2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test


2011 BMW 528i: Personalization

June 22, 2011

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I know you'll all be shocked to hear this from me, but I'm a slightly finicky consumer. I like things to be EXACTLY how I want them or I'm simply not interested. I don't adapt well and I don't get used to things. I get grumpy and upset and then stop using it completely (see: my Nintendo Wii -- wouldn't stop asking me to reposition the remotes) or I yell every time I use it (See: my TV which makes a ding every time I turn it on / off) until I eventually sell/destroy it.

Things don't get any better with cars. I simply don't like to adapt to things that don't work the way I want them to. Thankfully, the BMW 528i wants to make me happy.

One of my biggest gripes -- and this is going to sound petty, and it might be, but my god I hate it -- is when cars automatically lock the doors when the vehicle is in motion. I don't find this helpful nor do I feel safer. I've never met anyone who does, but that doesn't mean it's not a valid feature. But I don't want it to be mandatory and if it is, well, that's close to a deal breaker. Honestly.

BMW lets you configure that setting.

Next on this screen is the "Unlock Button" setting. Some cars only unlock the driver door when you push the button or, in the case of the 5er, grab the handle letting the system realize you have a key and are allowed access. This drives me nuts. I don't know why you wouldn't want your passengers to have access to the car, or to unlock the rear (don't you people have groceries or a briefcase?) or to simply open all of the doors all the time. Maybe there's some paranoid delusion that you'll be running from a baddie when you get to the car, escaping only by sliding into the unlocked driver door while he paws helplessly at the passenger handle. But that's crazy. Again, not paranoid enough to require this and I don't know anyone who is. Again, that doesn't mean it isn't valid.

Thankfully, BMW lets you configure that setting, too.

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And then there's this: The triple turn signal. Jacquot hates them. I think it's the best thing in the world. I can turn it off, he can turn it off. Surely we've done this to one another during the 528's time in the fleet.

All of these things are computerized settings on new cars, there's no reason we shouldn't give the driver control of the functionality. Hats off to BMW (who also lets you use nav while the vehicle is in motion) for realizing people are still smart enough to think for themselves.

Mike Magrath, Associate Editor @ 13,120 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$150 per month*
* Explanation
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