By KBB.com Editors
The 525i and 530i sedans are two of BMW's most successful vehicles. Their powerful styling is matched by two new six-cylinder engines introduced last year. With more interior room than a 3 Series but less exterior bulk than the pricey 7 Series, the 525i and 530i comfortably fill the dual roles of being both performance and family sedans. Beyond their trademark styling and obvious social status, the BMW 5 Series sedans offer a number of genuine advantages, such as a six-speed manual transmission, the availability of all-wheel drive (525xi and 530xi) and the latest advances in electronically assisted suspension, steering and engine operation.
If you like cutting-edge design and enjoy driving something that's unique and highly distinctive, the 5 Series is more than worthy of consideration. Its innovative exterior is bested only by the amount of technology inside the cabin, under the hood and throughout the chassis and suspension. The standard six-speed manual transmission is a rarity in this class.
If you've come to love the look of previous-generation BMW cars both inside and out, the 5 Series may be a visual disappointment. For the money, there are other cars on the market offering similar levels of luxury and, in some cases more interior space, although without all the complicated high-tech wizardry.
A four-year subscription to BMW Assist is now standard on the 5 Series. Other enhancements include an auxiliary input jack for use with an external MP3 player, the availability of High Definition Radio, a new steering wheel and 20-way adjustable sport seats with the Sport Package and BMW's Night Vision thermal imaging system.
Driving Impressions Our test 530i was equipped with the Sport Package that included BMW's Active Suspension, Active Steering and 18-inch run-flat tires. At highway speeds, the system is almost undetectable, and our...test car tracked straight and true in the best BMW tradition. By the completion of our test, we were fans of the Active Steering technology.
The improved iDrive system features better graphics and a console-mounted menu button.
Active Steering electronically varies the steering ratio based upon vehicle speed. As a result, the driver is required to give less input to the steering wheel when parking, performing U-turns or avoiding potholes.
The centerpiece of the 5 Series dash is an LCD screen that displays the iDrive functions. iDrive controls everything from the audio to the navigation and is operated from a joystick-like knob located on the console. Interior colors are limited to black, gray and tan, with wood trim used sparingly on the dash and doors. Front seat comfort is excellent, and the 5 Series offers reasonable rear-seat legroom in addition to a roomy trunk.Exterior
The 5 Series stands in sharp contrast to BMWs of the past. The subtle corners and simple lines have given way to sharp-creased edges and cat's-eye headlamp lenses. There are still some BMW trademark details, such as the twin-kidney grille and dog-leg rear door treatment, but with its bustle-back trunk and sculpted side panels, the 5 Series has definitely moved on to new design territory.
Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, iDrive control system, anti-lock brakes (ABS), illuminated remote keyless entry, dual heated power mirrors with right-hand tilt down (to assist in backing up), power glass moonroof, leatherette seating, power tilt/telescopic leather-wrapped steering wheel with touch controls, Dynamic Stability Control, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, 10-way power seats, front and rear head-protection airbags, 17-inch wheels, fog lights, poplar wood trim and a six-speed manual transmission.
Notable options for the 5 Series include Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) or STEPTRONIC automatic transmission, Active Cruise Control, Night Vision thermal imaging system, High Definition Radio, Head-Up Display, run-flat tires, Active Steering, ventilated leather seating, Active Roll Stabilization, rear side-impact airbags, remote start and 20-way power seats.
The six-cylinder, 3.0-liter engine is a clear improvement over previous six-cylinder engines, offering increased horsepower at a much lower rpm; however, the 525i's modest torque rating won't impress true BMW devotees. The 530i may be the model to shoot for, offering much more in the way of low-end performance while still returning reasonably good fuel economy. If you have the need for more speed, a V8 engine is available in the 550i, but it will cost nearly $15,000 more to satisfy your craving.
