BMW 5 Series Sedan 535i Review
5 for fighting

Story and Photos by Raymond Lai
24 Jun 2010

With the arrival of the F10 BMW 5 Series, the latest generation E-Class faces its biggest challenge yet.

High 5

Federer versus Nadal in tennis, Prost versus Senna in F1, Chelsea versus Manchester United in football, Audi versus Peugeot at Le Mans and then there's the BMW 5 Series versus the Mercedes-Benz E-Class in the executive car class - all rather memorable great rivalries. In the case of the last of the abovementioned, the fight recently entered a new phase with the arrival of the new, sixth generation F10 BMW 5 Series.

Mercedes-Benz threw the gauntlet at BMW last year when it launched the latest generation E-Class here. Needless to say, the new E flew off showroom forecourts as Merc diehards as well as those who were looking at a premium large executive saloon went straight for it, with the ageing E60 BMW 5 Series failing to put up a strong fight to the Three-pointed star. Things are about to change with the introduction of the new 5 Series introduced recently though. The new 5 got off to a good start for BMW - more than 500 orders were already taken before the car was even launched at the end of May.

Outwardly, the new 5 is quite a big departure from the previous generation E60 model. At 4999mm in length, the new model is significantly longer than its predecessor and almost as long as a standard wheelbase previous generation 7 Series. On first acquaintance, the new F10 doesn't give one that wow factor like the E60 did when it first appeared seven years ago.

The new car somehow looks familiar and you'd swear that you've seen it somewhere before and to a certain extent, you're not wrong - the F10 has strong resemblances and overtures to the current generation E90 3 Series and the F02 7 Series. The front apes the latter's oversized and upright double kidney grille but on the 5 Series, the grille somehow manages to look better proportioned than the gargantuan and somewhat vulgar looking one on the 7. The bonnet though, looks a tad over styled thanks to its myriad of bulges and creases.

Viewed side on, the 5 looks especially handsome and well-proportioned thanks to its relatively long bonnet and the creases on the doors and wings. In true BMW fashion, the Hoftmeister kink is present. Compared to Chris Bangle's controversial E60, the Adrian van Hooydonk penned F10 looks a tad somber and perhaps conservative for some but there's no denying its well-balanced proportions and elegant looks. The styling might not wow you at first glance but it does really grow on you. Hopefully, with the new 5, BMW has finally found the right style and look that will transcend to next year's new 3 Series.

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Engine Capacity 2979cc Turbocharged
Engine Type Inline 6
Compression Ratio 10.2:1
Bore x Stroke (89.6 x 84)mm
Power 306bhp @ 5800rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 1200rpm
Power to Weight 173.9 bhp per ton


Acceleration 6.1s (0-100 km/h)
Top Speed 250 km/h
Fuel Consumption (combined) 11.8 km/L

Misc Technical Data

Transmission 8 -speed Auto Tiptronic
Drive Type FR


Body Type Sedan
(L x W x H)
(4899 x 1860 x 1464) mm
Wheelbase 2968 mm
Kerb Weight 1760 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity 70 L


Brakes (Front) Ventilated Discs
Brakes (Rear) Ventilated Discs