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2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan

545i 4dr Sdn

Starting at | Starting at 17 MPG City - 25 MPG Highway

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  • $55,800 original MSRP
Printable Version

2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Printable Version

2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan


2005 BMW 5 Series

Source: New Car Test Drive


The BMW 5 Series delivers just about everything you could ask for in a luxury sedan. It offers the features, comfort and convenience of full-size luxury sedans, the sporting character of smaller ones, and a better compromise between interior space and physical bulk. The 5 Series has long been a big seller in the most popular, most competitive class of luxury cars. It's the benchmark for critics and auto industry engineers alike.

BMW completely redesigned the 5 Series for the 2004 model year, and the all-new models offer more room, more equipment and more sophisticated technology than the previous generation. It's moved a bit upscale, so that means more money, too.

BMW's smaller 3 Series may be the bigger seller, but the 5 Series is the company's original sports sedan and the oldest nameplate in its line-up. Since the 5 Series nomenclature was introduced in 1975, BMW has completely overhauled its mid-line sedan five times. The redo for 2004 was as extensive as any the company has undertaken, so few changes have been made for 2005. Because this sedan generates a quarter of BMW's profits worldwide, the engineers in Munich spared no expense in the redesign.

In a sense, the most important characteristics didn't change with the make-over. BMW's 5 Series remains a true sports sedan in any of its three variations, the 525i, 530i, and 545i. All three boast precise handling, impressive power and outstanding brakes. Its appeal to luxury car buyers may ultimately come down to that new look. That said, this latest generation is a much better 5 Series.

Model Lineup

Luxury carmakers typically offer one or two variants in this class, but BMW has had at least three 5 Series sedans for more than a decade. That tradition continues for 2005.

The least expensive is the 525i ($41,300), powered by BMW's 184-horsepower inline six-cylinder engine. Next up is the 530i ($45,400), with a larger, 225-horsepower six-cylinder engine. At the top is the 545i ($55,800) with a 325-horsepower V8.

All 5 Series models come loaded with luxury features, starting with the 525i. Among them: automatic climate control with active micro-filtration; AM/FM/CD with 10 speakers, two sub-woofers; power tilt-and-telescope leather steering wheel; keyless entry with a multi-function remote and Vehicle & Key memory, which sets seat and climate controls for the driver whose key opens the car; automatic head lights; fog lights; 16-inch wheels. There are three 12-volt power outlets in the cabin and one in the trunk. There's also a rechargeable flashlight in the glovebox. All 5 Series models come with BMW Assist, which provides telematic collision notification, an SOS button, roadside assistance, locator and concierge services.

The 530i adds the bigger six-cylinder engine, slightly larger brake discs and 17-inch alloy wheels. The 525i and 530i come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional ($1,275). The 525i and 530i come standard with leatherette upholstery. Leather upholstery comes as part of a Premium Package on the 525i ($2,000) and 530i ($1,800), which includes a universal garage door opener and the swanky interior lighting package with ambient light, auto-dimming and outside lighting.

The 545i comes with the six-speed automatic, leather upholstery, a power glass sunroof, a three-function garage door opener in the overhead console and more elaborate auto-dimming interior lighting. It gets still bigger brakes to complement the powerful V8. BMW's racy Sequential Manual Gearbox is available on the 530i ($1,500) and 545i (no charge).

Options: A Cold Weather Package ($750) with heated seats, heated steering wheel and headlight washers; on-board navigation system ($1,800); active cruise control ($2,200); SIRIUS Satellite Radio ($595); head-up display ($1,000).

The M5 version, the screaming high-performance four-door worshiped by enthusiast drivers, was introduced in September 2004, featuring a V10 engine and seven-speed sequential manual gearbox. BMW says it has no plans to sell a 5 Series wagon in the U.S.


The 5 Series was thoroughly redesigned for 2004, larger and more stylish than the previous-generation (pre-2004) 5 Series.

The 5 Series features BMW's new design theme, launched on the flagship 7 Series in 2002. The 5 Series is cast in the 7 Series mold, with a curvy front end, flat flanks with minimal embellishment and a high, flat rear deck with wraparound taillights. It is distinct from the 7 Series, however. We think the design of the 5 seems a bit more cohesive than that of the 7.

