- De-Bangled lines
- Simpler, more appealing dash
- Revamped iDrive
- More direct driving experience
- Flexible backseat and innovative cargo area (Gran Turismo)
- Grabby brakes at low speed
- Tech goodies have a learning curve
- Gran Turismo's handling
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 BMW 5-Series mid-size sport sedan has been completely redesigned for 2011, and it's more of a driver’s car than the outgoing 2010 5-Series—or most other mid-size luxury sedans—while still upping the technology ante and not forgetting about the comfort and luxury that matters.
There's no wagon version of the 5-Series model this time around; instead, the striking 5-Series Gran Turismo blends some station wagon and SUV cues into a shape that's not quite sedan or crossover. In the Gran Turismo, the elevated backseat space is excellent—limousine-like by most accounts—and the tailgate can be opened in two different ways. Powertrains for the GranTurismo are essentially the same, but a different suspension setup means it doesn't handle nearly as well as the 5-Series sedan.
Despite being predictably conservative with the 5-Series, BMW has made the new model feel a little sportier and more expressive than the 5-Series it’s replacing. When you take advantage of all of the technical achievements that are available with the Sport Package or as options—you don’t have to drive fast or aggressively to enjoy them—you get a true sport sedan that will greatly satisfy you, your passengers, and your inner tech geek.