ROAD TEST: BMW 520d Steptronic

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In the case of its 5 Sequence enterprise saloon, BMW’s raison d’etre has at all times been “the last word driving machine”. Nonetheless, one other vital phenomenon that has contributed to its continued gross sales success through the years has been authorities, embassy and diplomatic gross sales.

ROAD TEST: BMW 520d rear
Good-looking new LED head- and taillamp preparations assist differentiate the LCI.

Apparently, BMW South Africa has a whole gross sales division devoted to this arm that features 39 establishments just like the World Financial institution, United Nations and extra. It’s understood from our analysis that the corporate automobile allowance for senior authorities officers could not exceed 70% of their wage. New directives lately from the South African Authorities, nevertheless, have been put in place to curb extreme spending on luxurious automobiles by ministers. This has seen lavish, top-of-the-range fashions fall off the want checklist in favour of extra wise choices.

No surprises then that the seventh-generation 5 Sequence – not too long ago up to date with a lifecycle impulse (LCI) – makes a really perfect conveyance for the enterprise, authorities and diplomatic set. It affords 3 Sequence chuck-ability (courtesy of a 100 kg weight saving over the previous- era 5 Sequence) with radical, cutting-edge tech a la 7 Sequence. The result’s a 7 Sequence in tight trousers that goes down a street with all of the agility of a 3 Sequence.

As clichéd as it might sound, the new 5 Series is the embodiment of the Goldilocks phenomenon. We drove each a 750Li and 320i as a part of our High 12 Greatest Buys awards final yr and as opulent and opulent because the 7 was, the newer cabin within the 5 Sequence is extra spectacular. Related story with the most recent 3; it’s turn into so massive through the years, it’d as effectively be a 5 Sequence.


Positive, there may be the eight-cylinder M550i xDrive and M5 Competitors, however should you’re a authorities official trying to get essentially the most cut price out of your automotive allowance with out elevating the crimson flag of your superiors, you want look no additional than the 520d. It’s essentially the most inexpensive within the vary at R987 296 and essentially the most frugal with an index determine of 6,20 L/100 km, which we verified with a formidable fuel-route determine of 6,10 L/100 km.

Sadly, as is so typically the case with trendy diesels, the gasoline tank is smaller than the petrol equal – 66 litres within the 520d versus 68 litres within the 530i. Whereas this implies your tank vary must be a formidable 1 065 km should you eke out the mileage, in earlier generations that used to have a 70+ litre tank, journeys of effectively over 1 000 km between refills had been the norm … not the exception.

Efficiency-wise, the tried and examined four-cylinder turbodiesel delivers because it has at all times carried out: 140 kW and 400 N.m with a claimed zero to 100 km/h dash time of seven,2 seconds. Our quickest acceleration run might solely internet us 7,95 seconds, ample if not blistering. In-gear acceleration if you’re within the oil burner’s optimum torque band is greater than ample, although. The 80-100 km/h in 2,86 seconds and 100-120 km/h in 3,81 seconds means you gained’t fall far off the again of the blue-light brigade till the convoy bunches up once more. Common stopping time of two,81 seconds and a distance of 36,8 metres had been each glorious.

ROAD TEST: BMW 520d interior
Tan-coloured leather-based and temper lighting make the cabin an outstanding place to spend time.

In the case of the 5’s LCI, we all know it’s a hackneyed outdated expression however: “If it ain’t broke, don’t repair it.” In gentle of BMW’s lavish styling efforts and irritating area of interest explorations of late, there’s loads trigger to rejoice the restraint the agency has exercised on this up to date

5 Sequence. The design inside and outside is effectively proportioned however largely evolutionary; the brand new LED head- and taillamps add some drama to a good-looking, understated bundle. Stylistically, the Bavarian producer claims there’s a distinct construction to the entrance air intakes and some further creases on the sedan’s rear apron however you’d solely spot these intricacies with the brand new and outdated mannequin parked aspect by aspect. In profile, it melts into a well-known Bavarian form. The M Sport bundle fitted to this specific check unit, nevertheless, is fantastic in that it could actually take advantage of meek- and-mild diesel appear like the M5 Competitors.

As soon as inside, it goes about its enterprise like an excellent receptionist may. It’s correct, environment friendly, uncomplaining … and with out a lot humour. Positive, it’ll linger on the boardroom door and indulge you smilingly if you wish to hustle it via just a few corners rapidly, however for essentially the most half, it has extra essential issues to do … like drive for you. Most spectacular on BMW’s checklist are the most recent semi-autonomous driving aids. The adaptive, radar-guided cruise management, lane-warning help, sat-nav instructions on the head-up show. The cruise management can work all the way down to tiny speeds, so the 5 can nearly drive itself to work even in busy rush hour visitors. Within the driver’s binnacle, there’s a clear and concise show of all of the automobiles round you at any second, even automobiles approaching from behind and getting into your blind spot. The energetic lane-keeping perform that steers for you when clearly demarcated lanes are recognised by the automobile is way improved, permitting an extended time earlier than driver intervention is required, reacting with much less vitriol when it does suspect you’ve taken a sleep behind the wheel.

ROAD TEST: BMW 520d graphic

Simply watch out when activating the 5 Sequence’ semi-autonomous, related driving tech. When you do, it’s so achieved at driving itself, it begins to really feel fairly a chore to do it your self. Preserve it old- faculty and also you’ll discover it’s nonetheless a worthy driving machine. The roadholding from the 19-inch wheels shod in low-profile Pirelli rubber is top-notch. The steering is gentle and simple and lends intuitive dealing with to what’s nonetheless a big automobile. Extra importantly for the sort of conveyance, it’s supremely snug and quieter than you possibly can ever think about. From time to time, we would have liked to double-check the engine was working, that’s how good the NVH suppression is. So, the brand new BMW 5 Sequence is a completely related drive in each respect then … not simply within the cloud however from the seat of your pants, too.



Mannequin: BMW 520d Steptronic
Worth: R987 296
0-100 km/h: 7,95 seconds
High pace: 235 km/h
Energy: 140 kW @ 4000 r/min
Torque: 400 N.m @ 1 750-2 500 r/min
CAR gasoline index: 6,24 L/100 km
Baggage capability: 392/1016 L
Service/upkeep plan: M5/100 000 km





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