After a significant update in 2006—including new 6-cylinder and V-8 engines—the evolution of BMW’s 5 Series performance/luxury lineup continues with even more new features for ’07. These range from new comfort and convenience items to a significant advancement in driving safety, all designed to maintain the position of the 5 Series sedans and wagon as the leaders in their class.

  • 2007 BMW 5-Series
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    6 Speed Manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    4799 L
  • 0-60 time:
    5.4 sec.
  • Top Speed:
    150 mph
  • Price:
  • body style:

Headlining those changes is the availability of Night Vision, a major boost for nighttime driving safety. The system uses thermal imaging to provide a real-time, long-distance view of the road ahead, regardless of weather conditions. Night Vision uses Far Infra-Red (FIR) technology to provide an accurate image at a distance far greater than any conventional high-beams can illuminate, and almost twice as far as other nighttime vision systems.

Nigh Vision offers particular benefits when driving over land, down narrow lanes, through gateways leading into courtyards, and into dark underground garages, significantly enhancing driving safety at night. The system is particularly beneficial in deeply wooded areas where deer, elk, moose or other large animals are common, as Night Vision “illuminates” a larger area than conventional headlights—even bi-xenons.

Additional changes for 2007 include revised Sport Package contents, which include a new 3-spoke sport steering wheel and 20-way Multi-contour seats. The Multi-Contour seats also include Active Head Restraints as a further safety feature. A Tire Pressure Monitor replaces the previous Flat Tire Monitor. New entertainment enhancements for ’07 include the availability of HD radio, with improved digital audio sound offered by more than 1,000 radio stations. FM reception becomes CD quality, and AM reception is comparable to analog FM. Finally, the onboard navigation system now includes Real Time Traffic Information, which is a particular boon to drivers in urban areas.

2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112155

As in 2006, the ‘07 5 Series lineup consists of six models, five sedans and a sports wagon with a mix of rear-drive or all-wheel-drive configurations. The two entry-level models, the rear-drive 525i Sedan and the all-wheel-drive 525xi Sedan, are powered by BMW’s N52 aluminum/magnesium composite inline-6 in 215-hp form. The 530i and AWD 530xi Sedans include additional standard equipment and the 255-hp version of BMW’s inline-6. BMW’s 530xi Sport Wagon features the same drivetrain and equipment as the 530xi sedan, with the additional cargo capacity and utility of a traditional wagon. The V-8-powered 550i Sedan sports a 4.8-liter V-8 with 360-hp and an array of standard features including full leather interior and Park Distance Control.

This year all BMW automobiles and SAVs include BMW Ultimate Service, which includes 4 year, unlimited mileage Roadside Assistance, 4 year / 50,000 mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty and the BMW Maintenance Program at no extra cost. In addition, all 5 Series BMWs also include a 4 year membership in BMW Assist Safety Services as standard equipment.

What’s new for ’07

As of 3/06 Production:

  • Night Vision becomes available as an option on all 5 Series models. The system uses a thermal-imagining camera that constantly monitors the road ahead and displays images according to their temperature on the iDrive screen. Requires Navigation System.
  • Sport Package now includes 20-way Multi-contour seats, which replace the previous 12-way sport seats. The Multi-contour seats also include Active Head Restraints as an additional safety feature.
  • A 3-spoke sport steering wheel becomes part of the Sport Package.
  • High-Definition radio becomes an option on 5 Series models.
  • Standard coverage for BMW Assist Safety Plan now includes a 4 year membership (previously only 1 year).
  • An auxiliary audio input, suitable for an iPod or MP3 player, is now standard.
  • Tire Pressure Monitor replaces previous Flat Tire Monitor as standard equipment.

