BMW X5 xDrive30d M Sport 5dr 3.0 Diesel Automatic 4x4 (2016) available from Bolton Motor Park Abarth, Fiat and Mazda

This vehicle is currently in stock at Grange Specialist Cars Swindon and can be purchased from Bolton Motor Park Abarth, Fiat and Mazda.

01204 910 361


WAS £33,500, SAVE £1,000

Our BMW X5 is finished in Metallic Sapphire Black Paint with Dakota Black Leather Upholstery plus 20 inch M Double Spoke Alloy Wheels. Standard specification highlights include Xenon Headlights,Light Package, LED Fog Lights, M Sports Package, M Leather Steering Wheel, Electric Windows, Rain Sensing Windscreen Wipers, Hill Start Assist, Adaptive M Suspension, Parking Distance Control, Remote Tailgate Release, 6.5 inch Colour Display Screen, iDrive Controller and Display with 10.2 Colour Display Monitor, Professional Multimedia Navigation System, CD Player, DAB Digital Radio, Chrome Exhaust Tailpipes, M Aerodynamic Body Kit, Cup Holders, Centre Armrest, Gearshift Paddles, Extended Storage Pack, Tyre Pressure Monitoring, Split Folding Rear Seats, Electric Front Seats with Driver Memory, Heated Front Sports Seats and Isofix Preparation.






We pride ourselves in only providing cars of the highest of standards - all vehicles are taken through a pre-delivery inspection and are fully HPI checked for your peace of mind. We price our vehicles for sale on the basis of age, condition and mileage. The vehicles for sale may have previously been used for business or hire purposes and so may have had multiple users. Where we hold documents relating to vehicle history, these are available for inspection on request and we are happy to address any specific queries before you view or make an offer to purchase any vehicle.

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V5 Document

V5 Document

MOT Certificate

MOT Certificate





Service Log Book

Service Log Book

Body Glass

Electric front/rear windows with anti-trap, Green tinted glass, Heat insulated glass, Heated washer nozzles, Intermittent rear wash/wipe, Rain sensor with auto light activation system


ABS, ADB - Automatic Differential Brake, Automatic Stability Control (ASC), CBC - (Cornering brake control), DSC - Dynamic Stability Control, Dynamic brake control, Dynamic Traction Control - DTC, Electronic brake force distribution, Electronic parking brake, Hill start assist


Anthracite Velour floor mats


Adaptive M suspension


Voice control system

Driver Aids

BMW remote services, Park distance control, Servotronic PAS

Driver Convenience

Remote tailgate release, Stop/start button

Driver Information

20GB Hard drive, 6.5" colour display screen, BMW emergency call, BMW online + Apps interface, BMW Teleservices, Brake force display, Check control system, iDrive controller and display with 10.2" colour display monitor, Lights on warning, On board computer, Outside temperature gauge, Professional multimedia navigation system, Real time traffic information, Service interval indicator

Driving Mirrors

Auto dimming rear view mirror, Body colour door mirrors, Door mirror integrated indicators, Electric folding/heated door mirrors + electrochromic on drivers side


Diesel particulate filter


Auxiliary point for auxiliary devices, BMW professional twin tuner radio with single CD player and MP3 CD playback facility, DAB Digital radio

Exterior Body Features

Auto upper tailgate release, Body colour bumpers, Body colour door handles, Chrome exhaust tailpipes, Double kidney grille with chrome surround and black slats, Individual door sill finishers, M aerodynamic body kit, Two piece tailgate

Exterior Lights

Clear indicator lenses, Downlights in exterior door handles, Electric headlight adjustment, Follow me home headlights, Headlight washer jets

Interior Features

12V accessory power point in centre console, 12V socket in luggage compartment, 2 x 12V socket in rear centre console, Boot lashing points, Front and rear cupholders, Front armrest with storage bin, Gearshift paddles on steering wheel, Illuminated glovebox with lock, Luggage compartment cover, M leather steering wheel, Reach + rake adjustable steering column, Securing rings in luggage compartment, Storage bins on all doors, Toolkit located in luggage compartment

