2009 BMW 5 Series

Written By Tony Tran on Thursday, June 23, 2011 | 10:18 AM


We will probably never go so far as to declare any model "the perfect sports cars." There are always a few bones of contention, especially if the price is a factor. But if we had to choose a car to wear the mantle of perfection, the 2009 BMW 5-series would certainly be a candidate with good Vegas odds. It is a premium sedan (and wagon) with an arguably just-right size, which looks good and is beautifully constructed. It is quiet and pleasant, but handles better than just about anything else with four doors, and its engines are potent, but completely refined. In other words, if you have money to spend, it's hard to pass up to 5-Series.

The 5 undergoes no significant changes in 2009, although all-wheel models will have "xDrive" attached to their name / number. Otherwise, the 5 Series continues to consist of the 528i, 535i and 550i and 535i sports sedan for xDrive for the wagon. Of all these, the 535i is certainly our pick of the litter. The primary reason is BMW's now-familiar twin-turbocharged inline-6, which fitted the 535i with a nearly perfect blend of seamless power and respectable fuel efficiency. The torque-rich engine pulling hard from low in the rev range, with no problems piling on the speed of aggregation on the road or embarrassing Camaro-wielding wannabes street breeds. In fact, the 535i is just 0.4 seconds slower from zero to 60 km / h than the V8-powered 550i, but it returns only 1 combined mpg less than the 528i, which has 70 fewer horses. In addition, this power plant weighs less than the 550i's V8, and it makes the 535i feel better balanced and more responsive in the corners.

That said, all 5-Series model would be of value choices in medium-sized luxury sedan segment. It is certainly on the pricey side, and if it becomes more valuable per dollar is important, the Audi A6, Cadillac CTS, Infiniti M-series and even Hyundai Genesis is worth considering. Meanwhile, for about the same price as the 5, the stylish Jaguar XF and the prestigious Mercedes-Benz E-class to think about. But none of these are mentioned in the same sentence as "the perfect car" in their reviews. Although we probably never crown that particular master, the stellar 2009 BMW 5-Series is one of the few cars that make us wonder if we should.

Body style, trim levels, and Options

2009 BMW 5-Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. Three engines are available in sedan, which correspond to the three trim levels (528i, 535i and 550i), with xDrive all-wheel drive available on the 528i and 535i sports sedan. Cart comes in the 535i xDrive trimester only.

The 528i comes standard with 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, automatic headlights and wipers, power front seats with driver memory and power headrests, a power tilt-and-telescoping steering column cylinder, leather vinyl upholstery, automatic climate control, BMW Assist telematics, It Idriver electronics interface and a 10-speaker stereo system with CD player and an auxiliary input jack. The 535i adds adaptive xenon headlamps and lumbar support and 535i xDrive wagon adds a panoramic sunroof, fold-down rear seats and a power lift gate. The 550i adds parking assist, leather upholstery and automatic damping of mirrors.

Most of the features that are standard in top-level 5 Series models are optional on lower trim levels, as are many additional features. These include larger wheels, asset management, a lane departure warning system, front and rear parking assist, an infrared night vision display, active cruise control, shift work paddles for the automatic transmission, fold-down rear seats, rear sunshades, heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel (package only), multicontour power seats, keyless ignition / entry, a navigation system, a head-up display (requiring navigation), satellite radio, HD radio, an iPod interface and a 13-speaker Logic7 surround-sound audio system. Sport package adds larger wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, active roll stabilization, multicontour seats, a sport steering wheel, and the 550i, an aerodynamic body kit.

Power Trains and Performance

BMW's model names and Swept used to respond to each other, but no longer. The 528i comes with a 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 horsepower and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 535i will have a different 3.0-liter inline-6, this double-turbocharged pumping out 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 550i will have a 4.8-liter V8 good for 360 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. The sports sedan is rear-wheel drive as standard, but the 528i and 535i sports sedan can be equipped with all-wheel drive. All three engines come standard with a six-speed manual, a six-speed automatic is optional.

The situation is satisfactory, even at the bottom 528i, but for those who are interested in moving quickly, an upgrade to at least 535i is in order. We clocked a 535i with manual transmission at 5.8 seconds from zero to 60 mph. The 550i is still fleet, completing the same sprint in 5.4 seconds with the stick shift. Fuel economy is very good in the 528i (18 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined with the automatic) and almost the same in the 535i sedan (17/26/20 mpg), with only a minimal punishment if xDrive added. But the 535i xDrive wagon drops to 16/24/19 with automatic, and the 550 clocks at 15/23/18 mpg.


Standard safety equipment includes stability control, anti-lock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and front and rear side curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional. The available lane departure warning system alerts the driver via vibrations in the steering wheel when the car starts to spin out of its lane, and a night vision system warns of possible dangers from the regular Headlight range. Both Hill start assist and hill descent control is standard on AWD models.

In government crash tests, the 2009 BMW 5-Series earned only three out of five stars for driver protection in a frontal crash test, but it did receive a full five stars for front passenger protection and front and rear protection. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, the 5-Series achieved the highest score of "Good" in frontal-offset test. But the IIHS gave the second lowest rating of "Marginal" to hand security because of potential torso injury risk for front passengers.

Interior design and special features

2009-5-series boasts one of the most spacious and comfortable cabins in its class, especially when optioned with fantastic multicontour front seats that adjust in seemingly endless ways. Rear-seat head-and legroom are also satisfactory. In addition to accommodating cabin, the 14-cubic-foot trunk can hold a lot of things, and its opening is wide. The trailer has a maximum cargo volume of more than 58 Cubic.

The overall appearance of the interior is on the harsh side, although the materials quality is beyond criticism. The 5's standard Idriver electronics interface is still unnecessarily complicated, especially for ordinary simple tasks as going from a stereo mode to another, and its screen terminals are responsible for the unsightly hump in the middle of the dashboard. The automatic transmission's joystick-style gear selector is also in the Rube Goldberg page - an unnecessarily complicated and different way of doing a relatively simple thing.

Driving Impressions

2009 BMW 5-Series is a balanced machine that can handle aggressive driving on winding roads back just as easily as the shipments weekday commute on the crumbling Expressway. The 5's adeptness at both ride comfort and handling performance borders on the fantastic. Steering equipment is as sublime, with perfect weight and an almost telepathic feel. Opting for the Sport Package nets a sport-tuned suspension, larger wheels and an active roll stabilization, which makes it possible for 5 to cope with tight corners as qualified as some pure sports cars.

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