Left Hangin' By Default - 2011 BMW 528i Long-Term Road Test

2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

2011 BMW 528i: Left Hangin' By Default

June 29, 2011


The freeway on-ramp I use nearly every day starting out for the office is a fun, straight two-lane strip that climbs about 25 feet to reach the highway. If you stay right, the same lane becomes an exit run for the avenue up ahead. Merge left, and you're quickly sucked into a long sweeping left-hander that feeds into the northbound 405 melee.

If I catch a couple of green lights before the on-ramp, the whole thing becomes a fun left/right combo, then a mash for the uphill sprint, merge, then set up the car and see how well it holds the lane through the descending ribbon. The other morning I caught the signals just right, and gave the 528 some throttle leading into the on-ramp.

And nothing happened.

For literally what seemed like three seconds. Nothing. I carried the speed I had into the turn and made it about a quarter of the way up the ramp before the car leaped forward and surged through its gears. We were up to merge speed in no time, but the moment had passed. So unromantic.

I'll cop to some driver error here. I hadn't engaged either Sport mode before setting out. Sorry to beat this horse again, but it's disappointing that BMW set the 528's bar this low for its default dynamic setting.

Hopefully the new M5 responds better than this test driver.

Classic postscript:

Him: "BMW should have friendlier test drivers, don't you think?"

Her: (pause) "No" (the fanboy bro-love is suffocating, can you take me home now?)

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor

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