1996 BMW 5 Series SE Touring 520i from UK and Ireland


A comfortable, economical and practical cruising car


The radiator and fan were changed at 110,000 miles.

The car began misfiring when cold at around 160,000 miles. Switching the engine off and then restarting it once it was warm would cure the problem. The problem was never resolved, while I owned the car.

General Comments:

The car proved to be very reliable. While out of work, it managed to do 30,000 miles without being serviced.

It is not a fast car, but it is a great cruising car. It makes light work of motorway driving.

It's an efficient car when driven reasonably. When driven hard it can give as little as 12 mpg. However, when driven within its natural range, it'll do over 400 miles on a tank and > 120 mph.

It's a robust and comfortable car. It's been to Southern Spain, Southern France, Belgium, Holland and the UK and has always proved to be reliable, comfortable and efficient. It's also been driven around London and surrounding counties for the time I owned it and always found it to be reliable and comfortable. It's less economical in city traffic.

When the back seats are dropped down, it's as large as a van. I've carried a fitted wardrobe in the back. Very practical and convenient.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th May, 2005

1996 BMW 5 Series 528i 2.8 from UK and Ireland


Good, but heavy


Headlight motor needed when bought.

Window washer pump needed when bought.

Airbag Light on constantly, despite new sensors being fitted.

Rear lights warning on dash until brake pedal is pressed.

Central locking working, but very noisy.

Driver seat springs starting to impale me!

General Comments:

This is a good solid car with good road holding, especially on round-abouts, but it is almost ten years old so it probably compares to most modern saloons in that respect.

The performance is good, but it could or should be a lot better considering the size of the engine. I think the weight of the car is holding it back. Also a V6 rather than an in-line 6 might suit it better.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th May, 2005

25th May 2006, 14:38

I think that you need to get your hands on a BMW 528i in VERY GOOD condition. Because I own one of these cars, 1996, and the only problems I've had with it are brake light sensors. But if you want more power in the car don't change from an inline-6 to a v-6 because you will just be increasing the overall weight of the vehicle, just put in club-sport engine tuning kit in it, or a chip. Just try and get into a mint condition 528 before you make a final statement about it.


30th Mar 2007, 17:45

Yes I'm surprised your unhappy with the performance. I used to have a manual 523 which I thought went very well and returned 30mpg. The 5 series suspension and sub frame assembly's are constructed from aluminium which helps make this one of the lightest cars in its class.

21st Mar 2010, 16:09

Never put a V6 in for a straight 6... an I6 is half a V12 and in perfect balance (free revving, smooth and no counterweights). The only reason for a V6 is for FWD and sales pitch. It's a terrible engine and was not available until computers could design how it could possibly be balanced.

23rd Mar 2010, 06:26

If the engine in the 528 is the same one used in the 328i from the 90's, which I assume it is. Then there is a very cheap change you can make to your engine to increase its power. Put the larger inlet manifold from the M50 (325i) engine onto the car. This increases airflow, and as a result you will gain about 20bhp, this can be more if a chip is installed with it. This is not simply hear say, check out the forums and you will see it is possibly the most cost effective change you can make to your 2.8 engine.