra 40 horses this year for a total output of 288 hp.

Pros and Cons

  • Classic, upscale sedan styling
  • Stunning interior quality
  • Improved infotainment interface
  • Spacious seating
  • Diverse engine lineup
  • Smooth, quiet ride
  • Very isolated driving experience
  • Pricey options
  • E-Class has a more striking interior

Best Deals on 5 Series Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 530i Sedan

2021 BMW 530i Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 530i xDrive Sedan

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Trims

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
530i Sedan

2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas

8-Speed Automatic

Rear-Wheel Drive

530i xDrive Sedan

2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas

8-Speed Automatic

All-Wheel Drive

540i Sedan

3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas

8-Speed Automatic

Rear-Wheel Drive

540i xDrive Sedan

3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas

8-Speed Automatic

All-Wheel Drive

M550i xDrive Sedan

4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas

8-Speed Automatic

All-Wheel Drive


5 Series Sedan Exterior

Through all the BMW 5 Series generations, the mid-size sedan has been a model of restrained elegance. The exception to this was the E60 5 Series from the mid-2000s. Restraint is what buyers in this segment want and the facelifted 5 Series continues to offer it. The larger BMW kidney grille and L-shaped LED daytime running lights give the face a more imposing look than before, while subtle tweaks to the rear lights haven’t changed the fact that this remains quite a conservatively styled car. The base 530i arrives with trapezoidal exhaust tips, Icon adaptive full LED headlights, 18-inch alloy wheels, chrome exterior trim, and a two-way power glass moonroof. These features are shared with the 530e. While the 540i is virtually indistinguishable from the 530i, the M550i is a more aggressive prospect with its 19-inch dark wheels, aerodynamic kit, M rear spoiler, and Shadowline exterior trim, elements which can also be equipped to lesser derivatives.

See All 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Exterior Photos


The latest design tweaks to the BMW 5 Series sedan have increased its length by 1.2 inches over last year’s model. It’s both longer and wider than its chief rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. The BMW’s dimensions include a length of 195.8 inches, a width of 73.5 inches, a height of 58.2 inches, and a 117.1-inch wheelbase. Only the M550i differs somewhat with its 196-inch length and lower height of 57.8 inches. The 530e is taller still at 58.4 inches. The lightest model in the range is the rear-wheel-drive 530i with a curb weight of 3,765 pounds. At the other end of the spectrum, the 530e xDrive weighs 4,321 lbs.

  • Length
    195.8 in

  • Wheelbase
    117.1 in

  • Height
    58.2 in

  • Max Width
    73.5 in

  • Front Width
    63.2 in

  • Rear Width
    64.2 in

Exterior Colors

Alpine White and Jet Black are the only no-cost color choices for the base 530i. Following this, there are eight metallics at $550 each: Carbon Black, Black Sapphire, Glacier Silver, Dark Graphite, Mineral White, Phytonic Blue, Bluestone, and Bernina Grey Amber Effect. Carbon Black does, however, require the additional fitment of the $3,300 M Sport package. On the 530e, this package costs $2,500. The 540i shares the same color palette but the M550i doesn’t offer Jet Black, Glacier Silver, or Mineral White. None of the remaining metallics will cost anything extra on this model, although you can opt for Tanzanite Blue II metallic or Aventurin Red metallic. Both of these colors go for $1,950 each. Our favorite shade may just be the only new addition for this year, namely, Bernina Grey Amber Effect.

  • Glacier Silver Metallic

  • Mineral White Metallic

  • Carbon Black Metallic

  • Black Sapphire Metallic

  • Dark Graphite Metallic

  • Phytonic Blue Metallic

  • Bernina Grey Amber Effect

  • Bluestone Metallic

  • Tanzanite Blue II Metallic, Priority 1

  • Individual Aventurin Red Metallic, Priority 1

  • Alpine White

  • Jet Black

5 Series Sedan Performance

A choice of four, six, or eight cylinders – along with a plug-in hybrid – means that there’s something for everyone in the 5 Series engine lineup. Even the base rear-wheel-drive 530i offers willing acceleration from its 248-hp turbo-four, which can see it reach 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. With the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, this time drops to 5.8 seconds. The mid-range 540i – also offered with either RWD or AWD – makes 335 hp from its 3.0-liter turbo inline-six and can reach 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds when equipped with xDrive. The 530e sits between these two, reaching 60 in 5.7 seconds. For those craving more power, the M550i xDrive’s 4.4-liter turbo V8 serves up 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque. Acceleration is dramatic, with 0 to 60 whizzing by in a mere 3.6 seconds, which is fast enough to make one question why you’d need an M5. In fact, it’s even quicker than the last-generation M5. With performance tires, a top speed of 155 mph can be reached with remarkable ease. The M550i is priced to compete with the Mercedes-AMG E53 sedan, but the Merc can’t hold a candle to the Bimmer and takes 4.4 seconds for the benchmark sprint.

