FirstDrive: BMW 520i M Sport – Verdict


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

On the face of it the 520i has a pretty difficult case on its hands, especially when the 520d achieves neigh-on identical performance figures with greater fuel efficiency. This petrol variant would most likely appeal more towards private owners who’d seek that extra degree of refinement and when mpg isn’t such an issue.

You can see why the 520d is such a hit with business owners in the first place though, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that used values for these will remain much higher in the long run. With that in mind, the 520i might be a better proposition as a nearly new / used buy.

As for the 5-Series in general, it’s grown up in character. It stopped being the Driver’s choice in it’s class since the last E60 was introduced, but its compromise is clearly paying off in the success of its sales figures.

You could ultimately call the 5-Series a little bit dull, but there is no denying that it fulfils its role as a complete car better than its rivals  – including the XF, which is a generation behind now.

From my ‘First World Problem’ point of view, it scores so consistently well on most accounts that it would plot a flat-lined graph – which is indicative of my heart rate.
Whilst it does do the majority of things well, it doesn’t do anything exceptionally well and so it didn’t half leave me cold. Literally.
A bit harsh perhaps, but we are having to nit-pick here. It says a lot when we have reached a point nowadays where, if we are graced with the choice of an executive car, you can’t go too far wrong with the Germanic trio and the XF. We can’t ultimately fault the 5-Series for doing the fundamental things consistently well, and I’d certainly have this over the A6 which, incidentally, has lost its two main traits nowadays : the looks and the interior.

If you want a car that just gets on with doing the majority of things properly in a relaxing manner, then the 5-Series is your car. I’m sure you could further explore that BMW chassis to its limit too for a bit of hidden excitement. If you don’t fall for the charms of the XF where its certain shortfalls might matter a bit too much, then you can’t go wrong with the safety option of this.

It’s effectively the Golf equivalent in this sector, but that’s also why it always comes out on top.


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.

5 thoughts on “FirstDrive: BMW 520i M Sport – Verdict

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