BMW 5 Series design splits opinion

Six generations of the BMW 5 Series

Six generations of the BMW 5 Series (click to enlarge)

A new BMW 5 Series has been unveiled, leading to a predictable argument among the Auto Trader editorial staff today about whether its conservative new design is an improvement over its divisive predecessor.

The sixth-generation 5 Series harks back to the plainer look of past BMWs. For some BMW devotees this will be a welcome change after the Chris Bangle-designed E60/E61 model.

But not me. I was a big fan of the last BMW’s looks and although I can’t say I dislike the new model, it is rather staid compared to the last car.

Over on the other side of the office Stuart Milne disagrees strongly. He owned an E34 5 Series and was unimpressed by the Bangle-era 5 Series. Dom Sacco offered another vote for the E34.

When designer Bangle left BMW in February his work got a mixed reaction on this blog:

Hopefully, he’ll take his latest hideous designs with him. BMW’s used to be good looking cars, now they look like they’ve been carved from granite, with a blunt chisel.

I personally think CB has given the best BMWs so far. The current 3 series coupe to me is the perfect car, leave alone best looking BMW in the market. The 5 series brought in a breath of fresh air. Many didnt like it maybe, but still it was innovative. Which is what designers are for. Rather than bringing the same conservative design again in a different package, I certainly like his innovative approach.

Are you happy with the more conventional 5 Series? Share your thoughts on the car below.

Keith Collantine

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Filed under BMW

16 responses to “BMW 5 Series design splits opinion

  1. Well, the BMW 5 series has evolved a great deal through all these years. I’d say the latest versions look amazing and far better than their predecessors.

    @ Naz: talking about the headlights, I have installed the Orion V2 on my BMW 2006 530i with a little tweaking. I have also changed the eyebrows to white using LEDs from radioshack. Do check out the pics of my headlights in my blog and comment. They look super cool and I’m looking forward to doing more mods to my beemer. Any comments and questions on my blog are welcome~! Don’t miss this one!

  2. Neil

    I think the 3rd gen was thebest looking and best built of the lot, they have never quite captured that quality again. The 5th gen was really ugly, looking like a batmobile and has since its shocking launch. Fortunately the 6 gen is moving back towards the old styling values although the point about the cheap looking lower grille is spot on and lets down the quality of the exterior, also the cupholder on the autos is reminicent of what you would find in a Toyota not a BM, it jammed on one of the demonstrators I took out. Surely they could have come up with something a bit better engineered, the lid even in “wood” is obviously just plastic, the new Jag XF interior really leaves the BM wanting. Together these shortcomings just provide a feeling that the lightweight (efficient) approach is also lending itsself to lightweight quality, not what the BMW brand has traditionally offered. So, I might buy a 6th gen, having avoided the 5th but probably need some convincing that the quality is still there.

  3. Hi just thought that I let you know that I am discovering trouble reading this blog via my iphone so you may want to check on that. cheers!

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