2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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BMW 5 Series Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 3.0 L Inline 6-cylinder
  • Drivetrain All Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 230 hp @ 6500 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 17/25 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 BMW 5 Series

  • It costs more than it should and it's needlessly complicated to operate, but among midsize luxury sedans and wagons, the 2008 BMW 5 Series is by far the most satisfying to drive.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Exceptional ride and handling dynamics, smooth and vigorous engines, premium cabin furnishings, precision build quality, strong resale value.

  • Cons

    More expensive than most competitors, iDrive system is still a pain in the Bangle butt.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 BMW 5 Series receives a number of significant changes, most notably a pair of new six-cylinder engines. The base 5 Series is now the 528i and features a 230-horsepower inline-6, while the 535i is powered by the same twin-turbo 300-hp inline-6 found in the 3 Series. There are a number of high-tech standard and optional additions to the 5 Series that allow it to keep pace and, in a few instances, surpass the rapidly advancing competition. To spot the updated 5 Series, look for a barely noticeable redesigned front airdam, new headlight lenses and LED taillights.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 17
  • cty
/
  • 25
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


5 of 24 people found this review helpful

Issues and bad design for

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I bought a CPO 2008 528 xi a year and half ago and have had quite a few issues that I think I shouldn't have for a car that is 4 years old. The driver side sport seat stopped working correctly. A couple months ago my battery died. $460 to replace that. You cannot do it yourself. It needs to be paired with the electrical devices in the car. This week my AC went out. Turns out there was a leak in the AC system and while my car was getting repaired they discovered a leak in my transmission. The tires that don't go flat cannot be repaired. Be prepared to buy a new tire and hope they have one in stock or you are out of commission until they get one.




Glad i leased and didn't

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

This was my first BMW and likely my last. Was initially excited about the ride, performance, and interior (except cup holders) until it stranded me twice. One engine failure at 75 mph! Have been through 3 thermostats, computer reprogramming, and more. Had hoped to buy it initially after lease end, now I'm glad I leased so I can walk away.




Back to mercedes

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

We have had the car for a year. It has been in the shop for six weeks in total. The engine light comes on when the car gets hot. The main problem is we live in MT. BMW does not take care of there customers, I am trying to get a buy back. I have had three Mercedes in the past, they are not as fun to drive, but they are miles ahead in quality and customer service.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Just love it!

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

Finally took the plunge and bought 528xi with Premium Pack (comfort access, xenon, usb audio integration, etc.). I must say I absolutely love it. Also test drove the GS350 AWD, and it gave good competition to the 528xi but in the end, just the sheer driving pleasure swayed me towards the 528xi. Features for features, the GS350 had more toys, but it doesn't come close to the performance and the drive that 528xi offers. No lack of power. Just awesome!



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Terrible transmission trouble

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Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

This is my 4th BMW and I love the car with one major exception. There is a programming glitch in the transmission software which BMW has not been able to correct. The car slams down into first gear quite violently when I accelerate from low speed (such as when turning a corner onto an uphill grade) or slowing for a light and then re-accelerating without coming to a complete stop. The car has been back to the dealer twice - they have been superb, spending lots of time to try to solve the problem - but BMW corporately has no solution at this time. They say they hope to have a software upgrade sometime in September, but make no real promise that this will correct the problem. We shall see.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

A driver's car

by on
Vehicle: 2008 BMW 5 Series 528xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl 6M)

I now have 1500 miles and can say this was the best 1500 miles I've every driven. This is a driver's car not a typical American or Japanese built car. Don't complain about the cup holders, BMW doesn't expect you to drive the autobahn with anything but two hands on the wheel. Focus on the quality of the ride beyond the seat and gadgets, it is amazing. If you really want the power go for the 535 or to tour the country side with a 550. I find the 528 gives me what I need in power with a little economy unexpected, I'm averaging 22.4 mpg in the greater DC area.