2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112159

Night Vision:

Adding a new dimension to nighttime driving security
BMW’s adoption of leading-edge lighting systems goes back more than two decades, with the introduction of projector-beam halogen headlamps on the 1986 7 Series. Six years later the 1993 750iL became the first to offer xenon headlights, which quickly became the industry benchmark for night driving. With Night Vision, BMW becomes the first to adopt Far Infra-Red (FIR) thermal techology to extend the driver’s vision past what conventional lighting systems can provide. The FIR thermal imaging camera covers a range almost twice as far as other systems.

Simply put, Night Vision provides a new dimension of optical perception when driving at night. A thermal imaging camera detects people, animals and objects in front of the car before they become visible in the headlights. The image generated by the system is transmitted to the central Control Display within the car. Objects are presented with increasing brightness as a function of the heat detected by the camera – therefore making humans and animals particularly conspicuous.

BMW Night Vision presents a high-contrast black-and-white night image to the driver on the Control Display in the middle of the instrument panel. Benefiting from FIR technology, the driver only has to briefly check out the Display in order to recognize a hazard. So using BMW Night Vision is comparable to looking into the interior mirror in the car.

After comparative studies and careful observation of independent scientific examinations, BMW’s engineers opted in favor of innovative far infra-red technology (FIR) as being the most efficient in detecting people, animals and objects at night. FIR offers the following benefits:

  • Reduction to the essential: Far infra-red technology uses a thermal imaging camera highlighting in particular persons, animals and objects irradiating higher temperatures. FIR intentionally does not present a detailed image of the respective traffic situation, which would only delay the recognition of a human being within the overall image. Insignificant details are cancelled out and do not distract the driver. 
  • FIR enables the driver "to look further": Covering a range of almost 1,000 feet, FIR "looks" about twice as far as other systems. Hence, the driver is informed earlier on possible hazards – up to 5 seconds earlier at 60 mph.
  • FIR cannot be "dazzled": FIR cannot be dazzled by oncoming headlights, traffic lights, road lights or highly reflective surfaces such as traffic signs. And vehicles with FIR technology do not dazzle each other.

Over and above the basic advantages of the FIR principle, BMW has enhanced this technology by adding further functions: the image presented follows the road in a panning process and distant objects can be shown larger as a function of speed (zooming). The result is the most effective, most intuitive nighttime driving enhancement currently available.

The 2007 5 Series:

Six models, three engines, two bodystyles, plus all-wheel-drive

525i Sedan

  • This is the Series’ “base” model, though its capabilities and equipment are far from basic. Key features include:
  • 3.0-liter inline-6, 215-hp/185 lb-ft. of torque, single-stage induction
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • EPA mileage: 20 mpg City/29 Highway (manual); 21 mpg City/30 Highway (automatic)
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 7.3 seconds (manual); 7.6 seconds (automatic)
2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112156
bmw 5-series 2007

525xi Sedan

  • BMW’s advanced xDrive all-wheel-drive system is added to the entry-level 5 Series sedan. The 525xi is equipped essentially like the 525i Sedan. Key features include:
  • 3.0-liter inline-6, 215-hp/185 lb-ft. of torque, single-stage induction
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • xDrive all-wheel-drive system
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg City/28 Highway (manual); 20 mpg City/27 Highway (automatic)
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 7.9 seconds (manual); 8.2 seconds (automatic)

530i Sedan

  • The most popular 5 Series Sedan, powered by the N52 engine in 255-hp form. The 530i also distinguishes itself from the 525i via additional standard equipment. Key features include:
  • 3.0-liter inline-6, 255-hp/220 lb-ft. of torque, 3-stage induction
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) or STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • EPA mileage: 20 mpg City/29 Highway (manual); 19 mpg City/27 Highway (SMG); 21 mpg City/30 Highway (automatic)
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 6.4 seconds (manual or SMG); 6.6 seconds (automatic)
  • Standard Active bi-xenon headlights
  • Standard 4-way lumbar support

