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2023 BMW 5 Series: Choosing the Right Trim


In the 2023 BMW 5 Series, you’ll find a spacious, confident sedan endowed with the kind of acceleration, ride, and handling for which BMW is renowned. With a wide range of models, there’s a 5 Series for every type of BMW driver. On one end, there’s the 4-cylinder turbocharged 530i, and at the other extreme, the fire-breathing twin-turbocharged V8 in the M5. In between these two are various V6 and V8 derivatives, not to mention a plug-in hybrid model.

As good as it is, the BMW 5 Series faces stiff competition from all sides, be it equally impressive performance sedans like Audi A6/S6, Cadillac CT5/CT5-V, and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, or less expensive competitors such as the Genesis G80 and Infiniti Q50.

2023 BMW 530i
(starting at $54,800)

The least expensive 5 Series is the 530i, and its all-wheel-drive (AWD) twin, the 530i xDrive. Powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the 530i is the 5 Series for those seeking a comfortable balance among luxury, performance, and fuel economy.

In typical BWM fashion, the 530i’s low price comes by placing many luxury and technology features on the options list. And truth be told, we doubt you’ll find a base model with no options on a dealer lot.

The 530i comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning with steering correction, lane-keeping assist, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic detection. It also has front and rear parking sensors, a tire-pressure monitor, and a rearview monitor.

The 530i’s attractive exterior touts 18-inch alloy wheels surrounded by run-flat tires, adaptive LED headlights, power-folding heated side mirrors, and a power moonroof.

The driver’s side mirror can dim automatically when sensing bright lights approaching from the rear. Similarly, automatic high-beam headlights illuminate in low-light situations and dim themselves when sensing oncoming traffic. The 530i’s windshield wipers automatically activate when sensing rain and turn on the headlights too. Heated washer-fluid jets ensure ice buildup won’t be an issue.

BMW’s Comfort Access keyless entry allows locking and unlocking of the doors by touching the door handle and starting the car with a push of a button.

Comfort and convenience features abound in the 530i, highlighted by multi-adjustable power sport front seats with 2-way power side bolsters, driver’s seat memory, a power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and voice-activated dual-zone automatic climate control.

BMW’s SensaTec simulated leather covers the seats, but buyers can upgrade them with various leather upholstery options. Multicolor ambient interior lighting creates a soothing environment.

BMW’s Live Cockpit Professional features a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen, the latter controlled via iDrive 7.0, which operates either by voice, touchscreen, or a touchpad controller. The infotainment system includes navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a 205-watt 12-speaker sound system.

BMW includes its Connected Services but requires a subscription fee after the trial period ends. Services include remote start via a smartphone, a Wi-Fi hot spot, onboard trip advisor, traffic updates, and more.

The optional equipment list for the 530i is nearly as long as its standard roster. Buyers can opt for several exterior upgrades, including Shadowline exterior trim, wheels ranging in size from 18 to 20 inches, Dakota or Nappa leather upholstery, and numerous wood interior trim choices.

Additional packages include adaptive cruise control, heated front and rear seats, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a power rear sunshade, side-window sunshades, and a power trunk lid.

Extended Traffic Jam Assist works with the adaptive cruise control, providing partially automated steering on certain roads and speeds up to 40 mph.

Other notable options include 20-way multi-contour ventilated front seats, massaging front seats, a heated steering wheel, a wireless charging pad, a head-up display, and M Sport performance brakes.

Opting for the AWD 530i xDrive adds another $2,300 to the bottom line.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW 530i costs $55,795. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing with zero down, you can expect a monthly payment of about $1,003. See 2023 BMW 530i models for sale

2023 BMW 530i includes:

  • Sport seats – With multiple power adjustments, it’s easy to find a comfortable driving position. Power side bolsters and extendable thigh support up the comfort quotient.
  • Dual-zone climate control – The driver and front passenger control their temperature zones. Operators can activate it via voice control.
  • Power moonroof – Even when closed, the tinted glass allows in more light creating a more open feel in the cabin.
  • Driver-assist systems – The 530i’s numerous driver aids watch for vehicles or events that may elude the driver, helping keep everyone onboard and outside the car safe and sound.

2023 BMW 540i
(starting at $61,600)

With the 530i as its base, the 540i adds a 335-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter 6-cylinder engine paired with a 48-volt mild-hybrid starter/generator. The 540i xDrive ($63,900) adds AWD.

