Looking at the 2011 BMW 5-Series

Fri, 08/12/2011 - 23:01

BMW’s 5-Series for 2011 has now been redesigned. The premium-midsized vehicle comes back, now as a 4-door sedan. Also offered is the 5-Series Gran Turismo, a 4-door vehicle with a hatchback body style.

Along with either the rear-wheel drive or the xDrive or BMW’s all-wheel drive, these vehicles come with a six-cylinder and V8 engines. For the entry-level models of 528i, they have 240 hp 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder engines. As for the 535i, it runs on 300 hp turbocharged 3.0 liter inline 6-cylinder. The 550i is packed with a 400 hp turbocharged 4.4 liter V8 engine.


The 535i and 550i models with rear-drive systems have the 6-speed manual transmission as a standard, but it can optionally have the 8-speed automatic transmission, which in turn is standard for the 528i and the all-wheel drive versions of the 535i and 550i.

These vehicles share a series of safety features, such as the traction control, antilock brake system or ABS, antiskid system, front-side airbags, and curtain-side airbags.

Traction control is what provides stronger traction to the vehicle, especially when it turns, brakes, accelerates, etc. It’s what prevents skidding in general and gives you a strong grip over your vehicle.

Wheels that get locked by brakes are dealt with by the antilock brake system or the ABS. Wheels that get locked by brakes are immediately acted upon by the system by relieving those wheels of any pressure from the brakes should the system detect that the brakes will lock them. Thus, the wheels continue to turn, giving you control.

Working alongside the antilock braking system is the antiskid system. As the name suggests, it prevents skidding. With the help of sensors, the system watched out for occasions of grip loss on the car and uses the ABS to apply individual brakes so as to keep the vehicle on its intended path.

Front-side airbags protect the passengers in front while the curtain-side airbags protect the passengers in all seats from hitting the car windows in case of a collision.

As for other features, lane-departure warning, blind-spot alert, night vision camera, parking assist, and top-view camera are also available.

Unique to the series is BMW’s Dynamic Damping Control and Driving Dynamics Control. The Damping Control allows suspension adjustments while the Driving Dynamics allows customizing of powertrain settings. Both are optional.

Yet another optional feature is the BMW’s Integral Active Steering. This allows the electronic alteration of steering response. It can even steer the rear wheels when driving conditions call for it.

Additional features that are standard, however, include the telescopic steering wheel, a power tile, and 10-way power seats. There is also a navigation system with head-up display.

Expert testing has shown that the 535i with manual transmission scored a total of 77. That’s significantly higher than the average 65.5 that most premium-midsized cars get from the same test.

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