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2011 BMW 5 Series

Overview
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2011 BMW 5 Series Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.4

In some cases, building a reputation may be preferred to protecting one, especially in terms of cars. Every brand sold in the U.S. made its debut at some point, but as we've seen with companies like Kia, the road to success isn't always smooth. However, with time Kia's products - and its reputation - improved. Compare that with BMW, the heralded maker of its self-titled Ultimate Driving Machines. The pressure is always on to better the competition and its own lineup, with the end result being cars like the 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan. Sporting a fresh, mildly aggressive appearance and a reinvigorated trio of powerful and efficient engines, BMW's mid-level luxury sedan confidently stakes its claim in the luxury sedan segment once again.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your idea of a top-level German luxury car requires equal doses of power, comfort, style, and refinement, the 2011 BMW 5 Series is sure to fit the bill.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Amenities such as a USB port and a complimentary satellite radio subscription are becoming increasingly common on cars priced well below $25,000. They're options costing at least $350 on the BMW 2011 5 Series Sedans.

What's Significant About This Car?

The BMW 2011 5 Series Sedan has been updated with revised styling that's stretched over a longer body. Engineers have added electrically assisted power steering and planted more power under the hood. Lastly,, the 528i xDrive Sedan and 535i Wagon have been scratched from the lineup this year.

Driving the 5 Series

Driving Impressions Regardless of which flavor is chosen - mild (528i), medium (535i) or hot (550i) - the 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan rewards with varying levels of power and handling capability....

We've spent the most time in the 2011 BMW 550i Sedan, and can attest to its smooth, effortless operation at speeds within and far outside legal limits. Turbo lag is a non-issue. Complimenting the 5 Series' powertrains is an immensely stable chassis, one characterized by responsive electrically-assisted steering, as well as capable and easily modulated brakes. The sport mode setting also buckles down the suspension a bit, transforming a comfortable and compliant luxury car into a sport sedan that will make drivers long for a lonesome curvy road.

Integral Active Steering
The 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan is available with an integral active steering system that, depending on vehicle speed, aims the rear wheels in the same or opposite direction of the front wheels. The end result is improved handling.

M Sport Package
Designed for those who want to get the most performance out of their 2011 5 Series Sedan, the M Sport Package ups the ante with a sport suspension, lightweight 19-inch alloy wheels, and a higher electronically limited top speed.

2011 BMW 5 Series Details
Interior

The 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan has a significantly updated interior, highlighted by a new instrument cluster. The driver and front passenger are treated to spacious bucket seats that are decidedly firm. Still, they're plenty comfortable and supportive, even over the course of hundreds of miles. Rear occupants sit on a standard bench seat set at a reclined angle. Rear legroom is in short supply.

Exterior

Muscular is the best way to describe the updated 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan. This is due in no small part to the sculpted hood and side panels. The company's signature kidney grille is surrounded by sleek new headlights that provide a cleaner, leaner appearance, while the taillights have been reshaped and now offer a semblance of style. Collectively, these subtle changes create a look that compliments the 5 Series' sport sedan underpinnings.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

While the absence of standard satellite radio service and a USB port is disappointing, the 2011 BMW 5 Series Sedan isn't what you'd call a back-to-basics car. Every version sports a power moonroof, Bluetooth connectivity, high-definition audio, dual-zone climate control and push-button ignition. Unfortunately, real leather upholstery is reserved for the top-of-the-line 2011 BMW 550i. The standard iDrive telematics system continues to add complexity to what were once simple tasks.

Optional Equipment

In addition to packages designed to improve handling or coddle the driver are desirable options for rear-passenger comfort and overall safety. The 2011 BMW 5 Series' rear seating area can be fitted with an entertainment system, heated and ventilated buckets, individual zones for the climate control system and power sunshades. On the safety front, 5 Series' buyers can opt for a blind-spot warning system and a rearview camera, but the real head turner is the Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection option. The system scans nearly 1,000 feet ahead and can detect people within 300 feet.

Under the Hood

When you think of a large luxury sedan, impressive fuel economy isn't likely to be at the forefront of your mind. But that's exactly what you'll get with the rear-drive 2011 BMW 528i Sedan. It boasts a 240-horsepower, 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission that combine to deliver 32 miles per gallon in the government's highway driving cycle. The next most powerful engine, the twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder, makes 400 horsepower and is fitted in 535i versions. The engine in the 550i variants is a twin-turbocharged, 4.4-liter V8 generating 400 horsepower.

