There's a reason so many people aspire to own a BMW 5 Series, and this car won't disappoint. Handling is taut and agile, though the sedan has evolved to focus on luxury and refinement rather than overtly sporty driving. Its steering has lost some of the feel we've come to associate with previous 5 Series. The ride is comfortable and steady and the cabin is quiet.
Alerts
There are 4 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
NA
2007
2008
2009
NA
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
2001
2002
2003
2004
NA
2005
NA
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS standard. Side air bags standard in front, available in rear from 2000. Head protection air bags and ESC standard from 2000.
Road Test

There's a reason so many people aspire to own a BMW 5 Series, and this car won't disappoint. Handling is taut and agile, though the sedan has evolved to focus on luxury and refinement rather than overtly sporty driving. Its steering has lost some of the feel we've come to associate with previous 5 Series. The ride is comfortable and steady and the cabin is quiet. Its turbocharged engines are smooth and powerful, whether you opt for the four-cylinder in the 528i or the effortless six-cylinder unit in the 535i we tested. These engines are all super smooth, responsive and fuel-efficient. The eight-speed automatic shifts imperceptibly. Hybrid, diesel, and super-high horsepower M versions are available. All-wheel-drive is optional.

The interior is understated, luxurious and beautifully finished. The seats are comfortable and supportive. Rear-seat room is decent, though not exactly generous. High-tech controls take some getting used to, with a center dial that operates many functions and is monitored through a central screen. However, once mastered, the logic becomes clear.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Rear
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 8-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (240 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 hybrid (335 hp)
  • 3-liter 6 turbo (300 hp)
  • 4.4-liter V8 turbo (400 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2012 BMW 5 Series owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Engine rebuild or replacement

"Car's engine was subject of a recall, replaced fuel injectors and a few other engine items"

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i xDrive 4.4-L V8 turbo)

"Ruptured seal allowed coolant to mix with oil. Mixture then ran through engine. BMW replaced engine after a $50 co-pay"

Donald M., CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Plastic cap on top of the engine failed, all oil left engine. BMW replaced entore engine under warrantee. Car not as powerful as before. Then has antifreeze leak. Then has leaking vacuum hose in transfer case, limited performance"

Anonymous, MI (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"After 2 years of telling the BMW service center that i was wasting to much oil,they finally rebuild the engine"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i 4.4-L V8 turbo)
Head gasket

"Oil leaked out of the gasket causing excessive smoke that burned on the back of the engine and/or exhaust. Engine performance was negatively impacted during this problem until it was correctly diagnosed and fixed"

David M., NC (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Turbo or supercharger

"The turbo charger had to be replaced at about 40,000 miles (less than 2 1/2 years old). I was flabbergasted! This item should have been good for as long as the engine. BMW has been using the same turbo for years, yet I was told "this happens more"

Anonymous, KS (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Had to replace turbo. It was out of warranty because of mileage but they cover it"

Craig A., MA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Turbo failure. Replaced 100% covered by warranty"

Paul S., TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Don't know the exact cause but it was fixed satisfactorily by the dealer"

Kevin H., VA (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i xDrive 4.4-L V8 turbo)
Timing belt or chain

"Timing chain rail cracked. Seems to be issue with this make. Repair covered under extended warranty, but would have been costly"

Evan J., FL (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Body control module

"See comment on keyless entry"

Anonymous, ON (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Headlights

"When set on automatic, the headlights frequently come on in the bright sun light. The dealer has twice tried to fix it, but the problem still persists"

Anonymous, KS (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"alignment system motor failed"

Tom M., WA (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Keyless entry

"I am not sure what controls the function but frequently, the car refuses to recognize my remote until I hold it next to the steering column. On other occasions, I am unable to open the trunk until I unlock the car. The batteries in both of the rem"

Anonymous, ON (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
USB port

"Sometimes it works, ;sometimes it doesn't. Have had car reprogrammed, made it worse. The phone won't communicate with me if I have it plugged in. So if I want to use Google maps on a trip, I have to unplug the phone. Also have had motor for seat control replaced- still doesn't work"

Allan M., TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive Unsure)
Wiper motor or washer

"The Car takes a lot of wiper fluid. I think it has a leak as I have to keep pouring nearly a gallon in and then never have any fluid when I try to use it. Have had dealer look at it. They didn't "see" anything wrong"

Allan M., TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive Unsure)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"There is a vibration on the left/driver side a-pillar on low speeds that can be felt when accelerating on slow speed especially when light on throttle/gas pedal. Somehow can only be felt only few minutes after starting the car then disappears"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"During engine start from being idle for too long or in the morning, an unusual(squeaks, rattling) sound can be heard from under the hood"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Rattle coming from inside driver side door"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"There was an intermittent high pitched noise in the cabin and the BMW technicians were unable to identify and correct the issue"

