There’s never been a better time to drive a new BMW 5 Series. The current iteration of the venerable line of cars is the culmination of more than 45 years of excellence in automotive engineering. Throughout the production run of the 5 Series, which has been continuously produced since 1972, BMW has managed to stay a decade or so ahead of the competition. The newest edition of the series is no exception.
The 5 Series features bold styling and appealing curves. The latest version has notably more ducts, vents and channels, improving wind resistance and giving the car the unmistakable feel of something designed to go seriously fast. But as with all BMWs, the newest 5 Series hasn’t forgotten its heritage. It’s instantly recognizable as a BMW product. The driver knows before getting in that this is a car born of high pedigree.
The engine for the base model 5 Series is a 2.0 liter, turbocharged, inline four-cylinder. For such a paltry displacement, the engine produces an astonishing 248 horsepower, for a horsepower-per-cubic-inch ratio of more than 2. Getting this much power out of such a small engine is both an incredible engineering feat and a serious boost to the driver’s wallet. It results in a touring sedan with race car performance and compact car gas mileage. The 5 Series gets an incredible 34 miles per gallon on the highway.
Even as powerful as it is, the performance belies the engine’s diminutive size. Going from 0 to 60 in just 5.8 seconds and pulling nearly a lateral g on the skidpad, the 5 Series is capable of what, just a few decades ago, would have been performance reserved for supercars. This is made possible, in part, by BMWs state-of-the-art, 10-speed, computer-controlled transmission, which blends shifts into a seamless continuum, maximally leveraging the power plant’s 248 horses.
The interior of the new 5 Series is no less impressive. With attention to detail that one might only expect in a car costing multiple times as much, the 5 Series has an interior with a five-star luxury feel. Hand cross-stitching accents the seats. The knobs have a solid, metallic feel. Nothing is cheap-looking. The iDrive infotainment system relays all of the vehicle’s information via a 10 inch multi-function display, one of the largest of any car. And the driving experience is thrilling in a way that seems unique to BMW. The 5 Series is a car that is built to engage the driver, not isolate them from the road.
The only drawback of the newest generation 5 Series is price. At $52,000, buying this car is something that even the talented professionals who make up its primary market may have to think twice about. But it’s worth remembering that high prices often indicate even higher value. The 5 Series punches above its weight in almost every respect and is well worth the price tag.
The benefits of owning many assets are indisputable. Unfortunately, cars are not one of them. As one of the most steeply depreciating assets, the purchase of new cars carries significant risks to the owner. While buying a new car is often the right choice for those who need the safety, confidence and reliability that can only come with a brand new vehicle, the risk of ending up underwater on a high-interest auto loan is often not worth the benefits.
Leasing can provide a great alternative. A typical lease can save you tens of thousands of dollars versus a loan over the term of the lease.