2012 BMW 5-Series

AdChoices

2011 BMW 535i: Flash Drive

This 2011 review is representative of model years 2011 to 2014.
By Staff of MSN Autos

The BMW 535i exactly splits the difference between the 3-Series and the 7-Series. I tend to find that the 3-Series has an exaggerated weight to its controls, specifically the steering, and a ponderous nature to its movements. But the 3-Series is better than the bloated-feeling 1-Series, even though it's not a willing partner to spirited driving. Somehow the 7-Series, although obviously bigger and heavier in objective terms, feels the lightest and most nimble of all. The 5-Series may not have the balance of power or the clarity of focus of the 7-Series, but it is easier to wield and better-sized for the cut-and-thrust of a modern city or even a racetrack. I love the BMW 7-Series and now I have a new respect for the 535i. Happily, it's also cheaper than the 7. –Paul Hagger

I've not been a big fan of the 5-Series' styling, and while this 2011 model has a bit of a facelift, it is still not a great-looking sedan. The interior is attractive, however, with the nice materials expected from a BMW. Seats are comfortable with plenty of adjustments, although I expected more legroom in the rear. The iDrive controller is a bit improved with a number of "shortcut" buttons. Even so, it's still more complicated than it needs to be. The turbocharged engine offers plenty of power; the 535 can really move off the line. In everyday driving, though, I found the power difficult to apply smoothly, and the brakes also take some getting used to. I did like the ability to change chassis and drivetrain settings with a single switch, and the change was noticeable. In the Sport Plus setting, handling was quite impressive, especially for a car of this size. Overall, there are some nice features and improved styling, but there are too many annoyances that would bug me in everyday driving. –Perry Stern

advertisement

Search local listings

powered by:

Recently Viewed Cars

View favorites
BB06 - 8/30/2014 3:52:21 PM