530xi Sedan

  • the 530i in all-wheel-drive form, with the same power and standard equipment as the rear-drive sedan. Key features include:
  • 3.0-liter inline-6, 255-hp/220 lb-ft. of torque, 3-stage induction
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • xDrive all-wheel-drive system
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg City/28 Highway (manual); 20 mpg City/27 Highway (automatic)
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 6.6 seconds (manual); 6.9 seconds (automatic)
  • Standard Active bi-xenon headlights
  • Standard 4-way lumbar support
2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112154

530xi Sports Wagon

  • While maintaining the Sedan’s innate sportiness and luxury, this 5-door wagon embodies a host of thoughtful features enhancing people- and cargo-carrying capabilities; xDrive endows it with remarkable traction and agility. Key features include:
  • 3.0-liter inline-6, 255-hp/220 lb-ft. of torque, 3-stage induction
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • xDrive all-wheel-drive system
  • EPA mileage: 19 mpg City/28 Highway (manual); 20 mpg City/27 Highway (automatic)
  • 0-60 mph acceleration: 6.8 seconds (manual); 7.3 seconds (automatic)
  • Standard Active bi-xenon headlights
  • Standard 4-way lumbar support

550i Sedan

  • The top-of-the-line 5 Series includes additional standard equipment and is powered by the same new 4.8-liter Valvetronic V-8 engine featured in the 750i and 750Li models. Key features include:
  • 4.8-liter V-8, 360 hp and 360 lb-ft. of torque.
  • Standard 6-speed manual transmission, optional 6-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) or STEPTRONIC automatic.
  • EPA mileage: 15 mpg City/23 Highway (manual); 16 mpg City/22 Highway (SMG); 17 mpg City/25 Highway (automatic)
  •  0-60 mph acceleration: 5.4 seconds (manual); 5.5 seconds (automatic)
  • Standard Active bi-xenon headlights
  • Standard 4-way lumbar support
  • Standard leather interior
  • Standard Park Distance Control

BMW 6-cylinder engines

world’s first contemporary magnesium/ aluminum composite construction

These days, most 6-cylinder engines are V-6s. By contrast, BMW’s “sixes” are inline engines, noted for exceptional smoothness and unique sound. BMW customers and independent critics treasure them for these attributes, and BMW has retained the inline-6 layout while developing it toward reduced weight, more compact dimensions and even more brilliant performance, smoothness and sound. Confirming all this, AutoWeek‘s February 28, ’06 issue noted (in the context of the 3 Series) that the new engine “sounds great, with an emphasis on clean mechanical noise from the engine bay rather than the tone of the muffler.“

Logically, BMW’s New Generation of 6-cylinder engines is designated N52. Compared to its illustrious predecessor, the M54 engine family, the N52 achieves notable progress on all fronts:

  • Greater power, 255 vs. 225 hp for previous 530i, 215 vs. 184 hp for previous 525i. In the case of the new 530s, this amounts to an impressive 85 hp per liter.
  • Greater torque, 220 lb-ft. vs. 214 in previous 530i, 185 lb-ft. vs. 175 in previous 525i; and even stronger torque delivery across the broad range of engine speeds.
  • Higher revving ability. A 7000-rpm redline, vs. 6500 previously.
  • Fuel efficiency. Though not every model or version is up, there are some impressive gains in EPA mileage ratings: 525i Sedan with manual transmission up 1 mpg city/1 mpg highway, with automatic up 2 mpg city/2 mpg highway, 530i Sedan automatic up 2 mpg city.
  • Reduced weight – 22 lb. less. Had BMW engineers evolved the existing engine to meet their goals, it would have instead added about 30 lb.
  • More compact – because there is just one external drive belt vs. the previous two, overall engine length is about an inch less.

Here are some details of how this dramatic progress has been achieved – over an engine that was already outstanding in all these respects.

