2011 BMW 5-Series
A benchmark among mid-size sport sedans, the BMW 5-Series arrives for 2011 with a complete redesign.
Styling for the larger sixth-generation 5-Series is a bit more on the conservative side than before. Like the 7-Series, it is less aggressive, and more executive.
But it’s not a total departure. The car’s long hood, short overhangs, and coupe-like roofline, still speak to its sporting characteristics.
Which there are plenty of, thanks to either the 535i’s new 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6; or the 550i’s 400-horse twin-turbo V8, shared with the 7-Series. Both engines will mate to either a six-speed manual or a new eight-speed automatic.
Later in the year, a 528i will arrive with an uprated 240-horsepower 3.0-liter straight-6.
And the new 5-Series’ driving dynamics are still pure BMW, but with a new multi-link front suspension. And with the Sport Package, the 5 offers such technology features as Electronic Damper Control, Active Roll Stabilization, and Integral Active Steering.
Our only criticism had nothing to do with performance, but rather with the fact that the engines were too quiet. We were hoping to hear a bit more growl when pushing the car hard.
Inside is a modern, more luxurious cockpit that is still clearly focused on the driver.
To that end, the 5-Series is chock full of cutting-edge driver assistance. And the fourth-gen iDrive has come a long way since its beginning.
Materials also look like they came from the 7-Series, although seating remains exceptionally supportive and sporty.
And unless you’re afraid of the sun, the gigantic sunroof will make you happy.
The 2011 BMW 5-Series goes on sale this summer with a starting price of about $50,000.
535i: 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-6
550i: 400-horse twin-turbo V8
Starting at about $50,000