The current 5-series is a bit long in the tooth and, some would argue, has been compromised since its debut by awkward styling and frustrating technology. But from the driver's seat, it still represents the nexus of BMW's best attributes. Less claustrophobic, more comfortable, and more luxurious than the 1- and 3-series, it's still infinitely more engaging to drive than the bigger, cruising-oriented 7-series, not to mention the various X-crossovers. I was simply astounded by how well it tracked through corners -- better than some sports coupes -- while absorbing bumps as well as on would expect of a $60,000 luxury sedan. I'll admit I was also seduced by the presence of the smooth, six-speed manual transmission. How many cars this size even offer a stick shift these days? It's become popular to compare any decent-driving rear-wheel-drive sedan to the 5-series, but I can honestly say that with the possible exception of the Maserati Quattroporte, I've never been in a car this size that dances so well.
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