The ic­ing on the en­tree

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - PRESTIGE -

feed­back at the ex­pense of mi­nor move­ments in the cabin.

Per­for­mance from the 2.0-litre diesel is im­pres­sive and akin to a tug­boat shift­ing a freighter — it doesn’t seem pos­si­ble but hap­pens any­way.

The eight-speed au­to­matic shares brag­ging rights here, seam­lessly shift­ing up and down re­gard­less of the load on the ac­cel­er­a­tor and con­tribut­ing to the 520d feel­ing more sprightly than its 7.5-sec­ond run to triple fig­ures sug­gests. It’s no sports sedan — the 540i and M5 fill that role — but the bal­anced chas­sis makes it an en­gag­ing car to pi­lot.

Turn the 5 Series into a corner and the steer­ing con­veys ev­ery twitch from the front tyres. Grip is great — you’re go­ing to be re­ally un­lucky or rag­ingly over­con­fi­dent to run out of ad­he­sion.

Thirst, or the lack thereof, is a big part of the 520d’s ap­peal. We logged 5.2L/100km with some solid driv­ing, against an of­fi­cial claim of 4.3L.

Cabin in­su­la­tion is a high­light, with the diesel rarely in­trud­ing on the chat on free­way drives. The build qual­ity is ev­ery­thing you’d ex­pect from a BMW cost­ing nearly $100K. The in­te­rior, though re­fined, can’t match the lat­est Mercedes E-Class. The lat­ter’s info screen, em­bed­ded in the dash, is rather more slick than the Beemer’s tablet-style dis­play.

VERDICT

As an en­tree into the 5 Series

3 years/un­lim­ited km

$1640 over 5 years/80,000km

SER­VIC­ING SER­VICE INTERVAL

Con­di­tion-based (about 12 months/15,000km)

EN­GINE

2.0-litre 4-cyl turbo diesel, 140kW/400Nm

TRANS­MIS­SION

8-speed auto; RWD 4.3L/100km 4936mm (L), 1868mm (W), 1,479mm (H) 2975mm (WB) 1560kg None; run-flats 7.5 secs

THIRST DI­MEN­SIONS

WEIGHT SPARE 0-100KM/H

range, the 520d is all you need to im­press, par­tic­u­larly if driv­ing dy­nam­ics are the pri­or­ity. It’s not go­ing to tear up the tar­mac but you will exit the car with a sat­is­fied smile.

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