The new 2011 F11 BMW 5 Series Touring was unveiled yesterday and as always, our first thought is to compare the car against its competitors. The 5er Touring has always been competing for the same segment with Audi’s A6 Avant and the E-Class Estate from Mercedes-Benz. Since comparison test drives have yet to be completed, we will focus today on the technical points and overall interior and exterior design.
The BMW offers with 2.97 meters, by far the longest wheelbase in its segment and, consequently, the shortest overhangs, which contributes much to its dynamic side view. All the competitors are within 7 centimeters in exterior length, with the new 5er Touring situated between the A6 Avant and the E-Class Estate.
With a luggage capacity of 560, respectively 565 liters, BMW 5 Series Touring and Audi A6 Avant are practically on a par; the Mercedes E-Class is in another league with its 695 liters. With the rear-seats folded down, the Audi A6 Avant offers 1,600 liters, short of the 1,670 liters from the 5 Touring and significantly less than the E-Class Estate, 1,950 liters.
The exterior design can be quite subjective and each one of the above listed cars have their own strengths and fans, so we will refrain at this time from drawing a conclusion.
But let’s focus on the technical points where numbers don’t lie. All three sport wagons come equippied with four cylinder diesel engines. While the Ingolstadt and Stuttgart based automakers offer 136 hp from its entry-level diesel offerings, BMW responds with a 184 horsepower from its 520d model.
The 136 horsepower Audi A6 2.0 TDIe consumes 5.3 liters of diesel, this comes down to 25.7 hp per liter fuel consumption. The 136 hp Mercedes E 200 CDI BlueEfficiency has fuel consumption per 100km of 5.8 to 6.0 liters, thus exceeding 23.4 hp per liter.
On a different note, we feel more comfortable placing the BMW 520d Touring against the Mercedes E 220 CDI BlueEFFICIENCY and the Audi A6 2.0 TDI with 170 hp. Both automakers provide for these models a fuel consumption of 5.8 liters per 100 kilometers, around 0.8 liters or 16 percent higher than the 5.0 liters recorded by the 520d Touring which also has a power increase of 14 hp.
2011 BMW 520d Touring runs from 0 to 100km/h in 8.3 seconds. E220 CDI reaches the same speed in 9.2 seconds, slightly faster than the A6 2.0 TDI Avant at 9.3 seconds.
Even with the larger six cylinder diesel engines outputting 240 horsepower, the BMW offers the best fuel consumption.
The entry-level petrol model, BMW 523i outputs 200 horsepower and records a fuel consumption number of only 7.9 liters/100km, slightly ahead of the almost equally powerful Mercedes E250 CGI and its 8.0 liters/100km. The distinction between the two models comes at the number of cylinders they offer, B MW uses a six-cylinder engine, while Mercedes responds with a four-cylinder powerplant.
Audi jumps in with the A6 2.8 FSI, a V6 model and front-wheel drive. It comes with 190 hp and an average fuel consumption of 8.3 liters. Replacing the FWD with the Quattro system, adds another 0.4 liter/100km to the fuel consumption value.
If you want even more power, the choices continue to be impressive: BMW 535i Touring, Audi A6 3.0 TFSI or the Mercedes E 350 CGI BlueEFFICIENCY. The BMW and its turbocharged six-cylinder 3.0 liter engine makes 306 hp, while the competitors are each just over 290 hp mark.
The two rear-wheel drive models from Munich and Stuttgart are with about 8.5 liters in the standard consumption, ahead of the Allroads from Ingolstadt, suffering from the higher friction losses in its drivetrain, and lands at an average fuel consumption of 9.5 liters.
With the new 2011 BMW 5 Series Touring, BMW confirms one more time its position as a pioneer in the fuel efficiency field. For those consumers looking for more cabin and storage space, Mercedes-Benz has well positioned their E-Class Estate models. If you value the all-wheel drive system, Audi currently offers it in their A6 Avant models.
In a few months, BMW’s xDrive system will come to market as well.
No pricing has been revealed for the new F11 5 Series Touring, so we will hold off the value comparison until we have some hardcoded numbers.BimmerToday ]