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A truly outstanding BMW

Created on 16/08/2017 @ 10:08

Test Drive by Graham Breeze

You’ll simply have to turn away if you don’t want to follow me eulogising unapologetically about the brilliance of the BMW G30 520d M Sport because quite frankly I’m going to shout it from the highest hill.

Where did this car come from? Why hasn’t BMW been bombarding our screens with tales of its virtues? And why did it take me so long to test a car that has been receiving rave reviews from the country’s top motoring gurus?

BMW’s trophy cabinet has been bulging with car of the year awards for the 5-Series in 2017 and believe me the 520d M Sport is the benchmark for the rest of the motoring industry. Handing it back at the end of the week-long test was a gut-wrenching experience. I swear I nearly shed a tear.

This seventh-generation model is without doubt a truly outstanding car from every perspective, continnuing the finest traditions of the famous badge with outstanding levels of comfort, driving dynamics and functionality.

The test car came in sparkling white and immediately started to attract attention from those who know a little about cars. Lined up in any automotive beauty parade the 520d M Sport would have taken the prizes – it could turn heads on an empty street.

Standing on 18inch alloys this BMW is certainly a looker with matching body-kit and M badging.  It’s no different inside either. It’s spacious and while perhaps still a little short of Audi quality is right up there with the best in the business .

The centre console is dominated by a 10.5inch touchscreen system which contains every bit of information you will ever need – and then some more. I’m still not convinced that this system is not as distracting as using a mobile phone, time will tell.

Technology has gone completely over the top in today’s modern car with every manufacturer battling to come up with the next gimmick. In BMW’s case you can twitch your fingers to control the audio system from either front seat. That’s one idea too far for me. Let’s stick with good old fashioned steering wheel control which means you keep your eyes firmly on the road ahead.

Significantly lighter, safer, and more fuel efficient the new generation turbo engines provides impressive performance gains, but also show major advances in reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

You get 0-60mph in 7.4seconds and a top speed of 144mph through an eight speed automatic gearbox which produces 114 g/km of emissions while averaging 60mpg.

There’s an extensive suite of driver assistance technologies including BMW Lane Keeping Assistant and Lane Change Assistant meaning that not only does the new BMW 5 Series Saloon reduce the driver’s workload it also takes a notable step towards fully autonomous driving.

Other technologies include, Remote Control Parking and the optional Parking Assistant and Parking Assistant Plus packages, which enable automated parking in both parallel parking spaces or angled spaces.

Surround View and Remote 3D View offer peace of mind to anyone who frequently finds themselves manoeuvring in awkward traffic situations and the optional Display Key offers a host of other functions.

The key is a step too far for me though. Some might like to control the heater from the comfort of their morning breakfast table but it’s a cumbersome mini-computer and I’m already lugging two mobile phones and a lap top everywhere I go.

The latest generation of BMW’s Professional Navigation system boasts a fast start-up, even faster route calculation and more realistic 3D graphics in cities. BMW is now the first carmaker to offer Microsoft Office 365 users a secure server connection for exchanging and editing emails, calendar entries and contact details thanks to the car’s built-in Microsoft Exchange function.

There’s a price to pay of course and the G30 520d isn’t cheap. The test car started at £38,920 and topped out at £48,495 when you added the extras which included heads-up display, BMW Gesture Control, WiFi hot spot, comfort packaging, electric glass sunroof, split folding rear seats and lots more.

The seventh generation BMW 520 has it all and if you’ve got the money it’s a no brainer.

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