After much research I made the plunge and bought a low mileage 530i. My observations: Ride: the car has a great tight ride. Either you like it or you don't - I love it. iDrive: reviews of idrive nearly caused me to buy another car. If you expect to get in and drive off and immediately operate idrive, you will likely be frustrated. If you will read the manual while sitting in your driveway for 20 minutes, it is not much different than Windows and a mouse. I'm 57 and computer literate. Climate control was the only part of idrive I did not master (without needing to look) in 24 hours. Fuel economy from FL to GA was an amazing 31 mpg @ 75-80 mph. I love the car.
On the advice of a friend, I ended a twelve year streak of Lexus ownership for a new BMW. The tipping point for me was the unlimited warranty for four years or 50,000 miles. The car rides great but the I control is maddening and the car is way too computerized. It drops my bluetooth settings regularly and the battery has died three times in the last 11 months. The tow truck driver today told the cars he has to jump the most are BMW's! I am convinced it is a computer problem and they really don't know how to fix it. The driver seat, despite what seems like 1,000 different settings, is uncomfortable and has no support between the shoulder blades. This will be my last Bimmer.
Trunk space, audio, acceleration, and handling
Get rid of the I control. Give consumer an option for a full tire spare rather than the run flats. The car is too computerized-please return to basic mechanical engineering.
2007 BMW 5 Series 530xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
Purchased a 530xi (loaded) coming off a lease and absolutely love the car!!! Overall, I actually like the I-drive system, very intuitive and think that the people who complain about it are probably the same people who do not like computers or tech stuff in general. Love the detailing for both the interior and exterior, handles great, and very comfortable. Very rich looking. Love the interior ambient lighting at night, xenon are always a plus.
I have the premium seats which are fantastic. Love the Steering and handling, nice punch.
More compartments for storage. Needs some improvement on interior noise at highway speeds.
2007 BMW 5 Series 525xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)
Bought my first CPO with low mileage nearly six months ago. The 5-series is perfect size for a family of 4; 2 are in the teens. Added feature is the AWD for Northeast winters. The car performance is excellent: eager; firm; predictable. Braking reliability is phenomenon. The look and feel of the car is wonderful. Now, for the improvement needs: several controls need easier access/feedback to driver: door lock, steering heater, lights, climate controls, ... ashtrays and cup holders are everywhere, but lack of room for sun glass, cellphones. Overall control panel, dashboard: their layouts and lightnings are unimpressive. Radio/CD and sound systems are below average.