EVO Magazine, one of the most respectable automotive magazines, publishes their thoughts on the new 2010 BMW 5 Series. The model of choice, the top diesel seller for BMW, 530d.
While we got accustomed to seeing favorable reviews on the new 5 Series, this time, we have the chance of reading about some less positive aspects, as outlined by EVO.
If the engine gets the usual “fantastic” adjective associated with it, the chassis takes a beating.
“The engine is as fantastic as you would expect. BMW has long produced brilliant diesel powerplants (a 330d was the first diesel ever to make it into an eCoty contest) and it pulls as smoothly and cleanly as ever.”
To back-up their statements, EVO gets into more details.
“The chassis is less impressive, however. This particular car has the basic 5 Series set up with standard passive dampers and unfortunately it feels like the compromise that it is. Grip is good and you can get a decently relaxed flow going down a smooth road, but over bumps there is a thumpiness and wallow that certainly doesn’t smack of ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’. The speed-sensitive steering doesn’t have any feel either, which exacerbates the feeling of piloting a very big car (which it is) with slightly hard-to-place extremities. As Ollie said ‘it feels and behaves more like a 7-Series’.
It would seem that you need to spec the optional £965 adaptive dampers, and possibly add an extra £1255 for the adaptive anti-roll bars too, to make the 5-Series drive as you would wish.”
The conclusion is what we would expect from an UK-based magazine, and that is a direct comparison to the Jaguar brand and their XF competitor.
“At £37,100 for a completely un-optioned 530d SE the BMW is sitting squarely in Jaguar XF territory. For £37,730 you could have a 271bhp XF Diesel S. You can see how it fared against the last generation 5 Series here. And unfortunately for BMW the Jaguar is the more desirable, quicker, more dynamic and more pleasurable car. The only place the BMW wins is on economy and CO2 output.”
Fair enough, but we certainly look forward to more head-to-head comparisons against the Jaguar and the other classic competitors, Mercedes and Audi.