UK automotive website, HonestJohn, has reviewed the new 2011 BMW 5 Series. In the past week, several automotive magazines were invited to drive the F11 5 Series Sedan, so expect more reviews in the upcoming days, including an extensive trip report from our friend RichardAucock.
In the mean time, let’s have a look at this test drive and see if the fairly positive reviews continue.
“The first car we drove, a specced up 530dSE with about £10,000 of extras worked really well. It combined gutsy performance from 550Nm torque with lovely feel-through steering, great handling and excellent ride quality from the new style runflats. A company director may now be told his firm’s car has to be 160g/km or less, and that is no hardship at all with the 530dSE. He’ll get all the performance and handling he craves, while there won’t be any complaints from his passengers about the hard ride. He’ll also find he can sit three adults across the back seat in reasonable comfort, with plenty of headroom for six footers.
So, a very well liked car, and just as well as 90% of 5-Series sales are diesels and in its first full year BMW hopes to sell an ambitious 15,000 F10 5-Series.
Our second ride was in a loaded-to-the-gills 306PS 535i petrol turbo that came with a full £14,000 worth of extra kit, including active steering and adaptive damping. That gives the driver a lot more choice of how he wants the car to behave: Comfortably, normally, in a sporting manner or in ‘Sport +’, which switches off the DSC and allows lurid tail slides. The ‘Sport’ 8-speed automatic comes with paddleshifts enabling the driver to select and hold the gear he wants for a particular corner.
So more scope for fun and hearing the sonorous straight six transform into a hard-edged, almost solid-liftered howl at high revs. An awe-inspiring sound. And the wider, lower profiled 19” tyres definitely grip longer on the bends. But the price to pay is a more fidgety ride at low speed, even in comfort mode. You still get great steering. That doesn’t lose its feel like some other wide tyred BMWs of the recent past. But the 535i is a car for a more hard core enthusiast, buying it for himself, whatever the wife says, or unconcerned of its effect on his company’s balance sheet and his Benefit in Kind tax bill.
The obvious F10 to go for is the 530d 8-speed auto on 18” wheels. It’s more sporting and more fun to drive than a W212 E-Class. And it rides better than a Jaguar XF on 19” wheels.”