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2009 BMW 5 Series

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2009 BMW 5 Series Review

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While the 2009 BMW 5 Series is the most technologically advanced entry in the luxo-sport sedan category, the fact that it's the only one to offer a manual transmission more accurately captures the basis of its appeal. As it's quietly grown into a living legend, the continuing success of the performance-oriented 5 Series has helped to invigorate the entire category in which it competes. The softer Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 are still sportier than ever, while the latest Infiniti M is the stiffest competition the 5 Series has faced yet – from a performance standpoint, anyway. Anchored by the 528i, 535i and 550i sedans, the lineup also includes the all-wheel-drive 528xi and 535xi sedans plus a 535xi wagon.

You'll Like This Car If...

The BMW 5 Series earned its deserved reputation as the supreme midsize sport sedan almost on driving dynamics alone. Combined with standout styling, a well-appointed cabin and some of the most sophisticated technologies available in an automobile, the 5 Series offers something for everyone.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you aren't overly swayed by the BMW badge, the bold styling or the renowned driving feel, you might find it harder to live with the driver's awkward cupholder, the improving (but still complex) iDrive central control system or the significant price premium when compared to competitors like the Infiniti M.

What's New for 2009

The 5 Series carries over largely unchanged for 2009. New 17-inch wheels are made standard on 528 and 535 trims, while the latest version of BMW's MyInfo allows subscribers to upload street addresses and phone numbers from Google Maps directly to their car.

Driving the 5 Series

Driving Impressions Sandwiched between a positively turbine-like V8 and a base six-cylinder that's strong enough for more drivers than will buy it is the bread and butter of the model's powertrain lineup,...

the twin-turbo six-cylinder. Along with virtually lag-free response, this excellent engine combines zero-to-60-mph sprints just a couple ticks slower than the V8, according to BMW, with fuel economy very close to the base engine's. Feel free to pick whichever engine you like, as there isn't a bad choice among them. Whichever powerplant you might choose, response, feel and feedback from all the systems – steering, suspension, brakes – are exceptional as expected. We especially like the sport version of the new faster-shifting automatic, which includes paddle shifters and rev matching for smooth downshifts.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go
The 5 Series' available radar-based cruise control will detect a slower-moving vehicle ahead and reduce speed accordingly. The system can even slow the car to a complete stop, enabling use in stop-and-go traffic.

Sport Package
For an even sportier sport sedan, the available "sport pack" fortifies the 5 Series with a more aggressive suspension and Active Roll Stabilization, which further minimizes body lean in corners. Other highlights include unique wheels and 20-way adjustable seats.

2009 BMW 5 Series Details
2009 BMW 5 Series photo Interior

The 2009 BMW 5 Series' 10-way and available 20-way adjustable seats are some of the most comfortable and supportive in the class, excelling on twisty roads and long highways alike. Some of the more notable changes made last year include a revised center console with a new electronic shifter, more intuitively positioned window switches and a mostly subtle increase in overall refinement. The overall air of firm luxury remains, although there's a vague starkness not found in Audi or Lexus brands. Rear-seat room and trunk space are on par for the segment.

Exterior
2009 BMW 5 Series photo

The bustle-back trunk, sharp-creased edges and cat's-eye headlights that caused such a stir when the model was introduced for the 2004 model year have helped the current-generation 5 Series become the best-selling iteration yet. Last year's mild makeover that included revised front and rear fascias, reworked headlights and taillights, carries over for 2009, but new wheel designs add a fresh, aggressive look.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on a 2009 BMW 528i includes a moonroof, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system, iDrive central control (with six programmable memory buttons), 10-way power seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and no-charge maintenance for four years or 50,000 miles. Safety equipment includes electronic stability control plus front, front-side and two-row curtain airbags. Unique to the 535xi Sport Wagon are a dual-panel panoramic sunroof and a power liftgate.

Optional Equipment

In addition to a long list of modern features that have become commonplace in the category, the 5 Series lineup offers such desirable extras as Active Steering (everyday benefits include reduced steering wheel movement in parking lots), a head-up display, night vision system, lane departure warning system, active cruise control with new "Stop & Go" feature, navigation system with real-time traffic information and HD radio. The 2009 BMW 5 Series is one of the most tech-savvy vehicles on the road.

Under the Hood

Although it shares the same 3.0-liter displacement as the base engine, the strong but silky twin-turbocharged in-line six from the 535i and 535xi produces 70 more horsepower and 100 pound-feet more torque. The V8 remains the quintessential power fiend's engine of choice, but it comes with such a heavy price tag that the twin turbo begins to look like the better pick. A six-speed manual transmission is standard across the line, but a quick-shifting six-speed automatic is a no-charge option. The 535i and 550i models offer a Sport version of the automatic transmission with paddle shifters and rev-matching downshifts.

3.0-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/28 (manual), 18/27 (automatic), 17/25 (AWD)

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line 6
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/26 (manual) 17/25 (automatic, AWD), 16/25 (manual, AWD), 16/24 (automatic, AWD wagon), 16/23 (manual, AWD wagon)

4.8-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
360 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (manual), 15/23 (automatic)

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2009 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 574 Ratings for the 2004 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Better than Expected

By on Friday, August 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun to drive, style holds up well, comfortable"

Cons: "Repairs can be pricey (but not many yet!)"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this car used three years ago and was concerned about reliability. Outside of a few things that one would expect for a car this age (coolant hoses that needed replaced, for example), this car has been surprisingly reliable. In fact, it has been as reliable as my old Acura. When it's time for a new car, it will be another BMW. Driving fun (missing in so many cars now) and luxury combination is perfect for me. And if I'm careful, I can squeeze about 28 mpg on the highway. I am NOT careful around town (too much fun), and I still average 22.1 mpg in mixed driving--not bad at all, given how hard I push this thing! Oh, and oil filters mounted on the top of the engine? Brilliant. Easy changes for the DIY guy."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Excellent Long Term Sport Sedan

By on Monday, August 10, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 94,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "AWD, comfort, fuel economy and driving dynamics."

Cons: "Poor resale value"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"We love this car. Except for poor resale value, it is one of my favorites (we have owned Porsches, Mercedes and GM autos). I now look past BMW's quirks such as no dipstick, tire pressure sensors that don't tell what the tire pressure is, putting very expensive electronics in the trunk with the spare tire where it is exposed to water from spills or plugged sun roof drains, 15,000 mile service intervals using BMW oil which runs out of additives in 8,000 miles, etc. Yes we do have a full size spare tire, but the 2008 5 series is probably the last BMW that does. However, driving the car in any weather will convince you. The AWD is amazing - much better than an MBZ that we drove and our other three AWD cars. The power from the non turbo 3 liter is more than needed for 99% of our driving. If fuel mileage impresses you, ours has recorded an overall urban/highway mileage for the last 25k miles nearly the same as the EPA highway rating. On trips we see more than 30 mpg through mountains, freeways and cities. If comfort impresses you, the 20-way adjustable seats are excellent and are a big reason the car has accumulated 94,000 miles. We will keep this car for several more years. It still looks, drives and handles like new."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

They don't make them like this anymore--really.

By on Sunday, August 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 99,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Power, fuel efficiency, dynamics, and quality"

Cons: "they just don't make them like this anymore"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Ever since the market correction (stocks, housing & global meltdown) BMW has created a cheaper and lower quality product. I've been owning BMW's since 1978, and each year they change a little bit. It's a race to the bottom. My last E36 M3 was the best yet. The point I'm trying to make is when I test drove a loaner 2015 528i, I instantly felt the wide gap in quality my E60 535 demonstrated. Oh, I like all the gizmos and technology in the new 528 for sure. But driving dynamics was completely gone. The new BMW's have hard plastic now, and the leather is void of suppleness. I don't know what the cause or reason for this is but it's sad. So if you're shopping around for a BMW, do yourself a favor and test drive a CPO previous gen, and then the new generation--you will be completely amazed at how the older models just hold their own quality wise over the "next generation"..."

Of the 8 BMWs we have owned, this is the best

By on Friday, July 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "worth it's weight in FUN to drive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"By far the most complex and innovative BMW we have owned. Of course, it is also the most expensive to maintain. This is a true driver's car and after 10 years is still a strong contender compared with current models."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Sweet ride to own

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Drive it like you own it!"

Cons: "Cup holders"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Beautiful car which is great on gasoline. Back seat is a little bit tight for adults but great for kids."

2 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Very nice car!

By on Thursday, July 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 52,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I am not sure if I have the right 5 series. this has the twin turbo V-8 ? I will have title tomorrow. To verify ?"

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

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