2011 BMW 5-Series

2011 BMW 5-Series

Episode 3002
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

With sporty moves and room for a family, BMW’s midsize 5-Series sports sedan has long been a segment benchmark and a MotorWeek favorite. But the all-new 2011 5-Series is something of a renaissance. While still packing a technology and powertrain wallop, it appears less aggressive and more executive.  So let’s see if this really is progress.

Right off the mark, our visual take on the 6th generation 2011 BMW 5-Series is that it reminds us a lot more of the current flagship 7-Series than its direct predecessor. Yes, the twin kidney grille is naturally still there, but the previous 5’s Bangle-ized eyebrows are gone.

On the profile, the look is smoother but the character lines are more defined, all stretched over a 2-inch longer body, with a more telling, 3.2 inch longer wheelbase. The L-shaped LED taillights mimic the 7, while the rest of the toned down rear also looks more business than pleasure. 

Top and bottom power are familiar. The 528i dons a three-liter straight six, rated at 240 horsepower, a bump up of 10. The 550i borrows the 7’s 4.4-liter twin-turbo 400 horsepower V8. Our 535i has the new powertrain, BMW’s latest 3-liter that trades two turbos for one twin-scroll unit. Output is unchanged, however, at 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque.

A proper 6-speed manual is still standard on the six-cylinders, while optional with a six and standard on the V8 is BMW’s new gas saving eight-speed automatic.

Indeed, lots of Efficient Dynamics technologies have found their way into the 2011 5-Series, including regenerative brakes, electric power steering, and engine accessories that only produce engine drag when in use. Later in the year, x-Drive all-wheel drive will become available across the 5-Series lineup.

It didn’t take more than a few minutes at the track, however, to reassure ourselves that this more sedate looking 5 hasn’t dialed back performance one bit. Quick shifting our 535i’s manual delivers 0 to 60 in an impressive, and quite quiet, six seconds flat. The quarter mile mark came up in 14.5 seconds at 98 miles per hour. Both numbers getting close to the 5-Series GT V8 we tested last spring.

Just as laudable was our average 60 to 0 stopping distance of a very short 116 feet. The pedal wasn’t the firmest, but feedback was good, and fade nonexistent, from the all-wheel vented disc brakes.

Still, our handling test would be the big hurdle, an area where the previous 5-Series was a champion. Turn-ins are still quick, even if the electric power steering is a little numb. More curb weight means slightly more body roll, even in stiffer sport mode, but there’ s still little lack of poise, thanks to a new multi-link front suspension. So, when all was said and done, we were very happy.

I didn’t want to like the new 2011 BMW 5-Series. It got bigger, more luxurious, and less like the cars that I’ve always loved. Or so I thought. Sitting behind the wheel, it does feel like a 7-Series, and out on the highway it’s so smooth and quiet. But on back roads when you turn that wheel, well, everything I’ve always loved about a BMW sports sedan is front and center. My conclusion the new 5-Series is a great car.

Inside, the new 5’s interior also takes on the 7’s more luxurious appeal. Our 535i came dressed to really impress with optional wood trim. BMW’s sensible, classy, horizontal architecture now has well-integrated 21st-century touches like adaptive cruise control and a lane departure warning system.

The fourth generation of iDrive appears either on a seven-inch screen recessed atop the now canted center stack, or with optional navigation on a larger 10.2-inch screen.

Rear seat knee room improves very slightly, while comfort is still above par for second-row passengers. 40/60 split-fold functionality is optional, as is a center pass-through.

In Government Fuel Economy Ratings, our manual 535i is rated at a decently frugal 19 miles per gallon city/28 highway. We managed an average of 22.3 miles per gallon on premium gas. On sale now, the 528i starts at $45,425. Our 535i begins at $50,475, and the 550i has a base sticker of $60,575.

With equal parts thrill and finesse, BMW has clearly taken the right path with this thoroughly modern car. Moreover, the 2011 BMW 5-Series remains one slick-shifting, fine-driving, midsize German sports sedan icon.


  • Engine: 3-Liter Turbo
  • Horsepower: 300
  • Torque: 300 Lb Feet
  • 0-60 MPH: 6.0 Seconds
  • 1/4 Mile: 14.5 Seconds @ 98 MPH
  • 60-0 MPH: 116 Feet
  • EPA: 19 MPG City/ 28 MPG Highway
  • Mixed Loop: 22.3 MPG
2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

2023 Genesis Electrified GV70

Genesis Waves Their Magic EV Wand Yet Again

Episode 4303
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

The Genesis Electrified GV70 is not only the 3rd all-electric vehicle offering from Hyundai’s luxury division, but it’s also the first Genesis model to be built here in the US. You know, the GV70 was already a big hit with both critics and buyers, so let’s find out if a big pack of batteries and American workers can take it to the next level.

