For 2007, the various members of the BMW 5 Series family undergo some feature upgrades. On sedan and Touring (wagon) models, there is pre-wiring for satellite radio, an auxiliary input jack, and BMW Radio Professional, with MP3 capability added to the CD player, two RDS tuners, and a “favourites” list.

The M5 receives a six-speed manual transmission, while its seven-speed Sequential M Gearbox, the only transmission available in 2006, becomes a stand-alone option. The M5 also receives an auxiliary input jack and Park Distance Control.

The 5 Series consists of the 525i and all-wheel drive 525xi, which use a 215-hp inline 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine; the 530i, 530xi and 530xiT Touring, which use a 3.0-litre inline six that makes 255 hp; the 550i, which carries a 4.8-litre V8; and the M5, which gets its 500 horses from a 5.0-litre V10. All use a six-speed manual transmission, which can be optioned to a six-speed automatic in all models but the M5, which upgrades to a seven-speed.

AWD models use xDrive, a torque management system that switches seamlessly from rear- to all-wheel drive when necessary. It’s a proactive system that uses information from the dynamic stability control and other sensors to determine the possibility of wheel slippage, and powers up or brakes a specific wheel before any start to lose their grip. It also locks the differentials on take-off until the vehicle reaches 20 km/h, for maximum traction.

Features on the 525i and 525xi models include 17-inch alloy wheels, 10-way power seats, “leatherette” upholstery, heated power-adjustable steering wheel, automatic climate control, power sunroof, tool kit, locking glovebox with removable flashlight, automatic Xenon headlamps, heated mirrors, heated washer jets, rain-sensing wipers, and tire pressure monitoring system.

The 530i, 530xi and 550i models add Dakota leather upholstery, and adaptive headlights and brake lights. The 530xi Touring model adds a luggage cover and net.

Features on the M5 include 19-inch wheels, M-specific sport suspension, 12-way power-adjustable M sport seats in Merino leather, Alcantara headliner, automatic climate control with solar sensor, power sunroof, Xenon headlamps with washers, and tire pressure monitoring system. The M also features an “M power switch” for progressive throttle response.

The 5 Series’ large line-up provides ample choice for drivers, and what’s great is that all of them can be had in manual or automatic mode, a relatively rare opportunity in a vehicle this size, which should satisfy both enthusiasts and those who just want to put it in Drive and enjoy the ride. The M5 remains the king of the 5 Series hill, offering massive horsepower with refined manners, but with the opportunity to let it all loose whenever you desire. Prices remain unchanged for most of the 5 Series, with a decrease on the M5 from the 2006 MSRP, thanks mostly to the change in transmission.

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