Engine and Transmission

If comfort and efficiency are the primary goals, the 530i and 530i xDrive are ideal. Both are powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 248 hp and 258 lb-ft of torque. Like every other 5 Series, this engine is paired with an exemplary eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift modes, steering-mounted paddles, and launch control. The 530e and 530e xDrive also use a 2.0-liter turbo-four but add an electric motor for combined outputs of 288 hp and 310 lb-ft, while the 12-kWh lithium-ion battery enables limited driving in electric-only mode. A new XtraBoost feature offers the additional 40 hp for the 530e for 10 seconds when the throttle is depressed, providing a welcome boost of additional power.

The mid-range 540i and 540i xDrive employ the same 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder engine as before, but this year it is boosted by a 48-volt starter-generator system. However, outputs remain unchanged at 335 hp and 331 lb-ft. BMW says that during acceleration, the 48-volt system can offer a boost of 11 extra horsepower for enhanced power delivery and responsiveness. As ever, the six-pot is silky smooth in the manner in which it spins up to the red line.

Finally, the M550i makes 523 hp and 553 lb-ft of torque from its 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8. Along with a pleasing growl, this model’s ability to scamper off the mark and bulldoze its way past slower traffic on the highway is epic. Yes, an M5 exists, but we’re not sure how much more power one needs than this. As in lesser models, the eight-speed ‘box always seems to be in the right gear and remains one of the finest automatic transmissions in the industry.

  • Engines

    2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas, 3.0L Turbo Inline-6 Gas, 4.4L Twin-Turbo V8 Gas

  • Transmission

    8-Speed Automatic

Handling and Driving Impressions

Last year we tested the most aggressive 5 Series before the M5, the M550i, and wondered if the M5 was actually the best 5 Series to buy for the performance enthusiast. This year, BMW loaned us the mid-range 540i xDrive with its turbocharged straight-six, now aided by a 48-volt electrical system. The straight-six is already a favorite for its responsiveness and smooth power delivery, but the extra juice improves on that sightly while also keeping the fuel economy more consistent. While not the most powerful option, it’s still quick and aggressive enough in Sport mode to match the chassis.

The 5 Series is more than happy to carve its way through the curves with style, panache, and carrying more corner speed than its competitors. At its limits, the refined balance of the chassis will still keep the most exuberant drivers satisfied, despite the 5 Series now being a more cosseting car in Eco-Pro or Comfort mode.

Eco-Pro and Comfort mode are where most 540i owners will spend their time, and they will enjoy it. The ride is pliant and refined without feeling floaty, and when mixed with the comfortable and airy cabin, it’s a car that will relax you on the way home from work or across long distances.

5 Series Sedan Gas Mileage

The base BMW 530i is more efficient than both the equivalent Mercedes E-Class and Audi A6. It returns an EPA-rated 25/33/28 mpg across the city/highway/combined cycles. Perhaps even more impressive is that the RWD 540i with its larger six-cylinder engine manages 25/32/27 mpg, a notable improvement over last year’s 540i at 22/30/25 mpg. Clearly, the latest 540i’s mild-hybrid system has contributed to this improvement. The 530i xDrive returns 23/32/27 mpg and the 540i xDrive isn’t far behind on 23/31/26 mpg. With its big V8, the M550i will achieve gas mileage figures of 17/25/20 mpg. An 18-gallon gas tank will equate to a range of 504 miles for the RWD 530i.

Through our week with the 540i xDrive we were impressed at how consistent the fuel economy was. It sat on an indicated 26 mpg all week and rarely dipped below, and even tipped into 27 mpg on a freeway ride. That’s a rarity on our test drives for cars that you can push around on back roads.

The 530e hybrid returns a combined 64 MPGe or 26 mpg on gas alone for the RWD model, or 62 MPGe/25 mpg when equipped with xDrive. This model gets a smaller 12.1-gallon gas tank and an all-electric range of 21 miles, resulting in a full range of about 335 miles in the case of the RWD 530e. Charging the 12 kWh battery will take under three hours using a 240-volt outlet or around seven hours with a normal household outlet.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity

    18.0 Gallons

  • Fuel Economy

    City/Hwy: 25/33 mpg

* 2021 BMW 5 Series 530i Sedan

5 Series Sedan Interior

The cabin of the new BMW 5 Series doesn’t blow you away with fanciful design in the same way that the E-Class does, but it’s undeniably plush in here. Even lower down, it’s hard to find any surface that isn’t covered in some kind of soft-touch material. BMW has retained physical controls for many regularly accessed functions, but if you wish, you can use the all-new 12.3-inch central touchscreen. Even the base 530i comes with 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a driver’s memory system, a power moonroof, navigation, and a lot more. The range-topping M550i adds remote engine start, multi-contour front seats, and a SensaTec-trimmed dashboard. With plenty of space in both rows, more technology than before, and rock-solid build quality, the 5 Series lived up to its reputation on our test drive.

