2012 BMW 5-Series Comfort & Quality

8.0
Comfort & Quality

The 2012 BMW 5-Series has a very traditional sport-sedan interior, if you look at seating layout, but it's also a comfortable, quiet luxury sedan whenever you need it to be.

BMW builds cars with good front seats, typically. The 5er keeps up the reputation with supportive bucket seats that have extenders built into the bottom cushions, so tall drivers won't feel singled out.

The 2012 BMW 5-Series sedans have superb front seats and excellent refinement, but if back-seat comfort is a priority, look to the GranTurismo.

Back-seat space remains a 5-Series limitation. There's not as much leg room behind the front seats as you might find in an E-Class, for example-and BMW fits a hard plastic seatback to the front chairs. Gran Turismo models have different packaging that lifts the seat bottoms and grants more leg and head room, as well as a better view out of the side windows.

Throughout all the models, the interior is impressive, with good-quality, tactile switchgear. The iDrive interface still remains the center point of the dash; you'll need it to access many vehicle functions, but the 5-Series benefits from the much-simplified fourth-generation system-including an improved menu structure and hot buttons for main-menu categories. Simply put, iDrive has finally reached its potential in being a relatively intuitive interface that might not be as easy as buttons to some, but you probably won't need to read manuals to digest and use it on the fly.

The sedan has ample trunk space, but the Gran Turismo is where the cargo-capacity action is. It has a two-piece flip-and-fold tailgate with a handful of configurations, blurring the functional line between hatchbacks and SUVs. The seats in back have limousine-style room and a console between them, not to mention flexible cargo space with fold-down second-row seats.

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