I was not initially sold on the bangle look but it has grown on me. The three-quarter angle from the rear is still jarring to the eye, however.
My reason for buying the car was image, performance and prestige. The 530d is the right model to have, stunning acceleration and running costs have amounted to one litre of oil over 27,000km. The first service is required in a further 3500km.
I elected for the black colour scheme with light grey interior, a combination that is pleasing to the eye and adds to the prestige image. The black interior I find claustrophobic and the wood finish should be avoided at all cost.
If wood and leather is to your taste then buy a Jag or god forbid the E class. A BMW should be light and agile, even though I am carrying about 100kg extra with the diesel lump, the experience is a joy.
I have the great pleasure of having a 30 minute commute to work across the rolling Limburg countryside in the south of the Netherlands around Valkenburg. THE 5 JUST EATS IT UP!!!
I'm a short time owner, however I feel the auto is as quiet as any I have ever driven.
It has a smooth shift. The comfort features in the cabin are the best. The iDrive is slow to feel confident.
The finish is perfect, and exudes perfection. The only question I have (and I am going to the dealer to check) is when first taking off from a signal, there seems to be a slight lag. Maybe it has not broken in yet. This is my only complaint.
I recommend this to anyone who loves to drive quality.
An absolutely stunning car. My 2005 545i (in Silver Gray) has navigation, active steering, premium sound, PDC, head up display and comfort seats.
The 545i is, quite simply, the best car I have driven. I also tested the 2005 Audi A6 (3.2 and 4.2) and Acura RL (a US only car), nothing came close to the 5.
Ride quality and handling are excellent, as is noise isolation. Head-up display sounds like a gimmick but once you have it, it's indispensible.
Complaints are few and minor - there isn't an easy way to cancel navigation guidance once it's started, plus, in the US at least, BMW only offers Sirius satellite radio and not XM.
Overall, I can't recommend this car highly enough - I'm incredibly happy with it.
Out on the road the engine is smooth, you can hardly tell it's diesel with the windows closed.
There is lots of torque, it pulls really welll and the short levered six-speed box is is slick. Ride is firm but not harsh except when hitting speedbumps in car parks. The servotronic (option) steering is light in town and weights up nicely when on the open road giving plenty of feedback.
The interior is very nice in the cloth/nappa leather combination, but I'm sure I'm now seeing spots (they could be cubes). Seats are comfy and easily adjusted. It's very quiet on the motorway. The i-drive is OK to use. It becomes intuitive eventually even if a little distracting.
It does give you a huge range of settings and info that would simply be unavailable through a conventional dash, eg programming the function of steering wheel buttons, or activating a 'triple flash' on the indicators. The radio and CD is a little disappointing on sound quality considering I paid extra for hi-fi speakers. Maybe I was spoilt by the harmon kardon system in my 318Ci.
Overall I'm really pleased with my choice, the 5 is superb to drive, is well built, cheap to run, has lots of space and has a quality interior. If you want something a bit sporty or something that doesn't blend in then it should be your top choice. But if you are looking for a big luxurious car try the A6 before you buy, the interior has a higher quality feel and the car feels bigger out on the road.
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