3.0-liter in-line 6
240 horsepower @ 6600 rpm
230 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32

3.0-liter in-line 6 twin-turbocharged
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1200-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 (manual, RWD), 20/30 (automatic, RWD), 19/29 (automatic, AWD),

4.4-liter V8 twin-turbocharged
400 horsepower @ 5500-6400 rpm
450 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1750-4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (manual, RWD; 17/25 (automatic, RWD), 16/24 (automatic, AWD)

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2011 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 98 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

A safe, comfortable riding car; I love to drive!

By on Saturday, June 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,188

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fun to drive"

Cons: "tires are too expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Never buy new, preowned with low mileage is way to go. I love this car. Beautiful body style and will really move! My 3rd BMW and is the ultimate driving machine."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Fantastic! 535 XDrive

By on Tuesday, June 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Luxurious & comfortable, great design & Technology"

Cons: "Pricey, Could use powered rear seats"

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

"Shopped several luxury sedans for a year before buying the 535i Xdrive. Fit, finish and technology integration superb. Smartphone Bluetooth capture is excellent. Although subjective exterior/interior design is superb and is an attention grabber. Driver/passenger seats are great for short and long trips (Audi A6 had hard seats by comparison). The ride is comfortable, luxurious not the athletic 5 Series -Bimmer driving experience of yore but very good! However, watch out you'll be doing 90+ without thinking! Surround cameras are good, although the 360-degree picture isn't uniform-some sectors clearer than others will check that with the dealer. The back seats can be lowered to give you lots of pass through room from the trunk, although raising and lowering the seats is manual, should be powered. XDrive makes a difference and would recommend that no matter where you live- it does rain. Cup holders are located a bit forward, but you get used to that. The BMW maintenance plan makes this the least expensive luxury sedan to maintain across four-year period, do the math and you'll see."

7 people out of 13 found this review helpful

The best BMW I have ever owned

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, large trunk, seats, speed"

Cons: "Rock-hard run flat tires, rear visibility"

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

First day with the car: October 30th, 2013

"I have owned my 2014 535d xDrive M-Sport for a year and a half now. What a car! I always lease cars for 36 months and I have owned many BMW's before this (M3, 2 M5's, 550i, X5) and this is my favorite one by far. I got the graphite metallic color (which I don't think they offer on the 2015 M-sport models) with the mocha nappa leather multi-contour seats. My previous vehicle (2011 X5) was a great car but it had rough suspension and my wife hated the seats. The multi-cotour seats in the 535 are absolutely epic. The amount of adjustments you can make is just incredible. The optional adaptive dampers are a MUST in my opinion, especially on the M-Sport model. Those run-flat tires are HARD and the adaptive dampers make the ride a lot better. It's such a smooth car with little road noise. My 6ft son fits in the back seat no problem and the trunk is huge. The AWD system is great also with no problem in NY winters. The diesel is an absolute dream to drive. Does 0-60MPH in 5.7 seconds and though it's lacking in horsepower compared the the 535i it makes up for all of that with the enormous amounts of low-end torque. It just takes off. We did a drive from NYC to Albany for Thanksgiving doing 80MPH the whole time and we averaged 36MPG. I commute to Connecticut everyday for work and I have saved so much money on gas. The one thing this car leaves something to be desired is in rear visibility. The backup camera and parking sensors do mostly eliminate the problem, but it's a little hard to see out of the back window unless you really get up out of your seat. Otherwise, so happy with my decision. I can't wait till the lease is up so I can get another one!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

First day with the car: October 30th, 2013

One of the Best I ever owned

By on Tuesday, March 31, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: end of lease

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

Pros: "great to drive ,classy luxury handling"

Cons: "cost of service after warranty and mpg"

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

"My lease just ended on my 2012 535xi . For the first time in a long long time I was sorry to let it go. The car was fantastic ,comfortable fast , luxurious had all the bells and whistles for a few years to come , more than few years. An outstanding car , no issues and whomever gets my car is getting a GEM."

23 people out of 45 found this review helpful

BMW hits it out of the park!

By on Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

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

"This M-sport 528i xDrive is my favorite BMW so far. Went with Jet Black and Ivory Nappa Leather, Cold Weather, Harmon Kardon, Black Kidney Grills, Carbon Fiber Spoiler. When you put it in sport mode you forget it is a 4 cylinder! Very quiet!"

15 people out of 39 found this review helpful

Great Car will BMW takes care of it….

By on Friday, January 30, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great looker, comfortable ride, fun to drive"

Cons: "Not sure of long term reliability"

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

"I am just about 30 months into my 36 month lease. The car has been absolutely great. The only issue was a blown fuse in the 12v outlet. No big deal. The fit and finish are excellent. I really do not have any issues with the run flat tires from a ride point of view. Would much rather have a spare tire though. Because of the expense to maintain and service this car out of warranty I will not purchase it off lease. I am struggling with that decision only because I love the car. Everything I read is that they start having trouble after 4 years."

33 people out of 61 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?