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Track-ready performance M5; all-wheel drive optional; wagon available.
For 2008, BMW's iconic 5-Series undergoes mostly minor changes, although new, more powerful 6-cylinder engines are significant improvements. 2007's 525 entry-level cars have been upgraded with a 3.0L 230-horsepower engine, changing the nomenclature to 528. The formerly-known-as-530 cars receive a 3.0L twin-turborcharged inline six that improves horsepower by 45 (300 total) and ups the badging to 535. Base prices increase modestly, between $400 and $1,900, depending on the vehicle. Only the 550i does not increase in price. Small changes to the exterior have been made, including a refresh of the headlight and taillight design. Inside, the center console is now leather-trimmed. iDrive has been enhanced with six programmable memory keys to improve usability. The automatic transmission has been upgraded and is now a no-cost option (in 2007, not shifting cost $1,275). The sequential manual gearbox (SMG) is no longer offered on the 535i and 550i--in its place, a sport six-speed automatic can be ordered. A lane departure warning system is optional, as is a high-beam assist function. The active cruise control now features "stop and go" capability, and there is a USB adapter for MP3 players. The Sport Package on the 528i adds 18-inch wheels and tires versus 2007's 17-inchers. On the M5, a heated steering wheel is available.