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2012 BMW 535i X-Drive
“This is how Mercedes used to drive.” –Ron Kiino, Executive Editor, Motor Trend
There was a time when BMW's definition of its trademark “Ultimate Driving Machine” claim was pretty narrowly focused. Handling prowess was the be-all and end-all for the brand. But rather than hold to this more one-faceted expression of its character, BMW inevitably broadened its definition to embrace other driving-experience aspects of importance to potential owners. “Ultimate handling” has been broadened to include the advantages of all-wheel drive (at least in part to counter Audi's Quattro claims) with the expanded availability of BMW's X-Drive. “Ultimate driving” has embraced creature comforts and luxury touches early BMW models never knew. And ”driving machine” is no longer a subtle reference to on-track or autocross performance, and now includes autobahn cruising as part of its definition. All of this finds a perfect expression in the 2012 BMW 535i X-Drive offered here.
From a power standpoint, the twin-turbo 3-liter 6-cylinder N55 engine builds on BMW's history of smooth-power inline engines. Its shift-able 8-speed automatic brings the 306 horsepower-output to all four wheels for a satisfying 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds.
This car's option-codes are extensive making for a rare vehicle; space here allows for only part of the list.
For comfort, there's a heated steering wheel (S248A), heated seats front and rear (S494A and S496A), ambient interior lighting (S4URA), music interface for smartphone (S6NFA), and anthracite headliner (S775A) in addition to standard features including a sliding-glass sunroof, automatic air conditioning, rear sun shade (S415A), and hot-climate provisioning.
For sport-driving, options include the sport automatic 8-speed transmission (S2TBA), electronic damper control (S223A), M Sports package (P337A), M leather steering wheel (S710A), and M aerodynamics package (S715A).
Technology add-ons include integrated universal remote (S319A), reversing camera (S3AGA), park-distance control (S508A), adaptive headlights (S524A), lane-departure warning (SS5ADA), professional navigation system (S609A), voice-control (S620A), and BMW TeleServices (S6AAA).
For distinctive style, this example features the M Sport door-sill and rear-deck identification, tasteful aluminum interior trim, and optional BMW M double-spoke alloy wheels (S2NBA).
With fewer than 12,000 miles-per-year, this 535i X-Drive is a recent vintage, low-mileage example, and the physical condition of the car shows it to have been well cared for. The Sophisto (dark graphite) grey Brilliant Effect (A90) paint displays excellent gloss, and the Dakota black leather seats are free of any significant wear or damage. Be sure and look closely at the 196 photos of the car at GarageKeptMotors, and note especially the remarkable condition of the undercarriage. Not surprisingly, the CarFax (link is also at GarageKeptMotors) shows no accidents and regular dealer service in New York and South Carolina.
This 535i X-Drive is an all-weather autobahn luxury cruiser with style, comfort, and performance nicely combined.
Ultimate driving machine? You bet it is.