Valvetronic variable valve lift. This patented innovation, already enhancing the performance and fuel efficiency of BMW’s V-8 and V-12 engines, now appears in a BMW 6-cylinder engine as well – and in evolved form. Valvetronic varies valve lift to a far greater degree than other variable-lift systems – so much, in fact, that it replaces the traditional engine throttle. Engine breathing is controlled entirely by the valves themselves.

The Valvetronic mechanism acts on the intake valves, imposing an additional control element between the camshaft lobe and rocker arm for each cylinder, called an intermediate follower. Upon contact by the lobe, this follower actuates a finger-type rocker arm and, in turn, the valve. The follower’s pivot point is positioned by an eccentric shaft, rotated by a servo motor in response to the driver’s accelerator-pedal movements; this varies the valve lift. The system’s advantages include:

  • Greater efficiency. As a throttle closes, it poses a restriction to incoming air. Valvetronic eliminates this restriction, reducing “pumping losses.”
  • More spontaneous engine response – again, because there is no conventional throttle.
  • More power, because maximum valve lift can be higher than with fixed lift.
  • A “fatter” torque curve. Not only does the engine produce more torque; the torque peak occurs at a lower speed, 2750 rpm vs. the previous 3500.

Compared to the 1st-generation Valvetronic system of BMW’s V-8s and V-12s, that of the N52 engine has evolved in several ways:

  • Higher maximum engine speed, by making Valvetronic reciprocating parts more rigid.
  • Maximum valve lift increased, contributing to the higher power output.
  • Greater maximum valve acceleration. Less time is spent opening and closing the valves; thus they are effectively open longer, further reducing pumping losses.
  • Phasing of intake valves. A given cylinder’s two intake valves now open at different rates, resulting in a more targeted, asymmetric distribution of the fuel/air mixture; enhances fuel economy under light driving conditions.

Additional developments contribute to the new engines’ performance:

  • Combustion chambers have been refined.
  • BMW’s VANOS variable valve timing has also evolved; the range over which it varies intake-valve timing has been increased by 10 degrees.
  • 3-stage induction system (530i/xi engine only). BMW 6-cylinders have long had a 2-stage system, with one intake-path length for lower rpm, the other for higher rpm. By providing an additional “middle” stage, this system further optimizes torque and power delivery.
  • Higher fuel-injection pressure, up from 3.5 to 5 bar (50.8 to 72.5 lb/sq in.), improves the injection spray, reducing emissions from a cold engine.
  • All-new engine electronics to optimize engine behavior and performance under all operating conditions.
2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112157

Unique new magnesium/aluminum composite engine construction

Recent BMW 4-wheel vehicles (i.e. not motorcycles) have utilized three types of engine construction, all with aluminum cylinder heads:

  • Regular-production 6-cylinder engines (3, 5, Z4, X3 and X5 Series) – aluminum block with cast-iron cylinder liners.
  • V-8 and V-12 engines, new V-10 (5, 7 and X5 Series, M5) – aluminum block with integrally cast silicon-impregnated aluminum cylinder surfaces.
  • M3 6-cylinder engine – cast-iron cylinder block.

With the N52 engine, BMW introduces a unique and pioneering engine structure: magnesium/aluminum composite construction, the first in a contemporary automobile. Structurally, the all-new engine block consists of three major castings:

Bedplate (magnesium alloy ). This casting forms the lower portion of the block (crankcase), and is similar in concept to an element of some racing engines – as well as the 500-hp V-10 engine powering the new BMW M5.

Upper crankcase (magnesium alloy2). Joining the bedplate at the level of the crankshaft (main) bearings, this too is a weight-saving casting. Mounted onto the bedplate from above; combines with the bedplate to form the block’s outer shell. The result is an ultra-rigid, yet remarkably light engine structure.

Insert (aluminum alloy). Forms the cylinders and their coolant passages. Analogous to the entire blocks of BMW‘s V-8, V-10 and V-12 engines, silicon particles are cast into this insert; a “soft honing” machine removes just enough of the aluminum to leave the crystals as ultra-hard cylinder surfaces.

