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2008 BMW 5 Series

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2008 BMW 5 Series Review

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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)

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2008 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.9
Out of 10

Based on 588 Ratings for the 2004 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.7/10
    Quality
    9.2/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    9.4/10
  • Comfort
    9.2/10
    Styling
    9.3/10

Wish I could keep it!

By on Sunday, June 26, 2016

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fast,dependable and beautiful. Needs nothing"

Cons: "Has clean title. Carfax shows accident in 2008."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this car two years ago for my wife to drive back and forth to work. Since then we've bought a new vehicle. This car is fun to drive and I have done all the preventive maintenance myself. Ignition coils,plugs,sensors,and tires. I could go on. The car is fun and fast."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great road car

By on Thursday, May 5, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "handles & looks great, great road car"

Cons: "not reliable beyond 100k miles, high repair costs"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"I have enjoyed driving my 530I, looks(better than newer models),handles and rides great. The negative is that for the cost I expected many more miles than I got before major mechanical repairs, which are not cheap! I currently have 143,000 miles on the car and have had major repairs in the past 2 years-headlight unit replacement($1,500 FOR THE UNIT-headlights rotate with direction car is steered),rack and pinion, automatic transmission. A person should consider leasing one for 3 years or if buying trade in before 80,000-100,000 miles, or if buying and planning on keeping the car(as I did)for more than the warranty period buy an extended warranty;not cheap but cheaper than paying to repair(but do not wait until last minute to purchase). While I like BMW I will not purchase another;I am disappointed in the longevity of this vehicle, plus most new 5 series have 4 cylinder engines."

9 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Great BMW 530i 2006

By on Sunday, April 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Drive great and good Stereo"

Cons: "Seats not to good but 10 years old"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

Just had the windows tinted

"I had been wanting a BMW for a while now so I sold my car and headed to Dallas for a few days. I had decided on 530i but wanted the factory GPS with it, At first I thought all of them had one until I found out about idrive. No dip stick to look at oil but was able to open the cap and see engine oil before I purchased it. After I took it for a ride on I30 near downtown Dallas I fell in love with it. I installed new brakes and wear sensors for a $100 on all four wheels and changed the oil to Mobil one. The GPS was updated to a 2010 DVD and I ordered a full BMW shop manual off Ebay. I dont think I will ever look at another Ford, GM again after seeing how well these German cars are built. Good look to as everyone says nice bimmer. Buy one but old requires some work and if you do it yourself, its not bad at all.It is really simple to work on"

11 people out of 17 found this review helpful

Just had the windows tinted

This is the best car I have ever had

By on Thursday, March 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 111,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Elegant, sporty, quality, reliable"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"What an experience to drive it, what an experience to own it. Tip: Sport package does make a material driving experience in these cars."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

The best driving vehicle.

By on Thursday, March 3, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 173,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great look and drive"

Cons: "sometimes too pricy."

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

"I have been driving the BMW since 1994. I found it to stand up to its name - the ultimate driving machine."

12 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Excellent Car

By on Wednesday, February 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"I bought this car brand new in 2006, and I live in the midwest so this car gets a significant beating from weather (snow, salt, ice). This car has been incredibly reliable, and the all wheel drive handles better than any other car I have ever driven in the snow. I would buy this car again in heart beat."

5 people out of 15 found this review helpful

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