I purchased this vehicle with 9,500 miles on the Odometer. It has been an incredible car. Fast, reliable, comfortable and economical. I drive very aggressive yet still average 23mpg overall in LA's bumper to bumper traffic...amazing mileage! We also own a 06 330xi...also a great car - a lot more nimble than the 5 series when driving twisty roads...but the 545I can easily keep just using the extra power.
Six speed sport transmission...active steering...it's truly a drivers car.
Take the run flat tires and throw them in the trash. Once the car is equipped with regular radials...(it has a spare) it is a new car. Inside noise was reduced by almost 10 decibel pts. from 74 to 63 at 80mph by replace the Bridgestone Potenza RFT. Oh and now my Idrive works using voice command.
The 2005 BMW styling is great. All avid 5 series owners fall in love with it sooner or later. My favorite aspect of the car is its reliability, I've had to fix nothing! Pretty fast with the V8, does 0-60 in 5.5 sec and is wonderfully smooth through the transitions. Great fuel economy for a V8 at 18 city and 26 hwy The sports suspension with active steering does wonders and the interior is really well done. BMW continues to be a leader in the auto industry.
Engine, suspension, and overall handling
iDrive is a little irritating, but that was fixed after 2005 models.
The dominant item of this car is the V-8 engine. It is nothing but superlatives: extremely powerful, very fuel efficient, wonderful sounding, impossible to operate smoothly in stop and go traffic, incredibly complicated (I hope valvetronic is reliable). The car itself is very modern. Most of it is made of aluminum. The interior (standard seats) is comfortable, though storage space is limited. Brakes, transmission, electronics such as Logic 7 radio and nav are first rate. The latter, of course, is already outdated by today's hard drive systems, but the basic car still remains leading edge. I cannot overemphasize how good the engine is. Don't even consider the 6 cylinder.
The engine. It even burns regular gas with no complaint! The numerous details of the Bangle styling. It grows on you. Now everyone else is copying it.
The sunroof is very noisy when closed if maladjusted off center by as little as a credit card thickness. Needs better seals, I guess. The transmission/engine software needs to be tweaked to allow smoother operation during the 10 feet before a stop/after a start. Very, very jerky now.
I recently purchased a pre-owned 545i, with about 55k on the clock. The car is tight, without creaks and rattles, and the interior still looks largely new. My previous vehicle was an 06 Lotus Elise, and even so, I would say this car drives impeccably. Everything from the engine, to the weight distribution, to the suspension (sport package) to the transmission (6sp MT) is perfect. My only complaint with the whole car is the iDrive system; it's too cumbersome. Simple tasks like changing the radio station or ventilation settings should be easy to do with individual knobs without resorting to a series of menus.
We thoroughly enjoy our fully loaded BMW 545 sports sedan. We have driven ALL the competitors, including many bona fide sports cars, but none is better overall than this ride. From the awesome power, razor sharp handling, luxury appointments, everything is very refined and simply world class. And because we also have a Dinan-S1 tuned 545er, the premier BMW tuner in North America, our car is a truly one-of-a- kind special ride. The Dinan suite of high performance upgrades, which includes such goodies as advanced engine management software, high flow air intake systems, free flow exhaust, suspension systems, ultra lightweight wheelsets and huge Brembo brakes, has made our ride TRULY sublime.
Sadly, better and stronger cup holders, almost universally complained about it seems. ventilated seats would be a nice add-on feature also, particularly on those hot, muggy and humid days!