Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best Luxury Cars Under $40,000
  • Small Luxury Sedan Buyer's Guide
  • Class of 2015: New Vehicles Ready to Roll
  • 10 Best Midsize SUVs
Go

2008 BMW 5 Series

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 BMW 5 Series Review

By

While the 2008 BMW 5 Series is the most technologically advanced entry in the luxo-sport sedan category, the fact that it's the only one to offer a manual transmission more accurately captures the basis of its appeal. As it's quietly grown into a living legend, the continuing success of the performance-oriented 5 Series has helped to invigorate the entire category in which it competes. The softer Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Audi A6 are still sportier than ever, while the latest Infiniti M is the stiffest competition the 5 Series has faced yet – from a performance standpoint, anyway. Anchored by the 528i, 535i and 550i sedans, the lineup also includes the all-wheel-drive 528xi and 535xi sedans plus a 535xi wagon.

You'll Like This Car If...

The BMW 5 Series earned its deserved reputation as the supreme midsize sport sedan almost on driving dynamics alone. Combined with standout styling, a well-appointed cabin and some of the most sophisticated technologies available in an automobile, the 5 Series offers something for everyone.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you aren't overly swayed by the BMW badge, the bold styling or the renowned driving feel, you might find it harder to live with the driver's awkward cupholder, the improving but still arduous iDrive central control system or the significant price premium when compared to competitors like the Infiniti M.

What's New for 2008

The 5 Series gets a mid-life makeover for the 2008 model year that includes freshened front and rear styling, a revised interior, more technology and a new engine lineup highlighted by a 300-horsepower, twin-turbo powerplant. The 525i effectively becomes the 528i, while the 530i becomes the 535i.

Driving the 5 Series

Driving Impressions Sandwiched between a positively turbine-like V8 and a base six-cylinder that's strong enough for more drivers than will buy it, the 5 Series' new twin-turbo six-cylinder is the bread and...

butter of the model's powertrain lineup. Along with virtually lag-free response, this excellent engine combines zero-to-60-mph sprints just a couple ticks slower than the V8, according to BMW, with fuel economy very close to the base engine's. Feel free to pick whichever engine you like, as there isn't a bad choice among them. Whichever powerplant you might choose, response, feel and feedback from all the systems – steering, suspension, brakes – are exceptional as expected. We especially like the sport version of the new faster-shifting automatic, which includes paddle shifters and rev matching for smooth downshifts.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go
The 5 Series' available radar-based cruise control will detect a slower-moving vehicle ahead and reduce speed accordingly. New for this year, the system will slow the car to a complete stop, enabling use in stop-and-go traffic.

Sport Package
For an even sportier sport sedan, the available "sport pack" fortifies the 5 Series with a more aggressive suspension and Active Roll Stabilization, which further minimizes body lean in corners. Other highlights include unique wheels and 20-way adjustable seats.

2008 BMW 5 Series Details
Interior

The 2008 BMW 5 Series' 10-way and available 20-way adjustable seats are some of the most comfortable and supportive in the class, excelling on twisty roads and long highways alike. Some of the more notable changes for 2008 include a revised center console with a new electronic shifter, more intuitively positioned window switches and a mostly subtle increase in overall refinement. The overall air of firm luxury remains. Rear-seat room and trunk space are on par for the segment.

Exterior

The bustle-back trunk, sharp-creased edges and cat's-eye headlights that caused such a stir when the model was introduced for the 2004 model year have helped the current-generation 5 Series become the best-selling iteration yet. For 2008, the lineup gets a mild makeover that includes revised front and rear fascias, reworked headlights and taillights, plus new wheel designs.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Standard equipment on a 2008 BMW 528i includes a moonroof, 10-speaker AM/FM/CD sound system, iDrive central control (with six new programmable memory buttons), 10-way power seats, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity and no-charge maintenance for four years or 50,000 miles. Safety equipment includes electronic stability control plus front, front-side and two-row curtain airbags. Unique to the 535ix Sport Wagon are a dual-panel panoramic sunroof and a power liftgate.

Optional Equipment

In addition to a long list of modern features that have become commonplace in the category, the 5 Series lineup offers such desirable extras as Active Steering (everyday benefits include reduced steering wheel movement in parking lots), a head-up display, night vision system, lane departure warning system, active cruise control with new "Stop & Go" feature, navigation system with real-time traffic information and HD radio. The 2008 BMW 5 Series is one of the most tech-savvy vehicles on the road.

