Edmunds' editors find the $63,000 545i to be a superb handler with a great engine, but they question its worth as compared to sport-luxury sedans that perform similarly for a lot less dough. The 325-hp V8 is ready for action at all times, unfortunately in the test car it is mated to an automatic that editors found unpredictable at low speeds, like during stop-and-go traffic. Although the cockpit isn't the prettiest, it feels well put together and seems sophisticated and futuristic, although one downside of the futurism is the complexity of the iDrive. Another irritant was the surprising number of rattles in the car, but the noisiness could be attributed to the fact that the vehicle, with 7500 miles, has probably been flogged by every automotive journalist this side of Kathmandu. The transmission's touchiness could easily be solved by ponying up for the six-speed (which for some reason costs an extra $3,300), but even so, for the price, it's difficult not to wonder what else is out there.



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