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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
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 2010 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 2010's "vehicle and Key Memory allows users to personalize many electronic comfort, convenience and security features."
The array of standard features on the 2010 BMW 5-Series is as extensive as rival models, but it's the astonishing list of high-technology options that really differentiates it from the competition. The high-tech options include an active steering system that may be a driver's aid or a lifesaver, adaptive bi-xenon headlamps, a head-up display, active cruise control, high-beam assist, front and rear parking aids, night vision, a lane-departure warning system, heated rear seats, and a power rear sunshade.
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.
BMW's pesky iDrive is standard, and its unintuitive operation blemishes the high-tech fun. Edmunds advises that the 2010 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 2010 BMW 5-Series is almost a perfect 10, if it weren't for the still-difficult iDrive interface.