How it goes together. First, the aluminum insert is cast by conventional methods. Then, during a newly developed die-casting method, the magnesium upper shell shrinks onto the insert while cooling; structural rigidity and stability are ensured by interlocking ribs where the two castings meet.

In the next step, the upper crankcase, consisting of magnesium shell and aluminum insert, is mounted onto the magnesium bedplate from above. The sintered-steel main bearings’ lower halves are in place in the bedplate, the upper halves in the upper crankcase. After the bedplate and upper crankcase have been bolted together, a liquid sealant is injected into a groove on the contact surface between the two components. Special aluminum bolts are used to attach parts, such as engine mounting brackets, to the magnesium/aluminum castings.

As the “conventional” part of this construction, the cylinder head is of aluminum; however, the head of an inline 6-cylinder engine must be cast with great precision because its length implies relatively large contraction during the cooling-down process after casting. The casting process used here is called “lost-foam.“ Because all BMW gasoline engines since the 1960s have had aluminum heads, BMW’s experience in this regard is long and successful; BMW has used the lost-foam method since 1997. This process, employing a polystyrene “dummy” of the head to form the mold into which the aluminum is poured, results in highly precise casting of this critical engine component.

Other weight-saving materials. Though the magnesium/aluminum composite crankcase construction is the most conspicuous example, other materials and production innovations also help pare weight from the N52 engine. One is hollow camshafts, which save a remarkable 2.6 lb. Beginning as steel tubes, the camshafts are shaped in a hydroforming procedure, subjected from the inside to a water pressure of 4000 bar (58,000 lb./sq in.) against outer forms to achieve the cam profiles. All this takes place in a cold state – nothing melts – and as a final step the cams are polished to a finish quality of 1/1000 mm.

The engine’s camshaft cover is of weight-saving magnesium. The VANOS sprockets, via which the camshaft chain drives the two variable-valve-timing mechanisms, are newly of aluminum. And the chain camshaft drive – a high-durability, low-maintenance feature of all current BMW engines – has an aluminum chain tensioner that also saves weight. Instead of being a separate casting, the camshaft drive’s housing is integrally cast into the magnesium structure, eliminating a production step and sealing components. As one final weight-reducing element, the exhaust headers’ flanges are formed from 2-mm-thick steel, lighter than the former 12-mm flanges; for a secure seal of this steel to the aluminum head, graphite rings are employed.

Electric coolant pump.  A conventional coolant (“water”) pump is driven by a belt, and always runs at a speed directly proportional to engine rpm. The N52 pump is electrically driven and electronically controlled according to the engine’s coolant and oil temperatures at any moment. Thus it runs only as much as needed, consuming a maximum of 200 watts vs. up to 2 kilowatts (10 times as much) for a conventional pump. This pump has further benefits:

  • By using less power, it contributes to the engine’s increased power output.
  • Faster engine warmup, because it doesn’t pump when the engine is cold.
  • Provides coolant circulation for the climate control’s Heat-at-Rest feature. (With a conventional coolant pump, this needs a separate electric pump.)
  • By eliminating an external drive belt, makes the engine shorter.

Variable-volume oil pump. Conventional oil pumps, too, deliver oil in direct proportion to engine speed. In order to supply the VANOS system (which employs oil pressure to vary valve timing) at all speeds and temperatures without excess capacity at high engine speeds, BMW engineers developed a new type of oil pump. By varying the output of its pump element according to engine oil pressure, the engineers achieved a pump that always delivers sufficient pressure to lubricate the engine and operate VANOS, yet never pumps more oil than is necessary. Thus it –

  • Contributes to usable power, by requiring less power from the engine.
  • Doesn’t require a bypass to divert excess flow, which can be up to 80%. This also avoids possible excess oil temperatures and oil foaming.

