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#8

in 2009 Luxury Large Cars

Avg. Price Paid: $16,122 - $22,996
Original MSRP: $45,800 - $60,400
MPG: 18 City / 28 Hwy
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2009 BMW 5-Series Interior

This interior review was created when the car was new. Some links may no longer point to an active page.

The 2009 BMW 5-Series features a two-tone interior of upscale materials. Some reviewers say the cabin is too Spartan and lacks the comfort of rival luxury sedans, but it's a matter of taste -- others say the cockpit is perfectly suited to the dynamic driving the car is clearly built for.

  • The "interior casts aside the cold and faintly cheap industrial look for a new feel of luxury, thanks largely to the way the dash neatly sweeps into the door panels." -- Edmunds
  • "The overall air of firm luxury remains." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The most obvious change for 2008 is the two-tone finish on the door panels. The tops are covered in back while the lower portion matches the interior color. The look adds depth and enhances the visual integrity of the doors and dashboard." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Although the interior of the 535i is pleasant, it doesn't feel luxurious. Rather, it leans toward functionality." -- CNET
  • "The fact that there isn't a radical new interior doesn't mean the 5 Series isn't a nice place to reside during a commute." -- Cars.com

Seating

Over and over again, reviewers say that the front seats of the 5-Series are some of the most comfortable available. They offer support even in hard cornering and are highly adjustable to conform to any shape. The rear seats, however, are too small for some -- especially in a large car.

  • "The 2008 BMW 5 Series' 10-way and available 20-way adjustable seats are some of the most comfortable and supportive in the class, excelling on twisty roads and long highways alike." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The deeply contoured front bucket seats are among the best around. The under-thigh support is outstanding as well as adjustable. The back seat is big enough for adults to ride comfortably." -- Kansas City Star
  • "Good headroom and legroom on firm, supportive seats. The power seats and tilt and telescopic steering wheel make it easy to find a comfortable driving position." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Supportive seating is provided in both the front and rear, and even adults won't mind sitting in the commodious backseat." -- Edmunds
  • "There's comfortable room for four tall adults." -- MSN
  • "The back seat in the 5 Series makes good accommodations. There's plenty of space for two average-size adults, three in a pinch, with all the amenities." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "Rear passengers won't be as happy, as legroom is minimal. Buyers might not mind that lack of legroom in BMW's current entry-level 3 Series, but for the more expensive and considerably larger 5 Series, it might be a bigger issue. Still, the space is similar to competitors, like the Audi A6." -- Cars.com

Interior Features

The 5-Series features a well-liked climate control system and a Logic 7 sound system reviewers rave about. Unfortunately, the car is not sold without BMW's iDrive interface. iDrive is an interface that controls all of the car's cabin electronics through a single dial and the vehicle's navigation screen -- and reviewers say it's difficult to learn and needlessly complicated even after you understand how it works.

  • "The i-Drive point-and-click control system, for example, takes time and energy to learn, and drivers who aren't willing to invest the energy, or those who just prefer things simple, might want to look at another car." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "[A]lthough we still aren't universally fond of BMW's infuriating iDrive infonavitainment system, which in one prior review was described by a C/D editor as 'labyrinthine,' we aren't so turned off by it that we wouldn't recommend the 535i to someone looking for a sports sedan that's not only a blast to drive but also well worth the money." -- Car and Driver
  • "The integration of live traffic with the car's navigation system is the finest we've seen; its hands-free cell phone system is top notch; and the audio quality from its premium sound system is excellent." -- CNET
  • "All BMW 5 Series also add HD Radio standard for 2008. I initially thought this was a frivolous add-on, but after hearing local radio in high definition I was convinced of its value." -- Cars.com
  • "You can crank up this system [Logic 7 sound system] to ear-splitting levels with minimal distortion and the deep bass produced by the under-seat woofers produced cleaner, heavier bass notes than the Bose and Mark Levinson systems in the Acura and Infiniti." -- Edmunds

Cargo

The 5-Series' offers 14 cubic feet of trunk space -- competitive within its class. Storage inside the car is limited.

  • "My lipstick and a few other small trinkets fit in the center console, but there's not room there for much else. Luckily for me, baby wipes and diapers are a thing of the past, otherwise this car would have had me scolding its lack of space. Speaking of space, bulky water bottles are out in the BMW 535xi. Each time I exposed one of the two suspended cupholders up front - quirkily labeled with a not-for-wineglasses symbol - I was reminded of leisurely cocktails at outdoor European cafes." -- Mother Proof
  • "Good trunk room, but liftover is high. Hinges covered to prevent crushing packages, but do gobble space. Interior storage is disappointingly meager." -- Consumer Guide
  • "Storage spaces such as door map pockets and center console in the 5-Series are small relative to those in many other vehicles." -- MSN
  • "Storage inside the 5-Series is so-so." -- New Car Test Drive

Next Steps: 2009 BMW 5-Series

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