Lighter and leaner the 5 Series may be, but it has lost none of its characteristic big saloon heft, neither proportionally nor in the way it drives.
The upgrade from the 3 Series remains palpable, with its king-sized superiority in scale underscored by a similarly palatial sense of quietness and comfort.
In the previous generation, the model’s rolling refinement was significantly affected by wheel size and chassis specification.
It matters here, too, with our test car’s lower M Sport suspension proving to be not quite as pillowy as the standard configuration.
That the difference here is less problematic signifies not only the gains made by improvements to component choice and a reduction in unsprung mass, but also in BMW’s dogged pursuit for the 5 Series of a dynamic compromise that is edging progressively closer to that of the cosseting 7 Series – and a commensurate distance away from the incisiveness of the 3 Series.
Nevertheless, the compromise wrought out of the G30 is by and large a fabulous one, not least because it’ll likely suit most UK buyers – and the shabbily surfaced roads upon which they drive – right down to the ground.
With the revised adaptive dampers in Comfort mode (their default setting), the 520d rides with an aplomb built primarily on a sophisticated sense of isolation. Deeper creases and crevices are not exactly soothed away by the M Sport specification’s sterner settings and larger wheels, yet each intrusion is generally made to seem remarkably distant by the bubble of muffled, long-wave consistency in which the saloon keeps its occupants encased at all speeds. Appropriately enough, this quality makes the 520d a terrific motorway tackler, far in excess of the comparative indulgence meted out by the 3 Series.