By Cars.com EditorsMay 13, 2009
About the video
Cars.com's Dave Thomas takes a look at the 2009 BMW 535i xDrive Sport Wagon. It competes with the Audi A6 wagon and the Volvo XC70.
(bright upbeat music) <v Narrator>Cars.com Auto Review. Hi, I'm David Thomas with Cars.com. We're with the 2009 BMW, 535 Sports Wagon. Now it only comes with all wheel drive, and only comes with one engine, and it's not for everyone.
Mainly because of its price. We're gonna walk you through it, 'cause it's a lot of fun to drive. If you're taking this car for a test drive, what's really gonna win you over is the engine. So twin turbo, six cylinder. It's good for 300 horsepower. Even though there's a large wagon, there's a lot of acceleration going on. And the best part is, it's really smooth. There is a price of entry for all the performance. The 535 wagons starts at $55,000. The tester we have here equipped that the $74,000. Even if you throw out some of the extravagant stuff, I priced it out to $66,000. It's just what you need. A comparable equipped Audi, A6 wagon, $61,000 with everything. Can't get higher than $61,000. So you're gonna pay a little bit more for the BMW. If you wanna save some money, get some luxury in a wagon, Volvo makes very nice ones, called the XC70 for about $40,000. But let's see what the BMW has and see if it's worth all that money. Now, what someone would expect from BMW, is a high quality interior. And the 535 does not disappoint. It comes to things like leather interior, and very nice wood trim. So when you get in it, it's gonna feel like a $55,000 car. You do get some standard features for $55,000. Like you should. Chief among them is a new version of I-Drives controller. So it's much easier to use i-Drive now. The software in our test car, hasn't been updated to the new I-Drive software. We assume when you go by when it will be. So check on that for sure. But the controller alone has been upgraded. There's also a standard, panoramic, sunroof is gigantic. Terrific standard feature. Not standard are these contour seats we have. There are about $1,200 but let me tell you, they are terrific, very comfortable. I would not skip out on these. Definitely get the contour seats. What I wouldn't kind of pass up on, our tester has night vision. It lets you see stuff on the road, you wouldn't see with headlights. Kind of like deer on windy roads. That's actually what it's built for. So when you're on these dark, desolate road, you'll see a deer and hopefully not hit them and destroy your $55,000 car. Chances are, if you're buying a wagon, you probably have a family. And small children obviously will fit in the backseat just fine, but they should fit just fine in any car. As a 5' 10' adult, I fit fine as well. The driver's seat is exactly where I had it when I was driving. You can see there's plenty of knee room. My feet have plenty of room underneath the front seat too. Shoulder and hip room, terrific. And the seats are pretty comfortable too. If you have very young children, obviously the backseat is quite roomy as well. We have a standard size child seat here in the center. I have plenty of room on the side of it. Actually two seats could fit on either side as well. And the one nice thing about the five series. It has some very nice latch connectors. Now, one reason you get a wagon, is obviously for the cargo room. and the utility of it. And the five series actually has a very sizable cargo area, about the same as the Audi. Also has a very cool retractable cargo cover. Usually these aren't that interesting, but it rises and falls with the lift gate. So if you need to get in and get out, you can very easily grab all your stuff and then it closes and covers it all and you don't have to touch anything. The BMW five series is definitely the pinnacle of the wagon world. That's because it packs BMW performance, a high quality interior and lots of tech features. Now that sounds good to you, and you don't mind the sticker price, you should go drive one, because that performance, that'll win you over. <v Narrator>For more car related news, go to cars.com or our blog kickingtires.net.