Shopping for a new BMW 5-Series?
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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
Other optional niceties include automatic parallel parking, in which the car steers itself into a spot…
Car and Driver
The Gran Turismo's cabin provides everything a long hauler would like, from the navigation system with an optional 10-inch screen to a rear seat entertainment system.
…much more intuitive fourth-generation iDrive all-in-one controller, and with its rationalized menu structures and direct-function buttons surrounding the central controller knob…
The fourth-generation iDrive interface has been improved with the addition of separate buttons for main functions, contradicting its original intent.
BMW has long equipped its vehicles somewhat modestly for the luxury class, but offers plenty of opportunities to both make the interior and appearance more lavish and flamboyant, as well as innovative high-tech conveniences.
Rain-sensing wipers, power heated mirrors, and a dual-zone climate control system are all included, even on the base 528i, as is poplar wood trim and a synthetic leatherette upholstery. Softer Dakota leather is offered with a Premium Package, while a potentially bewildering list of possible options can bring you anything from upgraded audio, HD radio, heated rear seats, a navigation system, a rear sunshade, or one of many available trims. A Sport Package or M Sport Package provide a sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires, and other extras.
Also, BMW will offer a sonar-based Parking Assistant feature for the first time in the 2011 5-Series, and the backup camera system includes new Top View and Side View functions aimed at spotting driveway or parking-lot obstacles. A new Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go—capable of adjusting speed to traffic and bringing the vehicle to a complete stop for up to three seconds before needing driver input—will be optional. Other highlights include a new night-vision system.
Later in the model year, the 2011 5-Series will also have an auto-park feature, sonar-based and for parallel parking only. The driver can touch the brake and accelerator during the process, and the system will be offered with manual or automatic transmissions.
If you're willing to spend some extra money on the 2011 BMW 5-Series, you'll find plenty of tech wizardry or traditional luxury-car comforts.