What is it?
There are two separate pieces of 5-series news to talk about here, but unfortunately only one that we'll get to the bottom of. The first is the return of the 535d to the range, absent since the launch of the F10. The second, that it is now possible to buy a 5-series in M Sport specification.
What's it like?
Although retaining two turbochargers, the 35d engine has been comprehensively re-engineered and now produces 295bhp and 442lb ft of torque. Much as before, the car is available only with an automatic transmission, but the 'box now has eight speeds. The performance for a diesel saloon car is extraordinary; if anything, the claimed 0-62mph time of 5.7sec undersells the real-world, on-demand response.
Perhaps of more relevance, though, is that this new 535d is significantly more refined than the previous model, which could occasionally feel and sound slightly coarse. Why exactly is difficult to pinpoint; it could be the new engine and gearbox or simply because the F10 employs more sound deadening than its predecessor.
The biggest question, though, is whether you actually need the extra performance, given that the 530d is now such a competent and potent motor. For those deciding that the half-a-second gain in the 0-62mph time is worth the extra £3425, the consolation is that the 535d matches the 530d’s claimed economy figures and produces just 2g/km more CO2.