On the surface, the redesigned BMW 5 Series gets a lot right with a luxurious and well-finished interior, impressive drivetrain, comfortable seats, and a mostly serene ride. Unfortunately we found the total driving experience left something missing, as you can see in our road test video.
Our tested 535i’s 3.0-liter turbocharged engine is smooth, quiet, responsive, and relatively fuel efficient, returning 23 mpg overall. However, handling is disappointing. The new electric steering doesn’t transmit feedback well. Pronounced understeer and so-so grip reduced the car’s speed through our avoidance maneuver. And driving it simply isn’t as fun as you’d expect from a BMW.
The interior is opulently finished and the front seats are very comfortable and supportive. Unfortunately the controls are overly complicated, a modern BMW hallmark. While the iDrive controller has improved, we still find it distracting as it still requires the driver to go through various menus to perform simple tasks. Similarly, the electronic shifter is not intuitive to use. For instance, you need to push the shifter forward to engage reverse, which is counter to most other cars.
To sum up, the new BMW 5 Series is luxurious, quick, and cosseting, but the total driving experience is not what you would expect from a BMW.
See our full BMW 535i road test and Ratings.