The Thrills and Chills of the 535i Experience
The Good, the Bad, and the Unbeatable 2011 bmw 535i xdrive
The 2011 BMW 535i Xdrive is a beast on the road, boasting an impressive 8.0 overall score. Let’s dissect the highs and lows of this sport sedan sensation.
Revving up the excitement, the 535i flaunts an abundance of cutting-edge infotainment technology and driver aid features. Picture this: a Park Assist feature that takes the hassle out of parallel parking. Plus, it manages to elevate its performance and efficiency game, despite growing in size compared to its predecessors.
However, not everything is a smooth ride. The suspension can feel a tad floaty, and there’s noticeable body roll, even with active suspension technology doing its thing. Here’s the kicker: almost every feature we love in the 5 Series comes with an extra cost, significantly beefing up the final bill.
The Bottom Line
In the grand scheme, the 2011 BMW 535i stands tall among the sport sedan elite. It’s a star in handling, fit and finish, and prestige. But, truth be told, it might not be the wallet-friendly champion you’re hoping for.
Behind the Wheel: A Closer Look at Driving Dynamics
Unleashing the Power
Dive beneath the hood, and you’ll discover a 300-horsepower, TwinPower turbocharged three-liter inline six-cylinder engine. Hold on, though—it’s not your run-of-the-mill powerplant. BMW ditched the twin-turbo setup for a more streamlined twin-scroll single turbo in 2011. The result? Quick spooling, reduced turbo lag, and the same power and torque as the previous model, but with a slight twist—peak torque now kicks in 200rpm earlier.
You’ve got choices when it comes to transmissions: a no-cost optional eight-speed, a $500 sport automatic with paddle shifters, or the one that sparks joy—the six-speed manual. Shifting gears feels chunky but oh-so-satisfying, giving you that hands-on driving experience.
Handling the Road with Style
Navigate the 5 Series terrain, and you’ll find a plethora of adaptive chassis tech at your disposal. Opt for the $2,700 Dynamic Handling Package, and you’ll be treated to electronic damping control, Active Roll Stabilization (ARS), and BMW’s Adaptive Drive system with customizable presets.
Tech Haven Inside: Cabin Exploration
Beyond the Steering Wheel
Buckle up for a tech-rich ride inside the 5 Series. The infotainment lineup is a wishlist come true, but beware—it’s mostly optional. From the wide-screen hard-drive-based navigation system to Bluetooth connectivity with BMW Assist, the options are there if you’re willing to tick the right boxes.
Audiophiles Rejoice (at a Cost)
The standard 12-speaker audio system, HD Radio, and a CD player with MP3 capabilities provide a solid base. However, if you want iPod, iPhone, or USB connectivity, be prepared to shell out an extra $400. And if you’re aiming for the Premium package, that’s another $1,800.
Safety and Assistance Galore
For an additional $1,750, the Driver Assistance package throws in Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Detection, automatic high beams, and the nifty Parking Assistant. The latter takes over parallel parking duties, letting you relax while it maneuvers the sedan into a spot.
Dollars and Sense: Economy and Value
The EfficientDynamics Touch
Keep an eye on the EfficientDynamics gauge, as it mirrors the 5 Series’ commitment to efficiency. Brake Energy Regeneration kicks in while braking, enhancing fuel efficiency. The result? A steady fuel economy improvement from 17 city/26 highway mpg to 19 city/28 highway mpg.
Breaking Down the Cost
With a base price of $49,600, the 535i is competitively priced. But, and it’s a big but, options can quickly pile up. Our test model, loaded with Dynamic Handling, Sport, Driver Assistance, Convenience, and Premium packages, plus a bunch of extras, soared to a whopping $65,425. That’s a considerable leap from the base price and puts it head-to-head with some hefty competitors.
In a Nutshell: The Verdict
The Final Scorecard
The 2011 BMW 535i earns its stripes as a top-tier vehicle in many aspects. Comfort reigns supreme with its tech-loaded cabin, and the design, coupled with the iDrive-based interface, adds a touch of sophistication. Performance gets a thumbs-up too, thanks to efficiency and power delivery tweaks. However, it’s not without contenders. The Infiniti M37 and Lexus GS 350 beckon, especially for those with an eye on value and technology.
The OVR Score Breakdown
- Cabin Tech: 8
- Performance Tech: 8
- Design: 8
- Available Engine: Gas
- Body Style: Sedan
In the grand automotive opera, the 2011 BMW 535i takes center stage. Is it the lead role you’ve been waiting for? The final bow is yours to decide.