NEW FOR 2009:

– Rear-wheel drive 535i Sedan discontinued
– 528i and 528i xDrive sedans add standard 17-inch double-spoke alloy wheels, Comfort Access, power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Park Distance Control, lighting package, and leatherette upholstery; Premium Package adds Comfort Seats, heated rear seats, and Dakota leather upholstery; new Premium Sound Package includes USB audio integration, Logic7 sound system, and Sirius satellite radio
– 535i xDrive sedan and Touring add standard 17-inch V-spoke alloy wheels, garage door opener, power-folding auto-dimming exterior mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, Park Distance Control, lighting package, and Logic7 sound system; Premium Package adds manual side sunshades and electric rear sunshade; Technology Package adds Night Vision and active cruise control; new Audiophile Sound Package includes USB audio integration, Individual Audio System with Dirac Live, and Sirius satellite radio; new Sedan Executive Package includes head-up display, Comfort Seats and heated rear seats
– 550i sedan adds standard Park Distance Control, navigation system and Logic7 sound system

For 2009, the BMW 5 Series undergoes mostly trim changes, and all-wheel drive models, formerly known by the "xi" designation, will now be called "xDrive". The company has discontinued the rear-wheel drive 535i sedan due to diminished demand; the model is now available only as the 535i xDrive.

The 5 Series offers a choice of four engines: a 3.0-litre inline six-cylinder in the 528i and 528i xDrive sedan; a 3.0-litre twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder in the 535i xDrive sedan; a 4.8-litre V8 in the 550i sedan; and a 5.0-litre V10 in the M5. All use a six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic, except for the M5, which uses the six-speed manual or optional seven-speed sequential manual gearbox.

Features on the 528i and 528i xDrive include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, automatic bi-xenon headlamps, adaptive brake lights, heated mirrors, rain-sensing wipers with heated washer jets, tire pressure warning system, alarm system with interior motion detector, self-charging keyless fob, power-folding auto-dimming mirrors, auto-dimming rearview mirror, cruise control, power sunroof, heated leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel with power tilt and telescopic, illuminated vanity mirrors, rear pass-through with ski bag, heated ten-way power leatherette seats, CD stereo with auxiliary input and ten speakers, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, BMW Assist, and iDrive with six programmable memory keys. The 528i xDrive also includes headlamp washers.

The 535i xDrive sedan and Touring (wagon) adds adaptive headlights, Park Distance Control, garage door opener, and Dakota leather upholstery. The Touring also adds roof rails and power tailgate.

The 550i adds 19-inch alloy wheels, M sport suspension, M sport exhaust, M aerodynamic body kit, anthracite roof liner, front seats power lumbar, M multifunction steering wheel, ten-way heated Dakota leather sport seats, and navigation system.

The M5 adds electronic damper control, cross-drilled brake rotors, M power response button, M5-specific sport suspension, Servotronic speed-sensitive steering, Alcantara roof liner, heated 12-way Extended Merino leather sport seats, six-CD stereo, Logic7 sound system, and M instrument dials with aluminum trim.

Providing a wide range of sedans, the 5 Series is a rare choice among larger luxury vehicles for its available manual transmission. The 3.0-litre engines, introduced for the 2008 model year, are exceptional, especially the 535i xDrive’s twin-turbocharged model, which has a broad powerband and with virtually no lag. The M5 remains at the top of the line, but is best enjoyed with its stick shift, as the seven-speed SMG (sequential manual gearbox) automatic unit tends to lag between shifts.

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