While the 530i and 540i are nearly identical in standard and optional features, the 540i goes a step further with 19-inch V-spoke wheels and disc brakes with regenerative braking.

In addition to the 530i’s optional equipment, the 540i offers a Dynamic Handling Package that brings Active Roll Stabilization, adaptive shock dampers, and Adaptive Drive. Adaptive Drive utilizes the package’s other two features to help maximize control and minimize body roll when hard cornering or making a sudden course correction.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW 540i costs $62,595. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, you can expect a monthly payment of about $1,125. See 2023 BMW 540i models for sale

2023 BMW 530e
(starting at $56,400)

The 530e is a plug-in version of the 530i, nearly identical in features and options but with a few critical differences. As with the other 5 Series models, an AWD 530e xDrive model is available for an additional $2,300.

A peek under the 530e’s hood reveals a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder gasoline engine with an integrated 107-hp electric motor. The combined output is 288 hp. The 530e includes a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery pack and a 3.7-kW AC charger.

In addition to being more fuel-efficient, the 530e can travel up to 21 miles solely on electric power. Its battery pack takes about three hours to recharge using a household 240-volt Level 2 charger.

But the hybrid’s most endearing feature is its XtraBoost setting. When activated, XtraBoost adds 40 hp for up to 10 seconds, delivering rapid sprints necessary when merging on the freeway, darting across an intersection, or satisfying the urge to go really fast, really quick.

When shut off, the 530e’s interior looks much like the 530i. Push the starter button, however, and subtle differences quickly appear, with hybrid readouts and information displayed in the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen.

You’ll also notice an e-drive button with Auto, Max, and Battery Control modes located next to the shift lever.

The 530e upgrades to 19-inch V-spoke wheels and features an acoustic protection system that uses an external speaker to alert pedestrians and bicyclists to your presence.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW 530e costs $57,395. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, you can expect a monthly payment of approximately $1,031. See 2023 BMW 530e models for sale

2023 BMW 530e includes:

  • Hybrid powertrain – Helps improve overall fuel economy, with the ability to run up to 21 miles solely on electric power or temporarily give a quick burst of acceleration when using the gas engine.
  • 19-inch V-spoke wheels – These have a particularly sinister look and, refreshingly, are not wrapped in narrow or low-rolling resistant tires like so many other hybrid setups.
  • Available heated and ventilated front seats – These provide warmth in the winter and circulate cool air in summer, making for a more pleasant year-round driving experience.
  • Available Harman Kardon audio – With 16 speakers, the Harman Kardon audio system delivers full, robust audio reproduction at volume levels that defy distortion.

2023 BMW M550i xDrive
(starting at $79,900)

For driving enthusiasts, the BMW M550i xDrive elevates the 5 Series to a bona fide performance sedan without having the lofty price tag of the sizzling hot M5. It’s the perfect middle child between driving a comfortable luxury sedan and an Autobahn burner.

Building off the 540i platform, the M550i xDrive adds standard AWD, a 523-hp turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, a sport exhaust, and an adaptive M suspension with electronically controlled dampers.

Additional performance features include M Sport brakes, an M Sport differential, an M aerodynamic body kit, 19-inch M Y-spoke wheels, and high-performance run-flat tires.

The BMW M550i gains a rear spoiler and illuminated door sill finishers, plus a gray accent color on the mirror caps, grille, and front air intakes. It also sports Shadowline exterior trim.

Inside the cabin, the M550i borrows from the 540i’s optional equipment, adding an M steering wheel, multi-contour heated sport front seats, a wireless charging pad, a SensaTec-wrapped dash pad, Dakota leather upholstery, and a 464-watt 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system.

BMW’s Advanced Key & Key Memory remembers individual users’ last settings for climate, radio settings, power seat and mirrors, central locking, and lighting preferences.

Among the M550i’s more notable options is the Dynamic Handling Package, which brings Integral Active Steering that adjusts the amount of steering effort depending on speed.

Also in the package are Active Roll Stabilization and Adaptive M Suspension Professional, the latter lowering the vehicle’s ride height and adjusting shock dampers within a range of settings from comfortable daily driver to razor-sharp cornering machine.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW M550i xDrive costs $80,895. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, you can expect a monthly payment of about $1,454. See 2023 BMW M550i xDrive models for sale

2023 BMW M550i xDrive includes:

  • M Sport Brakes – Large performance rotors and brake pads improve stopping power and help limit brake fade after repeated use.
  • Multi-contour sport seats – These offer multiple adjustments, including power adjustment for shoulder and thigh support, power-adjustable side bolsters, and memory for both the driver and passenger seats.
  • V8 power – The M550i’s turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 is a dynamo, capable of rocketing the car to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds.
  • Adaptive M Suspension – Electronically adjusts suspension damping in real-time, delivering the exact firmness necessary depending on the situation.