See All 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

Five can be seated comfortably, but the center rear passenger that drew the short straw will find it wasn’t so short with this generation 5 Series’s extra width. Legroom is suitably generous, with 41.4 inches available in the front and 36.5 inches in the rear. However, that legroom can become a bit restrictive with tall people in the front. The driving position is everything you expect from a BMW 5 Series – comfortable with a wide range of adjustability and excellent visibility due to the generous amount of glass around the cabin. The steering wheel also has plenty of adjustability, so there’s little excuse not to find the perfect driving position.

  • Seating capacity


  • Front Leg Room
    41.4 in

  • Front Head Room
    38.8 in

  • Rear Leg Room
    36.5 in

  • Rear Head Room
    37.5 in

Interior Colors and Materials

On the 530i, 530e, and 540i, perforated SensaTec upholstery covers the seats as standard in Black, Cognac, or Canberra Beige. For $1,500 more, Dakota leather can be specified in Ivory White, Black, or Cognac, each with contrast stitching. The most luxurious option is Nappa leather in the same colors as the Dakota leather, although Mocha replaces Cognac in this case. These seats cost $2,500 but you can only specify them in tandem with the Convenience and Luxury Seating packages for an overall total of $4,350. There are numerous no-cost trim options like Fine Wood open-pored Ash Grain, Grey Poplar wood, and Fineline Cove matte finish wood.

Moving up to the M550i introduces standard aluminum Rhombicle Smoke Grey trim, standard Dakota leather seats, and a SensaTec dashboard. However, both the aluminum Rhombicle trim and Dakota leather are optionally available on other trims for an added cost/via package upgrades. On the range-topper, Nappa leather is offered in the same colors but at a less expensive $1,000. Uniquely, the M550i can be specified with Individual Piano Black trim or Plum Brown wood trim, with both going for $1,080.

5 Series Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

Behind the rear seats, the BMW’s trunk can accommodate 14 cubic feet of groceries or whatever else you can think of. It’s a large, well-shaped area that is bigger than the E-Class’s trunk but in line with most of the competition. A maximum of six carry-on suitcases can be accommodated. Small nets in the trunk area can be used to secure tinier items, and if you need to transport larger items, the rear seats fold in a 40/20/40 split.

Interior storage is acceptable. The options here include a front center console, front-seatback storage, cupholders for both front and rear occupants, an average-sized glovebox, and door pockets that can accommodate water bottles.

5 Series Sedan Infotainment and Features


The 530i may be the entry-level variant, but it doesn’t feel sparse from behind the wheel. This model comes with comfort access keyless entry, 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a driver’s memory system for the seat and steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, a two-way power glass moonroof, auto-dimming mirrors (interior rearview and driver’s side mirrors), multi-color ambient lighting, and a universal garage door opener. Keeping the driver and passengers as safe as possible are features like a rearview camera, front/rear park distance control, forward collision warning, active blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and rain-sensing windshield wipers.

The 530e and 540i largely mirror the 530i’s specification level, although the 530e does also come with an acoustic warning system for pedestrians. The M550i gets a few tasty extras like 20-way power multi-contour front seats, remote engine start, and three-stage heated front seats. Digging into the options list can get expensive quickly, but BMW offers added features like a head-up display, gesture control for the infotainment system, adaptive cruise control, parking assistance, ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, heated rear seats, and a heated steering wheel.


The new larger 12.3-inch touchscreen is as good as expected, and the iDrive system can be controlled by the touchscreen, voice, or the excellent wheel control system in the center console. As ever, there’s a learning curve to BMW’s iDrive system, but it becomes intuitive quickly. Gesture control comes across as gimmicky and has been glitchy, but once you get the drift, it’s actually now quite useful for basic controls like pausing music or changing the volume.

Unlike some of its rivals (we’re looking at you, Volvo) BMW has stuck with keeping buttons for commonly used systems like the HVAC. Other interiors might look cleaner and more modern without buttons, but we’re not fans of multiple touch screen inputs to make a simple adjustment or even having to look at the screen to see where we’re touching.

