After thoroughly enjoying my 3 series, I looked forward to the 530. What a disappointment, I have never had any car in for service so often, the high battery drain others have mentioned, iDrive replaced, tires have been replaced twice at no charge due to noise and excessive cupping, brake sensor malfunction resulted in having brakes replaced at 10K miles. While BMW has replaced all these items, having to take car in over 10 times in a year is just ridiculous. Not what you expect for this much money. Also just can't get this seat and steering wheel adjusted to point it's comfortable for more than a little while. All in all, a great looking car, and I enjoy it - when it runs correctly.
Styling, stereo system.
Tires, cup holders are useless in the front, more storage in center compartment and glove compartment, get rid of iDrive. Reliability, period.
Had the car 9 months now, and love it. Did have trouble with the VANOS system, and the car was at the dealer for 3 weeks early on. No problems now. Has great acceleration and handling even with out the sport suspension.
Finish quality, acceleration and handling, and believe it or not the iDrive. Once you get used to it, easy to use and second nature.
2006 BMW 5 Series 530xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
I have recently purchased the 530xi. I am still infatuated with this car and cannot wait to drive it. The car is comfortable and fun to drive. I have driven a lot of cars but this car is unique. It looks great and has sufficient power and stability for any style of driver.
Steptronic transmission - I love to take the car into manual mode on backroads. The car holds the turns and is really a blast.
The standard wheel covers are a little boring. I am waiting for more options to replace the originals.
2006 BMW 5 Series 525xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
This car handles so easily and it has a safe and sturdy feel on the road. Plenty of power for on and off the highway. The iDrive isn't as difficult to operate as some have claimed. Just take some time to learn it; pick your settings; that's it. The heated steering wheel is a real luxury. Interior appointments very nice.
After driving on wet roads the trim at the bottom of the door frame is filled with water/mud/etc. It gets my pant legs dirty as I exit the car. Also, at this price point, I think all BMWs should have automatic trunk lid closures.