New BMW 5 Series Review
The BMW 5 Series, winner of the What Car? Best executive car 2006 and over the years has won this prodigious award no less than seven times. With its striking lines and near perfect balance between comfort and handling, the 5 Series really is a driver's car.
The 5 Series comes in a choice of both petrol and diesel models and both have varying levels of trim. Beginning with the petrol derivatives, the entry levels are either the 523i SE or the 525i SE, both are powered by 2.5 litre, six cylinder 24 valve, magnesium and alloy composite engines, developing 177 and 218 bhp respectively through a six speed manual transmission. Standard specification on these vehicles includes 17" star spoke alloys (style 138) with run flat tyres, aluminium integral rear axle, servotronic steering, electrically adjustable exterior mirrors in body colour - heated and aspheric, bumper and sills in body colour, chrome surrounds on window frames, body colour door handles, park distance control with pictogram display, heated screen washer nozzles on engine compartment lid, front seat structure optimised for side impact protection, standard seats with part electric seat adjustment Â? height and backrest, driver and front passenger airbags (impact depending airbag system), advanced head protection system front to rear head airbags, side airbag for driver and front seat passenger airbag, Thatcham category 1 alarm, aluminium brake callipers front and rear with inner vented disc brakes, Dynamic stability control plus - includes antilock braking system, advanced head protection system, dynamic brake control, dynamic traction control and electronic brake force distribution, electronic immobiliser, front end made from aluminium including bonnet and front wings, rain sensor including auto headlight control, windscreen wiper control and condensation sensor, side impact protection, tyre puncture warning system (TPWS), front armrest with storage compartment, auto air conditioning complete with particle filter, central air outlet in the rear, control display with 6.5" colour display screen, programmable cruise control, electric window lifts including anti trap function and comfort closing, electric headlight range control, interior mirror with auto anti dazzle function, three spoke leather steering wheel with multifunction buttons, on board computer, BMW business radio / single CD player with six speakers (CD preparation for six disc CD multichanger in glove box) and titanium II dark interior trim. Also, all 5 series models have an all round anti corrosion system with part hot galvanising, phosphate treatment, cathodic dip paintwork, preservation of hollow cavities and under floor protection. No matter which way you look at it, quite a list.
The 530i SE is the next level of the petrol 5 Series, powered by a six cylinder, 3.0 litre, 24 valve petrol engine developing 258 bhp through a six speed manual gearbox. This vehicle has the same specification as the 523i SE and 525i SE with the addition of metallic paint as standard.
Moving up to the next level is the 540i Se, powered by an eight cylinder Vee engine boasting four valve technology this four litre petrol unit delivers 306 bhp through a six speed manual gearbox, standard equipment in addition to the 530i SE includes a sliding front armrest, automatic advanced air conditioning with anti misting and solar sensor and an onboard computer including journey computer, fuel consumption, outside temperature display and speed limit function.
The 550i SE has the largest petrol engine in the 5 Series range at 4.8 litres, this eight cylinder Vee engine with four-valve technology pumps out a massive 367 bhp through its six speed manual gearbox. This model has 17" double spoke alloy wheels (style 116), a choice of six colours of Dakota leather upholstery, an electrically adjustable steering column, lights package, high gloss maple wood interior trim and standard seats with fully electrical adjustment and driver's memory all in addition to the standard equipment available on the 540i SE.
All SE models can be upgraded to M Sport specification, these vehicles all have in addition to the SE specification 18" M double spoke alloy wheels (style 135M), anthracite headlining, aluminium cube interior trim, M aerodynamic package, M door entry sill trims, M sports multi function steering wheel, part electric sports seats and M sport suspension.
Moving to the diesel range entry level is the four cylinder 16 valve 2.0 litre turbo-charged unit delivering 163 bhp through a six speed manual gearbox. Most of the standard specification on the 520d is the same as the entry-level petrol models, although the diesel has different alloys, 16" Trapeze (style 134) and does not have the park distance control or the anti dazzle interior mirror as standard.
The 520d SE and the 525d SE both have the same specification as the entry-level petrol SE models. The same engine powers the 520d SE as the 520d, whereas the 525d SE has a 2.5 litre, six cylinder, 24 valve diesel unit developing 177 bhp through its six speed manual gearbox.
Next in the 5 Series diesel range is the 530dSE metallic paint comes as standard on this vehicle in addition to the standard specification of the 525d SE, although the 530 is powered by a 3.0 litre light alloy, six cylinder, 24 valve diesel engine producing 231 hp again through a six speed manual gearbox.
Next up is the twin turbo charged 535dA SE with a 3.0 litre, six cylinder, 24 valve engine developing 272 hp through a six speed automatic transmission the 530dA SE has a front sliding armrest, automatic advanced air conditioning with anti misting and solar sensor and an onboard computer including journey computer, fuel consumption, outside temperature display and speed limit function all fitted as standard over and above the specification of the 530d SE.
Finally as with the petrol models all the 5 Series diesels can be upgraded to the M Sport level of specification which includes 18" M double spoke alloy wheels (style 135M), anthracite headlining, aluminium cube interior trim, M aerodynamic package, M door entry sill trims, M sports multi function steering wheel, part electric sports seats and M sport suspension, these options are in addition to the standard specification of the SE range.
If you need more capacity than the saloon then the BMW 5 series Touring is the car for you. With most of the specifications on the vehicles remaining the same across both the saloon and the Touring models, apart from the differences in the load space area such as securing rings in the luggage compartment and a lockable storage compartment under the load floor, the 5 Series Touring is not just a load lugger, but a variation on a well proven theme.
Like the looks of the BMW 5 Series, why not check out, the Jaguar X Type, the Mercedes E Class, the Audi A6 or the Volvo S80.
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