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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
8.1
Out of 10

Based on 92 Ratings for the 2011 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.9/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    8.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.8/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

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!"

3 people out of 10 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."

30 people out of 58 found this review helpful

love my bmw

By on Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,635

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: "the car is perfect"

Cons: "it doesn't come with a refridgerator."

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

"I bought my 535d used only had 13600 on it, I used to own a 535i. I decided to try the diesel, and low and behold , I did fall in love with it ,there is no nasty diesel smell, the acceleration is astounding, and the fuel mileage is more than I could have hoped for, I get around 23-24 in town , and 38-41 on the highway. I have every option except adaptive cruise. as for the run flat tires , I got rid of those and opted for a set of good year comfort assurance tires. they are rated at 80,000 miles, and I couldn't believe the difference that made. all in all its the best car I have ever owned, period."

32 people out of 53 found this review helpful

the ultimate sports sedan "cruiser"

By on Thursday, December 18, 2014

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
10/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "wickedly fast, comfortable, great cruiser"

Cons: "numb steering, run flat tires, no remote start"

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

"I have been driving fast cars since 1964, including three prior BMW's. My 550ix is an incredible machine. It may just be the ultimate sports sedan "cruiser". It is absurdly quick and corners and brakes a lot better than the so-called critics contend. Moreover, it is extremely quiet, comfortable and well appointed. I believe that for most people, myself included, it has a nearly perfect blend of performance and real world road manners. Yes, the steering is not as crisp or engaging as I would like, and I am definitely not a fan of the run flat tires, but ,that said, I am very glad I chose it over the Mercedes E550 and the Audi A6. It costs a whole lot less than a comparably equipped Mercedes and while the A6 is a very nice car, it lacks the power of my 550ix. For people who want near "supercar" performance but who are not willing to pay the huge premium for a tricked out M5, Mercedes AMG or similar vehicle, I believe the 550ix is a great choice."

36 people out of 64 found this review helpful

Great power. Not guite as quick as my 540i

By on Thursday, December 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,532

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"This car is great. The only drawback is the fact that it uses @ 1 guart of oil in 1200 miles. This is in spec. I knew the V8 twin turbo would not get good gas milage; @ 13 in city and 25 highway. Conering is good."

15 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Bad experience

By on Wednesday, December 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
3/10

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

"On the way home the car indicated it was in need of coolant. Luckily I was 5 minutes from the gas station. As I pull into the station the oil pressure indicator came on indicating that pressure was very low. I opened the hood and saw oil everywhere. I had to get the car to a location roadside assistance could tow it, which was less than a mile from the road I was on. The display now was indicating the power train was becoming problematic. The car dealer thinks I may need a multi thousand dollar power train overhaul. The car is less than 3 years old. I have 2+ years of payments remaining. Just spent almost $1,000 on a Co2 sensor. Not that this isn't bad enough, a year into having the car I noticed the interior black paint on some of the accessories began stripping away from my finger nails accidentally scratching it. I thought to myself that that was odd for such an expensive car."

7 people out of 12 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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