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Full 2008 BMW 5 Series Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 BMW 5 Series receives a number of significant changes, most notably a pair of new six-cylinder engines. The base 5 Series is now the 528i and features a 230-horsepower inline-6, while the 535i is powered by the same twin-turbo 300-hp inline-6 found in the 3 Series. There are a number of high-tech standard and optional additions to the 5 Series that allow it to keep pace and, in a few instances, surpass the rapidly advancing competition. To spot the updated 5 Series, look for a barely noticeable redesigned front airdam, new headlight lenses and LED taillights.

Introduction

There are few cars that achieve such a perfect mix of comfort and fun like the 2008 BMW 5 Series. It is a wolf in a flamboyant sheep's clothing: a comfortable midsize sedan that handles and performs like a sports car. And for a real surprise, a wagon model offers the same wolf but in utilitarian pack mule clothing. While other carmakers relentlessly pursue this automotive pinnacle, BMW consistently raises the bar to keep itself on top of the heap.

For 2008, the current-generation BMW 5 Series receives its most important update since the car's 2004 introduction. Most significantly, there are two new six-cylinder engines in the 5's lineup. Last year's 215-hp 525i model has been replaced by the 230-hp 528i. Even more significant is the mid-level 2008 535i. Replacing the 530i, the 535i comes with an all-new 300-hp, twin-turbo engine. Along with the V8-powered 550i, the new engine lineup makes the 5 Series an even more attractive performance sedan.

With new, innovative technologies coming at a mile-a-minute pace in this premium midsize luxury segment, BMW has introduced several standard and optional features for the 2008 5 Series. Six-cylinder models now offer Brake Energy Regeneration, which takes a page from hybrid powertrains by capturing excess braking energy and using it to power the car's many electronic systems.

There's also an upgraded cruise control system this year. Optional on automatic-transmission 5 Series, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go works much like Mercedes-Benz's Distronic Plus by maintaining vehicle distance at highways speeds and in stop-and-go traffic. For safety, a new Lane Departure Warning system option alerts the driver through vibrations in the steering wheel when the car starts to drift out of its lane.

The 2008 BMW 5 Series remains one of our favorite midsize luxury cars, even if its endless technology can seem a tad reminiscent of HAL 9000. Its deep options list can also raise the 5's price tag into the ionosphere, with the 550i easily reaching $70,000. Nevertheless, for those with deep enough pockets, the 5 Series offers a level of driver involvement unmatched by its competitors.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 BMW 5 Series is available in sedan and wagon body styles. There are three engines available on the sedan, which boils down to three individual rear-wheel-drive models: 528i, 535i and 550i. The 528xi and 535xi sedans come with all-wheel drive. The wagon is only available as a 535xi.

The 528i and 528xi come standard with 17-inch wheels, a sunroof, power front seats, leatherette upholstery, automatic headlights and wipers, automatic climate control, BMW Assist telematics and iDrive control interface. The 535i and 535xi add xenon headlamps and lumbar support, while the 535xi wagon adds a panoramic sunroof, fold-down rear seats and a power tailgate. The 550i throws in parking assist, leather upholstery and auto-dimming mirrors. Most of the features that are standard on upper-level 5 Series models are optional on the lower-level models.

The options list is exceptionally long on the 5 Series and it got even longer for 2008. High-tech features include Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go, a lane-departure warning system, active steering, a head-up display, infrared night vision, keyless ignition, high-definition radio, the next generation of iPod integration and a navigation system with updated iDrive and real-time traffic. Other options include ventilated front seats, heated rear seats and rear side airbags. A Cold Weather package adds heated front seats, heated steering wheel and retractable headlight jets. A Sport Package on rear-wheel-drive models includes 18- or 19-inch wheels, a sport-tuned suspension, active roll stabilization, a sport steering wheel and multicontour seats.

