FirstDrive: BMW 520i ’12MY – Intro

Intro Looks Practicality / Spec
Engine / Performance Driving / NVH Verdict

The BMW 5-Series has always been the default choice in the Executive Saloon class. From our point of view, if you were presented with the ‘typical’ German Audi-Merc-BMW trio, you’d probably go with:

the A6 for the looks, the E-Class as the softer alternative and the 5-Series for the sportier option.

After running an XF for the best part of a year, we thought we’d try and see what the latest 5-Series had to offer. Being a generation ahead now, this latest incarnation promises the comprehensive blend of looks, desirability and driving ability that always kept it at the top of the class.

The last model gave people a bit of a scare with its controversial styling, but they’ve successfully rectified that with this new one – even if the bodywork looks a bit bloated nowadays.

The 520d is the default choice, mainly constituted from their business owners, but we’ve gone for the 520i this time. With downsizing engines being all the more common nowadays, we’re intrigued to see whether this 2.0-litre petrol engine could bring some savings too.

Since this latest version is considerably larger than before, our initial reaction is that the 5-series is quite a big car to have to just a 2.0-litre engine beneath the bonnet – even if it’s producing a similar power output to a 528i from 10 years / 2 generations ago.
Would the most economical petrol version be a bit more interesting for the costs?

Spec: 520i M Sport
Engine: 2.0 Turbo 4cyl Petrol, 184bhp, 199lb ft
Transmission: 8 Speed Auto
Mpg: Official: 44.1mpg Achieved: 37-39mpg
Performance: 0-62mph: 7.9 Secs, 144mph
Colour: Glacier Silver
Options: 19 inch M Double-spoke style 351M alloy wheels, BMW Professional 
Multimedia Navigation System (10.2" screen, Real-time traffic info, Emergency Call, 
20GB memory), Dakota Leather Seats, M Rear Spoiler.

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