BMW 5 Series Sedan 530i Review
Sibling Rivalry?

Text by Andy Hum, Photos by Amery Reuben
25 Jul 2007

Here is a very sensible car for a very sensible crowd. The crowd who would be willing to spend 200-odd thousand dollars on an executive German saloon, which, unfortunately, has been sneered at very much since the day it was born.

When it came out, many people thought the 5-series looked horrendous and that Chris Bangle, the designer responsible for the revolutionary changes on the BMW’s traditional styling cues, ought to be shot in the head.

But since then, we have received from zee Germans the new 3-series, the drop-dead gorgeous Z4 and the muscular sex siren – the 6-series, amongst the other rather radical departures. That, thankfully, led to people reconsidering shooting Bangle, allowing him to continue until now and drawing up things like the new 530i.

Back here in our own country, the numbers speak for themselves. The Bavarians outsold their main rival from Stuttgart (more people have been buying BMWs than Mercedes Benz) – perhaps a significant sign that people here don’t mind the styling from Bangle after all. But that did not mean that improvements were not expected.

Better than before?

Now, more prayers have been answered. The new 530i comes with a cleaner look up front; less clattered with random fin-like pillars and more of practical, yet welcoming look. It now has a wide gaping mouth across, allowing better air intake and also a horizontal trim bit which gives the impression of a wider, lower stance.

More noticeably though would probably be its rear lamps now which resemble talons or a set of long claws, reaching out, ready to grab its next prey.

Inside, the most prominent difference would probably be its gear selector lever, which looks so space-age that it almost sticks out like a sore thumb in its classy wood-trimmed cabin.

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