WE all know about the quality and performance of BMWs but they also have that most marvellous quality of a comfortable ride allied to tremendous road holding.
The 5-Series will always be more expensive than other similar cars because of its perceived extra quality. And it holds onto more of its value a few years down the line.
All models last well as long as they are properly serviced, so make sure you only buy one with full history.
The model built between 2003 and 2010 was available with 2.2, 2.5, 3.0 and 4.0-litre petrol engines, and with 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0-litre diesels.
Some will have manual five or six-speed gearboxes, but most come with excellent five or six-speed automatics.
Avoid sports suspension for the best ride – you don’t need it since the standard setup is so good.
Best buys are the 2.0 and 3.0-litre diesels, but they are more expensive. Handling, as with all BMWs, is superb.
They are beautifully put together and can stand long mileages without problem, but check seats and door panels for damage. Most have all the electrics and aircon and many with have leather.
BMW 520d saloon
Price: Pay about £8,800 for an ’07 07-reg SE, £16,200 for an ’09 09-reg M Sport
Mechanical: 160bhp, 1,995cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving rear wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox
Max speed: 139mph
0-62mph: 8.5 seconds
Combined mpg: 48
Insurance group: 31
CO2 emissions: 158g/km
Main rival: Audi A6