Jonathan Spira over at The Diesel Driver brings us a review of a non-U.S. 5 Series model: the 2011 BMW 530d. Powered by one of the most popular and highly acclaimed diesel engines in Europe, the 530d is shaping up to be a top seller for BMW.
The car is powered by a 3.0 liter inline-six diesel engine that produces 245 horsepower. The engine is matted to the fuel-friendly ZF 8-speed transmission and the combined fuel economy figure is recorded at 36 mpg.
Here is an excerpt from the review:
“To get to know the new 5er better, I spent a week with the 530d. I started in Munich, drove 366 kilometers to Prague, and took several drives in the Czech countryside, including a 360-kilometer roundtrip from Prague to Třebíč (Trebitsch) , and the return trip back to Munich.
The car is aggressively elegant. To quote BMW chief designer Adrian von Hooydonk, “The 5-series is designed to express autobahn speed even when standing still.” The multiple contours on the sculpted hood and sides add a layer of depth not present in earlier models. People who walked over to look at the car puzzled over the hood, trying to discern if it were indeed concave or convex (it’s both).
The diesel starts up with a purposeful growl. Once underway (which can take a few moments since the safety detents on the gear selector require a ritual sequence of button pressing in order to change gears), the three-liter engine, introduced last year, delivers massive amounts of torque. The car weighs a mere 30 kg (66 pounds) additional compared to its petrol equivalent but it goes from 80 to 120 km/h in just 5 seconds (the petrol-powered 528i takes 7 seconds for the same exercise). Indeed, it’s hard to reconcile this amount of power with its miserly use of fuel.
Although the fuel consumption that I saw in 1400 km with the car wasn’t bad – an average of 8.9 l/100 km (26 mpg) on my first leg – it was still not as good as I had expected and nowhere near the 5.3 l/100 km (44 mpg) fuel usage BMW reports from the EU test cycle for highway driving. It was also not as good as the fuel economy I saw driving the larger and heavier 730d 18 months ago, which used only 7.4 l/100 km (32 mpg).
This could very well have something to do with how this particular car was broken in – and the fact that I averaged 180 km/h on the German Autobahnen and 140 km/h on the Dálnice 5 and encountered stop-and-go traffic enroute several times (my drive in the 730d was somewhat slower given speed limits of 130 km/h in Austria and Slovenia).”
2011 BMW 530d
Base price/price-as-tested €48,300/€79.350
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 3.0 liter/245 hp/ I-6 diesel
Transmission 8-speed automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 5137
Wheelbase (inches) 113.7
Length x width x height (inches) 191.1 x 72.7 x 57.8
0-62 mph (seconds) 6.3
City/highway fuel economy (mpg) 29.4 / 44.4