The UK motorist magazine CarEnthusiast spent some quality times behind BMW’s highly fuel efficient 520d Touring. In line with the other reviews of the new 5 Series Touring, the European-only 520d Touring gets almost a maximum rating.
As seen in the other reviews, the UK magazine makes a point at comparing some of the qualities of the 520d Touring against the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. Conclusions?
Let’s find out.
Many have questioned BMW’s direction with the 5 Series, with only the most expensive models featuring the clever chassis control system that delivers the sort of drive BMW drivers expect. That’s not true with the 520d Touring, which is unquestionably something of a gem in the range. Admittedly, the test cars BMW supplied came with adaptive damping, but otherwise they’re just as the man on the street – or more accurately, the man in the suit in middle/upper management – will specify their 520d.
The engine is key to the 520d’s success, as it’s an absolute cracker. Not only is it tremendously refined, but the smooth and linear means by which it delivers its performance is incredible. It feels so much more muscular than you’d expect from 2.0-litres and four-cylinders, its 186bhp and 280lb.ft of torque hauling the big 520d Touring to 62mph in just 8.3 seconds – regardless of the transmission fitted.
The steering could be a bit more incisive, but really we’re splitting hairs. The 520d Touring rides well, flowing down either testing back roads or long, boring motorways with the sort of crushing impunity that leaves you wondering why you’d need anything else.
The data may say that the Mercedes-Benz E-Class has a more spacious boot with the seats down, but the numbers that really matter are the BMW’s 55.4mpg and 135g/km on the official combined cycle. They’re class leading, and certain to ensure that it’s a massive hit among fleet buyers. For the record, the saloon achieves 57.7mpg and 129g/km. You can thank the auto start-stop and other BMW EfficientDynamics measures for achieving these planet-friendly figures.