Not a great start to our test drive. New has to look new. An optional electric tow hitch that's available for all 5 Series cars automatically retracts for easy storage. In its bones, the new 5-series is perhaps a better car than the previous 5, a car that verged on sublime. Its sheetmetal is less outrÃÂ© than the big 7's, but it's not gracefully muscular. Quick, somebody find a clean sheet of paper! It's worse when their thinking is wrong-headed and they can't be persuaded otherwise.
It's never pleasant to have controls try to outthink you. All three boast precise handling, impressive power and outstanding brakes. They also feature an optional upgrade to all-wheel drive. Its shift throws are half an inch shorter than those of the old five-speed. Maneuvering through tight confines is a breeze, and filling an empty parking space is as quick a swoop on the steering wheel. It gets 24 mpg on the highway relatively impressive fuel economy for its 400-horsepower engine.
Its clutch takeup is progressive. Cleaned up and shorn but as, um, unusual as ever, Baker appeared about a decade ago on David Letterman. When the car is traveling straight, the effect of the roll stabilization is essentially negated. It also earned perfect scores for side-impact testing for both the driver and the passengers. Push the Active Steering car into a skid, and recovery is more immediate, and more likely. If only the 530's design were as gratifying.
If you never drove the 5 Series quickly, you'd be left with a smooth, truly comfortable car with nearly all the bells and whistles and nothing to diminish the experience. On the 5 Series the look seems a bit more cohesive, perhaps a less radical departure, but that may be because we've gotten used to the 7. This you do not need. These results should be used for comparison only and verification should not be attempted on public roads. Sure, we wanted a larger back seat and a more modern instrument-panel design.
Furthermore, many after market performance parts were produced for the already swift E60. The new 5 is 2. A factory-stretched long-wheelbase version of the E60 5-Series was offered in China, as a response to the Audi A6 L. Between visits, we'd forget just how good the ride-and-handling compromise was-how true the steering felt, how calmly the car could accomplish dynamically difficult tasks, how trusty and predictable a companion it was. Leatherette upholstery is standard; real leather is optional.
Our collective brain was never able to accurately anticipate how much turning would result from a given amount of steering angle. However, it earned five out of five stars for protecting passengers. But push the control that makes the steering wheel recede from you, and you can lower it another half-inch or so. We'll withhold our final judgmental thumb until we've had a chance to conduct a comprehensive road test back home. The only real benefit we noticed, though, was in low-speed, around-town driving where you will be shocked at what a sharp angle this large sedan can turn and will very likely run the inside rear tire up on a curb or two as you cut corners too closely on first try.
However, it earned five out of five stars for protecting passengers. Turns out, in addition to decades of musical experimentation, Baker had also become a successful olive farmer in Italy. In its bones, the new 5-series is perhaps a better car than the previous 5, a car that verged on sublime. Which is a neat trick we hadn't asked for and are literally not comfortable with. There was great speed, accelleration, control, safety, great fun, great performance. Cleaned up and shorn but as, um, unusual as ever, Baker appeared about a decade ago on David Letterman.
The new manual's first-through-fifth gears use essentially the same ratios as the old five-speed. An optional electric tow hitch that's available for all 5 Series cars automatically retracts for easy storage. We had the good fortune to evaluate the 530i on a crystal-clear fall day along fast, two-lane roads tracking the Hudson Valley through upstate New York. In this way the 5-series is frighteningly similar to a modern Mercedes. It is simpler than in the 7-series, but this is largely because the system is required to do far fewer things. Its clutch takeup is progressive. He was the one with the allegedly legendary appetite for the illicit who looked for all the world like an animated skeleton but for his long wisps of crimson hair, crazed eyes, and apparently quite large number of sweat glands.