The critics claim that, with the flared-nostrils look in front and the chunked-off shape of the trunk lid, the 5 Series seems almost like two halves taken from different cars. In our view, the lines make for a compact package, and that may be part of the problem. Some have suggested the new 5 has the appearance of a well-made mainstream Japanese sedan like the Honda Accord. While the Accord is an outstanding car in its own right, that isn't the precedent one expects for an expensive European job. And either way, despite the hailstorm of comment and criticism that followed the launch of the 7 Series, BMW's new look hasn't seemed to hurt its sales.

Those comma-shaped taillights use another of the 5's new technologies, something BMW calls adaptive brake lights. These illuminate more intensely, over a larger area, when the driver applies the brakes at threshold levels, or when the ABS operates. The idea is to inform drivers in cars following the 5 Series that it's stopping quickly. It could help, but only if the driver following correctly interprets the intensity of the brake lights.

Interior Features

The 5 Series dash is dominated by BMW's double wave theme in two portions: one over the instrument cluster, defining the driver's area and another that begins over the dash center and sweeps toward the right side. From a functional view point, it's a very effective design. Moreover, the soft plastics covering the new 5 Series doors and dashboard are handsome and rich to the touch. In our view interior materials have never been one of BMW's strengths compared to other luxury manufacturers, at least not in the company's lower series. In this regard, the 5 Series is much nicer than both the current 3 Series and the previous 5.

The instrument cluster features two gauge pods, with the gas gauge wrapped inside the analog speedometer and a miles-per-gallon gauge inside the tach. The tachometer in all 5 Series models now includes a variable warning LED that circles the gauge. When the engine is cold, this LED extends to 4200 rpm, then gradually increases the rpm limit to the redline as the oil warms up.

The sport seats that come with the Sport Package are very firm, perhaps too firm for long trips.

The center of the 5 Series dash is dominated by a large electronic screen that displays various control functions, system readouts and the navigation map when the car is so equipped. There are vents below the screen and on either side off the steering column that move an impressive quantity of air with minimal fan noise. Cupholders for the front seats are located to the right of the center console. They work better than those in most European cars.

Between the front seats, just behind the gear selector, is a big aluminum knob that generated as much controversy in the 7 Series as its exterior styling. This is the master control for iDrive, the computer interface that can operate virtually everything in the 5, from stereo to climate controls to telephone to navigation. The control knob is easy to locate from the driver's seat without a glance and with each move of iDrive, menus appear on the video screen. The problem is that it can be confusing to use iDrive to wade through various menus and finally get to the function that needs adjustment. At best, it's difficult to master. In the 5 Series, the iDrive control moves in only four directions, as opposed to eight in the 7. A new button located behind the iDrive knob opens the first menu. Another button launches navigation on models with the system. Once you understand it, iDrive begins to feel like second nature, but it takes some effort to learn.

There are separate, conventional controls to operate the stereo and climate settings. These most frequently adjusted systems can be managed without using iDrive, and information is still displayed on the electronic screen. The heating and cooling system has a sophisticated humidity control system. And there's a temperature-controlled storage compartment in the console for snacks or drink cans. The radio is hard to operate, however, requiring some study of the owner's manual to understand. Rain-sensing windshield wipers are standard.

BMW's head-up display projects a six-by-three inch rectangle on the windshield, focused so the display appears to be at the end of the hood, rather than right on the glass. Using iDrive, the driver can adjust the HUD's intensity and the information it displays. Options include road and engine speed, various warnings prioritized according to urgency, cruise control settings and navigation instructions.

Active Cruise Control works like conventional cruise control when the road is clear; when you come up behind a slower car, the system uses radar to adjust your speed to maintain a following distance set by the driver. Our car was equipped with the standard cruise control and we found it worked very well, precise and sophisticated.

The latest generation 5 Series is roomier than previous models. Front passengers get a half-inch more shoulder and head room, but

Driving Impressions

Driving a 5 Series sedan is a joy. The more we drove our 530i the more we liked it. BMWs are defined by excellent powertrains and superb chassis tuning. Measured by its balance of crisp handling, ride comfort and solid acceleration, the 5 Series is as good as it's ever been.

