Pros & Cons

  • Brisk acceleration in 535i and 550i
  • Great fuel economy with base engine
  • Small trunk in sedan models
  • Limited back-seat legroom

New for 2012

  • New turbocharged four-cylinder engine and available AWD on 528i
  • Stop/start system became standard on 528i and 535i




Critics' Rating: 8.7
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 8.1
Total Cost of Ownership: 8.2
Safety: 8.9
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 BMW 5-Series Overview

The 2012 BMW 5-Series is available in sedan and hatchback (Gran Turismo) body styles. The base 528i (sedan only) comes with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine that most reviewers said feels potent and has good highway passing power. The 535i has a turbocharged six-cylinder engine, and the 550i comes with a turbocharged V8. Test drivers said that both engines provide tremendous acceleration. The 5-Series is available with a six-speed manual (sedan only) or an eight-speed automatic transmission, and rear- or all-wheel drive. The 528i sedan gets up to an EPA-estimated 23/34 mpg city/highway, which is very good for the class. Most auto journalists agreed that the 2012 5-Series is a sporty car capable of cornering with agility. They noted that the BMW 5-Series has a relaxed ride with both the standard suspension and the available adaptive suspension.

Reviewers wrote that the 2012 BMW 5-Series has an attractive interior and top-notch fit and finish. They reported that the front seats are spacious, but the sedan lacks sufficient rear-seat legroom. At 14 cubic feet, the 5-Series sedan’s trunk is a bit small for the class. The Gran Turismo hatchback offers up to 63 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded. The standard iDrive infotainment system received mixed reviews, as some critics said it complicates simple adjustments, while others said that it’s straightforward. Other standard features include a sunroof, leatherette upholstery, power-adjustable front seats and Bluetooth. Available features include rear-, side- and top-view parking cameras, leather upholstery, a USB port, heated and ventilated front seats, navigation, a head-up display, satellite radio, a rear-seat entertainment system, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and a night vision display with pedestrian detection.

Other Cars to Consider

Auto journalists were impressed with the 2012 Mercedes-Benz E-Class' spacious rear seats and high-quality, quiet interior. The Mercedes-Benz E-Class sedan also has a larger trunk than the 5-Series sedan.

Critics agreed that the 2012 Infiniti M is one of the sportiest cars in the class, with rapid acceleration and sharp handling. Unlike the 5-Series, the M comes standard with leather upholstery, heated front seats and a rearview camera.

Compare the 5-Series, E-Class and M »

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