BMW fans, it is time to rejoice because the 5 Series is back on form, with redefining dynamics and limo levels of luxury combined with the traditional styling of the much-loved E39 model of the latter 1990s.
Better still, non BMW drivers also have something to be grateful for as well, because the 535i as tested here displays some atypical brand traits, making it one of the most complete sedans we have ever tested.
Of course, the luxury midsizer is not perfect, and the price as per usual is heart-breakingly high, but the 5 Series at last delivers with style, quality and panache.
Model release date: June 2010
THE E60 5 Series was one of Chris Bangle’s most controversial designs, dramatically breaking away from the styling of its predecessors.
It also had an advanced body, a mixture of aluminium and steel, aluminium suspension and six-speed automatics as standard, plus active steering, which alters the rack ratio depending on the speed, as standard.
The E60 replaced the last classic 5 Series, the E39, in October 2003, while a wagon version arrived two years later.
The 525i had a 141kW and 245Nm 2.5-litre inline six-cylinder engine with variable valve timing, while the 530i had a 170kW and 300Nm straight six and a 4.4-litre V8 with 245kW and 460Nm was used for the 545i.
The six-cylinder and the V8 engines were upgraded, and, finally, a diesel version was made available in 2005 – the 530d with 160kW and 480Nm.
A mighty M5 arrived in June 2005 with a 373kW/520Nm V10 linked to the now-defunct SMG automated-manual gearbox.
BMW revised the 5 Series in 2007, when it introduced the entry-level 523i petrol six before an even cheaper four-cylinder diesel, called the 520d, arrived later that year.