BMW 5 Series 2011

The 5 Series amends much of its predecessor’s cutline-and-eyebrow styling. In my estimation, it looks as good as the beloved 1997-2003 E39 5 Series – all the reserved elegance of the 7 Series without that car’s pointlessly wide lower air dam. The taillights, in particular, are a job well done.

The cabin feels on the smaller side for a midsize sport sedan. The rear seats have long cushions and ample thigh support, but 6-footers will find legroom tight, particularly compared with the Mercedes E-Class’ voluminous backseat.

Like in the 7 Series, the 5’s climate settings illuminate out of inky black surroundings that you’d otherwise mistake for some sort of trim piece.

Behold, there are real cupholders below – not the sturdiest ones, but worlds better than the flip-out dashboard cupholders employed elsewhere in BMW’s lineup.

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