The 2008 BMW 5-Series has a body with avant-garde details that meet with mixed reviews.
BMW designer Chris Bangle has alienated some hardcore BMW-philes, Automobile observes, with his new styling themes. The BMW 7-Series was the first example of his dramatically curved theme; this 5-Series plies the same lines and surfaces with a more subdued result. Still, Car and Driver says, Styling doesn't appeal to all, and calls it somewhat controversial.
Edmunds deems it a wolf in a flamboyant sheep's clothing, but changes for the new model year are slight. Automedia reports, Despite revised front and rear styling, for instance, the 2008 5 Series sedan doesn't look markedly different from previous years. The slightly updated look for 2008 includes rear LED lights, a new headlight design, a new steering wheel, and revised door panels.
The interior strikes a more traditional path. Automobile says the new cabin is handsome but not as elegantly turned out as that of the new E-class. Still, its colors, materials, and shapes will appeal to those who favor Barcelona chairs over Barcaloungers. Automedia notes its lack of fanciness extends into the interior, with down-to-business seats and familiar BMW gauges. Motor Trend cuts down the 5-Series 's cabin, calling it a dark and cold cockpit.