Standard features include Apple CarPlay, and now Android Auto has joined the stable. Alongside those are USB connectivity, normal Bluetooth streaming, HD Radio, and navigation. The 530i and 540i also come with a 12-speaker sound system, while the M550i comes with a Harman Kardon sound system and Sirius XM as standard.

5 Series Sedan Problems and Reliability

J.D. Power’s rating for the 2021 BMW 5 Series is 76 out of a possible 100, which sees it slot in just above competitors like the Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Genesis G80 in consumer-verified reviews. For now, the 2021 5 Series remains recall-free, but last year’s model suffered four recalls. One of these was for debris in the hybrid model’s battery, two issues were both for faults with the rearview camera’s display that incorrectly displayed rearward images, and the final one was for output shafts that could break, causing a parked vehicle to roll. Despite this, there don’t appear to be any serious reliability concerns.

BMW supplies a competitive four-year/50,000-mile limited warranty, four years of roadside assistance, and 12 years of rust perforation coverage. Complimentary scheduled maintenance is a welcome extra and runs for three years or 36,000 miles.


  • Basic:

    4 Yearsย ย 50,000 Miles

  • Drivetrain:

    4 Yearsย ย 50,000 Miles

  • Corrosion:

    12 Yearsย ย Unlimited Miles

  • Roadside Assistance:

    4 Yearsย ย Unlimited Miles

  • Maintenance:

    3 Yearsย ย 36,000 Miles

5 Series Sedan Safety

A crashworthiness review of the BMW 5 Series has not yet been undertaken by the NHTSA. However, the IIHS has evaluated the sedan and awarded it maximum Good ratings for every crashworthiness test, and the same applies to crash avoidance and mitigation.

Key Safety Features

All BMW 5 Series models come with expected safety systems like dynamic stability control, dynamic traction control, and ABS brakes. The airbag suite includes dual-threshold, dual-stage deploying front airbags, front side airbags, and head airbags for all outboard seating positions.

The usual rearview camera is joined by dynamic cruise control, adaptive full LED headlights, automatic high beams, and front/rear park distance control. BMW’s Active Driving Assistant comprises forward collision warning, speed limit info, lane departure warning, and active blind-spot detection. An accident detection system is equipped, along with post-crash braking and a fatigue/focus alert feature. There are many options on offer like a surround-view camera system with 3D view, adaptive cruise control, an extended traffic jam assistant, an evasion aid, a steering/lane control assistant, and automatic parking. By virtue of its ability to run without the aid of the gas engine, the 530e comes with an acoustic warning system for pedestrians.

Verdict: ๐ŸIs the 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan a good car?

BMW’s 5 Series is still the benchmark for a full-size performance sedan despite losing a tiny bit of its edge. The benefit is an even more superior day-to-day ride with a strong engine and drivetrain selection. Not only is it incredibly comfortable, but it holds onto the 5 Series reputation of being a driver’s car. It’s also a technophile’s car, but BMW has worked hard to make sure everything is easy to use with just a little effort needed to push through the learning curve. Add to that the excellent build quality, and you have an excellent car for those willing to pay the premium. It’s still no surprise the BMW 5 Series is the default choice for the executive mid-size sedan.

If it sounds like the car for you, this is about as good as this generation will get. BMW has had time to work out the kinks, and while the updates are by the numbers, it’s a solid one – particularly the mild hybrid added to the mid-range models.

๐Ÿš˜What’s the Price of the BMW 5 Series Sedan?

The 2021 BMW 5 Series has a base price of $54,200 for the RWD 530i, increasing to $56,500 for the 530i xDrive. The plug-in hybrid 530e costs $57,200 and the 530e xDrive goes for $59,500. However, both these hybrid models could qualify for a federal tax credit of up to $5,836. At mid-range level, the 540i has an MSRP of $59,450 and the 540i xDrive will cost $61,750. Topping the lineup is the M550i xDrive with a price of $76,800. All of these prices exclude the brand’s US destination charge of $995. When equipped with every available extra, the BMW 5 Series price – including the delivery charge – climbs to over $100,000 in the case of the M550i.

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Models

As it did last year, the BMW 5 Series range is available in seven trims in the USA: 530i, 530i xDrive, 530e, 530e xDrive, 540i, 540i xDrive, and M550i xDrive. All configurations share an eight-speed automatic transmission, but the 530i variants use a 248-hp 2.0-liter turbo-four. The 530e PHEVs include an electric motor with their 2.0-liter turbo-four power plants, improving outputs to 288 hp. The 540i employs a 3.0-liter turbo inline-six with a 48-volt starter-generator to produce 335 hp, while the M550i has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 with 523 hp. Anything with an xDrive suffix merely adds all-wheel-drive to the mix.