Powertrains and Performance

The BMW 5 Series' engine lineup is more powerful than ever, but more confusing with model names that no longer correspond with engine displacement. The 528i comes equipped with a naturally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6 that produces 230 hp and 200 pound-feet of torque. The 535i has BMW's impressive new twin-turbocharged, 3.0-liter inline-6, capable of 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The 550i is the lone power plant to carry over untouched, still pumping out its ample 360 hp and 360 lb-ft of torque. This engine motivates the 550i from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.

All three engines come standard with a six-speed manual, while a six-speed automatic is a no-cost option. This is good news for consumers since most 5 Series are sold with the autobox. In summer 2007, a new Sport automatic transmission with paddle shifters will be optional on Sport Package-equipped 535i and 550i sedans, replacing the previous car's SMG gearbox. BMW's xDrive all-wheel-drive system is optional on the two six-cylinder sedans (they become 528xi and 535xi), and standard on the 535xi wagon.

Safety

Standard safety equipment includes stability control, antilock disc brakes, front-seat side airbags and front-and-rear side-curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional and, due to safety concerns, you must specifically request that your dealer activate the bags if you order this option. A new optional lane departure system alerts the driver via a shaking steering wheel if the car starts to veer out of its lane, while a night vision system illuminates possible hazards out of regular headlight range. Both Hill-Start Assist and Hill Descent Control are standard on AWD models, in case your extra-steep driveway ever gets slippery. In IIHS testing, the 2008 BMW 5 Series earned a top score of "Good" for its protection of occupants in frontal-offset crashes. In side-impact tests, however, the 5 Series earned a disappointing score of "Marginal," the IIHS' second-worst score.

Interior Design and Special Features

Although the interior looks unchanged, there were a few key updates made. The window switches have been relocated to lower on the driver door and on Steptronic automatic-transmission models, an electronic gear selector like the one found in the X5 now resides on the center console. It's certainly interesting looking, but this odd little gizmo is largely an unnecessarily different and complex way of doing a fairly straightforward thing.

The same can be said of iDrive, the mouse and LCD screen control system standard on all 5 Series, even those without a navigation system. It now has six programmable memory buttons that can control everything from a radio preset to a frequently traveled destination. Slow and steady progress perhaps, but iDrive is still as user-friendly as a shift knob made of razor wire. Build quality and materials inside the 5 Series are still outstanding, although competitors offer more stylish and less austere environments. Supportive seating is provided in both the front and rear, and even adults won't mind sitting in the commodious backseat. The sedan has 14 cubic feet of trunk capacity, while the wagon has a 34-cubic-foot cargo bay behind its fold-down rear seats, along with standard roof rails.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 BMW 5 Series is an extremely balanced machine that can handle aggressive driving maneuvers on winding back roads as well as it dispatches weekday commutes on crumbling expressways. The optional active steering system hasn't dulled BMW's trademark steering feel, though driving purists will prefer the standard setup. Likewise, the standard suspension tuning gives the 5 Series plenty of capability in the corners. The new six-cylinder engines shared with the 3 Series offer more power than the outgoing units, especially the 300-hp 535i that exhibits virtually no turbo lag. Equipping the 5 Series with the V8 turns it into a seriously fast sedan that will outpace many sports cars.

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Talk About The 2008 5 Series

2008 BMW 5 Series Discussions See all Started By

bizzymum
bizzymum
01-03-2010
I bought my BMW 520 (first registration Sep 01) in Nov 2008. In Jan 09, the battery was going flat often. Since then, the battery has been changed 4 times, alternator changed twice and an electrici?...


stevecebu
stevecebu
06-29-2007
I'm going with the Coupe because the 1 series is initially a coupe. Oh and this is MSRP not what TMV is since it doesn't exist on the 2008's 3 series the 5 series is 2008 prices and the 1 series is a ...


hpowders
hpowders
05-12-2007
I do believe the 2008 5 Series will be a bit more to the liking of the one or two folks who inexplicably are resisting what thousands of folks worldwide have been affirming since 2004 with their pocke...



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