The mid-sized BMW 5 Series includes executive cars manufactured since 1972. The popular series is still being produced in both sedan and touring or Gran Turismo body styles. In all, more than five million 5 Series vehicles have been sold. The series enjoys excellent safety ratings as well as high horsepower, and it's available with both automatic and manual transmissions. The 5 Series is responsible for about 50% of BMW's annual revenue.
The 5 Series has been manufactured at a number of BMW plants around the world since its debut: Dingolfing, Germany; Toluca, Mexico; Cairo, Egypt; and several others. Many versions of 5 Series cars have been issued, and the main distinguishing difference is the engine type. The engine's deciliter capacity is reflected in the car's model number. For example, the BMW 530i had a 3.0-liter or 30 deciliter engine as denoted by the 30". Additional letters and words added to the three-digit model numbers indicate body style, fuel type (gas/petrol or diesel), and engine or transmission details. For instance, an "i" indicates fuel injection.
The BMW 5 Series car has undergone significant evolution over the past four decades. When it debuted in the 1970s, it was especially reminiscent of Italian cars and the Alfa Romeo in particular. Since then, the car's exterior has gradually shifted from boxy lines to gentle arcs. It was initially offered only as a four-door sedan, but, as of 2003, a station wagon or estate car model design has also been offered for each model year. The cars made from 2003 until the present feature an iDrive interface with navigation and built-in communications systems. They also feature an optional upgrade to all-wheel drive. Slight modifications to the interior and exterior were made in 2008 and 2010.
Reflecting their longtime presence in global car culture, BMW 5 Series cars are available in a wide variety of trims and colors. The manufacturer currently offers five sedan options and four touring car models. The top-of-the-line sedan is the 550i xDrive. It gets 24 mpg on the highway relatively impressive fuel economy for its 400-horsepower engine. Meanwhile, the premium 550i xDrive Gran Turismo gets 22 mpg with highway driving and also boasts a maximum HP of 400. An optional electric tow hitch that's available for all 5 Series cars automatically retracts for easy storage.
The latest BMW 5 Series cars come with standard airbags and inflatable curtains, anti-lock brakes, and additional safety features. In government crash tests, the 5 Series earned only three out of five stars for protecting the driver in a frontal crash. However, it earned five out of five stars for protecting passengers. It also earned perfect scores for side-impact testing for both the driver and the passengers.
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