3.0-liter in-line 6
215 horsepower @ 6250 rpm
185 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 (manual), 21/29 (automatic)
3.0-liter in-line 6
255 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
220 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 20/30 (manual), 21/29 (automatic), 19/27 (SMG)
By chiro on Wednesday, March 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 90,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "great driving car"
Cons: "cockpit deficient"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8
"Great driving car. Could be more comfortable, driver and passenger friendly. Great handling and road stability. No back seat leg room with tall driver. Ridiculous excuse for front cup holders. Difficult getting satisfaction from dealership."
By BMWAfficiando on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,500overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Had been looking for a 4 cyl car and ended up getting this 8 cylinder beast that purrs. This car had a HUD - and that compelled me to test drive it and the rest is history. Smooth power on tap with Sport Pkg, Cold Weather Package, HUD,Active Steering, NAV, Parking aid, heated mirrors and all that jazz. But the V8 is powerful, and can it corner. I drive moderately and I get these hotheads tailing me on off ramps and then I just get miffed and step on it and these hotheads just drop away - they may have V8's in the truck or whatever - they cannot cope with BMW's ability to laugh at curves and if I have DS mode selected, well they fall away so fast, its funny. That is so much fun right there. AND the car is QUIET - whisper quiet refinement in the cabin. A fire truck with siren blaring stuck at an intersection is not agonizing to the ear drums, merely irritating to the psyche. The HUD posts direction on the windscreen , warnings, speed etc. one cool gadget that. All in all this car is real fun thing to drive. All that power is sheathed until needed, and then the thing roars & sprints off without skipping a beat. The rest of the time its refined interior and 10 speakers invite you to listen to Smooth Classics on the radio or CD, or SAT if you like to pay."
By M Harrell on Friday, February 28, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 130,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Pros: "Very stable and handles great"
Cons: "Make sure it is under a warranty."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5
"Nothing better on snow or ice than the X drive BMW. Great to own under warranty but be prepared to dig deep, real deep for repairs. Decent MPG from the standard engine (26-32)."
1 person out of 2 found this review helpful
By Bimmer Lover on Thursday, February 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Handling and performance. Styling and sleek look"
Cons: "Repairs can be pricy"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned this car for 6 months. It's the third Bimmer I have owned. I drive 28 mikes to work everyday and this car simply is a joy to drive. The handling is precise and it rides comfortably. No matter what weather I drive in I feel safe and secure in this car. The all wheel drive can run through the heaviest monsoon with no hydroplane. I love the sound of the engine as I accelerate from every traffic light or stop sign. The brakes are great too as I can stop suddenly if I need to. The seats hug me and are so comfortable. The heated seats and steering wheel is a nice luxury to have especially on very cold mornings. The iDrive system is easy to use and it's easy to control everything from the radio to the climate settings. Any computer literate person won't have a problem using the iDrive system. Night driving is easier too with the Xeon headlights that swivel to the left or right in sharp curves making it easier to see what's ahead. Overall this car is a pleasure to drive and is truly one of the best sport sedans on the road. It's a true machine that is a work of art."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Lucky on Thursday, February 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 80,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "World known as the perfect sports sedan"
Cons: "No nav, 08 nags antiquated. Chose 2014 Garmin tech"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Hands down the finest all around vehicle, handling, comfort, appearance. Under warranty from day 1, perfectly maintained. Warranty expired 2/20/14. No accidents, new tires. Wife has MS and totaled minivan. Need to get into an SUV for equipment. Our 535xi will be sorely missed."
By Ibanker on Monday, February 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "it is the ultimate driving machine"
Cons: "Was $74k msrp. Now 6 yrs old and worth 42%. ouch."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have friends that think 4 doors rules out the "sport" in a car...but not the case here. The 550 M-Sport is one of the very best sport sedans available. Quick, planted, classy, it is the total package. This now 6 year old car always gets heads turning. For those unfamiliar, the 550-M Sport is basically an M5 with a V8 rather then V10. HP is stated as 360 but BMW understates their HP and torque figures...this one is around 415. Zero to 60 in 5 seconds. Handles like it's on rails and stops quicker than alsmost anything in its class."