Interior Lights

Ambient interior lighting, Front/rear courtesy lights with soft on/off dimming, Front/rear reading lights, LED footwell lights


Extended storage pack - X5


3 rear 3 point seatbelts, Child locks on rear doors, Crash Sensor - activates hazard/interior lighting + unlocks doors, Driver/Front Passenger airbags, Front and rear head airbags, Front passenger airbag deactivation, Front side airbags, Height adjustable front seatbelts, Occupancy sensor for passenger seat, Pyrotechnically pre-tensioned front seatbelts, Tyre pressure monitor, Warning triangle and first aid kit


40/20/40 split folding rear seats, Electric front seats + driver memory, Heated front seats, Height adj rear head restraints, Isofix child seat preparation, Tilt/height adjustable front head restraints


Locking wheel nuts, Remote central locking, Thatcham cat 1 remote alarm/immobiliser


Sport automatic transmission

Vanity Mirrors

Sunvisors with illuminated vanity mirrors


Run flat tyres


Badge Engine CC: 3.0
Badge Power: 258
Based On ID: N
Coin Description: d
Coin Series: M Sport
Insurance Group 1 - 50 Effective January 07: 42E
Man Corrosion Perforation Guarantee - Years: 12
Manufacturers Paintwork Guarantee - Years: 3
NCAP Adult Occupant Protection %: N
NCAP Child Occupant Protection %: N
NCAP Overall Rating - Effective February 09: N
NCAP Pedestrian Protection %: N
NCAP Safety Assist %: N
Service Interval Frequency - Months: 24
Service Interval Mileage: 18000
Standard manufacturers warranty - Mileage: 999999
Standard manufacturers warranty - Years: 3
Timing Belt Interval Frequency - Months: N
Timing Belt Interval Mileage: N
Vehicle Homologation Class: M1

Emissions - ICE

CO2 (g/km): 183
Standard Euro Emissions: EURO 6

Engine and Drive Train

Camshaft: DOHC
Catalytic Convertor: True
CC: 2993
Compression Ratio: 16.5:1
Cylinder Layout: IN-LINE
Cylinders: 6
Cylinders - Bore (mm): 84
Cylinders - Stroke (mm): 90
Engine Code: N57D30O1
Engine Layout: NORTH SOUTH
Fuel Delivery: COMMON RAIL
Gears: 8 SPEED
Number of Valves: 24
Transmission: AUTO

Fuel Consumption - ICE

EC Combined (mpg): 40.3
EC Directive 1999/100/EC Applies: True
EC Extra Urban (mpg): 54.3
EC Urban (mpg): 28.2


0 to 62 mph (secs): 6.8
Engine Power - BHP: 258
Engine Power - KW: 190
Engine Power - PS: True
Engine Power - RPM: 4000
Engine Torque - LBS.FT: 413
Engine Torque - MKG: 57.1
Engine Torque - NM: 560
Engine Torque - RPM: 1500
Top Speed: 142


Alloys?: True
Tyre Size Front: 275/40 R20
Tyre Size Rear: 315/35 R20
Tyre Size Spare: RUN FLAT TYRES
Wheel Style: M DOUBLE SPOKE - STYLE 469
Wheel Type: 20" ALLOY

Vehicle Dimensions

Height: 1762
Height (including roof rails): N
Length: 4886
Wheelbase: 2933
Width: 1938
Width (including mirrors): 2184

Weight and Capacities

Fuel Tank Capacity (Litres): 85
Gross Vehicle Weight: 2825
Luggage Capacity (Seats Down): 1870
Luggage Capacity (Seats Up): 650
Max. Loading Weight: 715
Max. Roof Load: 100
Max. Towing Weight - Braked: 3500
Max. Towing Weight - Unbraked: 750
Minimum Kerbweight: 2110
No. of Seats: 5
Turning Circle - Kerb to Kerb: 12.7

BENCHMARK THIS (new2) 24/03/2017

BMW has high hopes of its much improved 5 Series Touring. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Review

Big estate cars have come a long way from their utilitarian roots and the seventh generation BMW 5 Series Touring is a good example of just how far. Air suspension at the rear offers composure with a big load onboard and you'll be able to fit plenty in one in thanks to a 570-litre capacity. The engine range is now even more efficient and the smartened styling, though formulaic, has definite elegance. It may even be sharper than the saloon's.


