Saturday, October 2, 2010

2011 BMW 535i

Recently I had the opportunity to get my hands on a 2011 BMW 535i. This is BMW's latest revision of their popular 5series mid-sized sedan. The redesign of the popular car was necessary after the either love it or hate it comments that plagued the previous generation. The new car looks worlds better with lines that help to deceptively hide its growing waist line. The newest iteration is longer and wider... much akin to previous generation 7series models, but by the design of the car, it looks much smaller. The lines are similar to the newer 7series, just smaller.

The engine is powered by BMWs three liter turbocharged (down to a single twin scroll turbo from the previous twin turbo design) engine. The car provides excellent off the line power with almost no perception of turbo lag thanks to it's unique design. Power is a plenty and torque is available from 1700rpm in the power band to almost red line. What is unique in design is BMW utilizes the turbo design to help boost low end performance and torque but tapers off boost pressure in the higher RPM ranges because the engine already had plenty of punch in that area and added turbo pressure is not necessary.

The engine is mated to a new eight speed transmission which is silky smooth. One could argue that it has too many gears, but at the same time to achieve sports car acceleration while maintaining economical fuel ratings, many gears are needed. And this car accomplishes that, acceleration for a car of this size is more than adequate and with a fuel consumption of over 30 miles per gallon at 70mph, it is enough to keep many happy.

The interior is also revamped to be more spacious while accommodating for the desires of the newer demanding customer. The dash is redesigned with a unique layout featuring illuminated gauges that fall to complete black when powered off. The center console is very functional with common buttons easily reachable and the iDrive controller which quick reach. iDrive speed is quick and navigating the menus is fast and direct.

The ride of the car is smooth and while many have said it feels spongy compared to previous cars, I beg to differ. The car does what it is designed to do... be smooth and responsive and as such, it takes away a little from it's raw nature. As an overall package, it is an excellent car and as such no doubt will outsell it's previous counterpart with ease.

Go drive one, you will be impressed.