2015 BMW 5 Series Walk Around

After a mid-cycle refresh last year, the lines of the 2015 BMW 5 Series are more sculptured than in the past, though the design is still unmistakably BMW. The signature twin kidney grille juts out ahead of the wraparound headlights, which are lower profile and more slanted than in past generations. Lower air intakes now house standard round LED foglights, which were previously optional.

The 5 Series sedan cabin is set considerably to the rear, giving its profile a slightly wedged, coupe-like forward-thrust shape. A strong, sharply creased character line runs from behind the from wheel arch and into the upper corner of the wraparound tail light housing. The signature Hofmeister kink in the rear side window’s aft edge is, of course, ever-present. Wheel sizes and choices depend on the model; the Luxury and M Sport Lines use their own unique wheels, and other styles can be ordered a la carte.

Gran Turismo models are longer and have a curvier, more coupe-like roof shape. Its most noticeable difference from the standard 5 Series is its big, high boxy rear end.

The M5 is distinguished by a more aggressive aerodynamic treatment, including wide lower front air intakes, chrome-trimmed side outlets, more flared rocker panels and a decklid spoiler. Quad exhaust tips sit beneath the lower bumper. Standard wheels are 19-inch M-style alloys.


The interior of the BMW 5 Series doesn’t disappoint. In typical BMW style, the center stack, gauges and controls are oriented toward the driver. Controls are well placed, with the driver-only functions situated to the left of the steering column or on the wheel itself. Climate controls and ventilation are easy to reach. And unlike some of the less expensive BMWs, trim pieces are well integrated, of quality materials, and don’t look stuck-on like in some configurations of 3 Series and 4 Series.

Standard front seats in 5 Series sedans have 10-way power adjustment. Larger adults will feel comfortable in the spacious seats, although those of smaller stature may have a tough time getting comfortable, and could feel like they’re sloshing around on twisty roads.

The standard upholstery on 528i models is vinyl, but it looks good and doesn’t appear cheap. The Dakota leather found on more expensive models is nice, though we prefer the optional (yet more expensive) Nappa leather. In sedans and GT models, there isn’t much bolstering to hold you in during hard cornering, even with the optional Sport seats, but that’s nicely taken care of in the M5, which will cradle your every move.

Instrumentation includes four classic circular gauges set against a black panel. We think the BMW’s gauges are beautiful.

Navigation standard on all models. Paired with BMW’s iDrive interface, the nav is easy to use, once you get the hang of it. With the optional head-up display, navigation guidance can be read on the windshield just above the steering wheel. We especially like the touchpad that sits on top of the iDrive rotaty controller, which allows users to draw letters and numbers instead of scrolling through characters on the display screen. It’s faster and less frustrating.

Rear-seat passengers have adequate space; the 5 Series sedan offers 38.3 inches of read headroom, about on par with the Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, and more than the Cadillac CTS or Lexus GS. Rear legroom measures 36.1 inches, more than the Cadillac CTS or Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan, but slightly less than the Lexus GS.

Cargo space in BMW 5 Series sedans is 14.0 cubic feet, slightly less than the Lexus GS and Mercedes Benz E-Class sedan, but more than the Cadillac CTS’s 13.7 cubic feet.

Gran Turismo models are better for hauling people and cargo, with 39.9 inches of rear headroom and a plentiful 40.6 inches of rear legroom. Trunk space measures 15.5 cubic feet with all seats in place, up to 60 cubes with the rear seats folded down.

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