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Published on March 17th, 2011 | by Daniel Sherman Fernandez


BMW 528i test Drive, Local assembled version

First there was the fully imported 535i at a rather high asking price. But it came fully equipped with all of BMW’s new engine and drive technology, comfort package and its passenger ‘toys’. Sales were good but corporate Malaysia who for the past 7 years have been won over by the design and features of the previous 5-Series were not ready to take on this model when it nearest rival, Mercedes had a better priced option. So a locally assembled 523i was introduced with little tech and toys but the look and heft was enough to garner respectable sales numbers. Now to bridge the sales gap and keep the momentum rising, BMW Malaysia has introduced a locally assembled 528i with most of the tech and toys we liked in the expensive 535i at a sane selling price. With a smaller engine will it excite us?

Ignite the 3-liter V6 and all the issues of price and looks gets throw out the window. The engine burbles with mild murmur. Slip the 8-speed gearbox into ‘D’ and prod the accelerator softly and the 528i glides forward, but slam it hard and the 528i gets its uurgency off the mark  where it is quickly effective and with no lag of power delivery. The 6-cylinder not only emits a soundtrack that will leave your in car entertainment dusty from lack of use but will also increase your desire to keep collecting speeding tickets. Speed is not the only purpose of this 528i.

Its handling takes drivers to new territories with smiles after exiting every corner using the BMW adaptive suspension which works at a flick of a switch. The system clearly works like a charm to provide extremely surefooted grip and corner hugging abilities even on a damp tarmac. There is little reaction from the chassis and there is no roll or pitching as you negotiate a tight sweeping corner in power. Take it to insane speeds and the rear will slip a tad just to keep you informed that you are heading too fast.

There is no doubt that the BMW 5-Series has grown in width and length bringing it closer to the size of the outgoing 7-Series. Space in all areas is better over the outgoing model and with the technology found in the 535i, this middle child 528i makes the best sense for a corporate buyer looking for a BMW in its office car park.

BMW 528i Specifications
Engine: DOHC 24-Valve 
Capacity: 2996cc
Max power: 255hp @ 6600rpm
Max torque: 310Nm @ 2600-3000rpm
Top Speed: 250km/h as tested
0-100km/h: 7.6 secs
Transmission: 8-speed Auto
Price: RM449,800.00

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