I went to the, suposedly, 'exclusive' launch of the new 5 series in Adelaide. It was a very classy event. Black tie, Symphony Ochestra, $1000 lottery ticket with a 1 in 200 chance to win a new 5 etc etc etc... Kudos to the BMW dealers, they really know how to put on a show. Eventually the car was unveiled. Only managed to take a few photos last night and I will comment on them: front cabin FYI, I'm a 6' 3" person. Getting in the front drivers seat was not a problem, as to be expected. Even in my 'ideal' driving position there was still at least another 2-3 inches that the seat could go back. The leather was very nice. Soft and has like a matt finish. I think the seat leather is better than my E320's. The driving position feels a bit cramp on the sides. It felt like I was being 'surrounded'. I guess this is the style to give the driver a 'race car' feel? I personally do not like it and prefer the easy free going feeling in the E320. The speedo etc looks very nice. Very sporty. The overall dash was a big dissapointment. I've seen photos of the dash before but had hopes that it will be nicer in real life. No luck there. The dash was 'boring'. It is no where near as elegant than the E320. The cup holders were shocking, but to make it come out from the dash is a nice gimmick. The broad wood strip in the middle of the dash is very plain looking. The door handles and the door itself is very plain. Overall, if I was to give 8/10 for the E320, the new 5 will get a 5/10 in this area. Such a shame.. rear cabin The rear cabin was more spacious than the previous 5. Well done BMW! Here's a pic of me at the back with a 5' 8" person in the drivers seat: I think the rear leg room is comparable to the E320. The rear seat was very comfortable and not as 'huggy' as the front. Top points for this. There is also more head room for the rear passenger in comparison to the E320. Excellent! I was able to slip my feet beneath the front passenger seat. This is limited in the E320. It was dissapointing that MB failed on this point. Top marks go to BMW in this area. The centre console in the new 5 was....UGLY! It was a shock to see it. They ruined the nice rear seat setup with the centre console. It was bulky, too wide and UGLY! The controls of the rear lighting looks very very cheap. I should have taken a photo, maybe next time. Overall the comfort and feel of the rear was very good. The aesthetics were horrid. Once the centre console was down, the rear seats got fairly cramped. I-Drive I have never used the I-Drive in the 7 series before. However, I was fortunate enough to have had a 7 series owner in the front passenger seat with me. He was going through the device and I will note down what he said" - They've made the controls 4 way which is a big improvement. Previously it was tricky to get the corner movement right. - The menu structure seemed similar - How the hell do I get back to the main menu?? - Why doesn't the MENU button work?? - I think it's an improvement, but not good enough. others The exterior of the car looks mean. Looks tough. Not a look for me though as I still preferred the 'sexy' look of the E320. I personally think MB's exterior and interior design is superior than the new 5. If you want style...go for the E. The boot space was big. I think similar to the E. BMW claims it can take 4 x 9" golf bags. Hurrah! I've signed up to test drive the 5. I'm really looking forward to that. At the end of the evening my friends and I went to pick our cars up to drive back to the dealership to pick up our wives. It was a nice sight once we parked at the driveway entrance of the dealership, there was a black S350, a black E240 and my tealite blue E320. I'm sure we got a few scorned looks from some of the BMW owners there, but there were a number of people pointing at our cars...obviously admiring the sexy lines of the S and E-class :y Bottom line, would I consider buying the new 5? At the moment, having not driven it yet...I will have to say, No.