Difference Between BMW 525 & 535

by Brian Vaughan

The BMW 5-Series is a group of high performance sedans that was first released in the 1970s. The 525i trim level was replaced after the 2007 model year, while the 535i trim level remains active for 2011. Although both trim levels look relatively similar, there are differences when it comes to their engines, measurements and features.


The 525i model featured a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine with 215 horsepower at 6,250 rpm. The bore and stroke measured 3.35 inches and 3.47 inches and the compression ratio was10.7-to-1. Engine torque was 185 foot-pounds at 2,750 rpm. The 535i has a 3.0-liter in-line six-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower at 5,800 rpm and 300 foot-pounds of torque at 1,200 rpm. The compression ratio is 10.2-to-1. The bore and stroke come out to 3.30 inches and 3.50 inches.


The 525i weighed 3,428 lb. with a manual transmission and 3,450 lb. with an automatic transmission. It measured 191.1 inches long, 72.7 inches wide and 57.8 inches tall. The wheelbase was 113.7 inches. The 535i is heavier at 4,056 lb. with a manual transmission and 4,090 lb. with an automatic transmission. The 535i is 193.1 inches long, 72.3 inches wide and 57.6 inches tall. The wheelbase measures 116.9 inches.

Fuel and Safety

Both the 525i and 535i have an 18.5 gallon fuel tank and require premium unleaded gasoline. The 525i got 18 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The 535i gets 19 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. The 525i had an optional side airbag in the back seat, while the 535i does not. The 535i has child safety locks, a precaution not available with the 525i.


The 535i has an optional DVD player with back seat sound controls, while the 525i did not offer these features. Lumbar support in the front seats is optional for the 525i and standard for the 535i. The 535i also offers front seat cooling and heating, while only heating was available with the 525i. The 525i had cargo ties and an optional roof rack, while these features are not available with the 535i.

About the Author

Brian Vaughan is a freelance writer based in Springfield, Mo. He has been writing short stories, reviews and essays for over eight years and is currently pursuing a degree in professional writing at Missouri State University.