If you’re in the market for a performance touring sedan, you might as well go for the best there is. The BMW 5 Series has a 45-year track record of producing market leading sports sedans, and the latest iteration of the respected line is no different.

The newest version of the 5 Series is an aesthetic masterpiece, with an aggressive, almost predatory, visage that makes ample use of ducts, channels and vents, giving the car a decidedly formidable presence. This is a vehicle that can serve as a daily commuter or grocery-getter with aplomb, yet it has the look and street credit to never be out of place in the valet lot or in front of the country club.

Serious power, amazing fuel economy

The newest 5 Series has as its base engine a 2.0 liter, inline four-cylinder that also makes use of a twin turbocharger. This remarkably small engine produces serious power, though. BMW has been able to pump out 248 horsepower from the tiny power plant, yielding over 2 horsepower per cubic inch, an impressive feat of engineering.

But the performance is even more impressive than the things mentioned above would imply. That’s because BMW makes optimal use of its 10-speed, computer-controlled transmission, a state-of-the-art affair that delivers seamless shifting and allows for incredibly leveraging of the car’s power. The result is a mid-size sports sedan that can get from 0 to 60 in just 5.8 seconds. The car handles like a sports car, approaching a full lateral g on the skidpad and braking incredibly quickly. This is certainly a driver’s car.

The interior is no less impressive. The main console is dominated by BMW’s iDrive system, displayed on a 10-inch screen, one of the largest of any production car today. The driver is informed of speed, rpms and other crucial information via easy-to-read analogue gauges. These have the unmistakable look of BMW’s heritage, a pleasing accent for true fans of the car maker.

The seats are both firm and comfortable, with accents of hand-stitching throughout the cabin. The interior makes ample use of real wood. These are complimented by stainless steel flourishes, and the entire gear shift panel is stainless steel. The buttons and knobs have a heavy, solid feel that is a welcome tactile delight, for anyone used to driving cheaper American products.

Overall, the newest 5 Series lives up to its reputation and then goes even farther. It is a superlative automobile. The only downside is the price. The 5 Series comes in at just over $50,000, for the base model. But for those who seeking the top in luxury touring sedans, there really isn’t any substitute.

Why leasing a new BMW 5 Series is often better than buying

In today’s volatile auto market, where the resale value of used cars can never be accurately predicted and interest rates and credit availability are as whimsical as the wind, leasing has a number of very strong selling points. Chief among these is the fact that leasing can often save thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in both up front and monthly costs.

One of the reasons that leasing can make so much more sense than buying is the simple fact that money today is worth more than money tomorrow. Economists call this the time value of money. Leasing a new 5 Series can easily save the buyer more than $10,000 in drive-away costs. That’s money that the buyer gets to keep in their pocket for investing in other things.

But the savings extend to the monthly payments as well. Over the course of a typical 36-month lease, buying a new 5 Series on a bank loan may end up costing tens of thousands more in payments than a lease would have. The chances are high that someone in the market for a new BMW can find superior ways to invest their money than in a rapidly depreciating new car.