Owner Review

2015 BMW 528i Luxury Line Review

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Two weeks ago, BMW revealed its new 5 Series, the G30 to replace their current F10 generation. While we are waiting for the new 5 series to arrive in Australia next year, I thought I should write an owner review for my F10, 2015 528i with M Sport package. I hope this review can be useful for people who are considering purchasing an F10 for a bargain when the G30 arrives.

So why did I choose a 528i?

When I was looking for a new car in the executive sedan segment in 2015, I shortlisted the three usual suspects, the 5 Series, Audi A6 and Merc E Class. I don’t think I can do a detailed comparison review between the three cars better than the one already on CarAdvice so I will not attempt to.

These are all great cars and I find it’s a blessing to be behind the steering wheel of any of these models. However, I went home with the 528i because it was the most fun to drive and it also suits my personality and lifestyle better. Considering CarAdvice has already covered the 5 series in its reviews, I will focus my review on the owner experience.

I live in Sydney and the roads and traffic here are not the best in my honest opinion. Even if I bought a M5, it will not get me to where I want any faster than a 520d if I oblige with the speed limit, which most of the time I will have to because of the amount of traffic in the city.

However, the 520d felt a bit lacking in power so I stepped up to the 528i, which was the perfect combination of power and economy for my needs. I have never felt like I need more power with the 528i. I have an average fuel consumption of 9.6L/100km, which I can live with. I am also partly responsible for this figure because I never use Eco mode and I always have air conditioning on. My best friend has a Mercedes-Benz E250 and his average fuel consumption is 9.4L/100km, so not much of a difference in my opinion. On the motorway, I used to hit an average of 7.0L/100km on my 300km trip to Canberra.

The car has the M Sport package and the 19-inch wheels with run-flat tyres do sacrifice some ride quality over bumpy roads in favour of responsiveness. That said, it’s still an absolute pleasure to drive especially when turning corners. And sport mode can be seriously fast.

My car is just over a year old and I have only clocked up 16,000km. I have not experienced any issues since I brought it home. But after my first scheduled service at BMW, the story changes.

After my most recent service at my local BMW centre, not only did I notice something wrong with my steering wheel alignment but I also became aware of some rattle noise at the back of the car when travelling over speed bumps.

I brought the car back to the BMW centre for a second time but they couldn’t fix it and told me the car was in “perfect” condition. My friend has also had some unpleasant experiences with Mercedes-Benz. It seems to me luxury car dealers in Sydney are not that reliable. I think I should bring up this story since after-sales service is a big part of the ownership experience.

I subsequently took the car to a BMW specialist in St Leonard, recommended by another friend who owns a 2013 320d BMW and the specialist fixed both issues.

I believe the car is still solid and reliable if it is properly maintained and cared for. My family also has a 2005 325i BMW which had done almost 200,000 km without any major issues. It now belongs to my 17-year-old cousin in Newcastle.

The 5 Series is a great car to own and drive. However, as with most German cars, it requires more attention and care if you want it to perform well and without issue for a long time.