What is it?
Many years and generations back, the BMW 5 Series 528i was the turbine smooth, six cylinder pinnacle of the mainstream 5 Series range. It last appeared in the E39 5 Series two generations ago, and today has re-emerged in the middle of the F10 current line-up. But not as a 2.8 litre, nor even a six, the down-sized 2.8 now a 2.0 litre turbocharged four. It looks downsized when you open the bonnet too, there being a sizeable void between the nose of the engine and its radiator, yet it generate a promising 238bhp. Economy and emissions gains are the object of this cylinder shrinkage, the 528i propelled by BMW’s new, British-manufactured N20 four pot.
It’s offered in addition to an upgraded six cylinder 268bhp BMW 530i, and yields a 13 percent reduction in fuel consumption to 43.5mpg and a 14 per cent gram cut in Co2 emissions that trims it to 152g/km. Despite improvements, however, the 528i stays in tax band G, missing out on F status by just 2g/km Co2.
Performance improves on the old 530i despite a five percent lower power output, the 0-62mph sprint improving by six percent for a 6.3sec time while top speed is a limited 155mph. These figures are for the eight speed auto tested here – there’s also a six-speed manual, which is actually thirstier and only 0.1sec faster to 62mph.