Possessing a strong combination of performance, comfort
"A four-cylinder in the 2012 BMW 5 Series? Have they lost their minds?" We can hear this refrain echoing across the country as people read that BMW has replaced the iconic inline-6 engine in its midsize luxury sedan with a measly four-banger. The current 5 Series has already received criticism among the BMW faithful for sacrificing its sporting charm in favor of comfort and size. While we're still apt to agree with that sentiment, any concerns about the new four-cylinder are unfounded. In fact, it's a welcome development.
The new four-cylinder found in the entry-level 528i is direct-injected and features BMW's innovative twin-scroll turbocharger that prevents lag and maximizes performance across the rev range. The result is 240 horsepower, the same as last year's normally aspirated 3.0-liter inline-6, as well as 255 pound-feet of torque, a substantial boost of 30 lb-ft. The result is actually quicker acceleration, and thanks to its smaller displacement and the new automatic stop/start feature (also standard on the carryover 535i), the 528i achieves a truly impressive estimated 23 mpg city/34 mpg highway and 27 mpg combined. Only the Audi A6 2.0T bests that, but it has a less powerful four-cylinder.
Besides the 528i's new motivation, the rest of the 5 Series range continues on for 2012 -- albeit with a recalibrated throttle that rids the car of last year's irritating lag when you pressed the accelerator. There are still buttery-smooth engines in the 535i and 550i, while a wealth of available equipment remains
In total, the 2012 BMW 5 Series is a top choice among midsize luxury sedans, but we can no longer say it's the easy choice it once was. The Audi A6, Infiniti M, Jaguar XF and Mercedes-Benz E-