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#8

in Upscale Midsize Cars

MSRP: $49,950 - $93,600
Invoice: $46,455 - $86,610
MPG: 20 City / 31 Hwy
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BMW 5-Series Interior

According to reviewers, the 2015 BMW 5-Series’ cabin has top-notch materials and styling that is low-key, yet attractive. Some test drivers think BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is easy to use, but others think it’s more complicated than rival infotainment systems. The 5-Series’ trunk is a bit small for the class. Auto writers note that the front seats are very comfortable and the back seat offers plenty of room for taller passengers.

  • "The 2015 5 Series' 5-passenger cabin has familiar BMW design cues: a wide, driver-centric dash and controls, premium materials, and good room for occupants and their luggage." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The 5 Series cabin is attractive and trimmed with consistently high-quality materials, though it's not flashy. Elegant restraint is the name of the game here, and it's a game that BMW has played to perfection for decades." -- Edmunds
  • "The interior materials are uniformly rich, and the restrained dashboard design -- including the center stack canted toward the driver -- is straight out of the 7 Series playbook." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "Interior materials are more ‘upscale with a purpose’ than full-out luxury. That's just fine, though, given the 5-Series' sporty pretense." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

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Seating

The 2015 BMW 5-Series seats five and comes standard with 10-way power-adjustable front seats and leatherette upholstery. Available features include leather upholstery, heated rear seats, a power rear sunshade, a heated steering wheel, heated and ventilated front seats and 20-way power-adjustable front seats. Test drivers say the standard front seats are very comfortable, and the optional 20-way seats are even more so thanks to their high degree of adjustability. They write that the rear seat is nicely padded and spacious, even for 6-foot passengers.

  • "The base front seats are comfortable in their own right, but the available 20-way multicontour seats just might be the best in the business, providing an incredible range of adjustments and sublime support for all driving scenarios. Rear outboard passengers will find satisfactory space in all directions, even if they're 6-footers, and the rear seats themselves are thoughtfully contoured and padded." -- Edmunds
  • "In our interior evaluation, we noted that even the standard 10-way power front seats are among the best chairs you'll find at this price." -- AutoTrader (2014)
  • "The 5-Series cabin is comfortable and spacious for adults of nearly every shape and size." -- Consumer Guide (2013)

Interior Features

Standard features in the base 2015 BMW 528i include a USB port, Bluetooth, HD Radio, a 10-speaker audio system, push-button start, key fobs with programmable seat and mirror settings, a moonroof, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic headlights and windshield wipers, navigation, smartphone app integration and BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which includes a dashboard-mounted display screen, a central control knob and a built-in touchpad that allows you to input numbers and letters by writing with your fingertip. Available features include a rearview camera, side- and top-view parking cameras, front and rear parking sensors, parallel park assist, adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, a head-up display, night vision with pedestrian detection, a proximity key, a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, a 16-speaker Bang & Olufsen audio system and a dual-screen rear-seat entertainment system.

Some reviewers write that the iDrive system is easy to use and has crisp graphics, but others note that it takes time to learn how to use the system, and that changing infotainment settings is less complicated in competing vehicles.

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  • "Controls for climate, audio and vehicle dynamics are generally easy to use. BMW's large command dial to the right of the stubby gear selector requires a learning curve - we suggest putting the vehicle in park and practicing its functions before getting under way." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The central nervous system of every 5 Series is the iDrive interface, consisting of a high-resolution 10.2-inch display in the center of the dashboard and a rotary controller on the center console. The current version includes a touchpad on top of the controller that accepts ‘handwritten’ finger inputs. It's pretty user-friendly, but some rival systems seem to require fewer presses or twirls of their controllers to get what you want." -- Edmunds
  • "The 10.2-in central display screen features beautiful graphics and the most intuitive iDrive interface yet." -- AutoTrader (2014)

Cargo

The 2015 BMW 5-Series sedan has 14 cubic feet of trunk space, which is on the small side for the class. The 5-Series comes standard with split-folding rear seats, and critics note that the sedan’s trunk is narrow between the wheel arches and that its hinges reduce usable cargo space. Gran Turismo models offer up to 60 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded, while the ActiveHybrid 5 sedan has 10 cubic feet of trunk space and is not available with folding rear seats. A power trunk lid is optional on the sedan, and a power liftgate is standard on the Gran Turismo. Both the sedan and Gran Turismo are available with a hands-free feature that opens the trunk or liftgate when you wave your foot under the rear bumper.

  • "Trunk space is relatively limited, however, measuring 14 cubic feet." -- Edmunds
  • "The trunk is wide at the back but narrows significantly between the wheels. It is also not as usefully shaped as most, partly because sickle-type lid hinges dip into the load area, though they're covered to avoid damaging cargo." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "All this is not to say that the hybrid is totally free of drawbacks. The most notable is reduced trunk space. The battery pack is located behind the back seat and as a result, cargo volume drops by roughly one third." -- Automobile Magazine (2012 ActiveHybrid 5)
Review Last Updated: 1/23/15

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