Safety

Besides options like lane departure warning, the 5 Series comes equipped with a suite of side curtain airbags and front-seat side-impact airbags. Rear seat-mounted airbags can be ordered as a $385 option.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety has crash-tested the 5 Series sedan, but not the wagon. Front and rear crash tests of the sedan received top marks of Good, while side tests produced Marginal ratings, which are second worst. This was because of specific damage to the driver's torso in the tests.
BMW 535 in the Market

The large luxury wagon is not the most sought-after segment in the auto industry, especially these days. The SUV has dominated this market, offering similar utility and space as wagons in a class where gas mileage matters little.

However, for those who want the utility of a smaller SUV and the driving feel of a car, wagons are still quite appealing. If the driving experience is vital to your decision, you have to look at the 535i xDrive. Audi's A6 and Mercedes' E350 compete in terms of utility and price, especially now that the 2009 A6 has upgraded to a new supercharged engine that produces similar power as the 5 Series wagon.

For shoppers in this very limited segment, the 535i xDrive is surely an ideal choice, but with the masses still choosing SUVs even today, I wonder how long any manufacturer will keep producing wagons, no matter how good they are.

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