This is It
The large dashboard benefits from ideal material selection and exceptional fit and finish. The level of craftsmanship actually feels closer to a world-class jeweler than a production car maker. You get the sense that BMW designers really went out of their way to mark a clear departure from the notorious (Chris) Bangle interiors, where black plastics trumped everything.
A safe, entertaining cocoon
Anytime a company redesigns a product, they strive to include the latest gadgets and hottest features as a way to showcase their technological expertise. The 2011 BMW 5-Series is obviously no exception. The outrageously-equipped cabin boasts a huge navigation display atop the center stack and a dual-monitor DVD entertainment system in the back. There’s ample room for every passenger, even the most demanding, and four-zone automatic climate control puts icing on the comfort cake.
Front occupants enjoy the driving experience from a pair of divine buckets with length-adjustable cushions on the driver’s side. The perfect driving position allows you to focus your attention on the revised iDrive interface, which still proves more complex than COMAND (Mercedes-Benz) or MMI (Audi). The audio system delivers extraordinary performance thanks to optimum soundproofing.
Meanwhile, in addition to "regular" driving aids, the dizzying array of safety features includes Lane Departure Warning (with steering wheel vibrations), two side-view cameras integrated to the front bumper (making up for the long hood) and Head-Up Display. And as a sport-oriented sedan, the new 5-Series adds Integral Active Steering, Dynamic Driving Control and Dynamic Damping Control.
I felt like in a dream well before I even fired the heavenly 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8 that powers the 550i. The turbochargers in the V between the cylinders make for a compact design that shortens exhaust paths to provide direct responsiveness, not to mention a thundering 400 horsepower. The slightest dip of the throttle sends the car flying and you can reach 100 km/h from a standstill in just 5.3 seconds. I’m also grateful for the 450 lb-ft of pure torque starting at 1,750 rpm.
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