How many miles can a BMW 5-Series last? When you’re in the market for a new or second-hand 5-Series, that’s a very reasonable question to ask. After all, you’re probably looking to get the most bang for your buck. In this blog, we’ll look at the most popular models but first, let’s start with a quick answer:
On average, a BMW 5-Series lasts between 180.000 – 210.000 miles. A 5-Series needs to go to the garage for unscheduled repairs about 0.86 times per year, with a 12% chance of severe problems. Furthermore, BMW 5-Series owners spend an average of $825 per year on repair costs.
Having said that, we’re certainly not done. Below we’ll explain in more detail how many miles a BMW 5-Series can last. After that, we’ll also show you how much the 5-series costs per year and which production years are the most and least expensive. We’ll also discuss owners’ ratings of the reliability of the 5-series as well as common problems that the car can have. Read on!
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How Many Miles Can A BMW 5 Series Last?
When you are in the market looking to buy your next ride, it’s a must to know how reliable it will be, how many miles it can drive, and how much it costs in maintenance. We have done extensive market research to provide you with these answers.
The first step is determining how many miles a BMW 5-series can drive. To get this data, we analyzed thousands of 5-series for sale on autotrader.com. From this group, we took all the models that were five years or older and divided them into groups based on their mileage.
In doing so, we can determine whether a substantial group of 5-series has passed the 150,000 miles mark. If this is the case, we can typically conclude that the model can reliably achieve this mileage mark. The results of this research are displayed in the table below.
|Amount Of Miles||Percentage Of Cars|
|Cars With 150.000+||3.56%|
|Cars With 100.000 – 149.000||12.04%|
|Cars With 45.000 – 99.999||32.32%|
|Cars With 0 – 44.999||52.08%|
As it turns out, we found that 3.56% of our selected group had a mileage of 150,000 miles or higher. Given that we analyzed 6,006 models, we found 213 models that had achieved this mileage.
From our experience analyzing more than 100 different car models, we can tell you that this is a good number, especially for a luxury vehicle that tends to break down much quicker than a non-luxury vehicle.
Did you know that the BMW 5-series is our top pick for car owners that want a BMW? Check out the article here: Which BMW Series Is Best (And Should You Get It?)
How Reliable Is A BMW 5 Series Compared To Its Competitors?
The BMW 5 Series did quite well, but now the question is, how well is that compared to its competitors? To better understand the percentage and how it affects the reliability, we have carried out similar tests for its competitors as well.
When we look at the data from the competitors like Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, and Lexus GS, we see that the BMW 5-series can hold its own. It beats the Audi A6 and the Cadillac CTS in terms of how many miles they can drive, but the Lexus ES350 seems the most reliable car.
|Model||Sample Size||Expected Mileage||Highest Mileage|
|BMW 5 Series||6006||195.000||250.000|
How Reliable Is A BMW 5 Series Compared To Other BMWs?
When we compare the BMW 5 Series with other BMWs, we see that the 5-series performs really well out of all the BMWs we have tested. It makes the 5-series a smart choice if you’re looking for a reliable luxury sedan. If you’re looking for a vehicle with similar reliability but that’s a bit more affordable in terms of maintenance costs, the 3-series is a good option.
How Much Does Maintenance Cost Per Year?
On average, you can expect to pay around $817 per year in annual maintenance costs for a BMW 5-series, according to data from Repairpal.com and Caredge.com. In the table below, we’ve data up until the 2020 model; for newer models, data is still being gathered.
It has always been the norm that BMWs cost a lot more to maintain compared to some other brands, but we have also extensively compared the maintenance cost of BMW to other luxury brands. You can read about that here.
We found that BMWs are indeed expensive vehicles to maintain, but not as bad as you would think when you compare them to similar brands like Lincoln and Mercedes-Benz.
|Model Year||Annual Maintenance Cost|
Owners’ Reviews Of The 5-Series Reliability
Besides knowing all the data, it’s, of course, also essential to see how owners experience the BMW 5-series. For this, we went to Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and Truecar. All three platforms have gathered hundreds of reviews from actual car owners. We summarized our findings in the image below.
We found that owners experience the 5-series as a reliable and comfortable car that’s a pleasure to drive. The frequently mentioned positive aspects of the car include the relatively good fuel efficiency (especially for a luxury sedan), the technological features, and, of course, the performance.
Besides some minor problems here and there, the most complained about feature of the car is the small trunk. However, no significant issues with the car are mentioned by owners, which is a positive aspect overall.
