2011 BMW 5-Series vs. Its Competition

2011 BMW 5-Series 4-door Sedan 535i RWD Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

The new 2011 BMW 5-Series competes most directly with the Jaguar XF and Infiniti M.

Both models are all-new for 2011.

The new M—offered in M37 and M56 models—has improved handling and real backseat room this time around, plus a gorgeous interior.

The Jaguar XF remains one of our editors' favorites, offering a great blend of capable handling and performance, combined with a smart, classy feel and excellent interior comfort.

Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class was redesigned for 2010, with a thoroughly upgraded interior and quicker steering; it is still offered in a hot E63 AMG version.

Additionally, the new Audi A6 that's on the way for 2011 promises to be more of a performance car, along the lines of the latest A4, and it will pose a more direct threat to the 5-Series.

Versus the new 5-Series Gran Turismo it’s hard to say; BMW’s own X6 is a top rival surely, though the X6 makes more serious compromises in backseat space to achieve that swoopy roofline.

And chalk in the Acura ZDX for comparison, even though that’s more of a (barely) four-seat coupe on steroids.

2011 BMW 5-Series 4-door Sedan 535i RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 BMW 5-SeriesBrowse Used Listings2011 Mercedes-Benz C Class 4-door Sedan 3.0L Sport RWD Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mercedes-Benz C ClassBrowse Used Listings2011 Mercedes-Benz E Class 4-door Wagon Sport 3.5L 4MATIC Angular Front Exterior View2011 Mercedes-Benz E ClassBrowse Used Listings2011 Cadillac CTS-V Sedan 4-door Sedan Angular Front Exterior View2011 Cadillac CTSBrowse Used Listings2011 BMW M3 performance package2011 BMW M3Browse Used Listings2011 Audi A6 4-door Sedan 3.2L FrontTrak Premium Plus Angular Front Exterior View2011 Audi A6Browse Used Listings
Quick Specs
The new 2011 BMW 5-Series might be a conservative evolution in terms of styling and design, but it’s a quite radical one with regard to how BMW’s most important model drives.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz C-Class sedans aren't that spacious for back-seat riders, but they offer top-notch luxury along with a sporty flavor that takes aim at BMW.
The 2011 Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan swings to the masculine side of the pendulum and sharpens its driving appeal in the process.
Attention-getting style, solid driving dynamics, quality materials, and a very competitive price put the entire 2011 Cadillac CTS lineup on level-or-better footing with most of the competition.
Stunning performance is still the calling card for the 2011 BMW M3; the weight it's gained may just be a sign of its success.
The 2011 Audi A6 is elegant and agile, although its cabin design is looking somewhat dated.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
15 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy12 MPG City / 26 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 27 MPG Hwy13 MPG City / 20 MPG Hwy16 MPG City / 28 MPG Hwy
Gas I6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V6Gas V8Gas V6
EPA Class     
Mid-SizeCompactSubcompact CarsMid-SizeCompactMidsize
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan 528i RWD4-Door Sedan C 300 Sport RWD2-Door Coupe E 350 RWD4-Door Sedan 3.0L RWD4-Door Sedan4-Door Sedan FrontTrak 3.2L Premium
Rear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveRear Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4dr Sedan4 Door Sedan2 Door Coupe4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Automatic w/manual shiftManualAutomatic w/ODManualManualContinuously Variable Ratio
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2011 BMW 5-Series vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz C Class2011 BMW 5-Series vs. 2011 Mercedes-Benz E Class2011 BMW 5-Series vs. 2011 Cadillac CTS2011 BMW 5-Series vs. 2011 BMW M32011 BMW 5-Series vs. 2011 Audi A6