For the 2023 model year, the Genesis GV70 utility has gone electric. And like the Electrified G80 sedan before it, Genesis has integrated an all-electric drivetrain into its existing platform seamlessly and effectively.

Now, it may look almost exactly like the sleek and sophisticated internal combustion powered GV70 SUV that arrived just last year. But packed underneath it all, is the GV60’s next-gen propulsion system that uses a pair of electric motors delivering standard all-wheel drive and 429-horsepower. Both the front and rear-mounted electric motors are 160-kW and produce a combined 516 lb-ft. of torque, relying on energy from a 77.4-kWh battery. Full 350-kW charging capability will get the battery to 80% in just 18-minutes. The Electrified GV70 is rated to travel 236-miles between those charging sessions.

But based on our driving loop, we’d say more is easily possible as we were on pace for over 250-miles; making it an overachiever, much like the G80.

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The approach to the interior is not so much a heavy-handed blast of over-the-top luxury, rather just a soothing blend of high-quality metal and leather materials with soft tones, subtle ambient light, and an airy feel that ultimately delivers a very comforting experience.

There’s an available 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, along with a 14.5-inch touchscreen that houses standard navigation, and it also has a rotary style control on the console if you prefer that, just don’t confuse it with the rotary gear selector like we did. Lexicon audio, quilted leather, and a suede headliner come with the Prestige package that also includes active noise control and white brake calipers.

Regen braking paddles mounted on the back of the steering wheel allow for adjusting amounts of regen up to full 1-pedal driving; or you can let Smart Regen take control, gathering data from past driving history, navigation, and road conditions to determine the appropriate amount of braking. Drive modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, Sport +, and Custom, and Genesis has added some additional sound deadening for this EV.

Based on the incredibly quiet, smooth, and steady highway ride we experienced, we weren’t sure what to expect when we pulled this GV70 up to the line at our Mason Dixon Dragway test track.

Well, not much calmness or serenity here, as this thing absolutely blasted off the line like a rocket, hitting 60 in just 3.9-seconds. That’s almost a full 2-seconds quicker than last year’s 2.5-liter turbo-equipped GV70. It’s hard to beat performance-tuned EVs when it comes to torque delivery, and like the GV60, there’s a boost button on the steering wheel that delivers an additional 54-horsepower for a thrilling 10-seconds, helping us clear the ¼ in 12.4-seconds at 112 miles-per-hour.

The low center of gravity, an electronically controlled suspension, and a Disconnector Actuator System that allows for 2-wheel or 4-wheel-drive operation depending on circumstances, helped keep the Electrified GV70 well-planted through our handling course, and provided a livelier feel than the ICE version.

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Substantial side bolstering of the front seats kept us settled in place very nicely. Great steering feel, very little body roll, and only minor amounts of understeer at its limits. Brakes were equally as sporting, with good feedback and stability, despite the noticeable nosedive that typically accompanies stopping 5,000-lbs. of utility vehicle in just 111-feet, 6-feet shorter than the standard GV70.

There are some subtle changes outside for this Electrified version of the GV70; it gets unique 20-inch wheels, and as in the G80, the signature crest grille gets an aerodynamic makeover, nicely integrating the charging port. Same 2-line lighting theme up front, and in back, where the rear bumper is reshaped now that there are no tailpipes. Cargo area is well finished with thoughtful use of space; at 28.7 cubic-ft. with a max of 56.5, capacity is down a tiny bit, but a small storage bin up front under the hood more than makes up for it.

At 37-kWh/100 miles, the Electrified GV70 rates a good efficiency score. Pricing starts at $66,975, about 20-grand over a base ICE GV70, and 3-years of free charging at Electrify America charging stations is included.

Genesis is slowly but surely electrifying their lineup, and the 2023 Electrified GV70 is not just another step in the process, but further proof that carmakers can progress to EVs without upsetting the entire apple cart of their brand. Forward thinking but staying classy, just what we’ve come to expect from Genesis.


  • Motor Setup: Dual 160-kW Motors
  • Horsepower: 429
  • 0-60 mph: 3.9 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 111 feet (avg)
  • MW Range: ~254 miles
  • Battery Size: 77.4-kWh
  • Torque: 516 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 12.4-seconds at 112 mph
  • EPA Range: 234 miles
  • Efficiency: 37 kWh/ 100 miles