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      11-02-2011, 01:38 PM   #1
Jason
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Post First Drive Review of 2012 BMW 528i with Turbo 4 by Motor Trend

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First Drive Review of 2012 BMW 528i by Motor Trend
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Motor Trend has driven the latest 528i with a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder (N20) engine instead of the traditional six-cylinder engine. What's their take?

In sum: It offers more power, performance, and fuel economy from a smaller, more efficient, albeit more expensive, package.

MT also offered the following points:
Quote:
The new 528i's turbo-four produces the same horsepower as the old free-breathing six, but 1500 RPM sooner. More importantly, it produces 30 more lb-ft of torque that comes on 1500 RPM lower, down to 1200 RPM according to BMW. The company even claims the new four-cylinder will beat the old six to 60 mph by a not-insignificant 0.4 second.

The clincher is that the new engine returns 23 mpg city and 34 mpg highway, 1 mpg more city and 2 mpg more highway than the outgoing car.
Quote:
With 30 more lb-ft of torque arriving much earlier in the power band, the new four-cylinder feels surprisingly strong off the line and delivers smooth, linear power as revs climb. Compared to the naturally aspirated six-cylinder, the new four feels more torque-y and responsive at low revs, but the six shines at high RPMs. Here the four's lower horsepower peak makes itself known as power falls off at high RPM where the six would scream until redline. We loved BMW's high-revving six for its top-end thrills, but the sad fact is that virtually no one buying a 528i drove or will drive it that way, and the difference is lost on them. For the average buyer, the new four will do exactly what it's supposed to.
Quote:
As you'd expect, the new 528i drives like old 528i and the more-powerful 535i otherwise. It provides a firm but smooth ride and nicely isolates the occupants from wind, road, and tire noise. Throw it at a few curves and it handles its size nicely, gripping evenly and controlling body motion well. It's certainly no M5, but the turbo-four's low-end torque allows it to pull out of a corner with a bit of authority when the need arises.

Also see these first drive reviews of the N20 powered 528i:

Automobile Review
Insideline Review



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      11-02-2011, 04:06 PM   #2
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very nice, they seem to be onboard with the turbo 4. good point about the average 528i driver not noticing the high rev loss on this model. if the driver would be concerned with it then get a 535i or the M5. another good review for the F10.
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      11-02-2011, 04:18 PM   #3
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Sounds great. Good review.
Had a chance to drive the turbo 4 on a X1. Very smooth and doesn't feel at all like a 4 banger until you rev it.
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      11-02-2011, 04:25 PM   #4
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$2100 more? How did they justify that!?!?
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      11-02-2011, 04:29 PM   #5
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$2100 more? How did they justify that!?!?
inflation?
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      11-02-2011, 04:32 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by M-Power111 View Post
very nice, they seem to be onboard with the turbo 4. good point about the average 528i driver not noticing the high rev loss on this model. if the driver would be concerned with it then get a 535i or the M5. another good review for the F10.
The 535i won't address the high rev loss either. The M5 on the other hand ...
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      11-02-2011, 04:32 PM   #7
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inflation?
That's nearly a 5% increase... you think they could justify that if they threw in a few features at the base package... but $2100 for a engine changes that was probably done to save BMW money... doesn't seem to be value.
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      11-02-2011, 04:39 PM   #8
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I love how they toss the "it's certainly no M5..." in there I think that that's a given
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      11-02-2011, 04:53 PM   #9
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Large, expensive, family car + 4-cylinder. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt.
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      11-02-2011, 05:05 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by paul386 View Post
$2100 more? How did they justify that!?!?
I'd guess more standard equipment. I'd say a majority of 528 owners have the vehicle because it's a company lease. I'd also venture to guess that the average 528 owner won't care that the engine has been downgraded from a 6 to a 4 cylinder, especially not if it gets better milage.
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      11-02-2011, 05:27 PM   #11
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Large, expensive, family car + 4-cylinder. Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzt.
+1, it just doesn't seem right. A 50K+ luxo car with a 4 banger, sorry I won't buy. In a 328i / Z4 sure but this car no way in hell.
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      11-02-2011, 05:29 PM   #12
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I think the reason for going to 4 cylinders is because of the mandated fuel mileage standards. I think BMW wants to be one of the first to achieve high fuel mileage on its luxury cars. Admirable, yes, but I dont think I would buy the four cylinder myself. Just my .02
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      11-02-2011, 05:43 PM   #13
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Any significant changes on 550??
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      11-02-2011, 06:19 PM   #14
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A 5 series buyer will not know what he is looking at if he manages to find the hood release. This only matters to us on the forums. They will swear to coworkers that they have a v6
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      11-02-2011, 06:20 PM   #15
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HPA can use a parts chaser such as the new 528i
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      11-02-2011, 06:27 PM   #16
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IMO, the US market will have resistance to a 4 pot in the 5 and Z4. At least there are alternatives in the engine department.
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      11-02-2011, 07:03 PM   #17
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4 banger more money = epic fail

I'm going to agree that this combo is complete bs, but hey they are marketing for the greater population and not us thrill seekers.

The worst part is its the customer's fault. No one complains about more $$$ for less product; so that's what you get.

My 2cents.
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      11-02-2011, 07:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
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A 5 series buyer will not know what he is looking at if he manages to find the hood release. This only matters to us on the forums. They will swear to coworkers that they have a v6
^^^this^^^
So true,
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      11-02-2011, 07:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
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I love how they toss the "it's certainly no M5..." in there I think that that's a given
:-)
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      11-02-2011, 08:12 PM   #20
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We loved BMW's high-revving six for its top-end thrills, but the sad fact is that virtually no one buying a 528i drove or will drive it that way

I driver it like that EVERY DAY MT
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      11-02-2011, 08:13 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DDS2015 View Post
I'd guess more standard equipment. I'd say a majority of 528 owners have the vehicle because it's a company lease. I'd also venture to guess that the average 528 owner won't care that the engine has been downgraded from a 6 to a 4 cylinder, especially not if it gets better milage.
who are you calling average
Sorry
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      11-02-2011, 08:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zebra99 View Post
4 banger more money = epic fail

I'm going to agree that this combo is complete bs, but hey they are marketing for the greater population and not us thrill seekers.

The worst part is its the customer's fault. No one complains about more $$$ for less product; so that's what you get.

My 2cents.
I agree with you in the price but I dont mind if its a 4 cylinder engine as long as I beat the six!
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