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Review: 2011 BMW 530d

5-series | May 25th, 2010 by 16
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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 …

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.

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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.

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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).”

Review continued here

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

  • ben

    who is this Jonathan Spira? it’s a little disingenuous to be comparing mileage figures while admitting to “averaged 180 km/h”

  • Edward Heath

    @Ben. Spira is a leading automotive journalist and is closely followed in the BMW world. I don’t see a problem in comparing mileage figures the way he did since he probably drives at those speeds regularly (if you read the 730d review he linked to, for example). Of course, when driving at 180 km/h, you wouldn’t be comparing MILEAGE anyway!

  • n8n

    New engines in new models should produce more HP, I know there’s another (#35d) engine, but it’s Bi-Turbo, Mercedes wants it’s 3.0 Diesel engine to produce about 260HP, so BMW should move forward a little bit…

  • plaxico

    im more puzzled with a fact that Slovenia has highways…..Highway in Slovenia where u can make make,create,push ur car to 130km/h ??????
    i dont think so

    • wazon8

      You have to drive rarely around the Europe. They have highways numbered us European E61, E57 and E70. Enough roads to push a car.

      • XC

        Plaxico and his incredibly naïve comments. You Obviously haven`t travelled farther than your local mall…

        • plaxico

          Or maybe you know jack about croatian – slovanian inner joke world. Simple nick simple mind.

          • wazon8

            Well, that’s really intelligent to expect from people posting from around the world to know inner Croatian-Slovenian jokes. Since they are so local, you cannot expect people to get your point.

          • plaxico

            yeah ur right, i guess u have to live in Croatia to get the irony ” Slovenia is so big ” or u really have to know XC to understand ”XC ur one sharp cat” .So yeah, im sorry waz. Ur so right

          • XC

            Well this pretty much explains eeeeveryyything… rofl

          • plaxico

            yeah it does.Goood boy

          • XC

            (It’s an irony, clever boy…)

          • XC

            Oh, come on! Let’s stop this nonesense; I wouldn’t like to balkanize this blog, so to speak, lol. (No more answering back plaxico’s posts from my side).

  • ben

    @Edward Heath. Thanks for the reply. If he’s “a leading automotive journalist”, why is there no link w/ Spira and any credible automotive press? According to Google, he’s some sort of IT wonk. I’m just saying that we should consider the source…

    • Edward Heath

      @ben. You’re welcome so I googled some more as well. I’m not sure what you mean by a “credible automotive press.” Do you mean that someone has to work for an automotive magazine to be credible? I doubt the bmwblog would cite anyone not credible but Spira is, in addition being to chief analyst at a research firm, automotive editor at Busines Traveler magazine and Executive Road Warrior magazine, tech editor at http://www.bmwcca.org, editor of The Diesel Driver, and a former contributing editor of the Roundel magazine.

  • http://darvocet.org Oliver

    I saw this car today and it looks like the 3 series from a distance but once it gets closer you can see the difference as it has more bells and whistles than its sibling.

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