Evan Riley/ December 10, 2021/ Used BMW in Cincinnati

Are you a die-hard BMW fan looking to save money on your next vehicle? If so, it’s time to start your search for a used BMW in Cincinnati with us. As the leading BMW dealer in the region, we are proud to carry the BMW nameplate, especially when it means keeping models like the iconic BMW 5 Series on our lot. The 5 Series is one of BMW’s most celebrated models and has been a fixture in the BMW lineup for decades, but what makes the 5 Series so special?

The sophisticated sports sedan instantly distinguished itself with its debut in the 1970s because of its impressive on-road performance, interior luxury, and sophistication. This quickly earned it a new classification as a luxury sports car. Remarkably, the 5 Series has improved upon those characteristics with each generation and raised the standards of excellence across the segment. Because of this, the luxury sports sedan is a remarkable find on the used lot that puts you behind the wheel of a sleek sedan without the price tag of a new luxury car.

Early Generations (1972-2003)

To fully appreciate everything the BMW 5 Series has to offer requires us to start at the beginning. The first-generation 5 Series debuted in the United States in 1975 at a time when family sedans were cumbersome land yachts that lacked sophistication and agility. The 5 Series proved that a family sedan could be powerful and luxurious with its 176-horsepower engine, exceptional handling and ride quality, and sophisticated design. The second-generation 5 Series built on these characteristics in the 1980s as BMW added a diesel engine to the lineup and boosted the sedan’s power to 182 horses, which would increase to 208 horsepower with the third-generation model.

With consumers demanding more power and better performance from the 5 Series in the early 1990s, BMW responded with the fourth-generation model. Larger but lighter than its predecessors, thanks to the use of aluminum components, the 5 Series offered a smoother ride and improved handling. The available Sport Package took this performance even further, making the 5 Series more responsive, agile, and fun to drive, all of which were well received.

A grey 2004 BMW 5 Series sedan is shown driving near a body of water.

Fifth Generation (2004-2010)

The fifth-generation 5 Series came in with a bang in 2004 with its new platform and updated chassis that further improved its handling and on-road performance. This makes it a great buy on the used lot, especially if you can find a model at the later end of the generation. These models offer an impressive suite of technology and features like BMW’s iDrive control system, BMW Assist, Active Cruise Control, and a head-up display. Upgraded airbags and BMW’s integrated front and rear-seat Head Protection System work behind the scenes to enhance your safety in the event of a collision, which means greater peace of mind when you’re on the road.

Apart from these innovative tools, the fifth-generation 5 Series offers plenty of luxuries and conveniences that make your time behind the wheel more enjoyable. The model’s updated interior design offers more seating space in the rear, with some models equipped with heated rear seats, which your passengers in the backseat will appreciate. The two-way power moonroof makes the cabin feel more spacious, while the automatic climate control system ensures everyone is comfortable wherever they’re sitting. Other notable features to look for are the upgraded 13-speaker premium sound system and the rear-seat entertainment package, the latter of which is ideal for keeping your passengers entertained in the backseat.

Sixth Generation (2010-2016)

If you’re looking for newer technology without having to pay a premium, start your search for a sixth-generation 5 Series. The 2010 5 Series marks the beginning of the generation and brings notable changes to the sedan. It features major improvements to BMW’s iDrive and navigation systems, as well as upgraded driver-assist technology. Available packages further set the 5 Series apart with exclusive interior and exterior detailing that stretch from the headliner and door sills to the wheels.

With these welcome improvements to the 5 Series, the sedan saw few changes to its design throughout the generation. This means you’re getting pretty much the same vehicle whether you find a 2010 model or a 2016 model on the used lot. The minimal changes to the 5 Series allowed BMW to focus on extending the sedan’s lineup with the addition of the ActiveHybrid 5 in 2012, which is a great option if you’re looking for a fuel-efficient alternative to the traditional 5 Series. The M5 was also redesigned in 2013 and is an exceptional find for those looking for more power. Its twin-turbo V8 engine practically roars to life as it churns out 560 horses.

A white 2017 used BMW 5 Series is shown parked in Cincinnati.

Seventh Generation (2017-Present)

BMW unleashed every tool and trick in its wheelhouse to redesign the 5 Series for its seventh-generation debut in 2017, making this generation the best and most attractive option on the used lot. Sporty and elegant, the 2017 5 Series sits on a new chassis, features a redesigned interior, and offers several new engine options that promise greater efficiency and power. It’s also laden with innovative features and luxuries, from the leather upholstery to the 10.2-inch display that’s home to smartphone integration.

The seventh-generation 5 Series also impresses with its long list of driver-assist and safety features. And don’t forget that you’ll find the M550i xDrive and the electric 530e iPerformance in the 5 Series lineup, which gives you high-performance and plug-in options depending on your driving needs. You won’t find many changes in this generation of the 5 Series unless you’re looking for the diesel powertrain, which BMW discontinued during the 2019 model year.

If you’re willing to spend a little more on a luxury sports sedan, you’re smart to invest in a newer 5 Series. Continuing to blend luxury and performance, these newer models are truly impressive with enhanced connectivity features, keyless unlocking for adding convenience, heated seats, and greater capability. The plug-in hybrid boasts a larger battery and a more powerful electric motor, while the M550i sees an increase in power and torque that brings the sports car to life wherever the road leads. Newer models build on these improvements with updated headlights and exterior detailing, smartphone integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and dual 12.3-inch standard displays.

Luxury and Performance Never Looked So Good

Engaging, innovative, sophisticated, stylish, and luxurious are only a few ways to describe the BMW 5 Series. On its debut, the 5 Series immediately distinguished itself as a sedan that effortlessly combined luxury with sports car performance. While other sedans were oversized and cumbersome to maneuver, the 5 Series dared to be different.

BMW took a huge risk in designing a luxury sedan like the 5 Series, and that risk has paid off time and time again over the last seven generations. Today, shopping for a used BMW 5 Series is an exceptional option because of what the BMW brand stands for and everything the 5 Series has to offer. You won’t find any other sedan like it, whether you’re shopping for a current-generation model, an EV like the 530e, or a powerhouse like the M5. The 5 Series has something to offer everyone, especially when it comes to driving in style.