Worn and Frayed - 2011 BMW 528i Long-Term Road Test
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2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

2011 BMW 528i: Worn and Frayed

June 08, 2011

BMW 528i-back mats.jpg

Well, the 528i's seats may be holding up better than the Equus's, but I got some real crack for the IL Haters, the Clean Police who say we don't care about our cars. We care so little in fact that they get a bath, vac and shine only once a week. Shouldn't be a surprise that our rear passenger compartment - the mats particularly - are starting to look like this.

You can't blame us, really. Automotive editorial work draws some pretty filthy degenerates.

I think it's fair to consider 10-15 people cycling through a car once a month "heavy use." Sensitive motoring types might actually consider it abuse. Add in a handful of trips out to test, where dirt, asphalt and Jacquot-sourced clag gets tracked inside and you've got a real mess.

BMW 528i-seat backs2.jpg

That said, I'd wager this is the kind of use and deterioration you could expect over a few years if you were regularly shuttling a couple of young kids around to activities. Likewise if you were regularly driving a dog around. Regardless of how vigilant you think you'd be, I think this is an accurate time-lapse of how well the BMW's tan interior - maybe any tan interior - will hold up under heavy wear.

BMW 528i-low door panel.jpg

A little disappointing, I think. But that's largely my own projection. I've naively sort of held up 5 Series and above BMWs as a little more immortal than the rest. I've always wanted an E28 and recklessly lowball eBay sellers now and then. Michael Jordan has kindly tried to talk me out of it, citing that my kid may want to go to college someday.

Skip the tan interior. Get the manual. Take the canoli.

Dan Frio, Automotive Editor


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