Anonymous, OR (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i 4.4-L V8 turbo)
Air or water leaks

"Leaks in engine coolant system hoses"

Anonymous, VA (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i xDrive 4.4-L V8 turbo)

"Wind noise is very noticable during high speeds"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"Coolant hose to turbo had to be replaced. this required the turbo to be removed. Since it was possible that the hose was damaged from the previous turbo repair they covered half the cost"

Craig A., MA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Failure of oil cooler (?) housing causing mixing of oil and ooolant followed by loss of oil quantity. Vehicle towed to dealer where I was advised of a recall notice for which I never received written notification"

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Overheating

"The car had to be towed away"

Sergio G., CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Thermostat

"needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Water pump

"Water pump had to be replaced"

Sergio G., CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Water pump had to be replaced at 37,500 miles. Cost was $2,100"

Anonymous, CT (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

"Check Engine light went on due to the DISA valve and airmass flow meter which were replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Fuel pump

"fuel pump and control module failed. Dealer said water leak from rear backup light housing caused short"

Anonymous, PA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Fuelpump needed to be replaced BMW took care of it"

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"Failed at 58000 miles. $450 replacement"

Anonymous, OH (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor)

"A sensor went out and was flagged by the car's system as an engine problem. The dealer replaced it under warranty"

Robert S., TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

"Hesitation pulling away from a stop. Dealer can't fix it"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Engine knock or ping

"There was heavy smoke during the first startup for the day and it would idle poorly. It is currently in the shop so unknown what the outcome is"

Jesse C., MN (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Oil filter housing gasket leaked"

Melvin P., CT (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"For 2 years I complained to the service center that I was using to much oil.TheyBMW service center keep telling me to add extra oil and that was normal for this type of car. After 320 miles I had to add a quart.I finally told them that I was going to seek legal action,then they did a complete analysis then determined the engine needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i 4.4-L V8 turbo)
Engine mounts

"Worn mounts causing vibration"

Anonymous, TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Alignment

"All 4 wheels were damaged resulting in required tire replacements and alignments. Dealer has had numerous similar complaints due to low profile wheel/tire design. BMW tried to put the blame on the tire manufacturer, but admitted it was due to wheels"

Anonymous, VT (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Tire wear is uneven

"All 4 tires had to be replaced due to damaged wheels. This did not occur to my Ford which rides over the same roads. BMW rudely told me that they were closing my complaint file. Eventually my dealer gave me some compensation"

Anonymous, VT (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Bushings

"Lower control arm bushings cracking, had to replace complete lower control arms since the bushings are not replaceable in this model series"

John C., AZ (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i Unsure)
Shocks or struts

"Leaking rear strut. Replaced all 4 struts/shocks due to high mileage"

John C., AZ (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i Unsure)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Normal routine brake wear

"brake pad replacement service due 3200 miles has not changed in about a year even though i have driven vehicle aprox. 12000 miles"

Anonymous, NY (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Premature brake wear

"pads had to be replaced and rotors turned before 50,000 miles"

Anonymous, TN (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Warped disks"

Norman L., FL (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Rotors

"Warped front rotors had to be replaced"

Anonymous, FL (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Driveline vibration

"Vibration at hiwaybspeed"

Anonymous, NY (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)
Transfer case

"Vibration at hiwaybspeed"

Anonymous, NY (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i xDrive 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

"There was a fault with the transfer case that caused a jerking when accelerating. The transfer case had to be replaced"

Anonymous, IL (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i xDrive 4.4-L V8 turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

"I couldn't get phone to pair with car radio. The technicians fixed it right away"

Ronald O., CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

What Owners Say

Exhaust leaks

"Car would send puff of smoke when starting. Dealer said it was a factory defect that they had received notice about. He also told me that my warranty had expired the month before so it isn't covered, I had to cover the up to $3-$4 thousand repair. Needless to say I am not going back to that dealer"

Manuel G., WI (2012 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Electronic ignition

"My car has an extended crank issue which the dealer has not been able to solve after 3 trips. With this last trip, they've had my car over a week waiting on parts"

Anonymous, SC (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i 4.4-L V8 turbo)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Locks and latches

"Had to replace the driver side door latch pull cable"

Jon S., TX (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose exterior trim or moldings

"Rubber molding around windshield cracking an pealing"

Anonymous, CA (2012 BMW 5 Series 535i 3.0-L 6 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Had to replace clutch twice. Never had to replace a clutch once in my 35 years of driving before this"

Anonymous, IL (2012 BMW 5 Series 550i 4.4-L V8 turbo)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

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