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BMW 5 Series

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5 Series is the collective name for a line of cars produced by BMW.  The BMW 5 Series consists of several models, and originally specific model names depended on the displacement of the engine.  For example, a 5 Series with a 2.8-liter engine would be a BMW 528e and one with a 3.0-liter engine is the 530xi.

The 5 Series includes the models 525i, 528e, 528i, 530i, 530xi, 530xd, 533i, 535d, and M5.


The following section is an excerpt from Wikipedia's BMW 5 Series page on 22 April 2016, text available via the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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.

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

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

Currently, six main generations of BMW 5 Series have followed one another:

The E12, from 1972 to 1981
The E28, from 1981 to 1988
The E34, from 1988 to 1996
The E39, from 1996 to 2003
The E60, from 2004 to 2010.
The F10/F11, since 2010.

Most years have seen a Motorsport version of the 5 series, called the BMW M5.

First generation (E12; 1972–1981)

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, based on the Bertone 1970 BMW Garmisch 2002ti Geneva show car. 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.

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

Second generation (E28; 1982–1987)

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.

Third generation (E34; 1988–1995)

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. 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. 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. It was also equipped with automatic stability control (ASC) or traction control (ASC+T) in later years on higher-specification variants.

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.

Fourth generation (E39; 1996–2003)

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 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. 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. 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. 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". The E39 BMW 5-series was considered the benchmark of its class and Consumer Reports gave the 2001 530i its highest car rating ever.

The BMW E39 M5 uses the BMW S62 V8 engine.

Fifth generation (E60/E61; 2004–2010)

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.

The E60 represented a significant step forward in technology over the previous generation. 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.

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.

Sixth generation (F10/F11/F07; 2011–present)

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.

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. 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.

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. 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)

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.

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. The F07 also features frameless doors and a double-pane liftgate trunk.

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


BMW ActiveHybrid5 ActiveHybrid5
Photo ©2013 Bill Crittenden
View photo of BMW ActiveHybrid5 - 735KB

Article Index

4 February 2014History of the BMW 5 SeriesJohn Stone
11 June 2015BMW of North America, LLC, Receipt of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncomplianceFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey Giuseppe)
25 May 2017BMW of North America, LLC, Denial of Petition for Decision of Inconsequential NoncomplianceFederal Register: NHTSA (Jeffrey M. Giuseppe)


DateDocument Name & DetailsDocuments
30 September 2010NHTSA Recall 10V446000
2004-2010 BMW 5-Series, 2004-2010 BMW 6-Series, 2002-2008 BMW 7-Series
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
Recall Page - 1 page
30 September 2010Recall Campaign, Brake Vacuum Pump
From: Jan Urbahn, BMW Group
To: Daniel Smith, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

- 265KB - 2 pages
From: Jennifer Timian, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
To: Jan Urbahn, BMW of North America, LLC

- 26KB - 3 pages
1 October 2010Upcoming Recall Campaign - 5, 6, 7 Series Brake Vacuum Pump
From: BMW North America
To: BMS Message Monitors

- 36KB - 1 page
November 2010Recall Campaign 10V- 446: Inspect Brake Booster Vacuum Supply Line
- 117KB - 6 pages
November 2010Recall Campaign No. 10V-446, Brake Vacuum Pump
From: BMW of North America
To: BMW Owners

- 103KB - 3 pages
9 November 2010Recall Campaign, Brake Vacuum Pump
From: Jan Urbahn, BMW Group
To: Claude Harris, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

- 329KB - 3 pages
28 January 2011Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page
March 2011Recall Campaign 10V- 446: Inspect Brake Booster Vacuum Supply Line
- 119KB - 7 pages
April 2011Recall Campaign 10V- 446: Inspect Brake Booster Vacuum Supply Line
- 118KB - 7 pages
29 April 2011Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page
8 July 2011Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page
28 October 2011Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page
27 January 2012Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page
30 April 2012Safety Recall Quarterly Report Information
Brake Vacuum Pump 2002-10 BMW 5-, 6-, 7-Series / 8-, 12-cylinder engine

- 38KB - 1 page

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