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Published on March 31st, 2010 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez

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BMW Gives The Globe A New 5 Series

BMW 535i SpecsEngine: straight-six petrol engine with twinpower turboCapacity: 2,979 cc
Power: 306 hp at 5,800 rpmTorque: 400 nm/295 lb-ft from 1,200 – 5,000 rpmAcceleration: 0 – 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds (automatic transmission: 6.1 seconds) Top speed: 250 km/h (155 mph)

This above is the specs of the car we test drove in Portugal at the global launch.

Looks-wise this all new 5-Series is not revolutionary like its previous model. It does however merge the nose of the latest 7-Series with the rear of the latest 3-Series. This means it is less than a clean slate redesign and more of a merger of 2 succesful models into one mid-segment bread and butter model. Does it excite us at showroom level? Sadly not like how the previous 5 did. However, it does excite us when we get behind the wheel. But first the interior.

The cabin is filled with gorgeous wood and leather color combinations that again demonstrate BMW’s current dominance in interior design against a seamless range of normality. Gauges and controls have been redone a tad and placed within easier reach of the driver, emphasizing that this is a driver’s car first. The new 5-Series gets the 7-Series’s I-Drive rotary push and press control system and a larger center control display screen measuring up to 10.2 inches in size. It also features other 7-Series features.

Our test car was a range topping 535i which went on demand from 0- 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds as it is using an all-new twin-scroll, single-turbo inline-six, which produces 302 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque. On the open highway the power delivery was quick, easy and without any fuss. The 8-speed semi-automatic transmission moves from gear to gear in seamless fashion, but if you wish for more involvement, just use the chunky gear paddles behind the steering wheel by tapping them to go up and down the 8 gear ratios. Handling powerness comes from the selectable suspension modes, Sport+, Sport, Normal and Comfort that at a touch of a button allows the driver to have the chassis working for him on different drive conditions.

After a day with the car on mixed drive roads we knew that BMW had another global success story with this new 5-Series, but will current 5-Series owners want to upgrade or would this be an upgrade for 3-Series owners. With a long list of technological features ‘borrowed’ from the latest 7-Series, this car we feel is carrying too much tech for the segment and we worry about how Malaysian after sales is going to cope with possible reliability problems that have already dogged many current 5 and 3-Series owners in the country.


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