First look and I was shocked, actually.
I'm a bimmer fan (though not a fanboy - they can still/have done wrong in some cases in my eyes - x3, x5, im looking at you)
I think the current 5 is one the best designed, most cohesive cars on the road, in any class, at any price. It looks great from every angle and the whole works as well as the details. The lines flow from front to back nicely and the front and rear lamps are positively gorgeous. As common as they are whenever I'm behind or in front of one, I can't help but stare and take it all in.
First look at this one, and I saw the latest 3 series sedan (better than the previous gen, and close to the coupe which is awesome), but still, no 5. The front and rear lamps are very much like the new 3. Not as strong, IMHO.
I checked around for some more images and found a bunch more flattering pics over at Autoblog -http://www.autoblog.com/2009/11/23/bmw-5-series-2011-sedan-unveiled/
I'm calming down now, and liking it a lot more. Sure this is also one that will be even better than the best pics in real life. I can see the lines of the 7 in there, but also a lot of the new Z which is really like. Just kinda a shame the eyebrows on the lights seem to be gone, as those were really strong features. The strong beltline though I like, plus the more agressive hood lines. The more upright kidney grill, I'm not sure about either way yet, though think it will grow on me.
Interior wise, I have no issues. BMW have some of the nicest interiors out there, perfect balance between modern, driver oriented, and fitting with the exterior without being all randomly spacey. Love the fact they still got the orange basic LEDs on the dash and radio as they have since the 80s, and the very teutonic button arrangement of things rather than 1000s sculpty ellipsoid shapes that everyone else seems to do. not to mentioned quality and finish is top.
Overall, I'll reserve final judgement until I see one, but at the least perhaps I can pick up the last gen 5 for less