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BMW’s mid-size luxury sports sedan and wagon receives minor updates for 2007, including a standard four-year subscription to BMW Assist (like GM’s OnStar system, BMW Assist can summon help in the event of a crash), the addition of an iPod jack to the standard audio system and a new Sport Package that includes revised front seats and steering wheel. A night vision system may also be ordered. Otherwise, the 5-Series is a carryover for 2007. It continues to be available in 525i, 530i, and 550i forms — with all-wheel-drive “xi” versions of the 525i and 530i available. The V-8 550i is only offered in rear-drive form, however. And the wagon comes just one way — 530xi with all-wheel-drive. The standard 3.0-liter six in the 525i and 525xi is rated at 215 horsepower; the 530i and 530xi get a 255-hp version of this engine (uprated from last year’s 225 hp). The top-of-the-line 550i is powered by a 4.8 liter, 360-hp V-8 engine. All 5-Series engines come standard with a six-speed manual transmission; a six-speed Steptronic automatic available optionally. Also available is an electronically controlled “clutchless” Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG). This transmission is a true manual transmission but one which uses a computer to engage and disengage the clutch, leaving the driver to decide when to shift gears. The 330 wagon comes with a Soft Close two-way tailgate — available in a power-operated version when the Premium Package is ordered. This package also includes a dual-panel Panorama moonroof. Servotronic speed-sensitive power steering is now standard on all 5-Series models. Like the larger 7-Series, the 5-Series comes standard with BMW’s complex iDrive control system, which combines various systems like the climate control, navigation and audio functions into a single array that’s operated via a center-console knob. Some drivers find this system annoying and overly complex. The V-8 550i includes both standard adaptive brake lights and adaptive headlamps that automatically pivot during steering maneuvers to help illuminate the road around curves. For the serious enthusiast, the M5 is available with a 500 horsepower V-10 engine and numerous chassis and other upgrades.
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