24 May 2016
If you ever need the space and driving ability of a super tourer then this is the car you should be buying, it is the BMW 535d with an M Sport bodykit. When we had it on test, it behaved impeccably, it is rare to want to hold on to test cars as we get so many, but this is one that this writer wanted to keep. The car is brilliant.
Under the bonnet the 5-Series is powered by a 3.0-litre twin turbo diesel and it has a power output of 282bhp. And if you think that looks good in black and white, you’ll have a smile from ear to ear when you feel the power under your right foot when driving this German masterpiece. The figures are quite something for a car of this size, it can do the zero to 62mph in a time of 6.5 seconds and it has a top speed of 155mph, which is electronically limited. If those figures don’t wow you like they did me, just remember that is a diesel engine up front.
The ride and handling is one of the most pleasing features. The great thing is that you can drive this car as a family tourer or ‘press on’ and you can enjoy the fantastic handling, it depends what mood takes and how clear the roads are. With the majority of miles spent on my lonesome and criss-crossing the country this tester found the taut handling a joy to behold. The ride is good too, even though the low profile alloy wheels are a little on the big side, (18-inch) there is little evidence that the run flat tyres ruin the drive like they used too according to some scribes. The sports suspension adds to the appeal and you can switch set-up while driving.
The German maker is renowned for its engineering and build quality. The doors on the 535d shut with a quality sounding thud and the shut lines are perfect – there are also no panel gaps – you pay for precision and quality and you can certainly see that your money has not been wasted on this car. On the inside the plastics and the materials are of a high quality. The 5-Series has a three-year warranty.
The 5-Series Touring is one of the safest cars in its class and once you get seated, the sports seats hug your body giving you a protective feeling. This car almost makes you feel too safe and this could make some ‘push on a little too hard at times’. The car features plenty of airbags, there are the usual front pair, plus side, curtain and there is also an Advanced Head Protection System (AHPS) on the front and rear head airbags. The car has also got traction control, ABS, and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) to keep you safe and on the road. If you are involved in a low speed shunt, you will be pleased to know that the 535d has deformation zones on the front and rear, they can absorb impacts of up to 9.5 mph, bumpers absorb impacts up to 2.5mph without damage. Another great idea from BMW. This car is also pretty secure as it comes with a (Thatcham 1) alarm system with remote control and engine immobiliser, this makes keeping your car on your driveway that little bit easier.
This is the BMW’s achilles heel, the boot space is not as roomy as that of its rival, the Mercedes E-Class Estate. However, to counter balance this, you will find that it is packed full of useful features. There is a separate opening tailgate glass, the load cover that retracts while the boot opens, and there is a very useful and spacious two-level underfloor cubby. Another niggle is the cubby space on the inside, the glove box is just not big enough and the door pockets could do with being enlarged.
The price of our BMW 535d Touring M Sport Bodykit started at a price of £44,630, (keep an eye on those options) eye-watering this may be but this writer thinks it is well worth it when taking in the competition. Some may like it, some may not but when you get the hang of BMW’s iDrive system it is a super piece of kit. The tax band is high at 27% and it emits 182g/km of CO2. However, the 5-Series is reasonably frugal, we returned 39.5mpg on the combined cycle and a tankful of derv lasted close to 600 miles. This car is mega, it proves you can have your cake and eat it.
Submitted: 26/08/2009 08:48:54
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