Never a problem… Just do yearly maintenance and that’s it. Nothing ever seems to go wrong. Fun to drive and has power to spare. I’ve owned BMW’s for years and this is the best one ever.Source
BMW 5 Series Common Problems
NOTE: Before buying a used car, I always like to make sure the vehicle isn´t having any problems that you should be aware of. The easiest way to do this is by buying an OBD2 scanner. These scanners can easily be plugged into any car you’re interested in, and they’ll give you a rundown of potential problems.
Seventh Generation (2017 – Present)
The current generation of the BMW 5-series, also referred to as the G30, is a relatively problem-free car. Naturally, there are going to be reported issues. However, BMW has been quite good at handling those issuing several recalls for this generation when necessary.
The most notable recalls included a recall for the capacitors of the hybrid models because of electrical shocks, a failing crankshaft sensor, and possible debris in the hybrid batteries of 2021 models (this is indeed a more significant problem, but BMW is onto it). Read here more about the problems of the 530e.
Sixth Generation (2010 – 2017)
Most commonly, the BMW F10 5-series has problems with water leakage, transmission jerking, or the heated seats not working. Furthermore, the F10 has issues with the timing or oil pan drive chain, which led to a class-action lawsuit. Finally, in 2012 – 2013 models, the vacuum pump can get damaged, resulting in a loss of braking power, and 2014 – 2016 diesels have leaking EGR coolers. Read more about the F10 series here: BMW 5-series (F10) Problems You Should Know About
Fifth Generation (2013 – 2010)
The fifth generation of the 5-series (E60/E61) did have some major problems. One of the problems was with the N53 petrol engine because of bad injectors that led to high fuel consumption and damage to the inner walls.
The ZF automatic transmission of the 530D was known for hard shifting and high replacement costs; the 2.0 N47 diesel had camshaft chain problems (these could be fixed by changing oil more regularly). Finally, the diesel engines had issues with the plastic flaps in the intake manifolds, which could give out.
Is a BMW 5 Series A Smart Buy?
If you’re in the market for a luxury sedan, then a 5-series is a car to consider. As we saw, the 5-series has a potential lifespan of 195,000 miles. Assuming you drive an average of 15,000 miles a year, the car has a potential lifespan of 13 years.
Furthermore, the car performs just as well as its competitors, which is also a positive sign. The same can be said when we compare the 5-series to other BMWs. We find then that the 5-series is most likely one of the best cars BMW is currently producing. Owners are also ecstatic about the car, rating it between an 8 or 9 on a scale of 10.
Finally, the 5-series is a relatively problem-free car if you opt for a sixth or seventh-generation model. The fifth-generation models had their fair share of problems, and some sixth-generation cars weren’t perfect, but this wasn’t the case for the whole generation and was only applicable to specific models.
BMW 5 Series Maintenance Schedule
Finally, here is a list of the main things that need regular maintenance to keep the 5-series in optimal condition.
Before/On Every 10,000 Miles
Usually, the engine oil is said to be changed at 10,000 miles, but if you want your BMW 5-series to perform well and stay healthy for a more extended period, then you should change the oil every 7,000 miles or less. With that, you will have the performance close to new even after a couple of thousand miles on the clock.
So, after keeping that in mind, here are the things that you have to pay attention to:
- Engine oil
- Oil filter replacement
Before/On Every 30,000 Miles
- Check for any abnormal engine temperature
- Inspect the exhaust system
- Check the brakes
- Check the fluid levels; also read: Types Of Gas A BMW 5-Series Takes (Explained)
- Inspect all the electronics
Before/On Every 60,000 Miles
- Replace the air filters
- Check the spark plugs if they need replacement
- Check the brake pads and the brake fluids
- Check the engine for any abnormal values on the scanner tool.
- Check for any oil leaks and change the head gaskets if there is any leak.
- Check all the plastic/rubber hoses to see if there are any cracks
Before/On Every 80,000 Miles
- If you haven’t changed the spark plugs, then this is the time to replace them.
- Check for the ignition coils and whether or not they need replacement; most of the time, they would require replacement.
- Check the PCV system for any leaks/clogs.
Hi! My name is Stefan; I’m the owner and lead writer at TheDriverAdviser.com.
I’m an active writer on this blog myself, as well as a novice car mechanic. For the really technical stuff, I find writers with experience as a mechanic or who have studied mechanical engineering.
Read more about our fantastic team on our about page!