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2011 BMW 5 Series

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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 New for 2011

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 116 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Reliable & immaculate; superior engineering

By on Saturday, July 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

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
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Superb workmanship & engineering; built to drive"

Cons: "Luxury car"

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

Mint condition

"VIN WBAXH5C53DD111665; Immaculate & garaged; high mileage but all hwy; new windshield & sparkplugs; all service & VIN reports on hand; trouble free and reliable; all-wheel drive w/ adaptive cruise control & traction control system; winter, power & premium packages; luxury drive; new Bridgestone Blizzack tires & roof rack included; rated 22/33 MPG but better w/ Eco Pro feature (brake energy regeneration system); Nav w/ real time traffic; exterior dark graphic metallic II w/ beautiful interior Black Dakota Leather; keyless entry & ignition; satellite radio, hands free info-tainment capability system; premium condition; original MSRP $56,995"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Mint condition

No Regrets

By on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun, tech, good gas mileage, aesthetically nice"

Cons: "none so far. relatively new"

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

"Coming from a volvo background and having driven an E-CLass for a short time, I was skeptical about plunking down my hard earned for a bimmer. I must say that I am more impressed now that I have the car than when I was driving my wife's 3 series or X1. I wanted the play of the 3 series but the "grown-upness" of a larger sedan. I was not disappointed at all. True I can feel some sharp turns due to the run flats but this is the finest modern car I have driven and I recommend getting one if you are able. I opted for the 13 model as it is my favorite body stye since the 2000 era."

Great Cruiser!

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great road feel, great utility,"

Cons: "2013 Idrive not android friendly"

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

"This car is wonderful. You have to spend more than a few miles in it and it will grow on you instantly. Huge backseat and storage, luxury and comfort for the driver and passenger, perfect for a car seat and road trip, or put the back seats down and use it for utility (just get the rubber trunk mat!) I'm reconfiguring the backseat as a mobile office with laptop tray and great for Real Estate showings and just overall chauffeuring that is pleasant for both driver and passengers. It is a little button heavy with technology but you will get used to it really quick (what newer cars are not these days?)Don't let visual reviews fool you. This is beauty in the eye of the beholder, and from the inside looking out, not from the outside looking in."

Car iss over rated and over priced

By on Friday, May 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Handles well and looks great"

Cons: "user controls etc stink"

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

"I find it to be one of the most user unfriendly cars i have ever owned. The German engineers seem to care less and make no attempt to correct. The car could be great if they listened to the customer once in a while. This is the first and last BMW I would purchase. Back to Lexus for me."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

2015 535xi disappoints

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Beautiful Car"

Cons: "Hesitation in acceleration from a complete stop"

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

"This is my first dive into the BMW market and will be my last. The car hesitates when accelerated from a complete stop. I thought there was a problem with the car so I took it back 3 times. They said it was a bad fuel injector and replaced it 3 times (thankfully under warranty) but the hesitation continues. I am nervous about crossing traffic at time because of this hesitation. Very disappointed with this purchase."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent Vehicle, Fun to Drive

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Handling is excellent, build is wonderful"

Cons: "No Eyeglass holders AND engine issues"

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

"Overall, this vehicle is fantastic. Great power and phenomenal handling (w/Dynamic suspension package). It's a bit of a gas guzzler but if you're looking at this vehicle, that shouldn't be a concern. One word of caution however... The vehicle has what BMW calls a "customer care package" on this model years engine. In my mind it should be a recall. The failure rate of the fuel injectors is quite high. I've had mine in the shop on four occasions for this reason. For a buyer, the good news is that this knocked the value of the vehicle down a bit so as long as the car got the updated fuel injectors, you would be getting even more car for your money. Be sure and ask if the N63 customer care package was applied to the vehicle or check the BMW history before purchasing."

29 people out of 37 found this review helpful

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