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TheCarConnection.com has researched a range of road tests on the new BMW 5-Series to bring you some of the most useful observations from other reviewers. Then here, TheCarConnection.com's editors bring you their own overall Bottom Line assessment, including firsthand driving impressions.
- Smooth, responsive engines
- Crisp, responsive handling
- Variety of useful technology options
- Available manual transmission
- Complexity of iDrive system
- Disappointing crash-test performance
- Ridiculously high sticker price when extensively optioned
The 2010 BMW 5-Series sedan and wagon return for a final model year, while the new 2010 BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo points the way for an all-new, mid-size BMW range. The Gran Turismo's based on new-generation sheetmetal and running gear; this 5-Series sedan and wagon are part of the last-generation BMW lineup and will drift out of showrooms by summer 2010.
The 2010 5-Series sedan and wagon bear the hallmarks of an older school of BMW styling-one that's being left behind. With elaborate curves and sculpturing on the body sides, the 5-Series looks disjointed and complicated from some angles. It's far from the conservative streak seen in BMWs past, and it's been controversial on this car and on others sharing its theme: the 7-Series, the 6-Series, and the first-generation Z4. Wagons look a bit more balanced. The interior's one arc after another, with a deep black hole in the dash for the LCD navigation screen and a general favoritism for exotic surfaces instead of functional spaces. It's challenging as a piece of art-it's far more challenging as a place to do driving work.
The 2010 5-Series sedans and wagons aren't the best-looking, most practical or the best values in their class, but they're a joy to drive. Following the recent 300-horsepower, 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged six-cylinder optional engine upgrade, there's not much to report for the 2010 BMW 5-Series lineup besides some new wheels. The base engine on the 5-Series is the 230-horsepower, 3.0-liter six in the 528i; The 300-hp turbo six arrives in the 535i; and there's also a 360-horsepower, 4.8-liter V-8 model called the 550i. Each engine comes with a choice of six-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmissions, and for the available Sport Package, 535i and 550i models come with paddle shifters. All-wheel drive is also offered on six-cylinder models in the 5-Series line, the 528xi and 535xi.