Powertrain, fuel economy, acceleration, ride, quietness, fit and finish, front-seat comfort.
Disappointing handling, frustrating controls.
The 535i is refined and fuel efficient. In our tests the turbocharged six-cylinder engine delivered smooth and strong acceleration, and its eight-speed automatic shifted imperceptibly. Fuel economy, at 23 mpg overall, is commendable for such a substantial vehicle. While the ride is impressive, handling is disappointing, mainly because of the vague steering and the car's tendency to understeer at its limits. Interior fit and finish is excellent, and iDrive system is a bit improved, but some controls are still overcomplicated. The base engine is a turbocharged four-cylinder, and hybrid and M versions are available. Reliability has improved to average. The 2014 5 Series will get a light freshening.