We drove a 530i on a crystal-clear fall day along fast, two-lane roads tracking the Hudson Valley through upstate New York. And we spent a week in one driving between Washington and Charlottesville, Virginia, and on the winding roads of bucolic Albemarle County.

However, we hadn't even left the parking lot at BMW headquarters in New Jersey when it became apparent that the optional Active Steering system was no gimmick. Maneuvering through tight confines is a breeze. Pulling an empty parking space is as quick a swoop on the steering wheel. Later, 120 miles up the Hudson, we discovered the performance advantages of this new steering system. The 5 Series is quite nimble as heavy sedans go. But on a tight slalom course, we found that a 530i with Active Steering is more responsive than one without it. Weaving through the cones is less work with Active Steering, requiring less sawing at the wheel and fewer corrections. The driver can focus more on the car's trajectory through the course, less on compensating for mistakes. And it's not hard to extrapolate this behavior to advantages in emergency situations on public roads. Push the Active Steering car into a skid, and recovery is more immediate, and more likely.

There's a price for this responsiveness, and it's most obvious traveling at high speeds on an Interstate. Gone is the famous BMW dead spot in the middle of the steering travel, that inch or so of movement each side of center where there is no perceptible change in the 5's direction of travel when the wheel moves. This was developed for decades to account for triple-digits speeds on Germany's autobahns, but it's no longer necessary. With Active Steering, the steering response slows down considerably at fast freeway speeds, but there is perceptible reaction from the front tires almost with the first fraction of movement on the wheel. The effect is basically the same, in that small bumps or grooves require no conscious correction from the driver. But the feel with Active Steering is different. Not everyone likes it, and it may take a bit of getting used to, particularly for longtime BMW enthusiasts. Other drivers really liked it, adapting without even realizing and enjoying the arrowlike precision of the car.

The two-lanes through the Hudson Valley offered ample evidence of the value of Active Roll Stabilization. The 530i stayed remarkably flat when attacking the curves, with just enough body lean to remind a prudent driver that he or she is hurtling down a public road at considerable speed. Perhaps the best thing about ARS is that the 530i never feels stiff. When the car is traveling straight, the effect of the roll stabilization is essentially negated. This sedan rides firm, without a sensation of floating, but always smoothly and comfortably.

Factor in near-perfect weight balance, and a rock-solid body that's free of creaks, rattles or unpleasant vibration, and the 530i is exactly what we'd like a luxury sedan to be: always quiet and comfortable, nimble and reassuring when it's appropriate to travel at a good clip. If you never drove the 5 Series quickly, you'd be left with a smooth, truly comfortable car with nearly all the bells and whistles and nothing to diminish the experience. Yet should you choose to pick up the pace, you'll discover handling and overall performance that's hard to match in any sedan. No matter which engine sits under the hood, there's plenty of power to get you up to speed.

BMW's inline six-cylinder engines remain one of the truly satisfying experiences in motoring. The classic straight six delivers a balance of smoothness, torque, and response th


The BMW 5 Series is the benchmark for mid-size luxury sedans because it's the best balanced car in a supremely balanced class. Like other cars in this so-called near-luxury class, it mixes comfort, performance, and passenger-friendly accommodations in a manageable size. On top of everything else, it's great fun to drive.

