The 5-series is the mid-range luxury sedan produced by the company that makes, by its own estimation, the “ultimate driving machine.” Given the response of most automobile reviewers and a good-sized segment of the upscale driving public, they may be right. Raters from value-conscious magazines like Consumer Reports to performance-oriented publications such as Car and Driver and Road and Track magazines rate “Beemers,” as they’re called, best buys, and that includes the relatively luxurious 5-series.
The heart of any car is under the hood, and the Beemer excels here. The 5-series has been powered over the years by a standard straight-six cylinder engine, with an optional and muscular V-8 available for the performance-oriented driver. In 2008, the six cylinder engine, which displaces 3.0 liters, was upgraded to 230 horsepower (the 528i), with an optional turbocharged six cylinder cranking out 300 horsepower also available as the 535i. In the same year, the small-block V-8 engine was bored and stroked to a displacement of 4.8 liters (the 550i), and the horsepower was pumped up to a relatively robust 360. For the true performance horsepower addict, there’s also an M5 model available, with a 5.0-liter V-10 power plant that provides an astounding 500 horsepower. This car has been accurately described as a “street legal racing car.”
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