I've had this 550i for about a year, the car is awesome. Very fun to drive, turns heads (especially those people who rev up their engines in their G35 or the equivalent). Reliability - not so good. In 1 year I went through 5 tires and 2 cracked rims. Note I do live in New York City where the roads are NOT the best but before this I had a Lexus LS430 since 2001 and I only went through 1 tire so do the math.
SPEEEED! ACCELERATION! I-Drive! and the whole interior + exterior
Cupholders are awful. They're made to be broken at which point you crazy clue those bad boys back into place. Tires - RFT is the only plausible solution? Rims - why are they so weak on this years 5 series?
I have a black on black BMW 530i with smoked windows and a 6-speed stick tranny. This car is absolutely the coolest car I've owned. I get so many looks and glances in the parking lot and this car isn't even brand new. It was a CPO and I got a very good deal on it. It runs smooth all the way up to 125 mph (fastest I've gone in it) and handles like a dream. The steering is very quick around parking lots but not too quick out on the highway. It's also very quick. I was bored one afternoon and timed a 6.5 sec 0-60 run, w/o even launching it from a high rev. It feels much stronger than its somewhat unamazing 255hp and 220 lb-ft torque would suggest. The rear seats are huge and comfy
The iDrive; it's sophisticated and NOT hard to use at all. Love the 6-speed (30k miles on the clutch and shifts are still smooth and crisp feeling). Love the active steering feature; quickens the steering a lot; VERY fun to drive and toss around. 29 mpg is also a pleasure.
My one suggestion is to please fix the speedometer inaccuracy. When I drive past a highway radar sign on the side of the road doing exactly 80, the radar is claiming I'm only doing about 74-75. I think in a car this costly they should at least know how to build a simple speedometer.
2006 BMW 5 Series 530xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
I've owned this car for 2 years and a 740IL previously. This car handles very well, rides very comfortably and can handle my 6'3" frame easily. The 28+MPG highway is a great deal with $4+ gas. I find the I-drive OK, but would prefer manual controls for heat/AC and radio. I-drive is good for navigation and communications. I find the brake dust excessive and pits the rims if not removed quickly (my rims are waxed for protection).
Performance. This car will move smoothly. The problem is you can be doing 90-100 MPH without realizing it.
Better cup holders. Sun glass holder. Manual controls for radio and heat/ac. Darker rear windows.
I originally bought the 530 when my daughter was born (traded in my 04 Infiniti G35 coupe). I needed a car that was sporty but could also be used as a family vehicle, the 530 did not disappoint. This is my second 530, the first was an 05 which was totaled in an accident, I was so impressed with the way the BMW safety that I bought the 06 530 to replace it. This car is awesome, the BMW free maintenance that comes with the car is also amazing since any issue within the first 50000 miles are covered at no out of pocket cost, including the cost of the loaner car. I have had a lot of issues with break squeaking and brake dust, BMW needs to address this.
Handsfree bluetooth phone integration through speakers, iPod hookup,way the front of the car looks at night with the lights. Cornering, solid feel, quality of interior materials (besides cup holder).
Navigation system is not as good as on my Infiniti, not intuitive. Cup holder is inferior for such a classy vehicle. Brakes (fix brake noise). Convenience package should be standard. Premium gas - need to reengineer future vehicles to use regular run flat tires are too noisy.
This car first and foremost is weak. It is a big car with no wow factor. Do not purchase premium package because you'll get bored quickly. There is no exhilaration factor, nothing that stands out except good steering. The weird curves on this car make it somewhat confusing when backing up as it is very bloated. Electronic throttle makes the car seem not connected with the driver, there seems to be a delay. The looks are not impressive, I thought this was a car and not a spaceship. This car is a huge disappointment as I have compared it to my brothers 2001 BMW 525i which looks better and somehow feels more reliable and nicer to drive, has some more oomph to it. Do not be fooled.
Steering feel is decent with the prem. package, safety features, good for trips and highway driving.
Weak stereo, better design, loose the bloated look, give us something decent in terms of power. Fix front seat - they look and feel cheap. No more iDrive. No more run-flats. Make the car a bit more sporty, feels more like a luxury car and change interior completely, it's horribly constructed.