Two years after the launch of its latest generation, BMW's 5 Series undergoes some significant evolution for the 2006 model year with new six-cylinder engines, a larger V-8, a new all-wheel-drive sedan and Sports Wagon, and additional models.
The 5 Series is BMW's midsize sedan. The 5 Series has built a strong reputation by incorporating luxury features into a sporty and dynamic four-door package with room in the back seat for adults to ride in comfort. After offering only two 5 Series sedans with six-cylinder engines in 2005, BMW expands its lineup for 2006 with the 525i, 525xi, 530i, 530xi sedans, and the 530xi Sports Wagon. An "x" in a BMW's model designation indicates that it has xDrive, BMW's proprietary all-wheel-drive technology. Now standard on all 5 Series models is Servotronic vehicle-speed-sensitive power steering. Furthermore, BMW's Dynamic Stability Control technology features expanded braking functions, an engine start/stop button on the dash starts the vehicle rather than a key, MP3 capability is offered with the standard in-dash CD player, and the interior features upgraded controls, among other updates.
The 525s are powered by a new, 215-hp, 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine, while the 530s draw their power from a 255-hp version of the same engine. The new inline engine features magnesium/aluminum composite construction, Valvetronic variable valve lift, and other technological advancements. Also available is a new 550i sedan, powered by a 360-hp, 4.8L V-8 engine. All 5 Series sedans have six-speed transmissions, either manual or automatic, and the 530i and 550i sedans also offer a six-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (a manual-style transmission that allows shifting without a clutch pedal).
Dynamic balance is enhanced by a new aluminum front-end structure, and for those who want the most dynamic driving experience, an optional Sport package is available for all 5 Series models. Premium sound and cold-weather packages are also available. Stand-alone options include active cruise control that maintains the distance between your vehicle and the one ahead, park-distance control, 20-way adjustable front seats, heated rear seats, GPS navigation system, head-up display, satellite radio, and more. Ten-way power seats are standard on all 5 Series models, as are front, side, and side-curtain air bags, with rear-seat side-impact air bags as an option. The 5 Series wagon features a large two-panel sunroof.
For 2006, a station wagon returns to the lineup after a two-year absence.
The BMW 5 Series competes in the Midsize Premium segment of the U.S. light-vehicle market. This segment accounts for little more than 2 percent of all sales, but it is a highly competitive and prestigious category.
According to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM the Lexus ES Series leads this category with 67,577 sales in calendar year 2005. Following in a close battle are the BMW 5 Series (52,722 units in 2005) and Mercedes-Benz E-Class (50,383 units in 2005). The rest of the field includes the Cadillac STS, Lexus GS Series, Infiniti M-Series, Volvo V70 and S80, Lincoln LS, Audi A6, Acura RL, Jaguar S-Type, and Saab 9-5.
|i (M6)||6 speed manual||$46,800||255-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||20/30|
|xi (M6)||6 speed manual||$49,000||255-hp / 3.0L 6-cyl||19/28|