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Efficiently Dynamic – The BMW 520d ED

 The BMW 5 series has always been the benchmark for the executive sector for the sheer pleasure it is to drive. In these euro pinching times however buyers are now attaching equal if not more importance to efficiency. So does the BMW 520d add efficiency without taking from performance?

BMW has given its 5 Series the eco treatment making it the leanest and cleanest in class. Under the banner of Efficient Dynamics the idea is simple, swap V8s for V6s and sixes with turbo charged fours. The smaller displacement uses less fuel and is therefore more economical while the turbochargers guarantee that there is no compromise in performance.

 The styling of the current 5 series has been the source of much less controversy than the previous version and certainly it won’t offend traditionalists. With its short overhangs and sharply contoured bonnet the result is a much blander look when compared to the muscular Bangle design.  Chris Bangles’ design of the 5 Series was never universally loved and since then BMW has taken a far safer route with their designs. But the original Bangle designed five has aged beautifully and we believe it is firmly in the iconic design camp.

 Test Car
Our test car was the BMW 520 d, an exciting green version that offers just 119g/km CO2 emission.  It is powered by a two-litre four-cylinder diesel engine that combines a turbocharger with variable valve timing, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and high precision Injection direct injection. The result is engines that have more power and torque, with a dramatic reduction in fuel consumption ‘ and lower engine noise. The new engines are based on the multi-award winning BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engines and feature a start/stop system and regenerative brakes.

 On the Road
Regardless of surface or road type the 5 series is supremely controlled. On the motorway it gives effortless performance but it is on back roads where the car truly excels. The manual gearbox is smooth and imperceptibly, and the steering feel and precision is pure BMW; it is well weighted while the brakes are spot-on. The standard 0-100km/h sprint is all done in 8.2 seconds and offers the top up speed of 232 km/h.

Economy
When it comes to the pump, these efficient dynamic BMWs give incredible economy. The 5 series averages less than 4.5 litres per 100km and this is approximately 10 per cent more fuel-efficient than the best its rivals can muster.  In keeping with other BMW 5 Series, a range of innovative technologies and comfort features are available. The 520d Efficient Dynamics Saloon also comes with BMW’s new eco-pro Mode. A driver-activated switch to enhance economical and comfortable driving at low speeds and works by adjusting the engine mapping, throttle sensitivity, automatic gearshift points, where applicable, and the amount of power consumed by electrical ancillaries including climate control and heated seats.

Interior
Inside it is elegant, comfortable and spacious and is a beautiful blend of high tech and tradition. The iDrive control system is far less intrusive than the previous version and everything is simply and easily controlled meaning the minimum distraction. The engine start/stop system and regenerative breaks, climate control and heated seats make the car modern and stylish.

 Verdict
BMW have managed to deliver greater efficiency without compromising any of the performance or sheer fun behind the wheel. Rivals may do some aspects better but there is still no better all rounder in the Executive class than the 5 series.

 Competitors:  Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class, Jaguar XF

Why you’ll buy one? Excellent economy; super performance

Why you won’t? If you want to get down to hairsplitting the standard 520d offers a fraction more precision

 LAST WORD: For sporting performance and class leading efficiency,  BMW’s latest 5 series sets the benchmark in driving dynamics.

 BMW 520d ED

Engine 1995 cc 2.0 diesel putting out 135kW @ 4000 rpm and 380 Nm @ 1,750 -2,750 rpm

Max speed 232km/h

0-100km/h 8.2 seconds

Emissions (motor tax) 119g/km €160

Price of test car  €43,985

Model price range €48,890 – €134,430

Economy: 4.5 litre per 100 km

 

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