Used 2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan Consumer Reviews - 188 Car Reviews | Edmunds

Consumer Reviews

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan

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188 Total Reviews

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Fun to drive, poor reliability & expensive to fix
20 of 21 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By mqc99
on

Vehicle

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan 535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

This was my 1st and last BMW. Bought the car new, in the 6 years and 34K miles I've owned the car, I had a
faulty battery, bad fuel pump, dead oxygen sensor, and a failed water pump.
I was stranded 3 times (car completely died) and almost stranded twice. So, multiple trips to the shops and over 2 grand of repair bills later, I have finally gave up on this "ultimate driving machine". It was a fun car to drive while it worked. But, for a $60K car, I'd expect BMW to deliver something better. The worst part is that I totally lost my confidence in it and can no longer feel comfortable taking this car on any extended trips. This will be the LAST BMW I ever spend my money on.


Best Features

Nice handling. It drives very well when things are working.


Worst Features

Improve product quality and reliability. Quality is not just about handling, it is also about driver confidence. When you can't build customer trust in your product, you loose the customer. Learn from how Acura and Lexus on how they have built customer loyalty. If you don't improve your product quality, you will loose to your competitions. Take a page from the lessons learned by the American auto makers in the 80's and 90's. They took some hard hits before they wised up and got their act together. Today, they have much better products. BMW, if you don't take care of your product quality, you will face the same hardship GM, Ford and Chrysler did 20 years ago.


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Fun to drive
7 of 8 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By david_welch
on

Vehicle

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan 535xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

I was looking for an AWD sport sedan with a 6 speed manual transmission.
The BMW 535xi is the only option in the luxury market.

The car is outstanding.
It handles extremely well at high speeds and tight corners.
The brakes are fantastic and can stop reliably.


I wanted a 6 speed manual and the transmission is superb. Shifting is smooth but can be done quickly if accelerating -- merging on the highway is no trouble at all.

The AWD is great and I just took the car out for its first test in a New England blizzard.
The plow trucks were all out and I only saw a few Audis and Subarus on the road.
The BMW climbed icy hills with no trouble at all.
Did some donuts too - good times.


Best Features

Twin turbo engine, 6 speed manual transmission, large trunk, room for 5 adults. All wheel drive is great.


Worst Features

Better cup holders and easier to use climate control. The iDrive system is a pain, but the climate control cryptography is simply ridiculous. I shouldn't have to pull over the car just to change the heat/AC settings.


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Overcomplicated & Unreliable
11 of 12 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By samarthvader
on

Vehicle

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan 535xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

My 2008 535xi has 50,000 miles on it. There always seems to be something going wrong with it every few months.
It has been one of the most unreliable cars I've ever owned, but when it is working it is a blast to drive. Even the simplest repairs are ridiculously expensive, and you are often forced to going to the dealer as most independent shops cannot work with the BMW computer system.


I don't know what they were thinking when they designed idrive. It takes an engineering degree to change radio stations through idrive. I guess over engineering is the BMW way.

This will probably be my 1st and last BMW...


Best Features

Great combination of performance and efficiency.


Worst Features

Reliability.


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Bullet proof reliability in my 535i Sport Package
2 of 5 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By jackspotnspike
on

Vehicle

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan 535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

I bought mine used with 40000 miles and with 65000 miles now. I am very happy with the performance and reliability. Nothing has gone wrong with it. I recently put brakes on at an independent BMW shop for $1200, complete.

When I punch the accelerator the car is a rocket. It looks great (deep sea blue with natural brown leather seats and tints windows). The seven spoke alloys with the sport package are perfect.


Best Features

High performance engine, decent fuel economy, no reliability issues.


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Major Disappointment
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By 535nomore
on

Vehicle

2008 BMW 5 Series Sedan 535i 4dr Sedan (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)


Review

This was my first BMW and I was really excited about buying it.
It worked fine for about 6 months and then the trouble started.
First it was the "reduced engine power" message related to the turbo system.
The result of multiple trips to the dealer consisted of: engine reprogramming, replacing the high pressure fuel pump, replacing injectors, replacing a fuel pressure sensor, and reconnecting a vacuum hose that the mechanic "forgot" to connect. The car has had three water pumps installed. I've also had the battery replaced two years after I bought the car (new), the auxiliary jack replaced (it only played through one channel when I got the car.
And a couple of other minor items.


Best Features

It's comfortable. It's also quick and fast, when it runs properly.


Worst Features

BMW solved the problem by discontinuing the engine that can in the 2008 model and a couple of years before and after. Anyone considering this car, do yourself a favor and pass on it. The turbo/engine problem is fairly common. You can read about it on BMW owner's forums and boards.


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