Oil/coolant heat exchanger. Another aid to fast engine warmup; during this phase it transfers heat from the coolant to the oil circuit. Under conditions of high engine power and high oil temperatures, it performs the reverse, transferring heat from the oil circuit to the coolant to remove excess heat.

525i/xi and 530i/xi: the two engine versions

A distinctive engine version powers each set of 5 Series models. Instead of the traditional correlation of model designation to engine size, each is a 3.0-liter N52, but equipped and calibrated for different levels of performance:

  • 525i/xi – 215 hp @ 6250 rpm, 185 lb-ft. torque @ 2750 rpm
  • 530i/xi – 255 hp @ 6600 rpm, 220 lb-ft. torque @ 2750 rpm.

Significant differences between the 525i/xi and 530i/xi engines are as follows:

  • Whereas the 530 engine has the 3-stage induction system, the 525 unit has a single-stage intake manifold.
  • Engine software differs between the two models.

2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112151

The 550i’s V-8

The 550i’s predecessor was widely acclaimed by most who drove or tested the 545i, not merely for its strong, fuel-efficient power, but also for its highly pleasing sound. Car and Driver (May ’04) summed it up as “among the friendliest, most enthusiastic engines in existence.“

With 4.8 liters instead of the previous 4.4, the 550i’s new V-8 delivers even more brilliant performance. Peak power is up from 325 to 360 hp; peak torque is up from 330 lb-ft. to 360. With its standard 6-speed manual transmission or available Sequential Manual Gearbox, the 550i attains 60 mph in just 5.4 sec. from rest, vs. the 545i’s 5.7; with automatic, the new model does 0-60 in 5.5 sec. vs. 5.8 before.

New-generation Dynamic Stability Control: remarkable new braking functions

All BMW models are standard-equipped with Dynamic Stability Control, which provides a wide range of traction and stability functions.

While retaining all the functions or the previous DSC, a revised system appeared in the 5 Series and other BMWs last year. This Enhanced DSC adds a wide array of customer-relevant functions that make driving even safer and more pleasant. They are:

  • Brake Fade Compensation. Brake fade occurs as the brakes heat up under hard use; a given degree of deceleration requires more pressure on the brake pedal. As brake temperature rises, this function automatically compensates by increasing the hydraulic pressure relative to pedal force.
  • Brake Standby. When the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal abruptly, DSC recognizes that sharp braking may be about to occur and applies just enough pressure in the brake system to snug up the pads against the rotors. Thus by the time the driver’s foot reaches the brake pedal, the lag time normally resulting from bringing the pad to the rotor is eliminated, reducing stopping or deceleration distance.
  • Brake Drying.  Acting on input from the rain sensor (an element of the standard rain-sensing windshield wipers), the pads are periodically brought up to the rotors – just enough to eliminate any film of water between pads and rotors, but not enough to cause a brake application.
  • Start-off Assistant.  Briefly holds the vehicle when the brakes are released while stopped facing uphill. The driver can then start up without doing a ballet with the clutch, brake and accelerator (manual transmission) or rolling backward on a steep hill (automatic transmission).
  • Modulated ABS function. “Analogized” control of the DSC brake valves makes the anti-lockup function (ABS) smoother. Instead of simply being fully on or off, application and release of these valves are now modulated.

Character of the 5 Series: the essence of sport and luxury

Long one of BMW’s true core products, the 5 Series elegantly defines the middle of the line with compact exterior dimensions, ample interior space and a masterfully calibrated blend of sport and luxury. Appearing in ’04 in its current generation, the Series maintained trim exterior size while increasing interior space and introducing new technologies – including an aluminum front-end structure, available Active Steering and Active Roll Stabilization, evolved suspension and a further developed iDrive control system.

