Summary, Prices, Specs

By November 14, 2012


The BMW 5 Series offers different things with each model, so at least five final words are needed here. The four-cylinder 528i is the best value, with the best fuel mileage and handling, but it isn't such a great value compared to other mid-size luxury sedans. The inline-6 535i sweetens the pot with its engine. The V8 550i makes a claim to master of the domain. The ActiveHybrid 5 doesn't offer a compelling reason to buy. And the all-new M5 has to compete against the M6 and M3.

Sam Moses filed this report after driving the 5 Series models near Monterey, California.

Model Line Overview
Model lineup:BMW 528i ($47,500), 535i ($53,100), 550i ($62,400); 528i xDrive ($49,800), 535i xDrive ($55,400), 550i xDrive ($64,700), 535i GT ($58,000), 535i xDrive GT ($60,300), 550i GT ($67,500), 550i xDrive GT ($69,800), ActiveHybrid 5 ($61,100), M5 ($89,900)
Engines:240-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4; 300-hp 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6, 445-hp 4.4-liter V8, 335-hp turbocharged inline 6 with electric motor; 560-hp 4.4-liter V8
Transmissions:8-speed manual automatic, 6-speed manual, 7-speed dual clutch automatic manual
Safety equipment (standard):two-stage front airbags, side-impact airbags, curtain front-to-rear head protection, seatbelt force limiters and front–seat pre-tensioners, active head restraints, LATCH child seat mounts; ABS, EBD, brake assist, electronic traction/stability control
Safety equipment (optional):rearview camera, side-view monitors, active cruise control, collision warning, blind spot detection, lane departure warning, automated headlights, automatic high-beam control, adaptive brake lights, night vision, head-up display, all-wheel drive
Basic warranty:4 years/50,000 miles
Assembled in:Dingolfing, Germany
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSPR):BMW 528i ($47,500)
Standard equipment:leather seating, climate control, power driver and front passenger seat with memory, wood trim, xenon high-intensity discharge headlights, fourth-generation iDrive cockpit control system, power tilt/telescope/tilt away steering wheel, ambiance lighting, one-touch up/down power windows, auto-dimming inner and outer mirrors
Options as tested (MSPR):none
Destination charge:$895
Gas guzzler tax:N/A
Price as tested (MSPR):$48395
Layout:rear-wheel drive
Engine:2.0-liter turbocharged dohc 16-valve I4
Horsepower (lb.-ft @ rpm):240 @ 5000
Torque (lb.-ft @ rpm):255 @ 1250-4800
Transmission:8-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:23/34 mpg
Wheelbase:116.9 in.
Length/width/height:193.1/73.2/57.6 in.
Track, f/r:63.0/64.1 in.
Turning circle:39.2 ft.
Seating Capacity:5
Head/hip/leg room, f:40.5/NA/41.4 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:38.3/NA/36.1 in.
Cargo volume:14.0 cu. ft.
Towing capacity:N/A
Suspension, f:multi-link
Suspension, r:multi-link
Ground clearance:N/A
Curb weigth:3814 lbs.
Tires:225/55VR17 front, 255/55VR17 rear all-season
Brakes, f/r:disc/disc w ABS, EBD, Brake Assist
Fuel capacity:18.5 gal.
Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle. All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSPR) effective as of November 14, 2012.Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges. N/A: Information not available or not applicable. Manufacturer Info Sources: 800-831-1117 -