Error parsing XSLT file: \xslt\FacebookOpenGraph.xslt BMW 530d M-sport review
Cookies on Businesscar

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Business Car website. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookies at any time

BusinessCar magazine website email Awards mobile

The start point for the best source of fleet information

BMW 530d M-sport review

Date: 13 January 2017   |   Author: Nat Barnes

Standard equipment: Satnav, DAB radio, Apple CarPlay, front and rear parking sensors, LED lights, dual-zone aircon, leather upholstery, heated seats
Engines: Petrol 250hp 2.0, 340hp 3.0 xDrive. Diesel 190hp 2.0, 265hp 3.0 - both available with xDrive
Trims: SE, M-sport
Transmissions: 8-speed automatic

Just how do you solve a problem like the 5-series?

BMW's answer is to simply make this seventh generation even better than before by losing some weight (up to 100kg), making it more refined than ever, and stealing some of the latest tech from the flagship 7-series. Like the Mercedes E-class, an automatic gearbox is now standard, too, with no manual available.

Furthermore, this new 5-series gets BMW's xDrive four-wheel drive system for the first time, which has accounted for around a third of 3-series sales since it arrived on that car and is expected to do the same here.

There's lots for business buyers to get their teeth into as well. Alongside the entry-level 520d that will account for around 80-85% of sales (the 530d tested here accounts for a further 10%), in April/May there'll also be an ultra-efficient 520ed model, which will achieve 72.4mpg and 101g/km emissions, plus a plug-in hybrid 530e with an electric-only range of 30 miles and 46g/km emissions.


Given that BMW can barely produce enough of the smaller 330e plug-ins, it would be a brave person to bet against sales of the 530e following suit. There won't be a 518d entry-level model as before, but a Touring estate will join the range in the summer.

Frugal engine

The best-selling 520d boasts some impressive statistics, with its 190hp 2.0-litre engine producing 108g/km of emissions and 68.8mpg combined average fuel economy, although the 265hp 530d is little short of breathtaking. With its 5.7-second 0-60mph time and 155mph top speed allied to 124g/km emissions and 60.1mpg, it would be easy to argue that it's one of the best all-round saloons on the market.

That's underlined further when out on the road. The first thing that strikes you about this new 5-series is its vastly improved levels of refinement. It's no exaggeration to say that it's easily on a par with a 7-series or Mercedes S-class. Even with the 530d's engine running you might genuinely struggle to recognise there's a diesel engine under the bonnet.

Added to that is very little wind or road noise on the move and also an exceptionally good ride quality, even when on run-flat tyres or the M-sport trim's larger 20-inch wheels.


If there's one downside to that refinement though, it's that the driver feels somewhat less involved in the driving experience than before. Yes, the 5-series boasts a creditable lack of body roll through corners, while the steering and the gearchange paddles for the automatic gearbox swiftly react to your inputs, but there's a noticeable lack of feel compared with before.

Fair enough, few drivers are likely to throw their cars down country lanes with quite the same vigour as a smaller 3-series, but the 5-series has traditionally been the driver's car of the sector. While it's certainly no slouch and highly capable, it definitely has adopted a weightier and more conservative feel compared with the previous generation.

Impressive interior

At least that gives you more time to enjoy the interior, which is largely faultless. Superb build quality aligned to BMW's iDrive system and a wide central touchscreen makes it a highly pleasurable place to be. The infotainment systems work well, although the gesture-control system, borrowed from the 7-series and enabling you to 'swipe' or close pages or adjust the volume, can sometimes be frustrating. More than once we operated it by mistake while moving our hands when talking to our passenger.

In terms of practicality though, the interior is merely okay rather than outstanding. Headroom in the back seats is good, but legroom for anyone taller than six-foot is only just acceptable, and they'll struggle for foot space if either of the front seats are in their lowest position.


Ultimately, it's hard not to imagine this new 5-series cementing its position as the class-leader in this sector. The new availability of four-wheel drive plus the forthcoming super-efficient 520ed and 530e plug-in hybrid models will also only expand its appeal still further. We reckon BMW showrooms are about to be very busy indeed in 2017, and for the German firm, that will be one of the nicest problems of all.

BMW 530d M-sport

P11D £47,080
On sale February 2017
Residual value 36.6%
Depreciation £29,830
Fuel £5,280
Service, maintenance & repair £3,555
Cost per mile £94.3p
Fuel consumption 60.1mpg
CO2 (BIK band) 124g/km (24%)
BIK 20/40% per month £188/£377
Boot space 530 litres
Engine size/power 2,993cc/265hp


It would be easy to argue that it's one of the best all-round saloons on the market
  • Vastly improved refinement
  • New four-wheel drive and plug-in hybrid versions
  • Slight loss of driver involvement, no manual gearbox