My Have You Grown - 2011 BMW 5 Series Long-Term Road Test

2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

2011 BMW 5 Series: My Have You Grown

May 24, 2011

BMW 5 Series Evolution.jpg

You don't need to look at the specs to know that the latest BMW 5 Series has grown a lot. It looks bigger and it feels bigger from behind the wheel. Yet, these perceptions got me thinking: How does the new 5 Series compare to the 7 Series from the late 1990s?

Well, buckle yourself in for a little spreadsheet action ...


Yes, the new 5 weighs more than the late '90s regular wheelbase 740i. It also has a longer wheelbase and is almost as wide. It dwarfs the same era's 5 Series. There is nearly a 5-inch difference in wheelbase (and length) between 5's, yet interestingly, rear legroom has only grown by 1.9 inches. Wasn't rear legroom a big reason for all that growth?

Of course, then you look at the V8 engine specs and the new 5 starts to look a little rosier. Besides the rather ridiculous power difference, fuel economy has improved by 2 mpg as well.

But that's a superb engine -- I'm not sold on the rest of the car for more reasons than just size. More on that tomorrow, though.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 12,180 miles

P.S. Seriously, is that 7 Series still a brilliant looking car?


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