Richard Bremner
27 June 2013

What is it?

The mainstream 5-series saloon facelift. It gets remodelled lights front and rear, indicators in its door mirrors and a resculpted nose to mirror the 'hooded-eye' look of the 3-series

Some versions flaunt modest dashes of extra brightwork, while inside the instruments appear on a digital, reconfigurable screen and there are detail decor improvements. Equipment improves with the standardisation of Business Navigation (about time) Bluetooth connectivity (ditto), a USB port and xenon headlights. 

And the infotainment system’s capabilities can be deepened with an i-Drive controller that doubles as a mouse, and facilities for dictating texts and emails. Later this year there’ll be an optional self-parking system requiring no control inputs of any kind, and a traffic jam assistant allowing the 5-series to steer, accelerate and brake with no intervention from the driver at up to 19mph. Which is probably just as well given that the mouse also allows web surfing.

What is it like?

Mechanically the changes are slight, but useful. All engines are now Euro6 emission compliant and have improved aerodynamics. There's also an engine-decoupling coast facility to help reduce CO2 emissions, and there’s an-all new, Valvetronic-equipped 4.4-litre twin-scroll turbo 550i V8. More significant to most 5-series buyers, however, will be the introduction of a new entry-level 141bhp 518d, although its 119g/km emissions are the same as the new 520d’s.

The 5’s chassis has also seen a light rethink in the form of retuned dampers for improved comfort and reduced roll, and the electric power steering has been remapped for improved precision. 

These dynamic improvements are mildly apparent, although we still consider the optional electronic dampers to be a 5-series essential for a pliant ride. The revised steering is a little more precise, but you’ll need the Sport setting for the most consistent, confidence-building rim resistance — this brings with it firmer suspension and a much livelier transmission. Configuring these settings individually, Audi-style, would be better.

Should I buy one?

There’s no question that the 530d is a very accomplished car. It’s impressively fast, quiet, slightly more economical and delivers the effortless journeying that cars like this are supposed to be about. It also has a beautifully crafted cabin that can be packed with electronic convenience items if your wallet is fat enough. So no major changes for the 5-series saloon and Touring, but then, these class best sellers don't need them.

BMW 530d Luxury

Price £43,415; 0-62mph 5.8sec; Top speed 155mph; Economy 55.4mpg (combined); CO2 134g/km; Kerb weight 1785kg; Engine 6 cyls in line, 2993cc, turbodiesel; Power 258bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 413lb ft at 1500-3000rpm; Gearbox 8-speed automatic

 

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Comments
24

Facelift?? It is even more

1 year 5 weeks ago

Facelift?? It is even more invisible than most facelifts.The previous Bangle era 5 is still the business stylewise.

From average to excellent

1 year 5 weeks ago

For a BMW, this facelift came early as the 5-Series saloon was only unveiled in 2010, but I suspect it was done to coincide with the GT which was launched the year before.

As for the saloon, although not rubbish, it wasn't exactly class best when it was launched, but it seems it's been honed over the years and has now become an excellent car. In line with the recently fettled and further improved E-Class, it's a tough choice and either could arguably be seen as being better than a XF and miles ahead of an A6.

I wonder.................

1 year 5 weeks ago

Much as I like this car and would be very happy indeed to have one as my own car, I do wonder how BMW manage to get such low emissions and good economy from a 3 litre diesel engine in such a heavy car. 

I would really love to meet any real, normal, everyday person who drives one of these cars who could replicate those figures.  Somehow though, I bet they don't exist.

Good point

1 year 5 weeks ago

martin_66 wrote:

Much as I like this car and would be very happy indeed to have one as my own car, I do wonder how BMW manage to get such low emissions and good economy from a 3 litre diesel engine in such a heavy car. 

I would really love to meet any real, normal, everyday person who drives one of these cars who could replicate those figures.  Somehow though, I bet they don't exist.

Mind you, given how irrelevant co2 is in the overall pollution equation and all the other noxious gases diesels put out, I hope thy are faking / fixing it somehow. The government fixes a tax and the manufacturers fixes a solution.

A Facelift???

1 year 5 weeks ago

This is the first facelift (both external and internal) in years that I just can't see any difference at all.  Am I missing something here?  I normally thing I have an eye for detail as well...

Ray6O wrote: martin_66

1 year 5 weeks ago

Ray6O wrote:

martin_66 wrote:

Much as I like this car and would be very happy indeed to have one as my own car, I do wonder how BMW manage to get such low emissions and good economy from a 3 litre diesel engine in such a heavy car. 

I would really love to meet any real, normal, everyday person who drives one of these cars who could replicate those figures.  Somehow though, I bet they don't exist.

Mind you, given how irrelevant co2 is in the overall pollution equation and all the other noxious gases diesels put out, I hope thy are faking / fixing it somehow. The government fixes a tax and the manufacturers fixes a solution.

I agree, the government is so hung up on CO2, totally oblivious to the other particles and gases that diesels emit that are more harmful than petrol, even taking in to account the better economy of diesels. And the fact that Autocar are trying to advocate the introduction of trolleybuses in some urban/congested areas because of the effects of diesel is one case in point.

Hmmm ...

1 year 5 weeks ago

" ... and a traffic jam assistant allowing the 5-series to steer, accelerate and brake with no intervention from the driver at up to 19mph. Which is probably just as well given that the mouse also allows web surfing."

WHAT??

I would certainly hope that 'web surfing' on this (and other such equiped cars) was locked out whilst the vehicle is in motion ...

Call me old-fashioned, but you get behind the wheel of a car to drive, not to surf the Internet ...

Real World Fuel Economy

1 year 5 weeks ago

Don't know what sample sizes are, but Honest John website reader figures are 39mpg for the Auto, 41mpg for the manual.  Quite a step down from 55mpg...

March1 wrote:Don't know

1 year 5 weeks ago

March1 wrote:

Don't know what sample sizes are, but Honest John website reader figures are 39mpg for the Auto, 41mpg for the manual.  Quite a step down from 55mpg...

Yes, they will be. I cant believe that people think these figures are real world. They are a standard lab test that allows different vehicles to be compared to each other.

The official Miles Per Gallon figures are made up of two tests: The ECE-15, the urban cycle, which simulates a 2.5 mile trip at an average speed of 11.6 mph and a maximum speed of 31 mph from a cold start and the EUDC, extra urban cycle, which lasts 6 minutes 40 seconds at an average speed of 39 mph and a top speed of 74.6 mph. The combined figures are the average of both tests.

The small print in brochures etc. explains this.

I think this car is far nicer

1 year 5 weeks ago

I think this car is far nicer looking than the chris bangle one i think this is a return to the elegant bmws of old. The last five i think looked cheap and nasty on the inside and was a horrible car to drive compared to the shape before which in my eyes was about as good as they get. 

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