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Kelley Blue Book ® - 2002 BMW 5 Series Overview

Vehicle Overview from Kelley Blue Book

KBB.com 2002 BMW 5 Series Overview

It Redefines the Meaning of Desire

BMW holds a well-deserved place in the hearts of automotive enthusiasts everywhere and the 5 Series sedan is one reason why. It combines opulent luxury, exhilarating performance and drop-dead good looks, making it one of the few cars that is as impressive standing still as it is in motion. There are a number of models within the 5-series; the base 525i and top-of-the-line 540i come in both wagon and sedan, while the 530i is available in sedan form only.

The 5 Series' performance with the 2.5-liter I6 is good, but not exhilarating; it gets sweeter with the larger 3.0-liter I6—as does the list of standard features. If you can manage the hefty price tag, go for the best and get the 540i. Its 4.0-liter V8 engine is practically flawless and provides a seemingly inexhaustible supply of power at any RPM. When equipped with this engine, the 5 Series promises an adrenal rush with each mashing of the accelerator. Its handling is precise and predictable at all speeds, its taut suspension, aggressively wide tires and low-to-the-ground stance keep it firmly planted in all but the most reckless maneuvers. At highway speeds, you will find only the sweet melody of the V8 engine enters the 540i's cabin and even then only ever so slightly. You may also want to take note that the 540i is one of the few V8 luxury cars that can be ordered with a 6-speed manual transmission.

Lest you get the impression the 540i is more sports car than luxury chariot, keep in mind it is still a BMW; luxury for this sedan is a combination of both beauty and beast. Order the sport package and a marvelous contoured leather seat capable of adapting to almost any size driver rewards you with hours of driving comfort. The instrument cluster is tightly grouped directly in front of you and includes speedometer, tachometer, temperature and fuel gauges and a fuel economy meter. A thickly-padded, three-spoke heated steering wheel with controls for cruise control, audio and cell phone presents itself to you via a set of electric motors that regulate the tilt and telescoping functions. One touch up/down on all four windows, xenon headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, ambiance interior lighting, 16-way power driver seat, power rear sunshade, manual rear-side window shades and a 12-speaker stereo with two subwoofers are but some of the many features available.

The only frustration you may encounter involves the semi-intuitive symbols displayed on the audio and temperature units and the integration of the audio controls into the optional navigation screen. One other oddball feature can be found in the audio system. With a push of a button, the navigation screen electrically folds down to reveal-drumroll please—a cassette slot. There is a CD changer in the trunk, but unless Books On Tape is a hot seller among BMW drivers, the team in Munich needs to update the audio to an in-dash CD changer.

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