2005 BMW 5 Series 530i 3.0 litre inline six from Australia and New Zealand
Sublime if you can ignore iDrive!
With only 12000kms on the clock, nothing has had much of a chance to go wrong. This is also the reason why I haven't rated the dealer service - you really don't know what they're like until you have a problem!
IDrive is a pest to use. I'm still not used to it, especially the climate control. Very fiddly.
After driving fairly ordinary vehicles until recently, the BMW is a significant step up! I love the smoothness and power of the engine, but somehow I feel it could use a bit more torque - just doesn't pull as hard as I'd like low in the rev range. This is a minor quibble, though, as it is a delight once you get motoring - a brisk and effortless cruiser!
Transmission is almost flawless, manual shift easier to use than many of those paddle shifts in other cars, but I tend to leave it in Drive mostly. Doesn't slur changes like many autos (I'd still prefer a manual... if BMW sold them here)
Comfort is to the degree that I feel like this car was built around me, although I think the brushed alloy look trim pieces show up marks too easily. Gauges very clear, but switchgear can be confusing. Like I said before, iDrive is a waste of technology. Conventional stereo system controls would be a huge improvement. It's worth putting up with in a vehicle like this, but it's a blight on a near-perfect car. Stereo sounds fantastic with clear mids, strong bass and very clear radio reception even when you get out of town.
Handling is as you'd expect from a BMW. Cornering flat, confident and rsponsive. Benchmark stuff for a car this size I'd think (has the edge on the A6 and E Class Benz I test drove). Steering is accurate, but ever so slightly over-assisted for my preferences. Controversial styling looks infinitely better in the metal.
Buy a black one. Hopefully one day I'll have the cash to upgrade to M5.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th November, 2005
23rd Dec 2010, 20:43
Well I just got my 2006 530xi, and my second BMW, and idrive is not that bad an option; my second day, I wasn't even looking at the screen to do the setup I need, pretty simple and easy to use. Well if someone owns this type of car aged 55-75, then OK, it might be hard to use this kinda high tech stuff... just enjoy your ride.