2009 BMW 5-Series Wagon Review
The 5-Series Wagon combines strong power and excellent handling with a comfy cabin and large cargo hold, but its complicated iDrive system hampers usability.
Refreshed in 2008, the BMW 535i xDrive Sports Wagon (5-Series wagon) carries into the 2009 model-year virtually unchanged. Station-wagon stigma aside, the 5-Series meshes luxury with utility to create a practical alternative to the SUV. Best of all, its powerful engine and superb handling capabilities give this family car a sporty edge. "The BMW 5-Series Sports Wagon may be the best of all possible worlds: the functional capacity of a sports utility, the comfort and luxury of one of the most highly-reated sedans in the world, all-wheel drive for safety on wet and icy roads, the handling of a sports sedan, and power from the 2008 535 twin-turbo engine, the best engine in the BMW line-up," writes Left Lane News. Still, drivers seeking easy-to-use, intuitive controls will be turned off by BMW's complicated iDrive system.
If you like the 5-Series Wagon, but economic woes have you strapped for cash, consider the BMW 3-Series Wagon. It too utilizes BMW's complicated iDrive system, but otherwise provides many of the same benefits as the 5-Series -- namely superb handling. Shoppers, however, should note that some reviewers find the 3-Series' backseat a bit cramped.
The 2009 BMW 535i xDrive Sports Wagon features a 300-horsepower turbocharged V6 engine, as well as a standard all-wheel drive system.
- "The BMW 5 Series Wagon delivers an appealing blend of practical attributes with sports-car-like performance and handling." -- Forbes
- "If you aren't overly swayed by the BMW badge, the bold styling or the renowned driving feel, you might find it harder to live with the driver's awkward cupholder, the improving but still arduous iDrive central control system or the significant price premium when compared to competitors like the Infiniti M." -- Kelley Blue Book