Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt Our Fleet Test Drive Review: BMW 520d Touring
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Our Fleet Test Drive Review: BMW 520d Touring

Date: 12 October 2009   |   Author: Tristan Young

Category: Executive
P11D price: £34790
Key rival: Audi A6

It's no secret that BMW is due an all-new 5-series next year, so it may be a surprise to see a 520d Touring entering our long-term fleet - normally a place for the newest cars in business motoring.

However, BMW has just issued a new initiative in the 5-series line-up - the Business Edition range. These are high-specification models aimed at keeping the car competitive until the new one arrives.

Our start-point was the M-sport model, which comes with front and rear parking sensors, 18-inch alloys [1] and sports body kit, seats and steering wheel plus stiffer suspension. On top of that, and possibly the most important part of the Business Edition set-up, is the inclusion of BMW's excellent Connected Drive system, which consists of satnav linked to what is effectively (if not exactly) the internet. This means you can receive news feeds onboard, send directions from Google Maps direct to your car to save plumbing them into the satnav, and have a call-centre on-hand to answer tricky questions, such as where's the nearest wi-fi-enabled restaurant. The Business Edition trim level also includes Bluetooth phone connection, six-CD changer and leather seats. The cost of the additional Business Edition spec amounts to just £1000 over the 'standard' car. All together our 520d Touring automatic's price comes in at a fiver under £35,000.

Although the car isn't the most recent to market, this 5-series doesn't feels like it's due for replacement because BMW's Efficient Dynamics programme means our 520d is still ultra-competitive before you get to the kit list.

We've yet to use even one tank of diesel, so we're still forming opinions, but there's lots to like and little to complain about. The only negative is the stiff and jarring ride on the sports suspension, but then we chose the M-sport pack knowing it would be this way and it's something we're happy to live with for the sleek looks [2] it brings.

After 400 miles (the car arrived with 99 on the clock [3]) we've also got an early impressive fuel figure of 42.8mpg, which isn't far off the official 48.7mpg. The engine is early in its life, so we'd only expect this figure to improve with more miles. The next nine months will see if we're right.

BMW 520d Touring M-sport Business Edition 5dr auto
Claimed combined
Our average consumption42.8mpg
P11D price£34,790
Model price range£31,090-£67,905
CO2 (tax) 154g/km (21%)
BIK 20/40% per month£121/£243
Service intervalvariable
Insurancegroup 16
Boot space (min/max)500/1650 litres
Engine size/power1995cc/177PS
Top speed/0-62mph139mph/8.6secs
Why we’re running itTo see if the 520d Business
Edition is a match for rivals
PositiveExcellent efficiency,
great to drive, classy
NegativeRide comfort.