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The BMW 5 Series is the definition of a high-end sports sedan. Every version of the 5 Series puts an emphasis on driving and, in its market category, it is the target at which all competitors are aimed. This mid-size luxury car remains a true sports sedan in any of its variations. The same goes for the sport wagon and the all-wheel-drive models. Regardless of engine size or equipment level, the 5 Series delivers lively acceleration, precise handling and outstanding brakes. It’s available with a manual transmission, which is increasingly hard to find in this class.
The 5 Series line represents a wide range, from the BMW 528i to the 550i to the BMW M5. There’s a wagon for those who want more room for cargo and BMW’s xDrive full-time all-wheel drive for folks in the Snow Belt.
The BMW 528i boasts spirited performance, with decent fuel economy to lower operating costs. The BMW 535i matches some V8s with its 300-horsepower six-cylinder engine, while the V8-powered BMW 550i delivers true high performance by any definition. The limited-production M5 can out-accelerate, out-brake and out-corner some expensive sports cars, with comfortable seating for five.
The 5 Series is loaded with the technology that’s made it a benchmark for critics and auto industry engineers alike, and some of its systems and features have a dark side. The iDrive point-and-click control system, for example, takes time and patience to learn, and drivers who aren’t willing to take the time or those who just prefer things simple might want to look at another car.
However, those who put driving satisfaction first should put the 5 Series near the top of their test-drive list.
For 2010 there are only a couple of changes. Those vehicles equipped with the optional navigation system will have the fourth-generation iDrive system, and the availability of an M Sport Package will lend an enthusiast flavor to most of the 5 Series models. An all-new BMW 5 Series is expected for the 2011 model year.
For 2010, the fourth-generation iDrive, matched with the optional navigation system, has new graphics and controls. There is a high-resolution 8.8-inch control display, the menu structures have been optimized, there is an expanded range of functions, enhanced convenience and more intuitive operation via direct-select keys at the controller, and more Programmable Memory Keys. The new control display is easier to understand, and the controller offers a more comfortable, intuitive selection and activation of functions with standardized turn, push and tilt motions.