F10 5 Series vs. F01 7 Series vs. E90 3 Series

5-series | November 29th, 2009 by 35
3erV5erGBOY 750x500

Ever since it was unveiled this past Monday, the new 2011 BMW 5 Series has been analyzed and over analyzed by many automobile magazines and …

Ever since it was unveiled this past Monday, the new 2011 BMW 5 Series has been analyzed and over analyzed by many automobile magazines and of course, the BMW community. Some of you have said the new 5 Series to be the “child of 3 and 7 Series” while others saw some of the Z4 front-end in it.

Truth is that the new BMW design language can be seen across the entire new line-up and some design elements are being shared or…bit at least, bits of them.

Today, we decided to put together a photo comparison between the new BMW 5 Series, the F01 7 Series and the facelifted 3er Sedan. Before we jump into it, let’s recap what our editor Josh had to say earlier in another article:

“Sure, some might say it looks like the 3-Series, 7-Series and Z4 had a love child, but it’s something that those two aren’t; BMW’s most important new model for the next few years. It’s even more important than the F01/02 7-Series and it is about as important as the E90 3-Series.

While the 3 sells more cars, the 7 is the luxury giant, the 5 is the car that most people making $60,000-$100,000 are going to be looking at. It’s BMW’s technology bread and butter. If it’s good enough for the 5ers, it’s good enough for the rest of BMWs.”

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BMW 7series sedan 031 655x491


Looking at the three images above, no one can’t deny that some similarities exist, starting with the headlights design, front-grille and the hood design. As Josh pointed out, the headlights and front-end also share some elements with the 5 GT. The headlights are slightly modified over the 3-Series units and much smaller than the 5-Series GT, making the new F10 its own uniquely styled BMW.




At the rear-end, in our opinion the three vehicles are quite distinctive and can’t be blamed to have much in common.




Some said that when looking from the side, the new 5 looks like a shortened F01 7er, but judging by these photos, we see more similarities with the 3 Series Sedan and very much common ground with the 7 Series. It is worth pointing out that the 5er still looks distinctive and we have no doubt that in real life will differentiate itself even more.

Since the point of this exercise was to engage you and allow you to express your opinion regarding this comparison, we will leave you with one more comparison photo before your comments start to come in.


Image courtesy of GBoy from GCZ

35 responses to “F10 5 Series vs. F01 7 Series vs. E90 3 Series”

  1. Jordan says:

    on the side photo of the new 5 series… doesn’t it look like it’s sitting incredibly low? especially right in front of the rear tires…. compare it to the 7 and 3 series…

  2. Bryce says:

    That is a beautiful lineup of cars right there. Not only do I like the new 5 series, but seeing these pics makes me really excited for the M5 and next generation 3. The more I see the new 5, the more I like it. Although, I do wish the front valence was a bit more aggressive. Do we know if the front end is identical on the 550, 535 and 528? At least the twin tailpipes differentiate the cars from the rear.

  3. Joe says:

    Amazing lineup. They are in a good place right now.

  4. auday says:

    Just need to get rid of the E63 butt and face and the new more elegant lineup will be complete.

  5. jocamryn says:

    You used “butt” and “face” in the same sentence…..lol

  6. michael says:

    so what will the next-gen 3er look then?


  7. orlandocroccia says:

    Like i´ve BMW’s. But all of them have differences in the design and i think that the actual desing is pretty good. I only hope BMW can create a nice rear to the next 3er.

  8. orlandocroccia says:

    Like i’ve said before, they share the same design language and therefore it’s natural the resemblace, but all of them have distinctive details and they are quite obvious. So, i think the actual desing is good and i only ask BMW to create a nice rear end to the new 3er also;).
    (in the pervious comment, some words were eaten in the comment upload:S,)

  9. travelgeek says:

    I like especially the last comp pic. You can see that the new 5 has a much higher nose vs. the 3 is carrying it lower. The hood is very similar with the character lines – different to the GT and 7. I prefer more clean and elegant lines. Less is more.

    The main overall design expression for me is – very low, wide, therefore sportive and muscular.

    If the front is not aggressive enough – well, just wait for the M package that will solve it for sure. At least did for me last time with the old 5.

    For me it will make all the difference to see it on the road. BMW´s are often not good or less impressive in 2D but extremely good looking in 3D.

    • Jordan says:

      “For me it will make all the difference to see it on the road. BMW´s are often not good or less impressive in 2D but extremely good looking in 3D.”

      so true. you have to see them on the road. the 5GT might look meh to you, but see it on the road and it stands out and has presence. same with the new 7, looks a lot better in person IMO,

  10. travelgeek says:

    BTW I miss the comp shot between the GT – 5 – 7

    thank you!!!

  11. duckofprey says:

    It seems to me that the F01 is an evolution of the E60 and the F10 is an evolution of the E90. If you took the new 7 series and 5 series and shrink them by 10% or something, they could have been the new 5 series and 3 series. An evolution of the last 7 series is gone. I’m very happy with this decision as the E65 was undoubtedly the ugliest BMW I can remember.

    • Giom says:

      @ duckofprey: “E65 was undoubtedly the ugliest BMW…”

      I respectfully disagree. Still today, when I see one… I SEE one. They still stand out. They still look like nothing else – in particular the pre-facelift. Pretty it aint, but estheatically brilliant.

