Defining the notion of luxury in an automobile, the 2012 BMW 528i xDrive 5-passenger sedan sports a new engine and, finally, Beemer’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive (AWD) technology. This posh 4-door also comes standard with a power sunroof, 17-inch alloy wheels and heated reverse-tilt power mirrors outside, and leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, a leather steering wheel and wood and alloy accents inside. This base-yet-plush trim also sports power door locks and windows, telescoping tilt-wheel steering and cruise control, as well as dual-zone climate control, extended cabin cooling and memory for driver's settings. Standard Integral Active Steering, meantime, offers a limited turning radius with the rear wheels for extra maneuverability. Audio and telematics include a 180-watt system driving an MP3-capable single-CD player and 10 speakers, bolstered by Beemer’s touted iDrive hands-free audio and communications adjustments along with a USB connection. Meantime, Bluetooth hands-free technology and phone pre-wiring are standard communications equipment.
Options for the 2012 528i xDrive include the Sport and M Sport packages, with 18-inch alloy wheels, Driving Dynamics Control with driver-selectable Normal, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ steering and suspension modes, active suspension damping and an increased top speed, while an aerodynamic body kit and dedicated M steering wheel come with the M Sport Package. Other options in either package form or as standalones include remote engine start, rear-seat DVD entertainment, split-folding rear seats, an automated parallel parking system, front and rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera with available top and side views, a windshield head-up display and an upgraded audio system. Further optional features include four-zone climate control, heated front and rear seats and a heated steering wheel in the Cold Weather package. A hard-drive-based navigation system and satellite radio are also available for this snazzy sedan, as is the BMW Apps system, allowing a limited iPhone internet interface.
In a departure from previous years, a direct-injected (DI) 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4-cylinder engine powers the 2012 528i xDrive. Mated with the standard 8-speed shiftable automatic transmission, this peppy four-banger puts out 240 hp and 260 lb-ft of torque. With automatic engine stop/start and variable valve timing, expect 22 mpg city/32 highway, while the all-wheel-drive (xDrive) system is managed by a mechanical center limited-slip differential to transfer torque from rear-wheel drive (RWD) to an AWD mode when slippage is detected in the rear wheels. The drivetrain, as is traditional, also boasts the brake hill-holder feature.
Standard safety features aboard the 2012 528i xDrive include 4-wheel antilock brakes, traction and stability control, front and rear head airbags, front side-mounted airbags and front active head restraints. Further standard safety equipment includes daytime running lights, front fog/driving lights, cornering lights, a remote antitheft alarm, high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights and a post-collision safety system. Additionally, Beemer’s touted BMW Assist system is also standard, with emergency service, collision notification and stolen vehicle tracking, as well as directions and communications services, among its notable advantages. Optional safety equipment, meantime, includes an infra-red night-vision system with pedestrian alert, Active Blind-Spot Detection, Lane Departure alerts, and, finally, automatic high/low-beam headlights.