At base level, the 530i ships with 18-inch alloy wheels, power-folding mirrors, and a power moonroof. Inside, perforated SensaTec upholstery covers the seats. There’s a standard 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and a new 12.3-inch touchscreen interface, along with 16-way power-adjustable front seats, a 12-speaker sound system, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and blind-spot detection.

Following this is the plug-in hybrid 530e. It has an electric motor enabling it to be driven in electric-only mode for short distances. It matches the 530i’s feature count but has a smaller gas tank, a charging cable, an acoustic pedestrian warning system, and a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery for a 21-mile electric range.

Next is the mid-range 540i. It’s primarily distinguished from the 530i by its impressive 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine mated with a mild-hybrid system that improves efficiency. Otherwise, all the same features like LED headlights and dynamic cruise control apply.

Finally, the M550i xDrive boasts a much larger V8 engine that gives it spectacular performance. An adaptive M suspension and an M sport rear differential are equipped as well. It comes with 19-inch wheels, Shadowline exterior trim, and an M aerodynamic kit. Inside, it gains 20-way power front seats, an M steering wheel, heated front seats, and a Harman Kardon sound system.

See All 2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

On the base 530i, the $3,300 M Sport package equips Shadowline exterior trim, an M steering wheel, and much more sporty 19-inch Y-spoke wheels. There are several packages that enable you to spec more convenience features, beginning with the Convenience package at $850. This adds heated front seats, remote engine start, and a power trunk lid. The more comprehensive Executive package costs $3,600 and includes a head-up display, gesture control, wireless charging, and more. Adaptive cruise control can be added via the $1,700 Driving Assistance Plus package which also includes a steering/lane control assistant, traffic jam assist, and an evasion aid.

For the 530e, the same packages apply but at different prices – the M Sport upgrade is $2,500, for instance. The 540i and 540i xDrive offer most of the same upgrades but also add the $3,500 Dynamic Handling package with dynamic dampers, active roll stabilization, and adaptive drive for flatter cornering.

For the M550i, the Executive package goes for $2,150 and packs in a head-up display, gesture, control, enhanced USB/Bluetooth, and more. A 16-speaker Bowers & Wilkins Diamond surround sound system can also be equipped to this variant for $3,400.

๐Ÿš—What BMW 5 Series Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The 540i is still the sweet spot in terms of price and in terms of a balance between performance, tech features, and day-to-day economy. As a commuter or for those traveling for work, we would look at adding a few options like the Executive Package for $3,600 to take advantage of things like a head-up display, gesture control, wireless charging, and the Dynamic Handling package for when it’s time to take the back road home. You’ll still come out spending less than on the M550i, although we recommend performance hounds test drive the M550i before jumping straight into the M5.

Check out other BMW 5 Series Styles

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan Comparisons

Audi A6Audi

Mercedes-Benz E-Class SedanMercedes-Benz

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan vs Audi A6

Other than the E-Class, the Audi A6 is the other traditional rival of the 5 Series. Much like the BMW, the A6 is a restrained but classy affair, both inside and out. Its highlights include peerless build quality, a serene ride, and an even more high-tech cabin that is mostly devoid of physical knobs and switches. Starting at a similar price point, the base Audi A6 can keep up with the 530i but doesn’t have a rear-wheel-drive option as every A6 gets the quattro AWD system. Above this, the 5 Series proves to be the swifter car between these two. To drive, the BMW is a bit sharper by comparison but both manage to blend athletic handling with a calm ride. The cabins are similarly spacious, but the BMW has a slightly larger trunk. It’s not easy to separate these two, but the BMW’s better performance, better economy, and the availability of that powerful V8 give it the edge.

See Audi A6 Review

2021 BMW 5 Series Sedan vs Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class underwent its own comprehensive facelift for the 2021 model year. Whether you like the stylistic changes or not will come down to personal taste, but there’s no disputing that the E-Class has the most dashing cabin in this class. The dual 12.3-inch screens, plush materials, and classy detailing make the BMW’s cabin look decidedly somber. Like the 540i, the mid-range E450 also uses an inline-six engine with electric assistance, but the BMW is quicker and, in RWD form, more efficient. The base model E350 and the more expensive E53 AMG are both slower than the equivalent 5 Series. To drive, the E-Class is immensely comfortable while the 5 Series encourages you to push it a bit harder. In most cases, the margins between these two are so slim that brand preference will likely be the deciding factor.

See Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedan Review

BMW 5 Series Sedan Popular Comparisons