BMW 5 Series vs BMW 7 Series | Which is Right for You?

30th Apr 2024

By Kenny Longdon

BMW Executive Saloons

BMW executive saloons have been around since the '70s, with the 5 Series first seen in 1972 and the 7 Series coming later in 1977.

Interestingly, the now textbook BMW 3 Series was not available in a 4-door variant until 1983.

The 3 Series is seen as a medium-sized saloon, whereas the 5 Series and 7 Series as seen as large saloons.

Therefore, if you are in the market for a large executive/luxury saloon, should you go for the 5 Series or 7 Series. This article looks to help in distinguishing the differences between the pair.

Introduction and Design

BMW 5 Series Side View

The BMW 5 Series we see here is now in its eighth generation, coming along in 2024 and referred to as the G60 or G61 when referring to the Touring version (estate). In contrast, the BMW 7 Series (G70) as we see it here in its seventh generation, debuting in 2022.

First impressions showcase how the 7 Series has a much more prominent grille design, whilst the 5 Series' grille is wider and less vertical. The BMW 5 Series is much more executive and sleeker looking, whilst the BMW 7 Series is more limousine-like and blocky.

The interesting thing about both models is their fully-electric versions, which is the i5 in the 5 Series or the i7 in the 7 Series. These models look almost identical to the standard models, bar a few style details, which is perhaps why BMW's electric models have done rather well, as they do not stand out like some manufacturers electric models.


BMW i7 M70 Driving

As mentioned, both the BMW 5 Series and 7 Series feature fully electric versions in the form of the i5 and i7 respectfully, along with plug-in hybrid versions too.

Going back to the vibe of the cars, the 5 Series is more like its 3 Series sibling and offers an executive saloon package, whilst the 7 Series limousine-like footprint is one of the reasons you see these cars used for chauffeuring.

The 5 Series has long had the M5 as the top high performance model in the range, whilst there has never been a full M version of a 7 Series. That said, both the 5 Series and 7 Series do feature an M60 xDrive and M70 xDrive respectively, which although are not full M cars, they offer similar M performance, just not as hardcore.

Interior and Technology

BMW 7 Series Interior Theatre Screen

Despite having similar boot sizes (see practicality) the rear of the BMW 7 Series offers more space, hence it being ideal and used a lot for chauffeuring. You could easily use a 5 Series for the same purpose, but the 7 Series just has that bit more luxury, specialness and limousine-like vibe to it.

The limousine-like vibe of the 7 Series is the same for the technology on offer, especially with the 'Executive Pack' which adds an Executive Lounge Rear Console, Executive Lounge Rear Seats, Rear Massage Seats, and Roller Sunblinds.

The BMW Theatre Screen further enhances rear seat technology and experience, which is also available in the 7 Series range, but not in the 5 Series range.


BMW 5 Series Touring

Naturally, the BMW 7 Series is the more practical car due to its size, especially for rear seat passengers, which further makes clear why the 7 Series is used a lot for chauffeuring. There is a lot more luxury to the whole vibe in the 7 Series too, but by no means does the 5 Series feel lacking - it is still a fine overall large saloon package.

Rear boot space is very similar in both models, however. There is a 520-litre boot in the 5 Series, which drops to 490 litres in the i5 electric version.

You get a 525-litre boot in the 7 Series, which is not really noticeable when compared to the 5 Series, although if you require the best boot space, then the 570-litre boot in 5 Series Touring offers the typical practicality and load space an estate car gives.

Value and Final Thoughts

BMW 7 Series Side View

At the time of writing, a standard 5 Series is less than half the price of the entry-level PHEV BMW 7 Series - which incidentally starts at circa £105,000.

You could have the current range-topping i5 M60 xDrive Touring and still come in less expensive than the entry-point in the 7 Series range, although that will most likely change when the new M5 comes along in 2025.

Is the 5 Series half the car, then? Absolutely not. It may be less luxurious and less grande than the 7 Series, but as a BMW, the 5 Series continues to be an excellent large executive/family saloon, and will more likely be the choice for families thanks to a superb array of versions, including petrol, electric and performance, it caters for every type of customer.

The 7 Series is much more of a luxurious limousine, which the price reflects. And is much more a car to be driven in, whilst the 5 Series is more of a car to enjoy driving yourself.

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