2011 BMW 528i: The 7 Series Experience
February 09, 2011
In many ways, our 528i reminds me of our 2009 BMW 750i. First, there's the exterior. We mentioned previously that it can be tricky at first glance to tell the difference between the latest 7 and 5. Sitting inside, it's the same thing, with a very similar dash layout and feel. This deja vu applies to the driving experience as well. I haven't driven our 528i on a curvy road yet, but around town at least the dominant feeling is that of a luxury sedan rather than a sport sedan. Our 528i just feels big and not something that'll inspire you to slice around corners.
Whether this is good or bad likely depends on your perspective. On one hand, we're getting 90 percent of the 7 Series IMAX 3D experience for just $60,050. Equip a 740i similarly to our 528i and it'd cost about $75,000. Fifteen grand discount? That's pretty cool. On the other hand, our 5 doesn't really seem to follow the same playbook as previous 5 Series cars. Rather than seeming like a bigger 3 Series or even its own distinct model, it's mostly a smaller 7.
My take? I'd say the shift is a win for the majority of luxury sedan buyers. (You know who they are.) Enthusiasts with fond memories of the 1997-2003 5 Series get the loss.
Brent Romans, Senior Automotive Editor