2011 BMW 528i: Sport+ > Normal
July 27, 2011
Other editors, like Al Austria already covered the difference in the Normal, Sport and Sport+ settings of our 2011 BMW 528i so I decided to play around with them to feel the difference for myself. Running through them I felt like Goldilocks. OK, actually I skipped over just the Sport mode, which apparently you can customize to suit your tastes. I wanted to feel the drastic difference from Sport+ to Normal.
Sport+ felt just right. I loved the engine braking and thought it perfect during rush hour traffic since I didn't have to hit the brakes so often to slow down. The car felt tight, easier to control. I didn't have as much of an issue with the throttle tip-in as others had simply because I'm not as aggressive while driving in stop-and-go traffic, in terms of switching lanes a lot.
I loved how the car rev-matched my shifts, too. Felt so luxurious compared to the tester of another make I had driven the night before. Since the short-termer might be for an upcoming test, I can't really say what it was except that it had a Hemi, paddle shifters and was automatic. Upshifting and downshifting were herky-jerky while in the BMW, the shifts were imperceptible and smooth. They may not be cars that are usually cross-shopped but it's hard not to compare the two when driven back to back.
Anyway, back to the BMW, while in Normal mode, the Bimmer felt comparatively loosy goosey and floaty. I hated this mode so much that I kept the car in Sport+ most of the time.
Caroline Pardilla, Deputy Managing Editor @ 17,670 miles