BMW just completely redesigned the 5-Series models for 2011; the new version clearly is intended to be (and is) more of a driver's car than the former (E60) version that was sold through 2010; it also moves on design-wise, past an era of controversial BMW designs and into a new generation of sedans that seem to reach a couple of generations back. While the new version might reach back to the late-1990s-era E39 in some respects (with a bit more of the classic, upright look), BMW has preserved the 5-Series' modern profile and proportions.
With its most recent redesign, BMW put its hallmark dual-kidney grille lower on the front end, and made it more prominent. It's flanked by LED headlights. Down the side, the 5er wears a deep crease that runs from nose to tail. The hood contours more and has more curves, and the car's taillights have a more deamatic shape.
The 5-Series interior is driver-centered but not exactly cockpit-like; we like how it optimizes a spacious feeling in front. Most of the materials and trims look and feel conservative, but we like the simple, clean instrument-panel design. Displays and major controls angle toward the driver. To store away electronics, out of sight, there's a center console that's wide and deep enough for safe storage.