A More Sensible Alternative - 2011 BMW 528i Long-Term Road Test

2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

2011 BMW 528i: A More Sensible Alternative

June 21, 2011

BMW 335d-f34.jpg There are many people who buy cars and never think about the price of gas. I'm not one of them. I'm always looking for a car that is fuel efficient, fun to drive and -- more importantly -- less expensive. In my last "Sensible Alternative" blog post, I found a good alternate for the Infiniti M56. Now, I've found a great alternative for someone looking to spend $45K on a BMW and who had considered a BMW 528i.

The BMW 335d (Base MSRP: $45,025) costs $900 less than a 528i (Base MSRP: $45,925). Both cars can easily top $50K with packages, but let's just keep the discussion focused on the base price. The True Market Value (TMV) for the 335d is $2,962 less than the 528i, plus there is an additional $3,500 available in customer cash for the month of June. So you can potentially get a 335d for $8,600 under sticker price. That can buy a lot of diesel fuel. The 335d becomes an even better deal when you look at the costs over a five year period of time. Our TCO figure for the 335d is $62,838 versus $69,769 for the 528i.

Since the 335d is slightly smaller, there are a few sacrifices you'll have to make in terms of space, but it makes up for those in other areas. The 335d offers better fuel economy from its diesel engine, and is more fun to drive thanks to its 425 pound feet of torque. The 335d also comes with a few more standard features than the 528i, such as HID lights, anti-theft system, and Rear A/C.

Here are a few interesting stats to compare. Let us know which one you would pick.

BMW 335d BMW 528i
MSRP: $44,150 $45,050
TMV: $39,917 $42,879
TCO: $62,838 $69,769

Horsepower: 265 240
Torque: 425 230
Transmission: 6-speed 8-speed
Combined MPG: 27 25
Curb Weight: 3,825 3,814
Max Cargo Capacity: 12 cu ft 14 cu ft

Ron Montoya, Consumer Advice Associate @ 13,068 miles

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