BMW paints a not unrecognisable picture of the executive estate market before the arrival of its 1991 first generation 5 Series Touring. Before that car, big estates were pared-back workhorses to their sportier and more sophisticated saloon counterparts. After it, they were positioned more equally with equivalent design and driving dynamics. Today, many even see the estate as a more stylish alternative to the straight-laced saloon, with its extra practicality coming as a handy bonus. The MK7 model 5 Series Touring is a worthy successor to successful previous generation models and just like most of its predecessors, it has the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate to contend with. BMW's expertise in autonomous driving systems and media connectivity will help here, as will the greater luggage capacity on offer. If all of this can shroud a car that cossets its passengers while still rewarding the driver at the wheel, then quite a contender is in prospect.

Driving Experience

The main news on the engine front concerns petrol power. There's a fresh 252bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder unit in the 530i that's 7bhp up on the old 528i or alternatively, there's a 340bhp 540i variant which needs xDrive 4WD to control its prodigious 450Nm of torque. Most 5 Series buyers though, will continue to want a diesel, probably the familiar 190bhp 2.0-litre four cylinder unit used in the 520d, which in a 5 Series must be mated to an 8-speed Steptronic auto gearbox. The alternative is the six cylinder 265bhp 530d which has 620Nm of pulling power. Both these variants are available with optional xDrive if you want it. For the first time, BMW xDrive can be combined with Integral Active Steering, as well as lowered sports suspension. As for handling, well a step forward was needed here with many commentators reckoning that the previous generation model was too comfort-orientated in its standard guises. This time round, BMW's engineers reckon they've achieved a much better balance of performance and luxury thanks to reductions in weight, revised steering and new double-wishbone kinematics in the front axle.

Design and Build

This Touring model is styled the way you would expect it to look. So from the B-pillar forwards, the front is identical to the saloon, but at the rear end, there are enlarged LED tail-lights and there's a sleeker roofline than was offered by the previous generation model. This time round, the car is 36mm longer too - though it's no longer than the current saloon variant. Get out the tape measure and you'll find that it's 8mm wider and 10mm taller than the previous car, while the wheelbase has increased by 7mm. Boot capacity is up to 570-litres, which is 10 litres more than before and 40 litres larger than the saloon. The rival Mercedes E-Class betters that though, with its 640-litre capacity. In response, BMW says the boot can expand to 1,700-litres with the rear seats down - that's 30 litres more than the old car. Those seats, which fold in a 40:20:40 split, can be released remotely from the boot and have electrically folding backrests. All models get an electric tailgate, while the unique opening rear window is retained from the previous model. As with the saloon, 'Professional' navigation, telephone, entertainment features and vehicle functions can be visualised on the standard high-resolution 10.25-inch screen and controlled not just in the usual manner using the iDrive Controller, but also by means of gestures, voice commands or simply touching the buttons on the touch-sensitive display.

Market and Model

On to pricing. Expect to pay a required premium of just over £2,300 to get this Touring estate 5 Series model, rather this four-door saloon. That means pricing somewhere in the £38,500 to £48,500 bracket for mainstream models. All variants come only with eight-speed automatic transmission and if you avoid the base 520d diesel derivative, you'll get the 'Sport' version of this gearbox which offers quicker change characteristics. Very few 5 Series Touring buyers do avoid the 520d however. In fact, almost 85% of customers choose this 190bhp model. There's quite a purchase price jump if you're to consider any other engine in the range. The petrol models start with the 252bhp 530i at around £42,000, but a better bet would be the 530e plug-in hybrid variant which uses the same 2.0-litre four cylinder engine and won't cost you much more, once the available government grant has been subtracted from its asking price. Step up to 3.0-litre six cylinder power and you'll need a budget either just below or just above the £47,000 mark if you're to consider either the 265bhp 530d diesel or the 340bhp 540i petrol variants. The brand's xDrive 4x4 system is standard on the 540i and offered at a premium of around £2,000 on the two main diesel models.

