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Tradition

Tradition, quality brought to perfection - BMW 535i

The shark nose, the coupe-like roof line and the long, sensually embossed hood follow the nearly forty-year tradition of the BMW 5 series. This 6th generation builds upon the illustrious past while delivering an entirely new feeling

A famous sportsman once said that you should always aim to be the best but never actually believe that you are. Wise thought. The German premium models are based on this creed. Over the years, as we tested the BMW creations we said that it is not possible to create a more perfect car. However, Bavarian engineers have always refuted that. They claim if you give them a couple of years they can always surprise you. The new model of the 5 series fits nicely between the new 3 and 7 series from BMW.

One can discover several details from both sister models. On the other hand, it is certain – from whatever angle you look at it – that it has a new shape to itself. The LED halos of the double dazzle lights, characteristic of the Bavarian trademark, are stunning and unique here, too. The tail-lights reach into the mud-guards, their horizontal light stripes emphasize the sporty character of the car. The shape of the car is soft, harmonic, and elegant. The interior design is refined, but at the same time is abundant with technical gismos. The steering wheel is of three spokes, indicating that although, it is a big limousine, it has a sporty style with an attitude...

The dashboard layout and unambiguous sectioning concentrate on the driver. Modern, elegant, tasteful and immensely demanding materials and style were applied in furbishing the interior, which is much closer to that of the 7 series. Perhaps, that is understandable, given the target audience for the car is management level. The new BMW 5 has – as standard feature – the newest generation of the quickly and logically operating iDrive service system. This fourth-generation iDrive, matched with the optional navigation system, has new graphics and controls along with a high-resolution 8.8-inch control display. A new menu structure has been implemented with an expanded range of functions. The standard and optional audio, navigation and communication functions can be controlled with the help of the central handler button placed on the middle console and an integrated central display built into the dashboard.

Our test car, filled with extras, including the motorized side supports of the seats which are pumped around us by a compressor. The headrest also rises with motorized help. The soft close feature in the doors pulls them shut if not closed properly, while the steering wheel attentively pulls itself up before we get out. The situation is the same with comfort, safety and entertainment features. The new BMW 5 model includes such fine features as the Parking Assistant, technology that also warns about close proximity and is connected to the Active Cruise Control (ACC) complemented with the stop&go function, as well as the ‘surround view’ (with which we see the car from bird's eye view at the time of parking with the help of a mirror and rear cameras) and the Speed Limit Device.

It is possible to spend the price of a middle-class car for extras. From a rational point of view, this may seem like wasting money, but if you ‘taste’ these extra equipments, you might change your mind. For safety, the car features the Lane Departure Warning, the Lane Change, the Speed Limit Info, the High-Beam Assistant, the BMW Night Vision with pedestrian recognizer function, the Parking Distance Sensor (PDC) and the reversing camera. The gist of the Integral Active Steering, which can be ordered as extra, is that besides turning the first wheels, it also turns the rear wheels in the bend with a maximum of 2.5 degrees. The intelligent light construction appears in a number of elements of the running-gear as well as in the aluminum construction of the engine hood, the front mud-guards and doors.

The BMW 535i features a straight six-cylinder gasoline engine (225 kW/306 HP) equipped with second-generation direct petrol injection (High Precision Injection) and Valvetronic variable valve control and – for the first time in the world – simultaneously with a TwinScroll turbocharger. Its travel dynamics is crushing, while comfort is ensured through the special duo of the double cross rocking arm front suspension and the ‘integral-V’ rear suspension.

The BMW 535i provides the peak of German engine performance. Its reaction to even a slight pressure on the accelerator will ignite a strong response. Irrespective of this, the acceleration, the easy-going comfort of the large body is a fascinating experience. The automatic gearbox shifts up and up in an instant – up to 8th gear. The Germans have a big hit with this one. They coupled a fantastic engine with a fantastically good car. It is not an exaggeration to claim that now, this is the market's best premium limousine in its category.

László B. Kiss

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