What's New for 2000
The 5 Series cars carry over from last year with small changes and no price increase.
BMWs are famous for the suppleness of their ride and the responsiveness of their steering; "firmness without harshness" is the phrase most often bandied about our offices when discussing these cars' uncanny ability to stay connected to the road while communicating almost telepathically with the driver. The 5 Series is no exception. Available in two flavors, 528i or 540i, drivers can choose a sedan or a sport-wagon body style.
528i models are powered by a 2.8-liter inline 6-cylinder engine that provides excellent midrange torque and makes 193 horsepower. The 528i comes with a standard five-speed manual transmission, or can be optioned with a five-speed Steptronic automanual transmission.
Under the hoods of the 540i sedans and sport wagons sit 4.4-liter, 32-valve V8s that offer zero-to-60 times in the low sixes, make 282 horsepower and can also be mated to five-speed Steptronic automanual transmissions, if desired. The 540i sedan continues to be available with a six-speed manual transmission. If you love to drive, opt for this model and prepare yourself for an invigorating ride. The suspension is pleasantly firm on this lively model, but it is difficult to operate the transmission smoothly.
As one would expect in a top-end, luxury/sport vehicle, equipment levels are first rate. Standard fare includes rear self-leveling suspension, car and key programmable memory, dual zone air conditioning and cruise control with steering wheel controls. All-Season Traction (AST), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and Dynamic Brake Control are standard on all 2000 5-Series cars. Rain-sensing windshield wipers and Xenon headlights are standard on 540 models and optional on the 528s this year.
Standard safety equipment includes 9-mph bumpers, dual airbags, door-mounted side-impact airbags, and a front head-protection system. Three-point seatbelts at all seating positions, impact sensors that unlock the doors and activate the hazard lights in the event of a serious accident, remote keyless entry, two-step unlocking, coded drive-away protection, and a vehicle security system are also standard. Rear-passenger side-impact airbags are optional.
To list all of the 5 Series' luxury features would take more space than we have. A few of the more noticeable ones are dual automatic climate controls, power moonroof, 200-watt stereo, 10-way power front seats with power headrests, heated steering wheel, and a right-hand outside mirror that tilts down when the car is in reverse to help drivers see curbs when parallel parking. Yes indeed, the 5 Series is a wonderful car. Given all of the inquiries we receive about it, you apparently think so, too. If you can afford to buy one, we recommend that you do. Sure, there are other decent cars out there in this price range; we just think this is one of the best.