2011 BMW 5 Series Long Term Road Test

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2011 BMW 528i: The 900 Mile Weekend

August 08, 2011

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If you've come here looking for the new highway fuel economy numbers on our long-term 528i then you're going to be disappointed.

"How can this be?" you say. "You drove it from L.A. to San Jose and back on the interstate. Why wouldn't you calculate the sedan's fuel economy. God, you editors are so lazy. Give me the keys to that 5 Series and the Edmunds gas card and I'll calculate some mpg for you. Automotive journalists are all idiots. Is it really that hard? What's next? Are you going to track test a car and not tell us its 0-60 time? I've had it with you morons. FAIL. FAIL. FAIL."

Easy there turbo. I have a very good reason for not reporting the 528i's highway fuel economy from this trip.

Traffic.

A big rig went of over the side of I5 just north of Cataic Lake. We hardly moved for more than an hour. It was 100 degrees outside. I wasn't going to shut the car and kill the air conditioning. So we sat there. After that I go word there were further delays further north due to repaving. So I jumped on the 46 West to cut over to the 101. Not a good move. More paving. We sat there for another 30 minutes.

Once we finally reached San Jose, the 5 Series ended up doing enless errands and airport runs for relatives. Nearly 100 miles of city type driving.

Then, on the way home last night, more traffic. This time in San Barbara. My bad. I thought I'd would out smart fate and avoid I5 all together, so I took 101 South the entire trip. No good. Stop and go for nearly 70 miles.

Otherwise this was a great trip. And I now have new found respect and appeciation for the our 528i. This is a great road trip machine. My entire family found it to be very comfortable, and I had very little fatigue, even after 5 or 6 hours behind the wheel without a break.

And I appreciate its range. As Erin Riches reported after her trip to Montana in the BMW, it can cover 500+ mile on a tank if you're not a Leadfoot Larry.

We only have another month with this sedan before it heads back to BMW HQ. I think I'll start looking for more excuses to drive it.

Scott Oldham, Editor in Chief @ 18,987 miles

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2011 BMW 528i: We Went to Montana, Part 4

July 19, 2011

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Here is the obligatory fuel economy post from my road trip from L.A. to Montana (and back) in our long-term 2011 BMW 528i. Tomorrow I'll fill you on the back-roads driving I did on the way to Glacier National Park (that little detour pushed my total trip distance right up near 3,000 miles) and regale you all (well, all of you who are still reading after my relevation of car-related negligence... "I would have just changed oil and filter myself on the side of the road," wrote vvk. "The next owner is in for a world of hurt," tjpark01 predicted.) with the rest of my photos.

For now, here's a photo of our 528i taken around 10 p.m. (high latitude = long summer days) just off Interstate 90 next to the Blackfoot River. This river of River Runs Through It fame meanders along the interstate (or rather, the interstate meanders along the river), and there are countless scenic places to pull off along the way. This area is also pretty remote, though, and it got even more remote as I turned south on I-15 toward Idaho Falls, my destination for the night.

And that's why I was so pleased by our 528i's respectable rate of fuel consumption (29.3 mpg for the whole trip, with a best tank of 30.8 mpg. I didn't do a fuel economy run on this trip, because I didn't have time. Speed limits were posted at 70-80 mph for almost the whole trip, and I stayed with the flow. I also dug the car's extremely long cruising range -- my best run lasted 531.1 miles. Yep, I'm about to explain myself on that...

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2011 BMW 528i: Enjoy the Inline-6 While You Can

July 01, 2011

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Turns out, our long-term 528i is the last of its breed. For 2012, its 3.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-6 will be replaced by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with a twin-scroll turbocharger, direct injection and stop/start technology. Like our car, it'll produce 240 horses, but torque goes up to 260 pound-feet from 230. Fuel economy is already pretty strong with the six-cylinder at 22 mpg city/32 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined, but it should go up by 15 percent says BMW.

Full story over on Straightline.

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2011 BMW 528i: A Word About Its Fuel Efficiency

December 14, 2010

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lf you're willing to spend this much money on a luxury sedan, you're probably not living paycheck to paycheck. Or maybe you are, which would make you stupid, but that's another subject.

We'll assume that the majority of 5 Series buyers have sufficient means to spend on what they want. So why buy the "small" engine in such a big sedan?

Most will assume it's to save money on the initial purchase, but some people might actually buy it to save gas over the long haul. And that's not a totally ridiculous idea. So far, our 528i has averaged 24.5 miles per gallon in its first 6,000 miles or so.

Not a huge number, but we've been wringing it out pretty hard to get a feel for the engine and its new eight-speed transmission. On some of the more highway-heavy tanks, we recorded as much as 31 mpg, which is right around its EPA rating.

Along the way, few have complained about a lack of power. It's not fast by any means, but it's not slow either. If you were at all interested in getting decent mileage, there would be little reason to complain about the overall performance of the "small" engine.

Ed Hellwig, Editor, Inside Line

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2011 BMW 528i: Road Car

November 04, 2010

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Well, there's at least one good thing about the 528i's resemblance to the 7 Series. That is, it packs a lot of fuel, some 18.5 gallons.

When you match this much gas with the frugality of this 240-hp 3.0-liter inline-6, the result is incredible range. During optimal freeway cruising last weekend, I did one 465.7-mile leg and still didn't come close to bouncing the needle off the E, managing to get only 15.6 gallons into the tank for an average of 29.9 mpg. Did another 411.3-mile leg at 29.7 mpg. Even when you get into the gas pedal, the worst this car has served up at the pump so far has been 17.0 mpg.

When you're looking for a real road car, the ultimate performance attribute is the ability to drive past a lot of gas stations before you have to stop. If a big, comfortable highway car is what you want, the 528i sure seems like the right combination for El Camino (you know, the road).

Michael Jordan, Executive Editor, 3,388 miles

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Edmunds Insurance Estimator

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

$145 per month*
* Explanation
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