The 2012 BMW 5-Series ranks 8 out of 15 Luxury Large Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 28 published reviews and test drives of the BMW 5-Series, and our analysis of reliability and safety data. “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.
On Edmunds, 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 waiting to make your driving life easier (and push the price to stratospheric levels). Last year’s complete redesign plumped out the car’s dimensions and sense of isolation; in many ways, the latest 5 is a less sporting car than it once was. But on the other hand, it’s also more spacious and comfortable.
With the 5-Series, BMW keeps with its reputation for equipping its vehicles very much as luxury cars, but leaving plenty of room for appearance and tech upgrades.
Rain-sensing wipers, power heated mirrors, and a dual-zone climate control system are all included, even on the base 528i, as is poplar wood trim and a synthetic leatherette upholstery. Softer Dakota leather is offered with a Premium Package, while a potentially bewildering list of possible options can bring you anything from upgraded audio, HD radio, heated rear seats, a navigation system, a rear sunshade, or one of many available trims said Thecarconnection.
Active Blind Spot Detection, a Lane Departure Warning system, Xenon Adaptive Headlights with automatic high beams, Active Cruise Control with Stop-and-Go (capable of bringing the vehicle to a complete stop for up to three seconds before driver input), and a new second-generation night-vision system with pedestrian detection are all among the available safety-tech extras, and a sonar parking assistant, advanced backup camera, and new night-vision system are among other options. A Sport Package or M Sport Package provide a sport suspension, upgraded wheels and tires, and other extras.
The BMW 5-Series has long been touted as the luxury large car for performance enthusiasts. While many reviewers say that the 2012 5-Series is more comfortable than the last generation, most agree that it’s still athletic, provided you spring for the right options. A turbocharged four-cylinder engine in the base 528i is new for 2012, and reviewers say that although it has fewer cylinders than the 2011 model, there’s just as much horsepower, more torque and likely better fuel economy.
Optional upgrades, such as the Sport package’s larger wheels, and the Dynamic Handling package’s adjustable shocks and struts, make the new 5-Series one of the most athletic cars in its class. But this won’t fix all of the 5-series’ foibles. Reviewers are also divided on the 5-Series’ electric power steering system. Some say that the system is among the best available, while others counter that it lacks the feel and on-road connection of conventional steering systems.
The 2012 BMW 5-Series performed very well in crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. With the exception of all-wheel drive and V8 models, the Institute named the 2012 5-Series an IIHS Top Safety Pick, which means it earned the highest possible score of “Good” in all crash tests and carries standard electronic stability control. The federal government gave the 2012 5-Series top scores of five out of five stars for overall, side and rollover crash protection, as well as four out of five stars in front crash tests said Rankingsandreviews.
BMW also offers several optional safety technologies on the 5-Series. Among these is Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection, which displays possible road hazards on the navigation screen when they are beyond headlight range. A blind spot monitoring system is another option.
2012 BMW 5 Series Price and Specs:
|Base Price||: $46,900|
|Drivetrain||: Rear Wheel Drive|
|Curb Weight (lbs)||: 3814|
|City (MPG)||: 22|
|Hwy (MPG)||: 32|
|Torque (lb-ft)||: 260@1250-4800|
|Length (in.)||: 193.1|
|Width (in.)||: 73.2|
|Height (in.)||: 57.6|
Gallery 2012 BMW 5 Series
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