2011 BMW 535i xDrive Gran Turismo new car reviews

This don't-call-it-a-hatchback profile is gaining popularity at the top of the market.

Better than: Ford Escort 4-door Hatchback. Maybe.
But not as good as: BMW 5-series wagon
GRM Bang For The Buck Index: 54.00

No, it's not named after the video game: BMW's tall sedan with sloped rear glass is just one in a growing crowd of high-end four-doors that purport added utility thanks to a big opening at the back. It's not a wagon profile, but don't dare call it a hatchback either—it's certain both the makers and owners of these would be offended at such a term.

This one differs from the other big-buck hatchbacks we've tested in that it's, well, bigger in the bucks department. Its base price approaches $60,000, but our tester checked plenty of extra boxes: optional paint; rear- and side-view cameras; a power tailgate and soft-close doors; heating on all seats and the steering wheel; dynamic handling; premium sound, and a Sport package that, for $2200, adds strictly cosmetic sportiness. This rockets the sticker price to an eye-popping $73,225.

It's also equipped with BMW's hybrid system, EfficientDynamics, known mostly for its unfortunate abbreviation. As equipped, it sucks down a gallon every 27 miles on the highway, every 19 in the city.

Other staff views

Alan Cesar Alan Cesar
SuperDork

These shapes continue to astound me. The Acura ZDX, the Honda Crosstour; slant-back utes just aren't attractive, and this one is so much more expensive than its competition. Why?

Well, it is nicer. Much nicer. It steers, handles, and accelerates better. The interior is worthy of its sticker price. The manual function on the automatic is actually somewhat quick and pleasant to use. In short, it's a BMW.

Join Free Join our community to easily find more articles.

Comments

View comments on the GRM forums
nderwater
nderwater PowerDork
10/26/11 12:53 p.m.

So ugly. So ugly. Why couldn't they just bring over the 5 Series wagon?

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
10/26/11 12:59 p.m.

Before you call it ugly, you should see it in person. I have, and I can tell you that it is actually hideous.

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
10/26/11 10:18 p.m.

I've got it! It's a "hatchwagon"!

DaewooOfDeath
DaewooOfDeath Dork
10/27/11 10:30 p.m.

I too have seen it in person and butt-fugly seems the aptest descriptor.

tuna55
tuna55 UltimaDork
10/28/11 3:22 p.m.

The utility of a sedan with the handling and mileage of an SUV!

pigeon
pigeon SuperDork
10/29/11 10:15 p.m.

It may be hideous but I had the 550 - turbo V8 - as a loaner for a week and equipped with that engine you won't care about how it looks. The thing is a rocketship and handles way better than anything that big has a right to. That said, the hatch is dumb - when set up to go all the way up it banged into the roof of my parking garage at work; when adjusted to not open that far I hit my head on the protruding latch. The design compromises cargo room terribly. I don't like the beer tap shifter but it does work well in manual mode. At the end of the day though this is really being cross-sold as an alternative to the X6 for those who don't want that much SUV styling and the 7 series for those who don't want that large of a lux sedan. Give me either other option please over this abomination.

Alan Cesar
Alan Cesar Dork
12/10/13 12:00 a.m.

No, it's not named after the video game: BMW's tall sedan with sloped rear glass is just one in a growing crowd of high-end four-doors that purport added utility thanks to a big opening at the back. It's not a wagon profile, but don't dare call it a hatchback either—it's certain both the makers and owners of these would be offended at such a term.

This one differs from the other big-buck hatchbacks we've tested in that it's, well, bigger in the bucks department. Its base price approaches $60,000, but our tester checked plenty of extra boxes: optional paint; rear- and side-view cameras; a power tailgate and soft-close doors; heating on all seats and the steering wheel; dynamic handling; premium sound, and a Sport package that, for $2200, adds strictly cosmetic sportiness. This rockets the sticker price to an eye-popping $73,225.

It's also equipped with BMW's hybrid system, EfficientDynamics, known mostly for its unfortunate abbreviation. As equipped, it sucks down a gallon every 27 miles on the highway, every 19 in the city.

Grassroots Motorsports Magazine

Subscribe Today

Also get your instant access to the digital edition of Grassroots Motorsports Magazine!

Learn More
QCLzHN6mXKFhCrm8rVjXUgz58y93340p