As far as executive saloons go, the BMW 5 Series takes a lot of beating. It carries all of the manufacturer’s hallmarks for quality, style, reliability, efficiency and safety, making it one of the most popular choices for a company car.
It has all the bells and whistles on the inside that any business would ever want to provide its employees with, while its size – being bigger than the 3 Series – ensures that the ride is comfortable and there is plenty of room for either passengers or carrying products, exhibition equipment, travel bags and even the golf clubs.
By choosing the SE or M Sport models drivers can benefit from technology such as parking assist at both the front and the rear, which should help avoid any trouble when manoeuvring what is quite a large car.
Air conditioning will keep you cool on those hot summer days travelling up and down the motorway, while electric windows in the front and rear let you get a cool breeze circulating.
The usual standard equipment from BMW such as an alarm, alloy wheels, front fog lights, heated mirrors and leather seat trim are all included, while comfort is provided by electric driver and passenger seats and adjustable steering wheel settings.
On both the SE and Sport version optional extras include an on-board telephone – perfect for the business person who treats his car as his office. A satellite navigation system is also an added extra, and this could be a must-include feature if you are out and about meeting clients in unfamiliar destinations.
It will save time hooking up the TomTom or even turning to the road map and should ensure that you get to your meetings spot on time.
As a company car the diesel engines supplied with the BMW 5 Series really come into their own. Emissions are around 119g/km depending on which machine you choose – with some coming with step auto transmission. This means that the BMWs should be around the 19 per cent mark for the BIK Banding, which is the percentage used to calculate company car tax based on the emissions.
Safety and reliability is another concern when choosing a company car, and fortunately the BMW 5 Series ticks all the boxes. It was given a five-star rating by Euro NCAP, benefitting from a very rigid body structure and front, side, passenger and driver airbags.
Anti-whiplash protection is provided in the front headrests, and there are also two Isofix child seat mounting points in the back for when you need to ferry the young ones around.
When it comes to performance, again all the different engines provide varying degrees of power and acceleration. The entry-level 520d is a four-cylinder, 2.0-litre engine and offers an excellent blend of economy and pace. It boasts 184bhp and can sprint from 0-62 mph in a fairly quick 8.1 seconds, which will give you enough power for overtaking traffic on the motorway.