Cost of Ownership

The four-cylinder diesel engine powering the BMW 520d manages over 65mpg on the combined cycle, resulting in CO2 emissions of under 115g/km. Go for the six cylinder 530d and you can expect close to 60mpg, equating to CO2 emissions of under 130g/km. Even the petrol units don't do too badly. The potent 540i xDrive returns over 35mpg with CO2 emissions of under 170g/km - a reduction of 11% over the previous model. The diesel exhaust systems operate using BMW BluePerformance technology, which combines close-coupled particulate filters and oxidation catalysts with a NOx storage catalyst. Exhaust gas after treatment in all diesel models is performed with the aid of SCR technology, including a water-cooled metering module for the AdBlue fluid, which serves to cut nitrogen oxide emissions still further. Plus the 'Drive Performance Control' system has an 'ECO Pro mode with Proactive Driving Assistant' option, which works with the 'Professional Navigation' system to detect braking situations in advance. What else might you need to know? Well, routine maintenance is dictated by 'Condition Based Servicing' that monitors oil level and engine wear, taking into account how long it's been and how far the car has travelled since its previous garage visit. You can check all of this using menus in the 'iDrive' centre-dash display and the car will give you four weeks' notice of when a check-up is needed so you have plenty of time to book it.


Why would you choose the estate version of an executive car over the saloon? A few years back, you'd have wanted the additional boot space and would have been willing to make some compromises to get it. Today, cars like this much improved BMW 5 Series Touring combine the technology and driving experience of the saloon version with real additional versatility and sharp looks that many will actually find preferable. Whichever way you look at it, the latest 5-Series 5-door has an array of capabilities that few cars of any description can match. True, it's a pity that to really create 'the ultimate driving machine', you've to spend so much on the options list. But even in standard guise, this is a hugely accomplished car, if one requiring familiarity and plenty of mileage over varying roads before its true qualities really begin to shine through.

BAVARIA'S BEST (used) 25/11/2016

By Jonathan Crouch


Once merely a bigger 3 Series sports saloon, BMW's Five Series has in more recent times become more of a shortened 7 series luxury limo. That was obvious when it came to the sixth generation version, though with the right spec, this model could still be a good driver's choice in the full sized executive class. Here, we're evaluating the post-2013 facelifted MK6 version of this car as a used buy, a model which brought buyers more engine options, higher-tech equipment, greater efficiency and a subtle restyle. There's very little not to like.


4dr executive saloon and 5dr Touring estate (Petrol - 2.0 184bhp [520i] & 245bhp [528i], 6 cylinder 306bhp [535i & ActiveHybrid5], V8 449bhp [550i], V8 560 or 575bhp [M5] / Diesel - 2.0 143bhp [518d], 184bhp [520d] or 218bhp [525d], 3.0 6 cylinder 258bhp [530d] or 313bhp [535d] - trim levels SE, Luxury & M Sport)


For well over four decades, the question facing customers in the segment for full-sized executive cars has less been why they should choose a BMW 5 Series but why they shouldn't. This was the car that ruled its marketplace, the business buyer's 'ultimate driving machine'. It's dangerous to meddle with such an enduring success story, but the Bavarians did just that in 2010 with the launch of the sixth generation 'F10' version. Faced with stronger competition from the Audi A6, the Mercedes E-Class and the Jaguar XF, BMW decided that this car needed wider appeal, an approach requiring a few changes to the way it was presented. A 5 Series could still be a dominant driving machine - but with this MK6 model, you had to specify lots of costly extras to make it so. And it could still be a class leader for running costs - but you had to pay extra for a green-focused 'EfficientDynamics' version to achieve it. Those not prioritising these things could save their money - or spend it on less sensible attributes. You might have expected these changes to frustrate the 5 Series faithful but the sales figures didn't reflect that. Indeed, this model quickly became the most successful car of its kind that BMW had ever made, racking up over a million sales in its first three years on sale. By 2013 though, rivals had upped their game, so to keep the MK6 model 5 Series sales momentum going, it was necessary for the Bavarian brand to do the same. Hence the need for this revised model with its extra engine options, additional equipment and subtle restyle. Hardly the most far-reaching package of changes - but then you don't dramatically update a winning formula, then do so once again after just a few years on sale. No, you create a car, well, much like this one. It sold until the all-new seventh generation 5 Series model was announced, late in 2016.

