The UK publication, WhatCar, has been quite publicly fond of the new G30-generation BMW 5 Series. Often times, when a new car comes out, it gets rave reviews but with that praise largely dying down as it becomes tested against some of its better competitors. With the new 5er, though, it seems as if WhatCar’s admiration has yet to wane despite it being put up against fierce competition from Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar.
In their latest comparison test, they put the BMW 530d up against the Jaguar XF 3.0d, both six-cylinder diesel saloons (sedans in Europe speak). So let’s see how they do.
Packing a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline-six-cylinder diesel engine, the BMW 530d makes 261 hp and a whopping 457 lb-ft of torque. All of that power is sent through a ubiquitous eight-speed automatic gearbox and, in this case, powers all four wheels. When equipped with xDrive, the 530d is capable of getting from 0-60 mph in a scant 5.4 seconds. While that isn’t blistering by today’s standards, it’s mighty quick for a seemingly run-of-the-mill diesel luxury car. It’s faster than the Jag, too.
The aforementioned Big Cat develops 296 hp and an astonishing 516 lb-ft of torque from its own 3.0 liter V6 turbo-diesel. However, thanks to sending 516 lb-ft of torque to just the rear wheels, it takes 6.2 seconds to get to 60 mph. But in-gear pull at highway speed is immense thanks to all of that torque. It just breaks traction quite easily from a dead stop.
It’s also the sportier car to drive, the Jag. Its steering is sharper and provides more feel. It also has slightly better dynamics that make it feel more agile. But that isn’t to say that the BMW is a slouch. In fact, its steering is still quite sharp and isn’t lacking much in feel. It also has some nice dance moves, as it’s easy to place and chuck around if the roads get twisty. While the Jag is the more fun car to drive in the end, it isn’t far ahead of the BMW, which is still a blast to drive.
Where the BMW 530d makes up for its slight lack in driving purity, it more than makes up for with its superior ride comfort. When equipped with BMW’s optional adaptive dampers and rear wheel steering, it simply glides over bumps and goes through corners with incredible easy. It stays smooth and flat and is never bothered by road imperfections. The Jag is still very good, but not quite as silky smooth as the Bavarian.
The BMW 5 Series also has the far superior interior. Jaguar has done a good job with the XF’s cabin, with rich leather on the dash and door panels and some genuinely sporty looking touches, but it never feels as quality of an item as the 5er’s. Inside the 5 Series, you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for a 7 Series. Not just in design, but in build quality. In fact, the 5 Series might have a better feeling interior than its 7 Series brethren. The design is luxurious and the materials are absolutely first-class. In fact, I’d bet there isn’t a cabin in its price range that feels as special.
Overall, WhatCar gives the BMW 530d the win, here. Its interior is far better, it has better technology, it’s faster to 60 mph and it only slightly lags behind the Jag in handling. So it’s the better overall car to own and live with everyday.