Each time a car gets old, there are refinements. BMW does this so well that you will barely be able to tell there have been changes. However, if you compare cars from the first generation to mid-cycle refined cars, you will be astounded by the changes. The changes happen slowly and steadily and for the 2008 BMW 535xi, the same philosophy is followed. The car is nothing like the one from last year.
The Design – Easy on the Eyes
In typical BMW fashion, you are unlikely to be able to tell the difference between this car and the others. The BMW is easy on the eyes, it is a typical European sedan. The car’s lines are so smooth and flow so cleanly that you cannot help but be pleased about its looks. The surfaces are pristine and the shape has very neat edges and lines that stick out but not that much.
The front of the car is where the real magic lies. The car comes with the signature BMW grille and is flanked by two cat-eye-style headlamps. The lights swoop back to give it a flush look. Below the grille is a front fender that contains an even bigger grille that houses two fog lamps and manages to bring out a brutish look and feel to the car. The sculpted hood adds to the beefy look.
The biggest of the 2008 BMW 535xi problems, is perhaps the design of the rear. It feels outdated. It is flat and the same swooping design has been applied to the brake lights but the effect is anything but sleek. The 17-inch wheels and the very curved roofline help the sedan attain a
balanced design. The 2008 BMW 535xi is easy on the eyes.
The main takeaway here is the undeniably good performance. This is the real refinement for the 2008 BMW 535xi. The engine is a six-cylinder behemoth that somehow makes you forget that you can get a V8 on the higher-end 550 models. The engine is remarkable and we were pleasantly surprised at how good it was. We are already accustomed to the fact that the 2008 BMW 535xi specs are nothing to drool over, however, this engine and power delivery is simply incredible.
You get a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6 engine that is capable of delivering 300 bhp and 300 lb-ft of torque. The numbers do not feel so special right? Correct. But this same engine does the 0-60 in just 5.6 seconds. For context, the 550’s V8 with its 360 bhp does the 0-60 in 5.5 seconds. The difference is so minute that it feels like it makes no sense to buy the 550. You get to save thousands of dollars and you get an equal performance out of an all-wheel-drive car?
The 2008 BMW 535xi sounds like a no-brainer to us. The car is terrific on the roads, you get the pull and the feel of a BMW and it reaches its max torque output quickly, all the while retaining it as you pull through the gears. The acceleration is superb in the city and you will have no troubles handling the car thanks to the light steering feel. The weight of the car also makes a big difference when compared with the more expensive 550.
This car is a reminder that despite the lackluster appeal that BMWs might have, the engine and performance are simply too good.
Comfort and Class
If we are to fault something in this car, it would be the design of the interiors. The 2008 BMW 535xi is a great car no doubt about it, however, the interiors are getting outdated. The design is mostly the same a refresh would help elevate the car to new heights.
The car features the same leather seats, which are plush and comfortable. You will have no complaints about the quality, given the price. The only caveat is that despite the comfort it just feels as though functionality for the seats was given more importance than the comfort levels. This is visible when you adjust the car seats and you notice that it helps you get into better driving positions instead of getting more comfortable.
Nonetheless, there are a lot of good talking points about the interior. You get a cleaner dashboard with wooden trim and accent that clash with the metallic consoles. You also get a steering wheel that is simply amazing to hold and grip. Overall, the car’s interiors while having the right features could still do with improvements.
2008 BMW 535xi Wagon – More Features
The wagon model of the 2008 BMW 535xi looks far more complete than any other version of this car. The Wagon simply looks better and knowing that it comes with more features than the standard 535xi, you are getting way more for your money.
You get a panoramic sunroof, navigational display, and most importantly space. You get a lot more space than the sedan. You also get a dual-zone climate control system. In typical fashion, you also get much more cargo space than the sedan.
The 2008 BMW 535xi reliability is par excellence. You get airbags everywhere, on the front, side, and even for the head. The all-wheel drive also comes with ABS and disc brakes on all four wheels for maximum control. Speaking of control, you get stability and traction control as standard. Overall, the IIHS gives the car a good rating for front impacts and a marginal rating for side impacts.
The 2008 BMW 535xi is a great car. Period. While we think the updates could have included some more design changes and a better interior upholstery selection. But that is just nit-picking. The car’s performance is the real show-stealer and you will be thrilled at the drive of the BMW. You won’t feel as though it is sluggish nor will you feel like you need to put a lot of effort while driving. No matter the condition, city or highway, rain or snow, you will have no troubles with this car. The performance is enough to punish even some sports cars from the era and in a sedan no less.