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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
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 80 Ratings for the 2011 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.0/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Bad Transmission

By on Wednesday, August 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,700

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Nice driving"

Cons: "Poor reliability. Unacceptable service"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"I bought this car brand new and when I brought it to the dealer for the first oil change they found that the transmission was leaking. It was leaking out of the case and needs to be replaced. This car has 7700 miles on it . The car has been in the shop for 3 weeks Still no transmission The ECD for getting a transmission is 9-1 14. I will never buy another BMW. This car will go up for sale as I get it back. It will be close to a month that its been in the shop"

5 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Love this car

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I recently bought the 2014 550i X-drive. I previously had a current generation 750. The lighter weight and extra 45 HP make for an unbelievable driving experience."

10 people out of 21 found this review helpful

Absolute thrill to drive

By on Friday, June 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,700

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Simply a fun car to drive."

Cons: "Navigation system does not display speed limit."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Purchased new. Three years and 30,000 miles later, this car is absolutely the best moderately priced sport car on the road. Have recently driven a Porsche Cayenne Turbo for one week and could not wait to get back into my BMW. Responsiveness and handling are tops. BMW could put a few more luxuries inside such as A/C seats and tire monitoring system that tells the air pressure."

21 people out of 42 found this review helpful

Terrific car but not enough back-seat room

By on Thursday, May 29, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Truly the ultimate driving machine"

Cons: "rear seat room"

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

"Terrific -- it's the 5th BMW I've owned. However, rear seating is not adequate (foot room) and function control wheel is very complicated to use. I'm certain there are many functions I don't use/understand. Turbo much quicker than a similar 528i, even if only 75 hp more. If you like music, be sure to upgrade radio/CD system as the standard one is sub-par and I'm not prepared to have an upgrade installed at the dealership for $4,500-$5,000. If you find one already installed by the factory, it only costs an additional $800-$1,000, Also, I'm very lucky to have found this used, spotless 2013 535i 4 wheel drive with only 9,500 miles on it! I think the ride is far superior to a similiar Mercedes Benz."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

BEST VEHICLE EVER

By on Sunday, May 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive; fast; dependable; perfect int. room"

Cons: "Nothing noted; I-Drive over-complicated"

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

"I have a 2013 BMW 535i, loaded -- M PKG, lease, had it for 15 months. - Love it; fun to drive; fast;"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Beware of M-Sport package w/ 19" wheels

By on Monday, March 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good compromise car"

Cons: "Horribly soft wheels"

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

"Watch the potholes! As a former M3 driver, the 5 series M-Sport is a great compromise car for running the family around while retaining the ability to engage in spirited driving. Unfortunately the 19" wheels bend far too easily. Had two wheels straightened in 3 months of winter driving. Car looks great. Plenty of power at 300 hp for the 535. Went with Xdrive for practicality. If you live in a climate with snow, opt for the 18" wheels, or buy a 911 for fun, and a Wrangler for winter."

23 people out of 33 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

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