In driving a friend’s 2011 BMW F10 535i, I was overwhelmed by the number and complexity of the luxury and automated features. Add to that the extra safety features, and we’re talking (insert a celebrity who has gained a lot of weight)-sized model bloat.
Don’t get me wrong, the new 535i is an incredible car. It’s fast and sporty and exudes quality. But it’s just so darn big, and yet the interior is a bit snug, almost cramped. The plethora of buttons, controls, and odd icons are dizzying. It took me a minute just to figure out how to use the toggle transmission lever. The tranny, by the way, has eight forward speeds and five clutches.
I compared the stats for the various 535i iterations and came up with this chart:
Despite the longer wheelbase, the newer models are not necessarily roomier inside. And the increase in power has almost been completely offset by the extra weight. This begs the question: With respect to luxury sports sedans like the 5-series, is the model bloat worth it?
Images source: The F10 picture is courtesy Autoblog. The 5-series line-up photo has been passed around so much online, I have no idea who originally uploaded it. I shall assume it’s BMW.