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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - August 28, 2015

Expert Rating

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23 City / 34 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.


Serving as the starting point into BMW’s 5 Series of midsize luxury sedans, the 528i offers comfort and technology as expected in this league, at a comparatively accessible price. With its 240-horsepower four-cylinder engine, the 528i prioritizes traditional virtues over full-bore performance.

Not only does BMW’s 5 Series wind up on a lot of “best-of” lists, this sedan outsells its main competitors. Driving dynamics beat most rivals, and you can expect plenty of BMW-brand driving pleasure.

What's New for 2016

Essentially a carryover, the 528i gets a slightly altered front fascia and other exterior updates, plus a modest price rise. Enhanced USB and Bluetooth are now standard, including Mobile Office and an additional microphone. A power tailgate is newly available as a standalone option.

BMW 528 Front Quarter

Choosing Your BMW 528i

In the 528i, a turbocharged 2-liter four-cylinder engine develops 240 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque, driving an eight-speed automatic transmission. An automatic stop/start function, which can shut off the engine at stoplights, improves fuel efficiency.

The rear-drive 528i gets an estimate of 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway (27 mpg combined), which should please the most frugal luxury-car drivers. With all-wheel drive, the estimate drops slightly to 22/34 mpg (city/highway), or 26 mpg combined. Selectable modes let you alter throttle, steering, and transmission responses.


Starting at $51,295, the rear-wheel-drive 528i comes with leatherette seating, 10-way power front seats with driver memory, a sunroof, navigation system, wood interior trim, remote keyless entry, hill-start assist and hill holder, Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity, and a 10-speaker sound system with CD player and HD radio. Alloy wheels hold 17-inch run-flat tires.

528i xDrive

With BMW's all-wheel-drive system, the sticker price rises by $2,300.

Luxury Line and M Sport Line option packages are offered:

  • Luxury has 18-inch multi-spoke wheels, more exterior chrome accents, and special interior trim possibilities.
  • M Sport ($3,250) has a sport-tuned suspension, aerodynamic body kit, 18-inch double-spoke wheels, and specific M Sport trim. Staggered wheels are available, holding run-flat performance tires. M Sport can be an appealing upgrade for buyers who are tempted by a potent M5 but don’t care to pay the price for that level of excitement.

Many additional option groups are available:

  • Premium Package includes leather upholstery, satellite radio, keyless entry, and a hands-free power trunk lid.
  • Luxury Seating Package adds multi-contour active front seats with ventilation.
  • Cold Weather Package has heated seats in both front and rear, a heated steering wheel, and headlight washers.
  • Lighting Package includes full LED adaptive headlights with automatic high-beam control.
  • Driver Assistance Package includes a rearview camera, Park Distance Control, and head-up display.
  • Driver Assistance Plus ($1,700) adds blind-spot monitoring, lane departure and forward collision warnings, surround-view cameras, and city collision mitigation.

Individual options include an automated parallel-parking system, infrared night vision, premium Bang Olufsen sound, heated front seats, and active steering.

CarsDirect Tip

Compare the 528i’s standard equipment to rivals, and the $51,000-plus price starts to sound comparatively reasonable. We’d opt for the addition of a Premium package to show off the 528i sedan’s basic character, which seems to cry for genuine leather seats and other amenities. In terms of safety, the Driver Assistance package – or better yet, Driver Assistance Plus – delivers plenty of driving security for the extra cost. Guard your wallet, though; those extra-cost option groups add up fast.

Get your price on a BMW 528i »

Read our review on the BMW 528i »

BMW 528 Rear Quarter

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