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BMW 5 Series, side
BMW 5 Series in France, side
BMW 5 Series in France, side
BMW 5 Series in France, rear
BMW 5 Series, rear
BMW 5 Series, front
BMW 5 Series, interior
BMW 5 Series, rear seats

THE BMW 5-Series will always be more expensive than other similar sized executives because of its perceived quality and reliability.

But for me, the reason to buy one is the amazing combination of a superb ride over all surfaces and the most adhesive road holding, along with excellent performance.

This is a rare thing, only spoiled in some models by a poorer ride caused by sports suspension and this is to be avoided if possible because it's completely unnecessary.

All models last well as long as they are properly serviced, so make sure you only buy one with full history.

The model built from 2010 is available with a 2.0-litre petrol engine producing between 180 and 240bhp, a 3.0-litre with between 200 and 300bhp and a 4.4-litre V8 with 401bhp.

Diesels are 2.0-litres with power ranging from 140 to 214bhp and 3.0-litres, which have between 200 and 308bhp.

Some will have manual six-speed gearboxes but most will come with the company's excellent automatics, which actually suit the car better in my opinion.

Best buys are the 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesels but they are more expensive and will probably come with higher mileage.

If you don't do too many miles, a petrol engine 5-Series will cost you little more to run and will be a lot cheaper to buy in the first place.

All are beautifully put together and can stand long mileages without problem, but check seats and door panels for damage. Most have all the electrics and aircon and many will have leather and electric seats.

As well as the saloon, there is the Touring estate and the odd-looking GT, which has a higher ride height and a fastback five door body.

FAST FACTS

Price: Pay about £12,350 for an '11 11-reg SE auto, £20,500 for a '14 14-reg Luxury

Mechanical: 180bhp, 1,997cc, 4cyl petrol engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual or automatic gearbox

Max Speed: 141mph

0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Combined MPG:41

Insurance Group: 36

C02 emissions: 157g/km

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