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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 06-01-2007, 03:31 AM
petesamprs petesamprs is online now
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Real world size difference between 3 series vs. 5 series

In another thread I posed a question about the relative size of the two, but it got buried so I wanted to get some additional feedback before I upgrade my e90:

**************
How come the BMW website lists the "rear shoulder room" for the 535i as only 2" more than the 335i (57.2 vs. 55.1). I have an e90 and find fitting three adults into the rear seats very difficult (due to shoulder room, not legroom)...but as I consider upgrading, I can't figure out how 2" will make that much of a difference. Either i) the data is not correct, or ii) I'm underestimating how much difference 2" in rear shoulder room makes.

Any thoughts? Don't care about the "prestige" factor of a 5 versus a 3, so need to know whether the extra 10k will make a real difference in comfort.

Below are the exact stats off the website. I'm assuming that all 3 series and 5 series sedans are the same size.

535i 335i
Exterior length 191.1 " 178.2 "
Exterior body width 72.7 " 71.5 "
Exterior height 57.8 " 55.9 "
Wheelbase 113.7 " 108.7 "
Turning radius 18.7 ' 18.0 '
Front legroom 41.5 " 41.5 "
Rear legroom 36.0 " 34.6 "
Front headroom 37.7 " 38.5 "
Rear headroom 37.9 " 37.5 "
Front shoulder room 57.3 " 55.4 "
Rear shoulder room 57.2 " 55.1 "
Passenger volume 99.1 cu.ft. 93.0 cu.ft.
Cargo capacity 18.4 cu.ft. 12.0 cu.ft.
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Last edited by petesamprs; 06-01-2007 at 05:12 AM.
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2007, 06:07 AM
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I can't provide you with any scientific data but unless you are going to be shuttling around NBA players like Yao Ming you should have no issues with the fiver.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2007, 06:14 AM
KCooke82 KCooke82 is offline
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I find the difference, both front and back seats, to be night and day. No one ever complains about my back seat.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2007, 06:14 AM
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I had a 525 and went to the 335. I don't see how it is just 2". It sure seems like alot more. See if you can go to the dealer, grab two average salesmen and the three of you sit in the backseat of the 5.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2007, 06:21 AM
Russ Williams Russ Williams is offline
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An additional 2" in shoulder room and 6 cu. ft. in passenger volume is a huge difference. If you are looking for the best combination of comfort and performance the only answer is to get the 535.
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2007, 06:28 AM
1994_RX-7_Tour 1994_RX-7_Tour is offline
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Comfort & Performance? Why not the 550?

Unless the 550i is "less comfortable" - which might only occur with a firmer ride if sport package is incorporated. Performance edge certainly (if barely) goes to the 550i.

If you bring cost / value considerations... then a different outcome perhaps.
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  #7  
Old 06-01-2007, 07:01 AM
Russ Williams Russ Williams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1994_RX-7_Tour View Post
Unless the 550i is "less comfortable" - which might only occur with a firmer ride if sport package is incorporated. Performance edge certainly (if barely) goes to the 550i.

If you bring cost / value considerations... then a different outcome perhaps.
I would agree that the 550i is the better choice, but since the OP only mentioned the 535i, I could only assume the 550i was not in the budget.
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  #8  
Old 06-01-2007, 08:54 AM
petesamprs petesamprs is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petesamprs View Post
I'm assuming that all 3 series and 5 series sedans are the same size.
I'm not focusing on either 535 or 550, just the relative sizes of the two series'. Unless my assumption above is incorrect, the specific model in the series shouldn't be relevant to the answer to the question.
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  #9  
Old 06-01-2007, 09:33 AM
Russ Williams Russ Williams is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petesamprs View Post
I'm not focusing on either 535 or 550, just the relative sizes of the two series'. Unless my assumption above is incorrect, the specific model in the series shouldn't be relevant to the answer to the question.
Based solely on size you are correct.
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  #10  
Old 06-01-2007, 11:46 AM
merklebob merklebob is offline
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i measured the seat on my 545 and found it was the same as my dad's mercury grad marquie. that a big auto and seats 3. my wife 330xi 2006 would not seat 3 for any long period. i recommend you get 3 sales men put them in the back seat. number can be mis leading.
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  #11  
Old 06-01-2007, 01:32 PM
rich/minn rich/minn is offline
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I have had two 3 series, 2002 330xi and a 2006 325 sport. I now drive a 2007 530 sport. Let me assure you there is a big difference in the amount of room, especially in the trunk. I allways felt a little tight in my 325 sport. In the 530 sport, i feel very comfortable. I will be turning 40 this summer. I think the 5 series is more of a grown up car, with still having a sport feel.
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  #12  
Old 06-03-2007, 03:17 PM
oilbelcher oilbelcher is offline
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my wife noticed a big difference btw the 3 and 5. I always looked at the 3, but now looking at 5 after she noticed how much more room there is. The 2 extra inches doesn't tell you anything. We all forget how really small the 3 is; its a compact car, that we like to think is bigger than it is because of the performance (and big price). I am not going back to the 3 if family wants to ride with me, and I want my family to ride in my car on family vacations (so we don't drive in a minivan).
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2007, 04:12 PM
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jbeene jbeene is offline
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I recently (within the last 9 months) sold an e91 325xiT and bought an e60 530xiT primarily due to size concerns with the e91.

The 5 is much larger inside, legroom, shoulder room and cargo volume wise.

It doesn't give up much to the 3 e90 from a driving and performance persective. At teh time I bought my 530 the 535 was not on the horizon, after driving the new 335i I'm sorry I wasn't able to wait. I'm actually considering switching back to an e90 335i due to the performance difference. But then reality steps in and carting around kids and a dog in a 335i sedan makes no sense at all.

Now that they are all out of car seats and only one is in a booster seat (I have 3 kids) I could conceivably get away with the 335 but it would likely be too tight, even for 3 kids.

No concerns whatsoever in the 5, and they like the heated rear seats!

Oh, and IMHO the fit and finish and features of the 5 are leaps ahead of the 3 I had - which had sports and premium packages. And althoguh I'llprobably get flamed for this, I like Idrive now that I know how to use it.
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  #14  
Old 06-03-2007, 04:40 PM
sdatta sdatta is offline
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Smile

Haven't been to the dealership yet to compare for myself, so I was glad to see this thread. I also originally considered the 335 but the size became an issue with 3 additional family members. Just like the previous post, I'm hoping to leave the minivan at home on some long distant trips; even though the sienna limited is very confortable on the expressway.
I'm hoping to ED a 550 next summer. Maybe I can get the new (more powerful? 09') 550.
Sam
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  #15  
Old 06-03-2007, 07:10 PM
Loomba Loomba is offline
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I think the big reason the increased shoulder room of the 5 series seems much bigger than the 3 series is that it is combined with a bunch of other increased dimensions, most notably leg and thigh room. When you factor in the extra legroom a person can "slouch" a bit in the back seat which effectively gives you more headroom and probably a bit more shoulder room or, at least, the sensation of more room.

To me, there is no comparison between the 3 and the 5 if you ever intend to have anyone (especially adults) riding in the backseat.

Actually, when looking at the 3 and 5, one of the first things I did was sit in the backseat. I want to be able to take clients out for a round of golf once in a while. It couldn't be done in a 3 series.
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