That the current generation carries on the 5 Series tradition brilliantly is supported by this quote from Motor Trend’s March ’05 issue: “Here’s a thoroughbred, the product of decades of setting the benchmark all other automakers’ sport sedans aspire to. Just look at the stance, the way the body sits on the chassis, ready to pounce on any opportunity to show its stuff on a challenging stretch of road. The smoothness and flexibility of BMW inline-sixes are legendary, and the 225 horses of the 2979-cc engine seem more spirited than their numbers might otherwise suggest. And BMW is one of the only automakers courageous enough to offer a 6-speed manual gearbox in a $50,000 sedan.”

With even more powerful engines, available xDrive and the new Sports Wagon to extend its capabilities, the 5 Series is today’s representative of this fine tradition.

State-of-the-art safety and security features

In terms of safety and security, the 5 Series is a state-of-the-art vehicle from a state-of-the-art vehicle maker. There are no significant changes in this area of the ’07 5 Series – yet with its comprehensive safety features and great substance, the 5 Series remains an industry leader and fully representative of BMW’s safety values. Key features include:

  • Dual front-impact Supplementary Restraint System (SRS) with dual-threshold deployment, 2-stage Smart Airbags – optimized for shape and deployment characteristics.
  • Front safety belts with automatic tensioners and force limiters – standard on all models.
  • Rear safety belts with automatic tensioners – included with the optional rear-seat side-impact airbags.
  • Automatic-locking retractors (ALR) on all passenger safety belts for installation of child restraint seats.
  • LATCH attachments at the outboard rear seating positions for child restraint seats.
  • Front-seat side-impact airbags – standard.
  • Rear-seat side-impact airbags – optional at nominal extra cost, so that customers can make their own choice in this matter.
  • Head Protection System – front-to-rear via BMW’s Inflatable Tubular concept; a long airbag deploys from the ceiling, suspended on a “sail.”
  • Active front head restraints – included with the front Multi-contour seats that are optional in all 5 Series models. Responding to impact sensors at the rear of the vehicle, the head restraints instantly pivot forward into close proximity with the occupants’ heads. Thus occupants are able, if they prefer, to adjust the restraints away from direct contact with their heads, yet gain optimum protection against whiplash or more serious head/neck injuries.
  • Energy-absorbing padding of body-pillar and roof areas – specific padding at the A-, B- and C-pillars as well as along the roof above the doors.
  • Fuel-tank design and location. Not only is the fuel tank designed to remain sealed even in severe impacts, its location has been chosen to provide optimum protection from impacts.
  • Intelligent Safety and Information System (ISIS) – employing 14 sensors to achieve a precise “tailoring” of the safety devices’ deployment to actual accident circumstances.
  • Battery Safety Terminal – in case of a severe accident impact, breaks the high-current connection between the battery and starter cable. This helps prevent a possible short circuit in the electrical system.
  • Automatic fuel-pump shutoff upon severe accident impact. In addition, the doors are automatically unlocked; the interior lighting and 4-way hazard flashers are switched on. Thus even after an accident, BMW’s safety strategy is still at work.
  • Coded Driveaway Protection – BMW’s rolling-code engine immobilizer.
  • Central locking system with double-lock feature. When the vehicle is locked from the outside, the double-lock feature prevents individual door-lock buttons from being pulled up; thus even if a thief has broken into the car, it isn’t possible to open the doors. Owners, however, have access to information on how to get out if one is locked in the vehicle from the outside.
  • Alarm system with interior motion detector – standard on the 5 Series.

2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112152

Options: possibilities new and familiar

Changes to the 5 Series array of Packages and stand-alone options are limited but still significant. In addition to the previously discussed Night Vision, options include the availability of HD radio. For 2007, Package highlights include substitution of 20-way Multi-contour seats for the previous sport seats, and the addition of a 3-spoke sport steering wheel in the Sport Packages.

Stand-alone options:

STEPTRONIC automatic transmission – 6-speed, like all 5 Series transmissions.
Sequential Manual Gearbox (SMG) – 530i and 550i Sedans only; requires the Sport Package.
Active Cruise Control. Employing a radar sensor unit at the front of the vehicle, ACC senses the speed of vehicles traveling ahead, adjusts the BMW driver’s speed to maintain following distance, and offers the driver additional control choices over the standard cruise control.
Active Steering. Offered on RWD models only; offers unique benefits:

  • Widely variable steering ratio; steering-wheel movements for parking maneuvers, U-turns and sharp corners are greatly reduced for amazing agility. With increasing vehicle speed, the steering becomes “slower,” favoring stability over agility.
  • Vehicle stabilization; in critical situations, can intervene to preserve stability. For example, if the driver applies the brakes while driving on a surface with uneven traction (one side of the road slick, the other grippy), Active Steering can recognize incipient instability and steer against it.

Park Distance Control employs ultrasonic sensors in the front and rear bumpers to detect obstacles not be visible to the driver; emits an acoustic warning. Includes a vehicle diagram in the iDrive display, which graphically depicts obstacles’ locations. Standard on 550i.
Xenon Adaptive headlights with auto-leveling. Stronger, daylight-like illumination; headlights “steer” to enhance the driver’s view around curves and corners. Optional on 525i/xi models, standard on 530i/xi models and 550i.

Leather upholstery – though included in the Premium Package, also available as a stand-alone option. Standard on 550i.

Maple Anthracite wood interior trim. With its gray color and “striped” grain, a distinctive alternative to the standard (and also elegant) Dark Poplar. 20-way front Multi-contour seats. In addition to the standard seats’ 10-way power adjustments, the 20-way power adjustments of these remarkable and comprehensive luxury seats include –

  • Thigh support
  • Angle of articulated upper backrest section, independently from overall backrest angle
  • Backrest width (the backrests’ side bolsters spread or narrow to accommodate the occupants’ back and shoulders)
  • 4-way power lumbar support, which is standard in the 530 models and 550i.

Split folding rear seats and ski bag for the Sedans.
Heated front seats as a stand-alone option.
Heated rear seats, available for all models in combination with the Cold Weather Package.
BMW On-board Navigation System. The standard iDrive system has a 6.5-in. control display (color monitor) at dash center and a turn-and-push controller between the front seats. This option includes an 8.5-in., higher-resolution control display plus:

  • GPS Navigation with DVD database
  • Voice Command activation of features
  • Real Time Traffic Information, which provides up-to-the-minute information on traffic and road conditions
  • Controller with Force Feedback (adds tactile feedback to controller movements).
  • Head-up Display – displays important driving-related information on a 6 x 3-in. field in the windshield, just below the driver’s normal line of sight to the road ahead:
  • Check Control and On-board Computer warnings, prioritized according to their urgency, such as vehicle defects, engine-oil level, low windshield-washer fluid
  • Navigation instructions
  • Cruise-control set speed (standard or Active Cruise Control)
  • Current vehicle speed.

2007 BMW 5-Series
- image 112153

Night Vision. Previously described.

Logic7 Sound System
Upgrades the entire audio system with –

  • Increased audio power
  • Even higher-caliber speakers, plus additional speakers (total 13 in Coupe, 11 in Convertible, vs. standard 8)
  • Digital Sound Processing (DSP), adjusted along with other Logic 7 parameters on iDrive monitor
  • Surround Sound simulation.

Sirius Satellite Radio

Appealing path to entertainment, news and information channels. After the first year of ownership, a subscription fee is required for Sirius service.
High-Definition Radio. Offers enhanced digital sound quality; FM reception becomes CD quality while AM reception becomes equivalent to analog FM reception. There are over 1,000 radio stations nationwide that currently offer high-definition broadcasts.
Power rear-window and manual rear side-window sunshades. For the Sedans, the option includes both; for the Sports Wagon, only the side-window shades. The power rear-window shade is controlled from a console switch; the side-window shades are easily raised or lowered by rear-seat passengers.

About the author
What do you think?
Show Comments
Car Finder: