Mainstream news outlets have caught up on test driving the new 2011 BMW 5 Series and reviews are starting to flow in. Last one to deliver their impressions on the new 5 Series is USA Today.
Let’s have a look.
“BMW does a dandy job of complicating its cars, but there’s a simple summary for the wholly redesigned (“all-new” in breathless auto industry parlance) 2011 5 Series sedan.
Bigger, looks better, priced less, gets better mileage.
Bigger. But not much more room inside where you want it. More headroom in front than the 2010 5 Series had, but otherwise the interior dimensions are comparable, and the 2011 winds up with only about 3% more overall passenger space.
The biggest beneficiary of the 2-inch-longer body on the 3-inch-longer wheelbase seems to be the trunk, leapfrogging from sub-par to among the best, even if compared with larger sedans.
The new size has added several hundred pounds, too, which can hurt agility, though the test car was definitely nimble by any reasonable standard.
Looks better. Reasonable people often disagree on matters of taste. Still, the new appearance eschews the troubling raised-trunk look — BMW apparently is moving away from it just as mainstream brands are adopting it.
The new vehicle has a smoother silhouette than its predecessor, which is the sort of change that pleases most eyes. True, there’s still a lot going on visually, and some details seem gratuitous.
Priced lower. The 535i has a starting price that BMW says is $1,650 less than last year’s 535i. The 550i V-8 version is $900 less than last year’s.
But until last month, there was no less-costly 528i, as was offered in the 2010 line. The lowest 2011 price for a 5 Series since launch last spring had been the 535i’s $50,475 (including $875 in shipping).
Now the 528i has been added to the 2011 model line and starts at $45,425, which BMW says is a price cut of $1,400 vs. the 2010.
The part about using less fuel is uncomplicated. Drive farther, spend less. The 2011 BMW 5 sedans are rated as much as 4 miles per gallon better than their 2010 counterparts.”