Design: Do I need to rate this Monalisa in Metal?
It’s an extreme car, not for everyone, but serious drivers need look no further.: One of the new-age BMW designs, the wild, swoopy Five has not been universally appreciated, but it looks amazing in the flesh. As with all new BMWs, the lights grab your attention first. Very aggressive and distinctive, the ‘eagle-eyed’ headlamps look great. The double-barrelled lamps also have the decorative, ultra-cool ‘rings’ of light. In between the new lamps sits a modern, inflated version of BMW's kidney grille, with the blue-and-white propeller badge atop.What gives the car a fresh look is the so-called ‘flame surfacing’. Underneath, there’s a super-stiff chassis, tuned for an involving driving experience. Using specially prepared sheets of steel and aluminium, its 1580kg kerb weight is relatively low for a 4.8-metre-long car. It’s a maelstrom of technology, including ‘active’ steering and a raft of safety features, and it’s tried hard to address its predecessor’s lack of passenger space.
Interiors: Utterly- Clutterless fabulous.
Open the light doors and you're greeted by a classy cabin; a blend of sporty themes and traditional wood-and-leather, it looks brilliant. A wide band of wood spans the dash, the wheel is beautifully finished, the high-contrast white-on-black dials look as purposeful as those in an aircraft cockpit, and the buttons function beautifully.BMW's iDrive screen-based control dial may need you to stop before you select functions. It may not be as intuitive as a button, but it does make for a clean central console without the clutter of a myriad buttons. Unlike Merc's E, the 5-series shuns chrome on the inside, replacing it with slivers of sportier brushed aluminium.Comfort at the rear is also pretty impressive. There is generous legroom, and great support. The front seats are superb too, and the seat grips you once on the move, to provide better support while cornering.
Engine and Gearbox: Makes you feel Schumi on wheels.