The Five comes alive Highlights from the National Post*article:
Dr. Helmut Panke, chairman of the board of BMW, set the tone for the launch of the new 5 Series: "We will not have anybody out-BMW BMW."
The succinct declaration sums up BMW's Herculean endeavour to improve on a car that is already the very embodiment of the esteemed company. The current 5 Series is not only on just about every automotive magazines' Top 10/All-star/Best of list, but it is also placed equally as high by insurance and consumer groups as one of the safest vehicles of any type to be found.
For its successor to achieve anything less than the pinnacle in any of those categories is to risk condescension by the faithful. And let's face it: Previously unflappable BMW has had its confidence tweaked just a tad by the less-than-unanimous approval (for design head Chris Bangle's styling more than anything else) of its last two model introductions -- the 7 Series and the Z4. The company might have to tap dance around the 2004 5 Series' looks as well. Although far from displeasing, the styling of the new model blends more complicated design elements of both the 3 and 7 Series (not to mention hints of Saab's 9-5...YUCK!)
Although there was not enough time to fully explore all the elements of the new 5 Series, it is patently obvious BMW has once again raised the bar in the premium-priced sedan segment with a mid-sized car that surpasses its predecessor in driving dynamics and enjoyment.
Any car company planning to respond to Dr. Panke's test of building a better BMW than BMW had better bring its game face.
It is certainly going to need it. Click here to read the full review