2008 BMW 5-Series Review
This review was written when the 2008 BMW 5-Series was new.
The 5-Series' ranking is based on its class-leading combination of performance, comfort and technology. Other luxury large cars may rank higher insafety and interior, the BMW 5-Series scores well in every category and deserves a close look from any buyer.
The 2008 5-Series, which AutoWeek says offers "everything you come to expect from BMW," receives a mid-cycle refresh for 2008 -- resulting in slight changes to its exterior design and more power added to the base and mid-level engines. Despite its complicated and unpopular iDrive system and shortage of interior cargo room, auto writers find that the 2008 BMW 5-Series remains a powerful, comfortable, and technologically sophisticated vehicle. In fact, Kiplinger deems the 535xi a "Best in Class" super luxury vehicle -- describing it as an "elegant, understated luxury car with high resale values, competitive fuel economy and top-notch BMW handling." Though the base price may be high, most critics believe the 5-Series is well worth it.
Another cost consideration works in BMW's favor: the 5-Series is surprisingly fuel-efficient for a large car built for driving excitement. Like all BMW's, its high-compression engine requires premium fuel, but the big car uses less gasoline than much of its competition.
- "BMWs have long set the standard for sports sedans, and while a handful of competitors have encroached on their territory, the 5-series sedan, and the 535i in particular, is one of the benchmarks against which others in this class are judged." - Kansas City Star
- BMWs "have been the benchmark for so long that the cars themselves seem to exude arrogance." - Car and Driver
- "To say it is the benchmark for the class is an understatement. It is the leader, and has been, for about as long as we can remember." - AutoSite
- "It is plush, the motorized equivalent of an exclusive condominium. It is prestigious." - Washington Post
- "The last-generation 5-Series had outstanding steering, handling and braking, with a supple ride. The new-generation version, which has nearly 50-50 weight distribution, is even better. ... Despite more adventuresome styling, the new 5-Series should do well. It's more fun to drive than ever, and driving fun has helped sell a lot of 5-Series models." - MSN
- "Clearly BMW is working hard to maintain the 5-Series as the template for the mid-sized premium category, but it's facing its toughest competition ever. The new 2008 Cadillac CTS is a strong contender, as are the Infiniti M, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Lexus GS, Acura TL and Audi A6." - Orlando Sentinel