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The new BMW 5 series

You would love the latest 2012 535i BMW, which has so often been regarded as a family oriented car. The new 5 series BMW from the German carmaker is set to shake off that tag for good. If you drive the car, you will know what we mean, where you will experience comfort with superb power capabilities to go with it. The 5 series have over the past years been regarded as one of the best handling cars around, considering its price and functions, many critics are looking at BMW to see how they can raise the bar to this. Although their latest versions did bring down the handling issue a bit, other elements have compensated throughout, read on and you will be amazed with what they have to offer and what you will miss if you don’t try.

You will notice its smoothness and the twin-turbocharged engine activating without any jerk or hassle. The 3 liter 6 cylinder engine comes with one of the best handling cars you can imagine, an element exuding very well with the BMW 5 series ever since. The car comes well equipped with a live traffic reporting system and Bluetooth Hands-free facilities for your mobile phones.

Unlike luxuries car in this range, you will notice that the design of the interior of the 535i seemed less illustrious as it seems that they are more concerned about functionality than form. You will like the steering wheel which is thickly provided while the wooden dashboard somehow gives you a conundrum as compared to the gear shifter which looks like it is fresh from the prototype oven. The 6 speed automatic transmission is turnable and makes a good look aesthetically.

One of the major things you will notice about the dashboard is the wide-screen LCD that shows you a lot of information, even some that you do not need. The traffic navigation system which is handled by iDrive is shown here while you will also be able to view your current audio selections as well.

You will also notice a very functional and useful audio system with the 535i which comes with 11 speakers and 2 subwoofers as surround. Clarity and bassy music will have your drive in comfort in no time. There are also the usual audio levels selector where you can control the treble, bass and mids respectively while playing around with the 7 band graphic equalizer for better audio quality. The audio player allows you to play MP3 files as well as connecting your iPod into it. Otherwise look at the Bluetooth capabilities. This is where it gets interesting. Once you pair your mobile phone with the system, you can pretty much view the contents of your phone like your contacts, your media files and such.

The electronics of the 5 series have often been breakthrough technology; hence you will always be impressed with them. The engine which comes with the twin-turbocharged, 3-liter, straight 6-cylinder was also used in the 3 series. This version comes with the ability to push out up to 300 horsepower at 5,800rpm and 300 feet per pound of torque at 1,400rpm. It is able to go from 0 to 100km per hour in slightly less than 6 seconds.

If you prefer to use the manual shifter, it takes a while to get used to this because it is somewhat revolutionary. As mentioned it looked like it just got out of the prototype oven so you will have to learn the tricks to fully utilize them even if you have used shifters before. It comes with a button on top as park while pushing it up will get you to reverse while the other way gets you to drive. Push it to the side to get into the Sports mode.

If you have seen the commercial where the driver could see in the dark, this is the version that comes with it. You will be spoilt for choices if you are going to buy the new 5 series because the E60 engine comes in the following versions, 523i, 523i SE, 525i Sports, 530i and 540i Individual respectively. On top of that, there is also the V10-powered BMW M5. In comparison to a car along the same class, the BMW 523i SE is sold at RM376,800 while the Mercedes-Benz E200K comes with a price tag of RM353,888.

With the 523i, you should not get confused that the engine is a 2.3 liter engine because it actually means that the 523i is powered by the N52B25 magnesium-alloy engine, a 2.5 liter unit. In the 525i, the engine is similar but tuned differently. The main differences between the 523i and the 523i SE (Special Edition) is the wheel design as well as more prominently the gadgets. Both the versions comes with standard equipped Start-off brake assist, 8 airbags, ABS, DSC, Active Steering, and the iDrive system as well as automatic headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, and a Bluetooth handsfree system as mentioned previously.

In the audio departments, where the SE comes with a BMW Professional radio CD player with 10 speakers and MP3 capability, the Standard version only comes with a CD player with 6 speakers. The SE also comes with the automatic high-beam control where it will light up when you are in the highway at night and turns itself off when oncoming traffic is detected. The lighting system that comes with this car is great like the Adaptive Headlamps which turns and steer according to light up the ground.

Most people believe that the 523i have been able to shake off its image of being the entry model of the 5 series as the upgrades have enable it to become one of the best cars around. Giving you up to 190 horsepower and 230Nm of torque would give you enough bragging rights not requiring you to compare yourself with the higher versions of the 5 series.

The SE do handle extremely well although some people find the understeering somewhat annoying. This is very evident especially if you are taking a corner too sharply but having exuded its impression of being one of the best handling cars around, you will most likely to let that slide and feel that the car will recovery pretty well.

The 525i Sports version is great version if you are in for the speed and performance. Its engine, which is the highly tuned, N52B25 is capable of giving you up to 218 horsepower at 6,500rpm and 250Nm of torque at 2,750rpm. The car goes from 0 to 100km per hour in less than 8 seconds and comes standard with 6-speed automatic gear transmission.

For the higher version lovers, you will definitely dig the 530i which is somewhat similar to the 535s but comes with the keyless entry and a sunroof. This is where you will find significant differences in terms of its interior design, particularly in the steering wheels and gear shifter. The car comes with paddle shifts and the BMW Night Vision where an infrared camera detects and show you what are lurking in the dark. The audio system that comes with the 530s are the most impressive giving you a 13 speaker LOGIC7 surround system.

In terms of performance, you can expect the N52B30 engine to get you up to 272 horsepower at 6,600rpm and 315Nm of torque at 2,750rpm. With the 6-speed automatic shifter, you will also be able to make use of the Sports function where you can shift the gears faster and more aggressive. Considering that this function are meant for those who need that extra push, it might be a bit bouncy there. The car definitively feel faster and push further but because it does not come with the M-Sport suspension as those provided for in the 325 Sports version, handling might be a bit hard here.

The E60 looks more comfortable as compared to its previous versions where you are now greeted with cupholders while the iDrive is a great addition. The cars are priced at RM 349,800.00 for the BMW 523i,
RM 376,800.00 for the BMW 523i SE and the BMW 525i Sports is priced at RM 409,800.00. The higher versions of the BMW 530i is priced at RM 453,800.00 while the top of the range BMW 540i Individual is priced at RM668,800.00.