Can’t go wrong

If cost isn’t an is­sue, get on board this BMW, writes Gra­ham Smith

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - USED CARS -

THERE’S no doubt that the BMW badge is hold­ing its own de­spite a num­ber of other makes muscling in on the ter­ri­tory once oc­cu­pied only by the Bavar­ian car­maker and cross­coun­try ri­val Mercedes-Benz.

For some, the BMW badge be­came a lit­tle passe when the 3-Se­ries be­came the car of choice for those want­ing to be seen driv­ing a more up­mar­ket ma­chine and they mostly turned to other mar­ques such as Audi and Lexus, but by the num­ber of BMWs on the road the Ger­man brand is still one to as­pire to.

Get­ting on-board the BMW pres­tige train, how­ever, re­quires that you have a size­able bank ac­count. They’re not only an ex­pen­sive pur­chase, but can cost a pretty penny to main­tain.

One way to re­duce the cost of pur­chas­ing one of th­ese lux­ury machines is to buy used. If you’re some­what im­pov­er­ished and can’t af­ford the more ex­otic models BMW of­fers then an en­try-level model like the 528i is a way in.

Look­s­wise the F10 528i that ap­peared in show­rooms in 2010 was a hand­some ma­chine, par­tic­u­larly com­pared to some of the edgy de­signs that have come from BMW over the past few years. It was smooth, nicely pro­por­tioned and with flow­ing lines that looked the goods from all an­gles.

In­side there was plenty of ac­com­mo­da­tion for four adults, although squeez­ing a fifth in some­what com­pro­mised the com­fort.

Power for the 528i comes from a 3.0-litre six-cylin­der in­line en­gine de­liv­er­ing 190 kW and 310 Nm, and like all BMW sixes is happy to sing for its sup­per. It’s not a fire-breath­ing mon­ster, rather it’s a silky smooth unit that is per­fectly suited to the task at hand, while still de­liv­er­ing de­cent fuel econ­omy.

An eight-speed auto works well in tan­dem with the six to get the most out of the en­gine in all sit­u­a­tions, and the fi­nal drive hap­pens through the rear wheels.

While most car­mak­ers have moved to front-wheel drive, mostly for ef­fi­cient pack­ag­ing, BMW has stead­fastly stuck with rear-wheel drive, which is a bless­ing for any­one who really likes driv­ing. There’s lit­tle to com­pare to the feel and re­sponse of a rear-wheel drive car and BMW is right up there with the best.


The 528i is packed with tech­nol­ogy, which is fine and dandy when it’s work­ing as in­tended, but not so en­dear­ing when it’s not.

When things go wrong, with things like the eight-speed trans­mis­sion or any of the myr­iad elec­tronic sys­tems, the cost of re­pair can be hor­rific.

While it’s nice to ex­pe­ri­ence the glitz that comes with tak­ing your BMW to a fac­tory deal­er­ship it comes at a cost, so be­fore buy­ing into the brand you need to weigh up the cost of re­pairs and main­te­nance and con­sider who you might use to keep your ma­chine tick­ing over at its best.

If it’s un­der war­ranty, there is no ques­tion, use the dealer for ser­vic­ing.

If it’s out of war­ranty con­sider the op­tion of us­ing an in­de­pen­dent ser­vice agent who can gen­er­ally main­tain and re­pair your car at a much re­duced rate.

An­other thing to con­sider is the cost of tyres. The 528i runs on ex­pen­sive low-pro­file run­flat tyres that are likely to come up for re­place­ment in the hands of the sec­ond owner.

If those things don’t de­ter you then the good news is that there is lit­tle com­plaint from F10 own­ers. With the ear­li­est ex­am­ples hav­ing now done around 30,000 km it’s still early days, but any­one con­sid­er­ing buy­ing a used 528i as they come off lease can do so with good con­fi­dence that they will get a good run out of the car.


Great driv­ing, well built, fully fea­tured pres­tige sedan. Can’t go wrong. BMW528i 2010-2011 Price new: $99,900 En­gine: 3.0-litre 6-cylin­der Trans­mis­sion: 8-speed au­to­matic, RWD Econ­omy: 8 L/100 km Body: Four-door sedan Vari­ants: 528i Safety: Five-star AN­CAP Ex­pect to pay: $62,000 to $75,000

Lux­ury looks: You’ll get what you pay for but be pre­pared to have deep pock­ets to main­tain the BMW F10 528i.

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