The new 5-series comes fitted with a 190hp 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel and this car is the version that is likely to account for the majority of sales.
On the outside
The 520d, for now, is only available in two of the car’s lower trims – Sport Line and Luxury Line. The car comes fitted with subtle-looking 18-inch alloy wheels, and there’s lots of chrome on the front and rear bumpers and on the grille as well. There’s a much subtler body kit in comparison to the aggressive-looking M-Sport, The sedan’s larger head and tail lamps, and a wider, slimmer grille, helps hide the fact that this car is bigger than the previous 5. This car features a more conventional swooping sedan shape now.
On the inside
You don’t get as much kit as the M-Sport trim but the car comes fitted with everything that’s available on the Sport Line, and some more kit. The Luxury Line trim gets you a fully-loaded i-Drive system with touchscreen, gesture control, touch pad and click-wheel operation, digital dials, 360deg surround cameras, hands-free parking, four-zone climate control, ‘Dakota’ leather seats, paddle shifters, adaptive LED headlamps and a sunroof. The car also has the remote parking feature that lets you move the car without actually sitting in it. The front seats, though electric and with a memory function on the driver’s side, can’t be adjusted too much – there’s no lumbar support either. The tan shade with blue contrast stitching is quite appealing though.
At the back, you aren’t sat as low as you were in the previous 5-series, and there’s a great combination of knee-room, headroom and thigh support. The cushioning is quite plush and the 5-series back seat is spacious, comfortable and really very good overall. There’s a space-saver spare tyre into the boot.
Under the hood
The new 520d is powered by the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder diesel unit that debuted in the 3-series facelift and new X1. The engine makes 190hp and 400Nm of torque. This unit is one of the quietest BMW motors around - definitely an improvement on the previous engine. There’s that familiar BMW Diesel clatter once you cross 2,000rpm, however. Drive in a relaxed manner and it remains pretty hushed - the eight-speed automatic does its job well, shifting up early and silently. There isn’t too much road and wind noise either.
From behind the wheel
Though quick, it’s nowhere near as good as the 265hp, 620Nm, six-cylinder 530d, of course. The driving modes include Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive. The engine feels a bit sluggish in Eco Pro mode, and the middle ‘Comfort’ mode has enough pep when you need it. Sport mode never feels too aggressive, it’s just the right amount, but if you do want aggressive, simply tap the gearlever to the left, and responses and the gearshifts are livened up. The engine revs out all the way to its redline, and there are paddle shifters for added control. The mid-range is solid as well.
All models get adjustable/adaptive suspension as standard. Comfort mode leads to a bit more float and bounce at higher speeds, but it tackles rough patches well. Sport mode feels the best, the ride never feels uncomfortable. As far as handling is concerned - the steering is a lot quicker and sharper now, and the adaptive suspension tackles bumps with confidence.
Is it worth the money?
With the 5-Series, BMW wants to bring driving as the focus while also giving owners a heavy dose of equipment and technology. Crucially, it did this without a bump in price – it’s a reasonable ₹53.60 lakh (ex-showroom). Driving dynamics have drastically improved thanks to the adaptive dampers. The new BMW 520d is a great all-rounder at a great price.