The mid-level muscle from BMW starts with the 2011 5 Series 528i's familiar 3.0-liter inline six, here coupled with an eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift. It comes standard with a limited-slip differential and traction control, although the ride from the 17-inch wheels continues to receive criticism due to the run-flat tires that have split BMW fans. Otherwise, there’s very little to argue about. Everyone likes dual-zone automatic climate controls and a hi-def CD and MP3 player with digital-media connection. Vinyl is a weak spot for the interior, but at least the power tilt and telescoping steering wheel is wrapped in real leather. The front buckets get 10-way power and lumbar adjustment, and the driver gets a memory system that saves settings for the seat, steering wheel, and heated power mirrors. The passenger mirror even gets tilt-down back-up aid as well. There are power windows and doors, along with a power sunroof and remote keyless entry. Bluetooth is a standard feature here, as well as rain-sensing wipers, automatic headlights, and foglights. And of course all the safety features are in attendance, with six airbags, brake assist for the four-wheel antilocks, an antiskid system, and front-seat active head restraints.
With a turbocharged version of the standby 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder, the 2011 BMW 5 Series 535i packs an extra 60 horses over the 528i. You’ll also get the choice of a six-speed manual transmission in addition to the eight-speed automatic here, still with the same limited-slip differential and traction control standard. Antiskid is also on tap to keep things civil. The 535i can be had with rear-wheel or all-wheel drive, although the latter will add wider 18-inch alloys. The 535i also gets upgraded, steering-linked adaptive xenon headlights. Power windows, heated power mirrors, power doors, sunroof, and front bucket seats are all standard, and the driver gets a memory system for his seat, the mirrors, and the leather-wrapped, power tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The stereo is a hi-def unit and comes with Bluetooth and a digital media connection. You’ll also get rain-sensing wipers, foglights, and automatic passenger mirror tilt-down aid. Front-seat active head restraints team with six airbags to keep you safe in an accident, and brake assist along with four-wheel antilocks will help prevent collisions.
There are two major upgrades in the 2011 BMW 5 Series 550i – V8 power and leather upholstery. Gone is the standard vinyl, and 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque now come screaming under the hood from a 4.4-liter turbocharged V8. You’ll also get standard front- and rear-obstacle detection systems here, along with the standard nav with voice recognition and traffic. The six-speed manual is standard here as well, but you’ll also get the option of the eight-speed shiftable automatic. You’ll also get the choice of all-wheel drive instead of the standard rear-wheel drive, both running on 18-inch alloys, although AWD versions get a small width upgrade. Automatic headlights are steering-linked and adaptive xenon. There are power windows, doors, sunroof, heated power mirrors, and a memory system for the 10-way driver’s power bucket, the leather-wrapped power tilt/telescoping steering wheel, and the mirrors. A digital media connection and Bluetooth are included with the hi-def stereo, and rain-sensing wipers and foglights are also included. There are six airbags, front-seat active head restraints, and four-wheel antilock brakes with brake assist. But with all that power, you’ll also need traction control, antiskid, and a limited-slip differential, so BMW saw fit to toss those in as well.