So I was pleasantly surprised with the new 528i. The test car has a 6-speed manual transmission mated to BMW?s DOHC straight-6 3.0-liter engine. The clutch and shifting is light, and the engine?s 230 horsepower and? 200 lb-ft of torque provide surprisingly good power for their low numbers. I suspect BMW may be fudging those ratings down to get the number-obsessed to buy up into the 535 or 550, but that?s just a guess.
The real surprise and win for the 528i is in the steering and handling. My complaint with many BMW cars is that they feel dead and heavy – but not so the 528i. This car wants to turn, it feels as light and lively as a racecar, and it?s just a complete joy to drive. There?s plenty of power under your foot, and the good old fashioned BMW rear wheel drive gets you going with authority. This is a car I?d like to drive across the country.
The steering wheel is fully adjustable, and the rest of the controls are standard BMW. I still don?t like the I-Drive system, though I?m getting used to it. BMW should take a look at the Cadillac or Jaguar systems for a few pointers, I think.
There?s plenty of room in the 5-series – big trunk, ample back seat, and plenty of leg and head room. Fuel economy is also quite decent at 17/27. Not bad for a proper Euro-sports sedan.
So, let?s break down the price. As tested, with cold weather package, leather, sport suspension, keyless entry and start, GPS Navigation, HD Radio, premium stereo, and destination, this 528i stickers out at $55,525.? Not horrible for what you get, but not easy for most people to swallow, either.
So, if I ordered a 528i, I?d have $3,550 in options for a total price of $47,850. That?s good – bringing a car this nice home for less than $50K. That makes a smokin? deal on a great car – which is what a BMW should be.