Go

2012 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?

2012 BMW 5 Series Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 8.6

Some 35 years ago BMW stretched its brand with the U.S. introduction of the 530i, marking the debut of its first “mid-size” sedan in the U.S. With more room than the iconic 2002 and more sporting than the larger 2500/2800/Bavaria, the 5 Series was arguably the first attempt by a German automaker to craft a modern sport sedan comfortable for four while still entertaining for one. In 2012, BMW grows the 5 Series by shrinking its standard powerplant, going from the traditional in-line six to a twin-turbocharged "TwinPower" 2.0-liter four. With 240 horsepower and 260 lb-ft of torque, acceleration is up by 5 percent, while efficiency is some 20 percent better than its predecessor. For those who want extra room for cargo, BMW recently introduced the Gran Turismo, which features a large rear hatch and, like the sedans, available all-wheel drive. And of interest to BMW M enthusiasts is the return of the M5, powered by a twin-turbo 560-horsepower V8. It arrives in the summer of 2012 as a 2013 model.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you desire a balanced approach to performance, comfort and practicality – and want all three in a reasonably sized sedan – few cars can match the menu provided by BMW’s 5 Series. And if, perchance, you’re one of the few capable of coordinating your left foot with your right hand, BMW is one of the very few automakers providing the above with a manual transmission – in the 535i and 550i.

You May Not Like This Car If...

With the advent of sporty crossovers, and the growing popularity of sport coupes, the sport sedan is at an interesting point in the automotive paradigm. The 5 Series remains practical and sporting, but its practicality is limited by its architecture, and its “sportiness” is limited by its 3-box profile. Also, its sensible starting point – mid-$40Ks – can quickly become nonsensical with the addition of but a few options.

What's New for 2012

BMW created an all-new 5 Series for the 2011 model year, but the hits just keep on coming. For 2012, BMW dumps the 3.0-liter six in the base 528i and substitutes a 2.0-liter turbocharged four. With a bump in horsepower, torque and efficiency, this would seem to be a win/win/win for the consumer. However, Americans have been historically reluctant to spend big bucks on small powerplants. Hopefully, the dynamic has changed with escalating gasoline prices and growing awareness of global warming. The larger Gran Turismo uses 6-cylinder and 8-cylinder engines.

Driving the 5 Series
Driving Impressions

Regardless of drivetrain, the 2012 BMW 5 Series family provides a balanced approach to over-the-road performance. And when equipped with all-wheel drive, BMW’s mid-size sedan and Gran Turismo are blessed...

... with “all-road” performance, going tough when the going gets tough. With your choice of a turbocharged four, in-line six or V8, you can truly tailor a BMW 5 Series to your performance requirements and, of course, budget. The entry-level 528i is blessed with a surprising amount of urge (0–60 in 6.2 seconds), a modest appetite for fuel (22 mpg city/32 highway) and a throaty – almost lusty – personality on the open road. With that, the sweet spot is probably where the 5 Series began, with a healthy six (535i) propelling you at triple-digit speeds (where allowed).

6-SPEED MANUAL TRANSMISSION
BMW remains one of the few automakers fully invested in the customer’s driving experience. The availability of a 6-speed manual is clear evidence of same; we only wish it were available in the 528i, where a manual connection with a turbocharged four would bring more joy to our motoring experience.

CINNAMON BROWN/BLACK DAKOTA LEATHER
We’re suckers for a striking color combination, and this interior – with its warm, rich hues and heavy texture – would look ausgezeichnet (excellent) when juxtaposed against some overtly Teutonic exterior color.

2012 BMW 5 Series Details
Interior

The 5’s interior space has grown slightly, while the overall impression has grown almost exponentially. Already a strong suit, BMW paid special attention to ergonomics in the new 5 Series, with all displays, knobs and buttons located in the central portion of the cabin. And while the choice of interior materials reflects a new maturity on the part of BMW management – this, of course, is where consumers spend most of their time – we’d take issue with the standard-spec leatherette upholstery on a car with a base price of over $45K, stretches. 2012 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo models have a higher seating position for the driver, giving it the feel of a quasi-crossover. Additionally, GT models feature an innovative dual-access tailgate that can open partially like a trunk lid or fully like a hatchback to accommodate larger items.

Exterior

In assessing the new 5 Series, it’s helpful to have some background. Its chassis and body development was done in conjunction with the all-new 7 Series. As a result, the “5” is more grown-up, with a wheelbase (116.9 inches) reportedly the longest in the 5 Series segment. The proportions and overall impressions (which, according to BMW, include a “charismatic front, elegant side…and muscular rear”) of this new 5 Series aren’t radically different, but if you liked the smaller footprint of the previous iteration you might wish to wait for the next 3 Series (coming to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2012) – it is also “more grown-up.” The Gran Turismo has more, shall we say, controversial looks. Big, bulbous, and with slightly higher ground clearance than the sedan, it’s not exactly anonymous. Whether the GT is a beauty or a beast will be up to how you see it.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Although the product team behind the 5 Series continues to move the sedan up-market (and its pricing upscale), we’re encouraged by the high-end spec of the 5 Series chassis. Twin-tube gas-pressure shock absorbers, 4-wheel vented disc brakes (with composite front rotors) and electronic limited-slip differential speak to BMW’s performance intent, while a driver-centric cockpit design will better reflect the driver’s intent. On the ground, run-flat all-season tires make the spare tire (and its added weight) unnecessary, while in the 528i a standard 8-speed automatic transmission makes shifting unnecessary.

Optional Equipment

We continue to like sport sedans that are “sporty,” and BMW works to differentiate its mid-size sedan from others – notably Audi, Mercedes-Benz and (to a lesser extent) Cadillac – with a range of options designed to enhance handling and performance. At the top of the performance heap is the M Sport Package. At a suggested retail of $4,800 you can equip your 2012 5 Series sedan with 18-inch double-spoke wheels with performance run-flat tires, Dynamic Damper Control, an aero kit, multi-contour seats, an M steering wheel and a limited, albeit performance-oriented, color palette. There is also a less comprehensive Sport Package, as well as the option of a 6-speed manual on the 535i and 550i.

Under the Hood

Variety, thy name is 5 Series. With the 2012 introduction of a new 4-cylinder turbo, BMW offers a “holy trinity” of powertrains. And that which is the most compelling, the 2.0-liter four is also the least expensive. It delivers 240 horsepower, 260 lb-ft of torque and 32 mpg in the EPA’s highway cycle. In short, what’s not to like? Perhaps the lack of an available manual transmission with the turbo four, but that absence can’t last forever; the rumble for its return starts right now. The turbocharged inline-six has, of course, its fans, while the 4.0-liter turbo V8 seems – in a still-funky economy – a tad too much.

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
240 horsepower @ 5,000-6,000 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 1,250-4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 mpg (automatic)

3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6
300 horsepower @ 5,800 rpm
300 lb-ft of torque @ 1,300-5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/28 mpg (manual, RWD), 20/30 mpg (automatic, RWD), 20/29 mpg (automatic, AWD), 20/28 (Gran Turismo, RWD), 18/27 (Gran Turismo, AWD)

4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8
400 horsepower @ 5,500-6,400 rpm
450 lb-ft of torque @ 1,750-4,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 15/22 mpg (manual, RWD), 17/25 mpg (automatic, RWD), 16/24 mpg (automatic, AWD), 15/22 mpg (Gran Turismo, RWD & AWD)

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?

2012 BMW 5 Series Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.3
Out of 10

Based on 116 Ratings for the 2011 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    8.7/10
  • Comfort
    8.9/10
    Styling
    9.0/10

Reliable & immaculate; superior engineering

By on Saturday, July 9, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Superb workmanship & engineering; built to drive"

Cons: "Luxury car"

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

Mint condition

"VIN WBAXH5C53DD111665; Immaculate & garaged; high mileage but all hwy; new windshield & sparkplugs; all service & VIN reports on hand; trouble free and reliable; all-wheel drive w/ adaptive cruise control & traction control system; winter, power & premium packages; luxury drive; new Bridgestone Blizzack tires & roof rack included; rated 22/33 MPG but better w/ Eco Pro feature (brake energy regeneration system); Nav w/ real time traffic; exterior dark graphic metallic II w/ beautiful interior Black Dakota Leather; keyless entry & ignition; satellite radio, hands free info-tainment capability system; premium condition; original MSRP $56,995"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Mint condition

No Regrets

By on Wednesday, July 6, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun, tech, good gas mileage, aesthetically nice"

Cons: "none so far. relatively new"

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

"Coming from a volvo background and having driven an E-CLass for a short time, I was skeptical about plunking down my hard earned for a bimmer. I must say that I am more impressed now that I have the car than when I was driving my wife's 3 series or X1. I wanted the play of the 3 series but the "grown-upness" of a larger sedan. I was not disappointed at all. True I can feel some sharp turns due to the run flats but this is the finest modern car I have driven and I recommend getting one if you are able. I opted for the 13 model as it is my favorite body stye since the 2000 era."

Great Cruiser!

By on Wednesday, June 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great road feel, great utility,"

Cons: "2013 Idrive not android friendly"

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

"This car is wonderful. You have to spend more than a few miles in it and it will grow on you instantly. Huge backseat and storage, luxury and comfort for the driver and passenger, perfect for a car seat and road trip, or put the back seats down and use it for utility (just get the rubber trunk mat!) I'm reconfiguring the backseat as a mobile office with laptop tray and great for Real Estate showings and just overall chauffeuring that is pleasant for both driver and passengers. It is a little button heavy with technology but you will get used to it really quick (what newer cars are not these days?)Don't let visual reviews fool you. This is beauty in the eye of the beholder, and from the inside looking out, not from the outside looking in."

Car iss over rated and over priced

By on Friday, May 27, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,900

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Handles well and looks great"

Cons: "user controls etc stink"

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

"I find it to be one of the most user unfriendly cars i have ever owned. The German engineers seem to care less and make no attempt to correct. The car could be great if they listened to the customer once in a while. This is the first and last BMW I would purchase. Back to Lexus for me."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

2015 535xi disappoints

By on Saturday, April 23, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Beautiful Car"

Cons: "Hesitation in acceleration from a complete stop"

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

"This is my first dive into the BMW market and will be my last. The car hesitates when accelerated from a complete stop. I thought there was a problem with the car so I took it back 3 times. They said it was a bad fuel injector and replaced it 3 times (thankfully under warranty) but the hesitation continues. I am nervous about crossing traffic at time because of this hesitation. Very disappointed with this purchase."

10 people out of 24 found this review helpful

Excellent Vehicle, Fun to Drive

By on Thursday, February 11, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,900

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Handling is excellent, build is wonderful"

Cons: "No Eyeglass holders AND engine issues"

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

"Overall, this vehicle is fantastic. Great power and phenomenal handling (w/Dynamic suspension package). It's a bit of a gas guzzler but if you're looking at this vehicle, that shouldn't be a concern. One word of caution however... The vehicle has what BMW calls a "customer care package" on this model years engine. In my mind it should be a recall. The failure rate of the fuel injectors is quite high. I've had mine in the shop on four occasions for this reason. For a buyer, the good news is that this knocked the value of the vehicle down a bit so as long as the car got the updated fuel injectors, you would be getting even more car for your money. Be sure and ask if the N63 customer care package was applied to the vehicle or check the BMW history before purchasing."

29 people out of 37 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?

Advertisement