Photography By PATRICK M. HOEY - Car and Driver

In the BMW 5-series family, the 535i seems to be the sweet spot, especially compared with the V-8–powered 550i , which is unnecessarily heavy and not much quicker—not at speeds that are allowed in the U. S. , anyway. For 2011, BMW went to work on the naturally aspirated engine, boosting the last-gen 528i’s output by 10 hp and 30 lb-ft, to 240 and 230. Even with the increase, going the naturally aspirated route costs you 60 hp compared with the 535i, but the... Bavarian Cream Inline-sixes are naturally creamy, and BMW seems to possess a special mastery of the breed. In spite of its increased muscle, though, the 3. 0-liter’s torque output is still relatively low, and the power peaks late in the rev range—all 240 hp are not realized until 6600 rpm. Although we’d prefer a manual, the automatic’s flexibility keeps the 3. 0-liter in its sweet spot well enough, and this car lags just a second behind the turbo-six car in the 0-to-60 sprint—6. 4 versus 5. 4. The gap shrinks by 0. 1 second through the quarter-mile, at 14. 9 seconds at 94 mph for the 528i versus 14. 0 at 100 for the 535i. In the more real-world-relevant tests of passing acceleration from 30 mph to 50 and 50 to 70, the... Source: