The BMW 5 Series launched in the U.S. in the early 1970s, and it perfectly blends of performance and luxury. This midsize sedan proves extremely satisfying to own and drive, but it offers enough interior space to make it a practical choice for a family car.
The 2006 BMW 5 Series provides a thoroughbred performance and often sets the benchmark for other sport sedans. BMW incorporates the latest technology into its cars, and like all German manufacturers, it gives attention to detail. The 5 Series might have a conservative appearance but the drive moves far from conservative.
BMW 5 Series vehicles provide attention to detail, space, and a well-designed interior along with high performance. All models come with an impressive range of standard equipment. All BMWs offer responsive steering and a comfortable ride quality, and even those equipped with a sport suspension feel comfortable enough for everyday commuting. Although more expensive to purchase than some of its competitors, the BMW 5 Series has a lot more to offer serious drivers who want to combine fun with performance and luxury.
Body Styles: sedan
Engines: 3.0-liter six-cylinder, 4.8-liter V-8
Transmissions: six-speed manual, six-speed steptronic
Models: BMW 5 Series 525i, BMW 5 Series 525xi, BMW 5 Series 530i, BMW 5 Series 530xi, BMW 5 Series 550i
BMW gives the 5 Series aggressive new styling this year, and it divides people as to whether they love it or hate it. This year the BMW 5 Series comes in five different trims: the 525i, 525xi, 530i, 530xi, and 550i. The biggest change for the 2006 BMW 5 Series involves the introduction of new 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine for the 525 and 530, while those living in bad weather areas benefit from the introduction of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel-drive system. This system gets electronically controlled and has a variable front-rear power ratio. It makes sure the power gets evenly distributed using data from BMW’s Dynamic Stability Control system. This system ensures that the car keeps moving even if it loses traction to three wheels. All models come fitted with a six-speed manual transmission, while a six-speed automatic remains available as an option.
This year sees the re-introduction of the 5 Series wagon, although it only comes in one trim, the 530xi. The 550i replaces the 545i, and it contains a more powerful 4.8-liter V-8.
The exterior of the 2006 BMW 5 Series looks distinctively styled and very German. BMW offer outstanding build quality and the 5 Series makes no exception. Features include heated mirrors and rain-sensing windshield wipers. Purchasers can choose the sport package, which adds a firmer suspension, run-flat tires, and active front steering.
The interior of this BMW is all about understated luxury, and the build and material quality look outstanding. Passengers sitting in the rear seats feel just as comfortable as those in the front seat due to supportive seating, and the interior comes intuitively laid out.
The 2006 BMW 5 Series includes one-touch power windows, automatic climate control, and 10-way power seats. All models include the iDrive system, but adaptive cruise control and a DVD-based navigation system remain optional. Purchasers can upgrade their stereo system to a Harmon Kardon Logic 7 audio system, and the sport package brings active front steering.
Performance & Handling
The 2006 BMW 5 Series delivers a well-balanced ride that’s difficult to fault, with all engines offering adequate power, although models equipped with the V-8 seem extra sporty. It offers an extremely nice drive, and its steering feels super responsive.
Standard safety features include side-impact airbags for front- and rear-seat passengers, a head protection system, dynamic stability control, and four-wheel disc brakes. Advanced safety electronics and active front head restraints remain optional. Models fitted with iDrive have hill start assist and hill descent control as standard features which proves useful for extra-steep driveways. The 2006 BMW 5 Series performs well in crash tests.
EPA Fuel Economy
BMW 5 Series 525i: 18/27 mpg city/highway
BMW 5 Series525xi: 17/26 mpg city/highway
BMW 5 Series 530i: 18/27 mpg city/highway
BMW 5 Series 530xi: 18/25 mpg city/highway
BMW 5 Series 550i: 13/21 mpg city/highway
- Understated elegance
- Exceptional build quality
- Strong styling
- Satisfying drive
You Won't Like
- Styling might not be for everyone
- Awkward iDrive system
A beautiful luxury sport sedan for German car enthusiasts.
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