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2011 BMW 535i gets thumbs up from Jeremy Clarkson

5-series | May 17th, 2010 by 34
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Known for his adversity towards majority of BMW vehicles, Jeremy Clarkson has pleasantly surprised us this time. In his review for Times Online, Clarkson praises …

Known for his adversity towards majority of BMW vehicles, Jeremy Clarkson has pleasantly surprised us this time. In his review for Times Online, Clarkson praises the new BMW 5 Series and clocks “THE CLARKSOMETER” at four star out of five.

Clarkson’s verdict: basically, it’s a very, very good Austin Seven.

Here is an excerpt from his review:

Let us take the BMW 535i as a classic example of the problem. The seats are pretty much perfect: they’re not too hard and not too soft and the side bolsters don’t dig into your kidneys but do provide just the right amount of support in the corners.

first-drive-2011-bmw-5-series-323

Then you have the engine. It may say 535 on the back but — probably because BMW’s marketing people wanted to experiment — it doesn’t actually have a 3.5-litre engine as you’d expect. It’s a turbocharged 3-litre six and it’s wonderful. Creamy smooth, powerful and as economical as can be: just what you’d expect, really, from a company that’s been doing the same thing over and over since Douglas Bader forced it to rethink its aircraft business.

Perhaps the most impressive part of this new car is the ride-and-handling compromise. It’s very difficult to make a big, heavy car such as this handle well and ride over bumps comfortably. In the same way as it’s very difficult to do a Fosbury flop. But if you practise enough …

And, boy, have those Bee Em boffins been practising. Frankly, it’s hard to see how on earth it could be better, short of replacing the wheels with a Maglev system. I don’t know what that is either. It just sounds good.

Styling? Well, recently, under the stewardship of a chap called Chris Bangle, BMW did try to be different and do something new. Nobody liked its effort all that much so the new car is far more conventional. That said, the view down the bonnet is delightful. Most bonnets rise in the middle to hint at great power beneath — for an example of this, see the E-type Jag or David Beckham in those underpants commercials.

This is the part where usually the slam fits in, but surprisingly, Clarkson faced the same issue we have had these past few days: difficult to find flaws in the new 5 Series.

And when it comes to finding fault? My God, you have to be picky. In the 5-series, I’m reduced to complaining that if I set the steering wheel where I like it, fully back and as high as possible, I can’t see the “range” read-out on the dash. Oh, and the electronic gearlever is a bit of a fiddle. Until you get used to it, which takes about three seconds.

Read full review

[Photo credit: Shawn Molnar ]

  • 9w2zek

    BMW is always the best Sheer Driving Pleasure!

    • asim

      O yeh i know it is and its so sick that it sounds louder than the 550i v8 and it has rear entertaintment system . But the 550i dosnt have rear entertaintmen system thats so strange isnt it top gear looser.

  • Chantan

    Ha, Clarkson is not exactly a fan of BMW. For even him to admit to liking this 5 series, it must be very very good.

  • M5POWER

    Seriously if Mr. Clarkson likes this car, then that means its very good!!

    • n8n

      …no, it’s not very good, it’s the best in it’s class!!! :)))

  • Giom

    Not that I take note of Jeremys’ opinions, but it is always nice when he has something good to say about our brand – even when we know it allready. But, he can’t be forgiven for his opinions on the X6 and other great BMW models – just because he really is too small minded to realise that he wasn’t their target market…

    Great read in any case…

  • plaxico

    cmon wankers, lets give it a go, your only time to shine…..do it in a jiffy and lets move on

    • XC

      What a RUBE.

      • plaxico

        every time yall click that button and reply on any of my posts…………….I WIN.
        Think , it will come to ya hehe

        Learn from H.B. , he rarely but mostly never gets sucked in this game……

        • Doug

          What are you winning?

        • XC

          Wow, your blatant display of ingeniousness just astounds me.

  • http://ebrake.blogpsot.com Andrew Murphy

    Ugh – I wish Clarkson was consistent with his approach to BMW. At least he gave it favorable remarks.

  • viper

    those rear pipes can be found on 2.0 tdi engine. oh well. who cares what clarkson says anyway.

    • Babken

      Who cares what you say?

    • bmwm6

      OMG I HAVE SEEN THAT DOOR HANDLE SOMEWHERE

      what is youur problem

  • Doug

    There are so many things that could have been discussed in the article ABOUT THE CAR. Jeremy has passed on these to randomly opine. He’s kind of entertaining on TV, but seeing it in print makes this erratic rambling much harder to tolerate.

  • plaxico

    I think Clarkson realises he’s losing journalistic credibility with his constant negative blustering and BWW bashing. The X1 review was utterly ridiculous.

    • plaxico

      …..nice try

    • XC

      lol

    • plaxico

      I wonder when the topgear website will update their 5 series review. I guess they’re waiting to review the lesser models in the range, given that they’ve driven the 535i.

      • plaxico

        …..nice try….. again. Get your own nick looser.

      • plaxico

        I don’t know if they’d update it, it’s just an older model. And, would they actually do reviews for each engine or package? This is probably it for awhile.

        • wazon8

          What is just an older model?

          • XC

            I wonder when the topgear website will update their 5 series review. I guess they’re waiting to review the lesser models in the range, given that they’ve driven the 512

          • wazon8

            what are you talking about…

          • XC

            Someone is having a lot of fun posting comments under false nicks. It’s just pathetic. (I have to agree with you plaxico, like it or not, lol)

          • wazon8

            Allegedly mine post “what are you talking about…” (although not written by me) is very in plaxico’s style: lack of capital letter and three dots instead of question mark. So, I guess that paxico used my nick to post this here. Plaxico, don’t do it, it’s really sensless.

        • plaxico

          They review the range, so would consider all engines and equipment levels. The 520d will be the best seller in Europe so I guess they’ll wait to drive that.

  • efoza

    I hear his wife has ordered the 5GT based on his suggestion. He therefore does have a brain after all!!!!

  • plaxico

    I changed my mind I LOVE BMW SERIOUSLY SO VERY MUCH GOT NEW BMW 740LI AWESOMENESS AND SERIOUSLY I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • plaxico

      Please stop using my nick… :’-( I love BMW but prefer the mini to the lame 7 series. Get your facts straight!!!

  • kenee

    Yes, I have also heard that Clarkson and his wife have purchased a new 5 GT. Good for him

    • XC

      Lol, can someone confirm this? Because I can’t believe that he bought a BMW… If this is true it’s a quiet confirmation that Clarkson is actually a closet BMWfanboy!! lol (just kiddin’).

    • wazon8

      Hahahaha, that made my day. Has Clarckson ever owned BMW? Surely, he really admires some of them: M3e46 CSL, M5e60, 535de60, M3e92, M3e90 and recently 535if10, and since he started associating Audi with brawlers on street, it became more and more plausible that he finally order BMW.

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