5 Series in the Market

The things that trouble me about the 5 Series — high price, fewer standard features than some competing models — are things that sort themselves out. If BMW is asking too much for too little, consumers will make it clear in the only language that matters: money, or the lack thereof, in the hands of BMW dealers. There's a lot to like about the 5, not the least of which is its admirable mileage.

The 5 Series' combination of capability with unprecedented comfort is bound to broaden its appeal overall. BMW isn't the only brand that has attempted to provide all things to all buyers. Lexus and Mercedes have been chasing that ghost for decades. Technology enables a single car to deliver a broad range of comfort and sportiness, and in some ways the new 5 Series sedan is a high-water mark in this regard, both for BMW's line and for the entire midsize luxury car segment. It succeeds in behaving like two types of car, but what it doesn't do is feel like two types of car, and I suspect the loss of that visceral feeling will disappoint the BMW faithful.

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