What You Get

This shape of the 'F10' sixth generation 5 Series, with its short overhangs, heavily contoured bonnet and strong side creases, caused a lot less controversy than that of its angular pre-2010 predecessor. Apparently, this model was styled to match its weight distribution, the bonnet, front wings and doors being fashioned from aluminium to help maintain the 50:50 weight distribution over the axles that the Bavarians feel is so important. Here, we're looking at the facelifted MK6 model launched in 2013. BMW rarely makes radical mid-life changes to its mainstream models - and didn't do so here. As part of the updates, all models got either xenon headlights or extra cost Adaptive LED lamps. There were additional contour lines around the trademark BMW kidney grille and a restricted lower air intake, plus the indicator repeaters were moved into the door mirrors. Moving further back, the revised tail lights got slender, elegant LED strips and there was an additional crease in the rear apron supposed to emphasise the car's width and sporting stance. One of the major changes made to the sixth generation 5 Series when it was originally launched was the increase in size over its predecessor. This was brought about by an 80mm increase in its wheelbase and the installation of a platform originally developed for much bigger models like the large 7 Series luxury saloon and the huge 5-door 5 Series Gran Turismo. That gave this car a slight advantage over its rivals, something you most keenly feel when sat in the back. If your only experience of 5 Series motoring dates back to the old pre-2010 'E60' MK5 model, then you'll find that this car is far more spacious with significantly more leg and shoulder-room. Indeed, were it not for the prominent central transmission tunnel, you'd probably have reasonably comfortable long distance room for three adults. At the wheel, the changes made to this revised post-2013 MK6 5 Series model were even more subtle than those made outside. Owners of the original version of this design might notice chromed strips bordering the central Control Display, while those who specified the optional Professional Media Package infotainment system got a larger rotary iDrive controller with a touchpad that allowed occupants to 'write' addresses with their fingertips. That was about it - but then few changes were needed. Even today, the sweeping dash still looks modern and the sensible layout means that you'll quickly feel at home. And the iDrive infotainment system, once hopelessly clunky and complex to use, is clever and intuitive. As is the big, clear typically BMW instrument display that on an M Sport model, you view through a lovely grippy three-spoke leather-trimmed wheel. Next to the shard-like gearlever, you'll find the buttons to operate the Drive Performance Control system which enables you to adapt the behaviour of the car to the mood you're in and the road you're on. As you flick between the various modes, the digital display on the large screen that dominates the top centre part of the dash graphically changes to suit. It's all very slick. And luggage space? Well, you can get to it a little more easily on post-2013 MK6 models fitted with the 'Comfort Access' option which, if the key is in your pocket, enables you to open the bootlid by merely waving your foot beneath the bumper. A great boon if you're approaching the car laden down with bags or boxes. Once revealed, the 520-litre cargo area of the saloon variant is actually a touch smaller than obvious rivals - all that extra wheelbase space went to benefit folk in the rear. Still, we're only talking 10 or 20-litres less than a rival A6 or an E-Class, which won't be a large enough margin to matter very much to many potential buyers. More of an issue is that BMW, like Mercedes, insisted on charging extra for the folding rear backrests that really help if you've got exceptionally bulky loads to carry. That means some cars you'll come across won't have this feature. If you're likely to be needing it on a regular basis of course, you're more likely to be considering the Touring estate 5 Series variant where the 560-litre boot (already large enough for a washing machine) can be extended to 1,670-litres. Or perhaps the Gran Turismo five-door hatch where the respective figures are 440 and 1,700-litres.

What You Pay

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What to Look For

Most of the 5 Series drivers owning models from the 2013 to 2016 era seemed to be pretty happy with their cars on the evidence of our survey. However, inevitably, there were issues. One owner found his engine jerking at 40-50mph, this issue traced to a computer fault. Another reported steering wheel rattles, while yet another said the steering wheel squeaked, this latter problem traced to a slip ring that needed replacing. There were some issues with the sunroof assembly too. One owner found that it came apart on his car: another said the whole area just rattled. Look for that on your test drive. One owner found that the driver's electric window went down every time he switched the engine on, while another said the radio kept turning itself on for no reason. On that subject, the useful mobile data element of the iDrive system was only provided to owners from new for the first three years of ownership and many didn't pay the money to renew it: find out from the seller if this has been done. One owner found that the cruise control kept switching on by itself. And there were issues reported with worn alternator bushes and a faulty screen washer pump. On owner complained about the lack of an oil dipstick on the car, which does seem to be an omission. Apparently, dealers say you just wait for the low oil light to illuminate on the dashboard, then chuck a litre of oil in. There are also issues with the surfaces of the alloy wheels pitting: check the rims carefully on the car you're looking at.

Replacement Parts

(approx prices based on a 2014 520d ex VAT) An air filter costs in the £47 to £63 bracket, an oil filter costs around £14 and a fuel filter costs in the £27 to £30 bracket. Brake pads sit in the £33 to £50 bracket for a set. Brake discs sits in the £195 to £205 bracket. You'll pay around £19 to £26 for a drive belt, around £35 for a thermostat, around £85 for a water pump and around £500 for a radiator. Tyres sit in the £35 to £45 bracket. Wiper blades cost in the £4 to £18 bracket, though you could pay up to around £38 for pricier brands. The wing mirror glass is priced at around £13. Shock absorbers cost in the £80 to £85 bracket, though you could pay up to around £125 for a pricier brand. A cylinder head gasket costs in the £30 to £47 bracket, though you could pay up to around £67 to £125 for a pricier brand. On The Road

On the Road

You come to any 5 Series with high expectations when it comes to the driving experience it'll offer. Previous versions, after all, have leaned heavily on the company's competition heritage and benefitted hugely from all the weeks BMW insisted they had to spend pounding round the Nurburgring. Yet this is at odds with the kind of driving most owners do. Over 90% of 'Fives' are, after all, bought with auto gearboxes by older customers who spend most of their lives on the motorway. Mindful of that, the engineers had a re-think for the original version of this 'F10' sixth generation model. It was time, they decided, to get a bit more real. Which is why in completely standard form, even with the few minor suspension tweaks made to this revised post-2013 design, you may not feel this car to enjoy quite the sporting advantage over its rivals that older 5 Series models have had. But that depends a little on the way that the example you have in mind has been configured. By that, we mean the spec that was chosen for it at time of purchase and the set-up you select once out on the road. Let us explain what we mean. Down by the gearstick, you'll find the rocker switch for the Munich maker's clever 'Drive Performance Control' system. It'll tweak the steering, throttle, gearchange response and stability control system thresholds depending on the operating mode you select. Ignore it, or select the relaxed 'Comfort' or efficient 'ECO PRO' settings, and the travelling experience in this car, though very comfortable, isn't especially memorable. Push the rocker switch forward into 'Sport' though and the reaction you get immediately feels keener and more alert. More like the kind of 5 Series enthusiasts used to love. To really create that kind of car though, original buyers had to spend a bit of extra money on a few extra key features. First, and we'd say most important, is the 'VDC' 'Variable Damper Control' set-up. The object of VDC is to tweak the suspension so that it even better suits the 'Sport' and 'Comfort' Drive Performance Control settings you select. In each case, VDC also allows you to get a step more extreme, with ''Sport+' and 'Comfort+' options. The second important dynamic option that original owners of this BMW could specify from new was the 'Integral Active Steering' system. When you're travelling above 37mph, this set-up is able to turn the rear wheels very slightly in the same direction as those at the front as you pitch the car into a corner, which means a sharper turn-in with extra stability. The system also has the extra bonus of being able to work in reverse at lower speeds, so below 37mph, the rear wheels move very slightly in the opposite direction to those at the front as you turn, tightening the turning circle and improving low speed response. The final key dynamic option that buyers from new could consider was limited to those who'd selected a 5 Series with more than four cylinders. Pricier variants allowed customers to specify an 'Adaptive Drive' option, there to reduce lean in the corners by actively twisting the anti-roll bars. Three key items then, and if you're fortunate enough to find yourself a post-2013 MK6 model 5 Series fitted with all of them, you'll get yourself a car that really comes alive, its lane-changing fluid and accurate with cornering akin to a shark turning towards a meal. Brilliant. Just as a BMW should be. Of course, you may not want your car to be like that. For you, it may be enough for your 5 Series to merely be a luxurious, comfortable and user-friendly means of executive transport - essentially the shortened 7 Series that a detailed examination of the underpinnings suggests it is. If that's the case, then even the standard version is unlikely to disappoint, with its exceptionally high standards of refinement that are less due to copious soundproofing and more down to careful engineering at source. A polished ride too, further aided on Touring and Gran Turismo models by the standard fitment of air suspension. You'll also like the seamless elegance of the 8-speed auto gearbox that's optional on four cylinder models and standard on larger-engined ones. We're not surprised that virtually all buyers from new tended to specify it. No rival transmission is smoother or more efficient, always ready with the right gear at the right moment. So. There are two distinct characters this car could assume - laid back or sporty. But what kind of engine should drive the set-up chosen? Let's start with petrol power. There's a 2.0-litre four cylinder unit that develops 184bhp in the 520i and 245bhp in the pokier 528i, the power increase able to reduce the 0-62mph sprint time from 7.9s to 6.2s in the case of the faster car. If you want more, there's a six cylinder 306bhp 535i model that powers to 62mph in just 5.7s, a V8 449bhp twin scroll turbo 550i variant that trims that to 4.6s and a flagship M5 super saloon that ups the output of that V8 to at least 560bhp and launches itself to the 62mph benchmark in just 4.3s. M5 buyers might find themselves a car that was specified with the optional 'Competition Package' that tweaked the handling for track heroics and boosted power to 575bhp. All very interesting - and largely irrelevant to the vast majority of buyers who'll be wanting a diesel. The version the vast majority of them will choose is the 184bhp 520d. It uses the same four cylinder 2.0-litre diesel you can get with less power in the 143bhp 518d or with more grunt in the 218bhp 525d. For most people most of the time though, the performance the 520d offers - rest to 62mph in 8.1s en route to 141mph - is quite sufficient. A 518d needs 9.7s for the sprint, while a 525d manages that in 7s dead. But, as we said, the 520d offers a good balance between the two. If you do need more pulling power than that, then one of the 3.0-litre six cylinder diesels will probably fit the bill, either the 258bhp unit from the popular 530d, good for 62mph from rest in 5.8s. Or the 313bhp powerplant from the potent 535d, a car able to trim that sprint figure back to 5.3s. Both variants must be artificially restrained at 155mph. If you're looking at either of these, an intriguing alternative option is the petrol/electric Active Hybrid5 model which mates the 306bhp petrol engine from the 535i with a 40KW electric motor to offer a decent balance between performance and parsimony.


Despite its enormous success over nearly half a century, BMW's 5 Series remains a car that's often underestimated. That's a little unfair, for if properly specified, this revised MK6 model can not only be the most efficient contender in its class from its era but also the best one to drive, a combination that takes some beating. Bear in mind that in developing this car, BMW's design team had not only to manage that but had also to cover off the build integrity segment buyers expected from an Audi and the gadgetry and ride quality such people would want from a Mercedes-Benz. An enormous task. But not an impossible one, as this improved F10 generation 5 Series proved. True, it's a pity that in buying this model, if you're to really get yourself 'the ultimate driving machine', you've to find an example optioned up with pricey dynamic driving options. But even in standard guise, this is a hugely accomplished car, if one requiring familiarity and plenty of mileage over varying roads before its true qualities really begin to shine through. As you'd expect, it's quiet and roomy and in this post-2013 guise, it's also smarter, cleaner and even better on the balance sheet. A benchmark business BMW then. Just as a 5 Series has always been.