      Back to subject… after seeing these pics, I’m surprised to see how good E90 still looks – the facelift, that is. The tweaks did it justice and, like someone mentioned above, it looks stunning on the road. Just can’t wait to see the new 5!

    • Ramon Juarez says:

      your comparison is very accurate. The E65 pre-facelift was ugly…..the facelift was gorgeous.

  12. Patrick Lien says:

    As an aside, I don’t think people with $60k-$100k/yr salaries are the target audience for the 5 series. At least not here in the Northeast.

  13. Babken says:

    A masterpiece. A genuine wonder of the world.

  14. joe says:

    i love it, i also agree that the front could look more aggresive.

  15. xcpac says:

    I am very sorry, but I think the new 5 series is a step backwards design-wise. I fully understand why BMW did this, they are playing safe; it will surely be a good seller though, since is practically undistinguishable from a 3 series sedan, which is a 5+ years old design (best seller). I don’t say I don’t like it, because it is a beautiful car, but I think the express order from the members of the board was: ‘we want a 3 series enlarged as a 5 series with modern design cues’. Anyways, I wish they made the new 6 series a true beauty, built a R8 competitor, a great newer 3 series and the lineup will be complete.

  16. L1ndja says:

    After seeing these photos i can confidently say that the new 5er is a great and well designed car.It truly does have some similaritys with all those cars mentioned but every carmaker has its own design cues which distinguish it from others and thats why the cars are similar otherwise it isnt a copy of a 7 nor a 3 ,Z4 or a 5GT

  17. Vaybach Khan says:

    when u look at that way its very similar…and 3 series looks a lot better in that pic..but in live i think new 5 looks much better..the 5 gt is ˝new˝ the new 5 not as much…

  18. lennardt says:

    front of 3series, rear of the 5series
    ->perfect designsheme

  19. eracer says:

    The 2nd to last pic of the 3-series, you used the pre-LCI picture of the 3, not the new one, which looks a lot more like the 5.

    Good comparison overall….the new F10 5-series looking great. Very interested to see what the new 3-series looks like.

  20. e39 m5 says:

    The big grill really looks borrowed from the current x5 to me. However, it IS a great looking design and has really rescued the 5 series from Chris Bangle’s e60 design in my humble opinion.

    I can’t wait to see what the M5 looks like…if the e39 m5 and the e60 m5 design history is any cue – it’s likely that we’ll see a more aggressive front end for the F10 M5.

  21. Misha N says:

    I really like the design theme with BMW’s current line up. I own a pre LCI ZSP E90. IMO, the lines, and proportions are perfect. The M-Sport pkg will suit those looking for something a little sportier on their F10 5er.

    I’m anxious to see the 2012 3er, and refreshed 1er. BMW, please don’t screw up the next 3-Series…

    eracer, I agree with you. I love the LCI E90 front, and F10 rear!

  22. Tom says:

    The new line up is a family of cars. BMW isnt going to produce something so extreme looking until all the series reach that point. People think its a step backwards… absolutely not. BMW has to produce their series’ to offer something alittle more as the numbers get higher. They wouldnt come out with a fiver that blows the seven out of the water. Its just common sense. Between around 1999-2003, the 3, 5 and 7 were a FAMILY of automobiles. They all resembeled each other in a slight ways, which made them BMW. The same thing is happening here.

    I personally think the new line up is absolutely awesome. I think theyre agressive yet elegant and at the same time the best looking cars out on the line today. Every step that BMW takes leads slowly, to something more amazing.

    And of course the M version will satisfy those who want more aggression.
    An M is an, M. :)

  23. Sean says:

    The overall lineup looks okay… I see a little more 3 series in the 5 than 7 series (which is a good thing). I’d say the Mercedes lineup looks better, though.

  24. Lesciba says:

    Hi, the car/5series is gr8 looking, but truth be told – its not refined (just like something from the far East).. I think an early FaceLift is going to follow – especially in the front. The rear, absolutely perfect!!! (& yes it does look like the 3coupe in the profile!)

  25. Wild-Speed says:

    love em all, but the new 5er takes the most credit!

  26. Alex says:

    I tent to agree with XCPAC in that BMW have gone backwrds with their design on this 5 series. The current one looks the part, different, agressive, chunky and says a statement. This one just blens in and is too plain.

    Maybe it’ll grow on me, the strange thing is more than likely I’ll aslo end up buying one….oh well, BMW, you guys still are the best!

  27. iraqi says:

    I love bmw more than myself

  28. lennardt says:

    e90 grill is just nasty. i hate it. just like the grill of 6series..this is the only designstep i don’t like.

  29. Tory says:

    I think the 5 is the nicest. Nice blend of the 3 and the CS nose. Best rearend of the 3 cars as well. The front of the 7 looks a litle like it has hare lip to me. Also the 7, Audi A8 and Lexus all share this high pinched shoulder line in side view. I think Audi and BMW either were drafting on the Lexus which came out first, or this was a feature they all coincidently decided on. Generally the smallest car can be the prettiest as the wheels will look the biggest. I imagine the next 3 will be even better than the 5.

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