BMW’s 5-Series have traditionally been high-performance sports sedans that focused on power and handling over comfort. However, BMW aims to change all that with its newest 2020 model. This redesign takes the 5-Series up a notch in terms of luxury. The roomier new 5-Series can be equipped with a wide range of features and amenities including massaging seats, soft-close doors, and several driver-assistance options. The 2020 models also come with a standard turbocharged four-cylinder engine. There’s also a green option – an upgraded plug-in gas/electric hybrid engine. Or the twin-turbo V-8 engine for more power. Clearly, BMW is aiming for the newest 5-Series to be all things to all people. Here’s what else you need to know about the 2020 5-Series.

Exterior Styling

In terms of its exterior, the 2020 BMW 5-Series makes subtle improvements on what was already a very stylish sedan. The front has slimmer headlights and a revised grille. However, the new grille is not nearly as massive as those found on the 7-Series and X7, which are truly massive. Additionally, the front bumper has also been redesigned. These changes are subtle, but they help to give the sedan a sleeker look.

As for the rear, the sedan has been outfitted with reshaped taillights to match the 7-Series. The rear bumper has also been redesigned somewhat, although, again, the changes are subtle. While the exterior changes might seem minor, it is important to keep in mind that this is simply a refresh and not an entire new generation.

Engine and Performance

In addition to the luxurious amenities, the biggest changes to the 5-Series come in terms of the engine options and overall performance. BMW has made improved performance a big part of its 2020 model. This includes a power bump to the engine of the M550i model from 456 horsepower to 523 horsepower. On the other end of the spectrum, a larger 12-kWh battery pack is in the 530e plug-in hybrid model. The M550i models also now come with the M Sport Differential package as standard. Sadly, the previous diesel 540d model has been discontinued by BMW.

The mid-range 5-Series models come equipped with either a four-cylinder engine in the 530i or a six-cylinder engine option in the 540i. Each pairs with an eight-speed automatic transmission that shifts quickly to make the most of available power. However, it is the twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine in the M550i that reminds owners that the 5-Series is still a “sports” sedan.

As for handling, all of the 5-Series models are competent. The steering is a little light and some critics have claimed it feels more designed for pleasure than performance. As for the plug-in hybrid option, it uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and an electric motor to produce 248 horsepower. It’s not as beefy, but it will help keep your conscience a bit clearer when it comes to emissions and climate change.

Trimlines and Prices

The 2020 BMW 5-Series comes in four trimlines, ranging from the base model 530i, the 530e gas/electric hybrid, the six-cylinder engine 540i, and the top tier high-performance M550i that comes fitted with a hefty V8 engine. The main differences among the trim packages revolve around the engines and their performance. Most of the interior features come standard among all four 5-Series models. In terms of pricing, it ranges from $54,895 for the base model 530i and $60,445 for the 540i. The top level M550i will set you back $77,645. The hybrid version starts at $54,895.


As already mentioned, the 2020 5-Series has been revamped to provide a much more luxurious cabin and comfortable driving experience. Numerous enhancements make the 2020 model a noticeable improvement over its predecessors, which were often criticized for being “drab” and not containing a lot of features and extras. In the new 5-Series, BMW has made a conscious decision to increase the available space, especially for rear-seat passengers. The carmaker has also added plenty of cutting-edge technology that is sure to impress, including 20-way multi-contour front seats that have been described as “plush comfort.”

The 2020 5-Series also has a large trunk that is finally on par with its competitors. Note though that the  hybrid 530e version has four less cubic feet of trunk space than non-hybrid models, to accommodate the battery. There is also dual climate control available, plenty of cup holders, and great views from both the front and back seats of the car.

Features and Equipment

Adding to the luxury of the new 5-Series is an impressive array of technology, including a large 10.2-inch high-resolution central display that comes standard in every trimline. The display is controlled by either BMW’s iDrive rotary knob or through voice commands. GPS navigation and Bluetooth streaming audio also come standard, although you have to pay extra for SiriusXM satellite radio.

Apple CarPlay is standard but after the first year, users must pay a subscription fee to keep using it. Android Auto is not available though, which is a bummer. BMW is introducing a new technology in the called “Gesture Control” that enables driver or passengers to input certain commands using hand gestures. However, this feature has been criticized as “gimmicky” and “unhelpful.” So the jury is out on that one, so far.


When it comes to safety, the 5-Series performed well in crash-tests. It earned top marks from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety and been awarded a “Top Safety Pick+” award. Plenty of driver-assistance features come standard, including automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and available adaptive cruise control.

Fuel Economy and Warranty Coverage

On top of their already impressive power, the engines offered in the new 5-Series are extremely efficient. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) places both the four-cylinder 530i and six-cylinder 540i near the top of their respective classes. Both cars deliver 34 and 31 miles per gallon respectively. The 530e plug-in hybrid gets 39 miles per gallon.

BMW’s warranty and complimentary scheduled maintenance are about average. The new 5-Series comes with limited warranty coverage that includes four years or 50,000 miles, as well as a powertrain warranty that is good for four years or 50,000 miles. It also has complimentary scheduled maintenance for three years or 36,000 miles.

The Good

  • A more specious cabin.
  • Lots of technology that comes standard across all trimlines.
  • Variety of efficient engine options.

The Not So Good

  • Warranty coverage is average, at best.
  • Some new features, such as “Gesture Control,” are gimmicky.
  • No diesel option available among the 2020 5-Series.

The Last Word

If you love BMW sedans, then the new 2020 5-Series gives you plenty to cheer about. It continues the tradition of sporty sedans while improving on the interior luxury and technology features that today’s car buyers want and expect – especially when paying top dollar for their ride. Good fuel efficiency and a range of engine options only add to the luster of the new 5-Series. While there are a few things to quibble about, overall the 2020 5-Series keeps what people loved about this sporty sedan while making targeted improvements that owners are sure to appreciate.


Devon is a writer, editor, and veteran of the online publishing world. He has a particular love for classic muscle cars.