Nearly new buying guide: BMW 5 Series


Steering On early models, check the steering wheel is not being pulled in either direction and that, as you turn it, it makes no strange noises.

Suspension and brakes If it has air suspension, check that it sits level (the rear suspension can fail before 60,000 miles). Examine the brakes for excessive wear. If Variable Damper Control is fitted, be sure you can detect a difference between Sport and Comfort modes.

Electrical Check everything works because issues here are common.

Interior Check the air con works because the condenser is exposed and vulnerable to heavy stone chipping. Its welds can also rupture. Examine chrome parts for tarnishing and dashboard buttons for wear. Be sure the iDrive system works faultlessly and that where fitted, the reversing camera does, too. Check the front footwells for damp (water can enter through the front bulkhead).

Need to know

Look out for cars with optional Variable Damper Control. It takes the model’s handling and ride comfort to a new level. Small surface imperfections are better dealt with and the body rolls less. If you can’t find a car with it, at least avoid wheels larger than 18in.

In 2013, all 5 Series diesels became Euro 6-compliant, a standard that was not made compulsory until September 2015. Depending on the model, they have either a NOx storage catalyst or an SCR catalytic converter with urea injection.

Since 2014, eight-speed automatic models have featured Proactive Drive, a technology that works with the satellite navigation system to produce gearchanges that correspond to the road conditions. It works regardless of whether the sat-nav is on or off.

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