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.You'll Like This Car If...
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.You May Not Like This Car If...
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.What's Significant About This Car?
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 It 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.
In contrast, the Active Suspension behaved transparently (and brilliantly), enabling a smooth ride even over choppy pavement and providing unimaginably tenacious grip in sharp corners. The 530i's 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine supplies great low-end torque and smooth throttle response. Our test car came equipped with a six-speed manual, which was an enjoyable departure from other cars of this class, though we imagine most 5 Series cars will be sold with the STEPTRONIC automatic transmission.
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.