| does the 528 have more than adequate power? i mean does it move the car without really having to work? |
It has adequate power. I have driven a 528i quite a bit (my father has one), and I took it on several trips before I bought my 540i, so I can give you some good comparisons -- although both of our cars are automatics, I have driven the manual versions as well. As I said, the 528i is adequate, and it felt fine to me until I drove the 540i. The 540i is effortless. You ask, it goes. After I drove a 540i the 528i felt like it was working pretty hard. BUT, if you get the manual 528i it feels decidedly more peppy.
| does the sport suspension/wheel-tire combo on the sport package offer a great improvement in the handling department than the standard suspension? |
Yes. Quite a bit tighter...and harsher. Neither my dad nor I opted for sport packages because although it seemed fun for short stints, with the amount of travelling we both do I think feeling every little bump would get tiring after awhile. But, if it is sport you're after, the sport packages definitely deliver that over the standard.
| and finally does the 2.8 get THAT much better milage than the 4.4? |
Ah, YES. Overall, with both city and highway, my dad's 528i averages 21-22 mpg. I get 16-17 in the 540i. And with gas prices as they are, when I filled up the other day it cost me $36.
Here's my advice to you: drive a 528i manual. You'll really like it. Then drive a 540i manual. It will be, as one reviewer put it, "a life-changing experience". It was a tough decision for me, but I wound up with an automatic because 1) it was tough to find a 6-speed at a price I wanted to pay, and 2) when I really thought about it, I don't want a stick in my daily driver. Also, this is one of the best automatics I've ever come across.
Here's what I think it boils down to, and this is what I feel when I get in each car:
528i : "This is a really nice car, smooth, good passing power."
540i : "WOW
" - and there's nothing more that needs to be said