Motoring Review: BMW 5 Series

Significant others are:
•    Mercedes E-Class
•    Audi A6
•    Jaguar XF
•    Lexus GS
•    Volvo S80

Models and Engines comprise of:
•    19 models – 11 petrol and 8 diesel
•    A price range from c.£25,400 to £64,300

Vehicle Appraisal

Styling
A distinctive car with a strong style and dramatic lines, the current E60 was revealed in 2003 with revolutionary styling (which was less controversial than the earlier 7 Series). The window shape remained as the only recognisable feature; in particularly, the trade mark ‘dog leg’ shape rear quarter light. The shape has grown on people and the 5 Series remains popular. A subtle refresh of styling in January 2007 has helped keep driver appeal, while improving performance and environmental credentials.

Interior
More spacious than its predecessor, but less so than some of its peers, the 5 Series has a 500 litre boot capacity to compete with the best. Rear folding seats are not standard, so the through load facility is recommended (ideal for golf clubs or skis) if more space is needed. The 5 Series has a 4-star NCAP rating and its 6 airbags come as standard.

Handling/ Performance
BMW’s are renowned for being a driving enthusiast’s choice and the 5 Series is no exception with a well balanced chassis and rear wheel drive. The driving experience is enhanced by a plethora of electronic gadgets such as Dynamic Drive, computer controlled anti roll bars, sports suspension and active steering (reducing driver effort at a slower speed, but giving greater precision at higher ones). If you want economy and value for money, consider BMWs ‘’Efficiency Dynamic’’ options some of which include:
•    Auto Start Stop – stops the engine when the car comes to rest and is taken out of gear, restarting when the clutch is depressed. NB, this is only available on four-cylinder manual transmission vehicles.
•    Brake Energy Regeneration – when braking or coasting, the system engages the alternator to charge the battery, recycling otherwise wasted energy
•    Reduced Rolling Resistance Tyres – heat resistant, anti-distortion materials are used to reduce friction, therefore lowering emissions and improving fuel efficiency.
•    Optimum Shift Indicator – a small visual display on the dashboard shows the optimum gear for a more fuel-efficient driving style. Only available on manual transmission vehicles.

Summary
The next progressive step up from the 3 Series, the 5 series has a good choice of engines, body styles and options. It’s understandably classed as one of the best in its sector.

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