Under the Hood

The strong but silky twin-turbocharged inline six that makes its debut in the 5 Series lineup for 2008 produces 45 horsepower and 80 pound-feet of torque more than the normally aspirated engine it replaces. The base engine gets a more modest increase of 15 horsepower and 15 pound-feet, while the V8 remains essentially unchanged. A six-speed manual transmission is standard across the line, but a new quicker-shifting six-speed automatic is a no-charge option. The 535i and 550i models offer a Sport version of the automatic transmission with paddle shifters and rev-matching downshifts. The disappointing Sequential Manual Gearbox previously offered on the 550i is no longer available.

3.0-liter in-line 6
230 horsepower @ 6500 rpm
200 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2750 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 17/27 (manual), 18/27 (automatic), 17/25 (AWD)

3.0-liter twin-turbocharged in-line 6
300 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
300 lb.-ft. of torque @1400-5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: N/A (manual), 17/26 (automatic), 16/24 (AWD)

4.8-liter V8
360 horsepower @ 6300 rpm
360 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 (manual), 15/23 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2008 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 566 Ratings for the 2004 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.3/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

this is a great car.

By on Monday, May 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "every thing is beautiful in this car."

Cons: "NONE"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I owned this car since 2012,it is CPO with updated maintenance and software. It is a beautiful car, a 5 series in 7 series body, elegant and fast, panoramic roof and adjustable rear seats, ceramic console and other options."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Great road car

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Back up camera would have been nice"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

2007 BMW 530xi

"The all wheel drive plants the car to the road under all conditions. I replaced the run flat tires with regular Michelin sport tires which improved the comfort of the ride. With the run flats on the car it rides very stiff and bumpy. The adaptive high intensity headlights are great. Love the baseball glove colored interior with the black sapphire paint. I have purchased about 40 cars in my lifetime of all makes and models, and this is the best of them all. Love this car."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

2007 BMW 530xi

super safe!

By on Tuesday, April 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 71,983

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "safe,fun,33MPG,good looks"

Cons: "costly to repair if wrecked as i found out"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"2010 BMW 535i sedan. bought at 44,500 miles now 71,000 miles wonderful oh so fun to drive! but on easter sunday a drunk driver pulled out infront of me! i did't even have time to brake, 55 MPH to 0 in two seconds, my knee pride and front end of the BMW were all that were busted thankfully defenently buy this car it drives good to!"

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Best sedan on market. Will replace with another.

By on Sunday, March 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great performer while also comfortable"

Cons: "iDrive takes some getting used to"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"-- Grear Driver's car: outstanding performance and handling -- Comfortable, plenty of room, but very sporty feel -- Great power and pickup in 6 cyl. Very little turbo lag -- High quality fit and finish. Mine is 8 years old with 69K miles; people believe it is new -- Rear seats fold down creating tremendous cargo capacity -- Incredible performer in snow. I live in Boston area and have never been stuck -- 23mpg mixed driving -- Spare tire, not run flats Very few cons to car. What exists is minor, at least to me: -- iDrive takes some study to realize full benefits. Occasional drivers may find it hard to master -- Turning radius somewhat large"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Interior not very durable

By on Saturday, March 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Love the car. Bought it with 30k coming off being a loaner car. Now with 120k and only replaced tires, spark plugs, wipers, and headlight bulbs. This is my 4th bimmer and all have had mediocre quality of interior. Leather shows wear quickly and cup holders are really cheap. Car drives wonderfully and has been really reliable. X drive is amazing in the snow."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

OMG!

By on Sunday, February 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Exciting to drive and manuver."

Cons: "Ashtry could be eliminated or position elsewhere"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this vehicle, 528xi four months ago. This vehicle is awesome to look at and to drive. When I enter this vehicle it makes you want to drive forever. Took it on a road trip to Savannah, Ga. and the ride felt so comfortable and pleasurable that I wanted to keep driving. It handled great,smooth ride was incredible and to comment to gas mileage was simply money savings. I really wish I could afford a newer BMW but until then, I will ride the heck out of the vehicle. I simply love it."

3 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?