New Car Test Drive correspondent J.P. Vettraino is based in Detroit, with Mitch McCullough reporting from Charlottesville, Virginia.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
Model lineup:
BMW 525i ($41,300); 530i ($45,400); 545i ($55,800)
184-hp 2.5-liter dohc 24-valve inline-6; 225-hp 3.0-liter dohc 24-valve inline-6; 335-hp 4.4-liter dohc 32-valve V8
6-speed manual; 6-speed Steptronic automatic; 6-speed sequential manual gearbox
Safety equipment (Standard):
antilock brakes with Dynamic Brake Control auto-proportioning, Dynamic Traction Control, Dynamic Stability Control anti-skid electronics, seatbelt pretensioners and force limiters, two-stage front airbags with dual threshold deployment, front-passenger side airbags, side curtain head-protection airbags, Intelligent Safety and Information System control with fiber-optic connections and post-impact safety measures
Safety equipment (Optional):
rear-passenger side airbags; active head restraints
Basic warranty:
4 years/50,000 miles; includes scheduled maintenance
Assembled in:
Dingolfing, Germany
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
BMW 530i ($45,400)
Standard equipment:
automatic climate control with separate left/right temperature and distribution controls and active charcoal microfilter; power windows with key-off and one-touch operation; AM/FM/CD with 10 speakers and two sub-woofers; BMW Assist with automatic collision notification, SOS button, roadside assist and locater and concierge services; leatherette upholstery; cruise control; power tilt-and-telescope leather steering wheel with fingertip cruise, audio and phone controls; 10-way power front seats with power head restraints and driver's seat memory; keyless entry with multi-function remote and Vehicle & Key memory; power heated side mirrors with reverse tilt-down on passenger side; halogen headlights and fog lights with automatic control; 17x7.5-inch cast-alloy wheels; power outlets in front-passenger footwell, rear of center console and trunk; rechargeable flashlight in glovebox
Options as tested:
Sport Package includes Active Steering, Active Roll Stabilization, 18x8-inch cast alloy wheels with 245/WR18 run-flat tires ($3,300); Premium Package includes Dakota leather upholstery for seats and doors, dark poplar wood trim, auto-dimming interior and exterior lights and three-function garage opener ($1,800); Park Distance Control with graphic displays front and rear ($700), Xenon Adaptive Headlights ($800), rear passenger side-impact airbags ($385)
Destination charge:
Gas Guzzler Tax:
Price as tested (MSRP)
rear-wheel drive
3.0-liter dohc 24-valve variable valve timing inline-6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
225 @ 5900
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
214 @ 3500
6-speed manual
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
20/30 mpg.
113.7 in.
190.6/72.7/58.0 in.
Track, f/r:
61.3/62.3 in.
Turning circle:
37.5 ft.
Seating capacity:
Head/hip/leg room, f:
37.7/NA/41.5 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
Head/hip/leg room, r:
37.9/NA/36.0 in.
Cargo volume:
14.0 cu. ft.
Towing capacity:
Suspension F:
Suspension R:
Ground clearance:
Curb weight:
3472 lbs.
Brakes, f/r:
vented disc/vented disc with ABS and electronic brake proportioning in.
Fuel capacity:
18.5 gal.

Printable Version

2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Side Head Air Bag Std
Rear Body Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

HID Headlights Std
Daytime Running Lights Std
Fog Lamps Std
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std
Rain Sensing Wipers Std

Accident Prevention

Rear Parking Aid Std
Handsfree Wireless Std


Alarm Std
Anti-theft System Std
Telematics Std
Printable Version

2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Drivetrain 4 Years/50,000 Miles
Corrosion 12 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 4 Years/50,000 Miles

BMW Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Every Certified Pre-Owned BMW comes with a protection plan designed to give you the ultimate peace-of-mind.

All Certified Pre-Owned BMW vehicles are exceptional, as are our two tiers of certification:
BMW Certified Pre-Owned
Covers you for 2 years/50,000 miles1 after the expiration of the 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty for a total of 6 years/100,000 miles1. This includes 24/7 Roadside Assistance and BMW AssistTM Emergency Call, which includes automatic collision notification, and TeleService.
BMW Certified Pre-Owned Elite
These are newer model year, lower mileage (more than 300 miles but less than 15,001 miles) vehicles. This warranty covers you for 1 year/25,000 miles1 after the expiration of the 4-year/50,000-mile New Vehicle/SAV Limited Warranty or for a total of 5 years/75,000 miles1. This includes 5 years of 24/7 Roadside Assistance and BMW AssistTM Emergency Call, which includes automatic collision notification, and TeleService.

Vehicles must pass a rigorous pre-certification inspection conducted by BMW certified technicians.

For complete program details, visit cpo.bmwusa.com.

1whichever comes first
Age/Mileage Eligibility 5 years / 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection View & Download the BMW Certified Pre-Owned Inspection Checklist
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2005 BMW 5 Series Sedan

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