The 2008 BMW 535i was love at first drive. And while we do have to admit to a BMW bias, we always thought of the 5-series as a family car. But no more. Once behind the wheel of the new 535i, we felt its silky, smooth power and the strong kick from the twin-turbocharged, 3-liter, straight 6-cylinder engine. Although designed with a little understeer, the 535i handled hard corners well, with the rear end giving a satisfying kick out.

And unlike many other cars, the 535i didn't let us down in the electronics department--its beauty extends beyond the road. BMW is incorporating a new live traffic reporting system into its navigation, which, though not perfect, is the best we've ever seen in a car. Add to that excellent stereo sound and one of the best Bluetooth hands-free cell phone systems available, and the 535i starts to sound like a tech dream come true.

Although our love didn't fade during our time with the car, some of the 535i's idiosyncrasies became less than endearing. For example, we've learned how to use iDrive, and can make it do whatever we want, but it's not our favorite car interface. The navigation system's quirks made it less usable than it could be, and try as we did, we couldn't get our average fuel economy above 20mpg. (20 gallon [US, liquid] = 75.708 235 68 liter). Online Conversion

2008 BMW 5-Series Saloon in Action

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