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FEATURES | 9 out of 10
iDrive is still as user-friendly as a shift knob made of razor wire
“improving but arduous
Kelley Blue Book
allows users to personalize many electronic comfort, convenience and security features”
Lots of features make the 2009 BMW 5-Series sedan and wagon a pleasurable ride, but the iDrive system detracts from the cabin’s function.
Standard equipment on the 5-Series includes a sunroof, power front seats, automatic climate control, iDrive, and vinyl upholstery. The 535i adds lumbar support for the front seats and xenon headlights, while the 550i gets leather upholstery and auto-dimming mirrors. Edmunds states that the 2009 BMW 5-Series wagon "is only available as a 535xi." Standard features here include "17-inch wheels, a sunroof, power front seats, leatherette upholstery, automatic headlights and wipers, automatic climate control, BMW Assist telematics and iDrive control interface." Autoblog reports that the BMW 2009's "vehicle and Key Memory allows users to personalize many electronic comfort, convenience and security features."
Kelley Blue Book lists Bluetooth wireless connectivity for cell phone users, as well as a 10-speaker AM/FM radio-CD player combination. Other features available include ventilated front seats and heated rear seats; active steering; a head-up display; keyless ignition; HD and satellite radio; and a night-vision system.
Edmunds advises that the 2009 BMW's complicated "iDrive is still as user-friendly as a shift knob made of razor wire." Car and Driver calls iDrive "a curse"; stating that it "complicates most functions," ConsumerGuide suggests it may even constitute a safety hazard, as it "diverts the driver's attention from the road." Edmunds finds it "cumbersome to use," while Kelley Blue Book, which praises its many technological gadgets, deems iDrive "improving but arduous."
The sky's the limit here with features; the 2009 BMW 5-Series is almost a perfect 10, if it weren't for the still-difficult iDrive interface.