2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

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2011 BMW 528i: Maintaining a Beige Interior

September 14, 2011

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The floor mats in our 2011 BMW 528i were filthy. So I took care of them...

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2011 BMW 528i: Flipped My Lid

August 22, 2011

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I usually don't put cups in cupholders. I use them for keys, access cards, tissues, miscellaneous stuff. I like that the BMW has a cover than you can close over when you don't want to see the cupholders.

But this time I actually had a cup. And when I put it in the cupholder, I noticed the lid sits exactly on the top of the cover. If I wasn't careful it could have flipped the lid right off my cup.

This design would be fine if I had a bottle of water but could be dangerous with a hot cup of coffee. My cup was only filled with water so there was no danger of me reaching for my hot drink and burning myself. But I know a lot of people who stop for a latte on their way to work. This design would be awkward.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 BMW 528i: Sunday Drivers

September 13, 2011

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I spent last weekend driving our 2011 BMW 528i. Sunday morning we went for a drive up the coast. We weren't alone...

There are some cars I see on the road that make me feel like a kid. They make me want to slow down or speed up just to pace them and bask in their awesomeness. See exhibits A and B below:

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2011 BMW 528i: Station Preview

September 08, 2011

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When I got into our BMW 5 Series last night, somebody had already set this view on the display. I liked the partial audio info/map so I left it that way. I usually put on the detailed view of whatever channel I am listening to.

In this view, you can preview what is on the other nearby stations. I never noticed this before. So, when the Broadway station plays something I don't like, I can see who is singing on the Sinatra station. Yes, I'm old. I listen to this type of stuff.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 BMW 528i: Leaving Soon

September 08, 2011

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The sun will be setting on our BMW 528i very soon. Every time a long-term car leaves the fleet I get a little sad. We'll be posting a wrap-up in a couple of weeks.

By the way, this photo was taken about 5 minutes before this area lost electrical power. I sat waiting for my bento box by candlelight.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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2011 BMW 528i: Happy 20K!

September 06, 2011

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Our long-term 2011 BMW 528i celebrated its 20,000 mile anniversary over the Labor Day weekend. And this milestone means that it is near the end of its service at InsideLine.

Which is a shame, because I'm starting to warm up to it after I drove 350 miles over the long weekend. You can eliminate most of the drivability hesistation and surge problem with the paddle shifters. I'll put it in Sport mode and flick the paddles up and down through the ZF 8-speed auto gearbox. That's fun.

And although many people deride the new 5-series chassis as a creampuff, to me it still has a superb ride/handling balance and is superior to both our long-term Hyundai Equus and Infiniti M56.

Albert Austria, Senior VE Engineer @ 20,100 miles

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2011 BMW 528i: What's it worth after 20,000 miles?

August 25, 2011

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Our long-term BMW 528i has nearly 20,000 miles on the odometer, so I figured I'd run its specs through the Edmunds TMV (True Market Value) calculator to see what it would cost to buy it now in its current condition.

Here's what I found pricing it out in "clean" condition:

Trade-in: $45,029

Private Party: $47,450

Dealer Retail: $50,363

Original MSRP was $60K.

Kelly Toepke, News Editor

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2011 BMW 528i: I'd Buy This Instead

August 24, 2011

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Let's say I had the $60,500 needed to purchase our long-term BMW 528i. If you've been following any of my posts regarding this car, you'd know there's no way in hell I'd use that money in such a manner. But let's get really hypothetical for a moment and say that I would still NEED to spend that money on a BMW. What would I do?

Well, I'd buy an E39 M5. And let's be really specific and say that I'd buy this 2003 BMW M5 with only 13,797 miles on the clock, Titanium Silver on the outside and LeMans Blue interior. I could easily be swayed by this one as well. Either one would be about $40,000.

So, that's a difference of $20,000. I'd use that remainder to pay off the extra $1,550 extra bucks per year it would cost to fill up, along with any scary BMW maintenance and repair costs that may arrise (though the good boys at Summit Automotive should help with those somewhat). I still think I'd have a lot left over, so maybe I'd plant a few trees to offset the CO2 and maybe a snazzy keychain. Sure, I'd have to deal with ye olde navigation system that drove me nuts in our M3, but then that's nothing like the aggrivation I feel every time I drive the 528i. Nor is enough to counteract the fun I'd have in the M5.

I rest my case.

James Riswick, Automotive Editor @ 19,228 miles

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2011 BMW 528i: Save Your Money

August 23, 2011

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I've been hogging the BMW 528i for more than a week but I don't think I'd buy one.

Unless I was filthy rich I can't see spending $60,050 on a car. Yes, it is sumptuous and a joy to drive. But do I really need a luxury sedan to get me back and forth to work? Do I really need an automatic trunk opener when I go grocery shopping? Do I really need a power-adjustable steering wheel? Do I really need all of the packages that make this car cost $15,000 more than its base price?

Have you ever read Rich Dad, Poor Dad? The author, Robert Kiyosaki, advises you to buy your big ticket items with your wealth, not your income. So, unless I had an extra $60K lying around or some lucrative stock to sell off, I shouldn't put myself into that much debt for a car. Most Americans don't follow this simple rule, however, and it is part of the reason our economy is in such sad shape. We're a nation that lives on credit and we're wage slaves. They when we lose our jobs or get our hours reduced, we can no longer afford to keep up the payments on our cars and homes. And then we're screwed.

If you waited until you could really afford a BMW, saved up for one, planned for one, it wouldn't hurt so much if you were out of work for several months.

There is my financial preaching advice for the day.

This doesn’t mean I won’t be factoring a BMW into my retirement savings.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor @ 19,209 miles

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2011 BMW 528i: Cheese Steak Run

August 18, 2011

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You all know by now I'm from Philly, born and bred. And my father owned the best cheese steak shop in world. Pat's and Geno's couldn't compare. But my store is long gone and now I live in L.A., so we must make do with what we can get.

Today, Michelle mentioned french fries, which made everyone hungry. Then that conversation morphed into cheese steaks. Next thing you know, Michelle and I are in the BMW 528i on a cheese steak run. If you're in the Santa Monica area, The Shack on 26th street has pretty good cheese steaks. The fries aren't bad either.

Now, we all need naps.

Donna DeRosa, Managing Editor

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2011 BMW 5 Series in VA is:

$145 per month*
* Explanation
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