I traded in a 2003 525i to buy the 2005 545i. While it has taken me a little while to get used to the new styling, it has taken no time at all to get used to the sheer driving power and pleasure of the 545i. Über-responsive and just terrific fun to drive, I am very happy with my decision.
The new navigation system takes the fear out of touring.
Look again at the internal styling. I really think the 2003 version was warmer, particularly with more use of wood in the doors.
Maybe I am biased but this is my fifth of my BMW. Three were 3 series (gave my last one to my daughter so the grandchildren were safe), and purchased a Z4 for my wife. I needed a larger sedan than the 3, so the 5 was a natural choice. I happen to like the looks and the I Drive. Yes, it takes some time, but it is worth it. We just got back from a 2000 mile trip and we were comortable and relaxed after doing quite a bit of exploring. It handled wonderfully on the switchbacks of the forest roads, great milage on the highway, and the navagation system was confused only once when new roads had been built. It even found a small hotel we had programmed in in a residental area of town,
Handling, comfort, solid feel, navigation and heads up display.
Heads-up display better seen with polarized sunglasses.
Given that I choose the lowest HP engine, I am impressed how well it still performs, especially on the highway. I don't miss one Hp. I took it for a 1500 mile roadtrip and had the most delightful drive I have ever had. I have owned over 50 cars - so far the only section any other car performed better was in acceleration because I had cars with big engines as well.
The handling is out of this world and the seats provide great support and comfort. I like the 26 mpg.
better cupholders would be nice amd the NAV system should be standard at this price