2023 BMW M5
(starting at $107,900)

The most powerful and thrilling of the 5 Series sedans, the M5 is not for the faint of heart. Or the budget-minded. It delivers supercar-like performance in a 4-door sedan that can also serve as a daily driver.

Building off the M550i xDrive, the M5 adds a more powerful version of the 4.4-liter V8, rated at 600 hp (or 617 hp when equipped with the available Competition Sport Package).

A specially tuned 8-speed M Sport transmission includes paddle shifters for a more hands-on experience. At the same time, the M xDrive AWD system gets reconfigured for high-speed performance driving, and it even can revert to rear-wheel drive (RWD) for some tail-out enthusiastic driving.

Additional M5 equipment includes an M performance dual exhaust, M suspension, M-developed power steering, and an Active M differential.

On the comfort and convenience front, the M5 gains upgraded sport seats with larger bolsters covered in Merino leather, the Harman Kardon sound system, an M-specific head-up display, a heated M steering wheel, and a reverse tilt-down passenger-side mirror.

In addition to the options packages offered on the other 5 Series trims, the M5 provides unique upgrades, such as carbon-ceramic brakes ($8,500). The M Driver’s Package raises the M5’s top speed and includes a daylong high-performance driving class at one of BMW’s Performance Centers.

The Competition Package adds 17 additional hp, 20-inch wheels, extended high-gloss black styling elements, M striped front seatbelts, M logos on the seats and seatbelts, and exclusive Midrand Beige leather upholstery.

With the $995 destination fee, the 2023 BMW M5 costs $108,895. On a 60-month loan at 3% financing and zero down, you can expect a monthly payment of about $1,957. See 2023 BMW M5 models for sale

2023 BMW M5 includes:

  • M sport seats – These have larger side and shoulder bolsters to hold occupants firmly in place during spirited drives.
  • M xDrive – You get your choice of standard AWD traction, a performance mode with a rear bias, or rear-drive only.
  • Available Competition Package – Adds more dynamic performance to the M5 while adding to the exclusivity of the interior.
  • Available M Driver’s Package – If you’ve got one of the fastest cars on the planet, it might be a good idea to learn how to drive it. This package includes a high-performance driving school at one of the three BMW Performance Centers.

FAQ

What is the best 2023 BMW 5 Series?

If you’re looking for unparalleled performance, the M5 is the car to get. However, if you don’t have a cool $110,000 sitting around, the M550i xDrive is a close runner-up. Those not looking for barn-burning performance might be very happy with the 530e plug-in hybrid, which has all the features of the 530i but better fuel economy and acceleration.

How many miles per gallon does the 2023 BMW 5 Series get?

According to the EPA, you can expect the BMW 530i to get 25 mpg city/33 mpg highway/28 mpg combined. The all-wheel-drive 530i xDrive gets 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway/26 mpg combined.

Moving to the BMW 540i brings figures of 25 mpg city/32 mpg city/27 mpg combined, and for the 540i xDrive, 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway/25 mpg combined.

The BMW 530e Plug-in Hybrid attains the best fuel economy, at 26 mpg combined and 64 mpge. The 530e xDrive drops to 25 mpg combined and 62 mpge.

The V8-powered BMW M550i xDrive returns 17 mpg city/25 mpg highway/20 mpg combined, while the M5 sees figures of 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway/17 mpg combined.

Which 2023 BMW 5 Series offers the most safety?

All BMW 5 Series sedans perform well in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), although none received a Top Safety Pick accolade. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has not yet tested the 5 Series.

Regardless of which trim you choose, we’d advise opting for the other driver-assist systems like adaptive cruise control, as you can never have too many safety systems.

Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo
Joe Tralongo is a longtime contributor who started in the industry writing competitive comparison books for a number of manufacturers, before moving on in 2002 to become a freelance automotive journalist. He’s well regarded for his keen eye for detail, as well as his ability to translate complex mechanical terminology into user-friendly explanations. Joe has worked for a number of outlets as... Read More about Joe Tralongo

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