Vehicle Profile: The 2012 BMW 5 Series Sedan Overview
Whether it's weeks facing relentless Arctic winds, endless miles under the desert sun, or hundreds of rubber-shedding laps around Germany’s Nürburgring Circuit – every BMW model must undergo incredible endurance trials to qualify it as an “Ultimate Driving Machine.”
And while the performance of the all new 2012 BMW 5 Series Sedan qualifies it as an "Ultimate Driving Machine," its recipe of world-class comfort, style and opulence qualifies it for another significant nickname, “The Executive Express.”
Acknowledged the world over as road royalty, the 5 Series not only offers the longest wheelbase in its class, but levels of technological performance and luxurious refinement that make it comparable to its full-size stablemate, the 7 Series.
The 528i Sedan features a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, along with an eight-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission with “Sport” and “Manual” modes and Adaptive Transmission Control. With less displacement and fewer cylinders, the new turbo-four delivers equal power (240 hp) and greater torque (260 lb/ft versus 230 lb/ft) than its predecessor, taking you from 0 to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds. And thanks to a slate of sophisticated engine technology, including direct injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger and VALVETRONIC variable intake valve lift control, the new 528i has an improved, impressive fuel efficiency of 34 highway mpg.
The 535i Sedan features a TwinPower Turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder that can take you from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds. It comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard, or you can option for either the STEPTRONIC automatic or the eight-speed Sport automatic with shift paddles mounted on the steering wheel. And thanks to the 300 hp and 300 lb/ft of torque peaking at only 1,300 rpm, the jump off the blocks is seamless.
And while the 5 Series offers an M Sport Package that includes special paint and trim, an Aerodynamic Kit, an increase in top speed to 155 mph and Dynamic Damper Control with active shock absorbers, when it comes to ultimate performance, experienced drivers choose the 550i Sedan. With its 4.4-liter turbocharged V8 and TwinPower Turbo technology cranking out 400 hp and 450 lb/ft of torque, the 550i Sedan flies from 0 to 60 in 5 seconds flat. The 550i comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but you can always opt for the eight-speed Sport automatic. And when it comes to fuel efficiency, for a performance-enhanced premium luxury sedan , it sports a surprising 25 highway mpg estimated.
Such impressive fuel efficiency across the 2012 5 Series line is the work of the BMW EfficientDynamics system, which includes Brake Energy Regeneration and an automatic engine Start/Stop function which helps drivers maximize their fuel savings by selecting the “ECO PRO” mode on the Driving Dynamics Control system.
Equally impressive across the line is BMW’s driver assistance technology. The xDrive all-wheel-drive system helps maximize handling and driving performance, regardless of conditions, while the Dynamic Stability Control system features Dynamic Traction Control, Brake Fade Compensation and Brake Drying. There's also Frontal Collision Warning, Active Blind Spot Detection, a Head-up Display, Side- and Top-View Cameras and Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection.
And as you’d expect from BMW, options are nearly endless. Premium standard features include such items as Dynamic Cruise Control, Bluetooth hands-free calling, a two-way power moonroof and Xenon Adaptive Headlights with dynamic auto-leveling. And depending on the model, you can choose luxuries like 18-way power-adjustable Multi-Contour front seats, ceramic controls with a deep, black-glazed finish, four-zone automatic climate control, an Anthracite headliner, heat for the front and rear seats and a power rear sunshade with rear manual side window shades. You can also choose the optional navigation system (standard on 550i models) and the fourth-generation iDrive system which features a 10.2-inch display with 1280 x 480-pixel resolution, along with a wider range of features and functions similar to those found in the 7 Series Sedan.
The editors at Car and Driver magazine praised the 5 Series for its “whisper quiet interior and rich trimmings.” And after traveling to Sequoia National Park for a fender-to-fender evaluation of the new 5 Series, the editors at autoblog.com declared it an “impressively engineered machine” and “an absolute pleasure to drive.” But there’s no need for you to go to such extremes. Come form your own impressions by simply contacting us to schedule a test drive of the new 2012 BMW 5 Series range of sports sedans.
BMW offers the 5 Series Sedan in six versions (there are also four 5 Series Gran Turismo models): 528i (MSRP $46,900), 528i xDrive, 535i (MSRP $52,500), 535i xDrive, 550i (MSRP $62,000) and 550i xDrive ($64,300).
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