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Car reviews - BMW - 5 Series - 525i sedan


Entry level version of BMW's striking new 5 Series still packs a punch

15 Oct 2004

BMW’s new 5 Series shows how seriously the company took criticism of the previous model’s lack of interior spaciousness - it’s now bigger inside than an E-class Mercedes. The designers also took the E-class benchmark and moved it upwards by giving the 5 Series arguably the best ride/handling compromise seen in any luxury car. Compared with the 530i, the smaller engined 525i loses a portion of power and torque, but little else. And it’s even more aggressively priced - against some cars that would love to believe they are real competitors.

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Model release date: 1 December 2003 to 1 June 2005

Previous model

BMW E39 523i sedan

Released: April 1996
Ended: October 2003
Family Tree: 5 Series

BMW's logical model naming convention took a turn for the worse with the previous 5 Series base model, which was called the 523i despite being powered by a 125kW/245Nm 2.5-litre six-cylinder. Launched in April 1996, the E39 523i sedan received a more powerful 141kW/245Nm version of the 2.5 in December 2000, when it was properly renamed the 525i as part of a midlife facelift that also featured new headlights and bumpers. The E39 525i was available in Executive ($84,800) and Sport ($88,200) guises when last sold in October 2003. The 2.5 engine is carried over into the new E60 525i, launched in December 2003.

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