2014 BMW 520d Test drive review – sporty yet premium

2014 BMW 520d Test drive: 2014 BMW 5 series gets most subtle facelift in the market. Not many changes from outside that looks strikingly different from the earlier model but yet it got minor tweaks that adds to the new model at par with competition. After over 6.6 million BMW 5-Series are sold since its introduction.

2014 BMW 520d front three quarters

2014 BMW 520d front three quarters

The high-performance German sedan is ready to defend its leading position with the new 2014 model.  Till 2012 the sales number story was in favor of BMW as compared to Audi and Mercedes-Benz. Due to successful ‘year of offensive’ strategy Mercedes-Benz took a way forward than other German luxury car manufactures. The competition from other German counterparts has led BMW to tweak its luxury salon more for the comfort and the lavishness keeping intact the brand’s tag line ‘Sheer driving pleasure’.  2014 BMW 5 series now intended to give luxury experience and looks like BMW has got a right mix of ride handling and ride comfort in 520d. We tested car for 800 kms including ghats of Maharashtra and straights of Mumbai-Pune expressway. Here is our take on 2014 BMW 520d.

Exterior:

2014 BMW 520d front three quarters

2014 BMW 520d front three quarters

The exterior of 2014 BMW 5 series gets minor but essential tweaks. The new bumper and all LED headlamp are starting sleek profile of the car. Headlamps cover front facia of car and side profile marching to the latest design language from BMW. The chrome inserts on front bumper along with BMW kidney grille is a touche to sportiness with premium bits. Even fog lamps are now LED.

The adaptive LED system of headlamps get brand’s feature of corona rings which make car even beautiful. Side profile of the car remains almost similar to earlier version. Character line flowing from bumper to door trims and the other flows from door handles to tail lamps adding to sporty stance in car for the side profile. The alloy wheel is another part that is intended toward lavish and luxury look in 520d. Instead of giving sporty 5 spoke alloy, the design is more sophisticated than sporty look. Moving to the rear end, the car has typical BMW finish on LED tail-lamps with again chrome lining on rear bumper. Two exhaust pipes on left side of rear end of car reminds the sporty character.

Interiors:

2014 BMW 520d dashboard

2014 BMW 520d dashboard

As you step in the car, a lot of beige colour welcomes you and the car feels roomy. The dashboard has 3 colors all in all with one wooden insert shining at center part of dashboard that flows from end to end. Aluminum finish metal inserts are other added bits to premium-ness of car. The wooden inserts flow from dashboard to door panel in continuity. The upper dash is soft touch and the layout is driver-centric.

2014 BMW 520d center console

2014 BMW 520d center console

Center console gets all those required goodies which are expected in this price of car. 3 spoke steering with mounted controls on it and the best thing behind it is peddle shift. If you are in driving seat, this will surely fascinate your itch to take over automatic gearbox. Center console gets BMW’s typical gear knob to select drive modes and just next to it is the magic button.

2014 BMW 520d drive selector

2014 BMW 520d drive selector

The magic button we say because it changes the complete dynamics of the car from Eco mode to comfort mode to sports mode.  BMW has gone a step ahead in 2014 5 series to enhance the sporty feel of the car by giving full digital display of instrument cluster which boasts every small information about car in it.

As soon as you change the ride modes from Eco to Comfort to Sport, the digital display at instrument cluster changes its colours and a complete new speedo is available for each driving mode. This is something very much special about new 5 series. The driving position is nice and you can see a complete bonnet. This take a little time to understand and get feel of the car when are in BMW’s cockpit for the first time.

2014 BMW 520d wooden inserts

2014 BMW 520d wooden inserts

The center console is full of wooden finish that shines and it adds to the luxurious feel of the car. BMW’s i-drive is available in this car too with loosing navigation option. Rear seats are comfortable enough but the legroom is not as expected as the 5 series. There is similar amount of legroom even in 2014 Mercedes-E Class. The car gets a lot of safety equipment with 8 airbags in all. Front memory seats, dual zone climate control, leather wrapped steering wheel, USB, AUX support, CD changer in glove box and a lot of storage compartments to put small things in place are available in this car. The car comes with Harman-Kardon audio system and that’s of fantastic quality.  In addition to this features, there are roller sunblind for rear windows available and for rear side windows.

Engine and Transmission:

2014 BMW 520d engine

2014 BMW 520d engine

2014 BMW 5 520d is powered by 2 liter oil burner that churns 184 bhp and 380Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 8 speed automatic transmission.  520d comes in two trims, modern line and luxury line. 2014 BMW 525d and 530d offers 8 speed sport automatic transmission. The car we tested was 520d modern line. The engine power is delivered to rear wheels of the car and with 50:50 weight distributions, the car is well balanced for spirited driving. Gearbox is quick and smooth and easily over ridden by just clicking pedal shift. The oil burner has met standards of BMW in terms of refinement and one really has to take microphone arrays to listen diesel grunt inside the car cabin. Efficient engine and gearbox with combined city and highway driving gave us 13.8 kmpl. The fuel economy for this car under tested condition is 18.48 kmpl. The journey computer displays a real time fuel economy graph which is updated every minute in center console display.

Ride and handling:

2014 BMW 520d side profile

2014 BMW 520d side profile

The well balanced 520d is pure fun to drive just like its predecessor. The engine and transmission club together ensure the driving confidence at steering wheel. Steering wheel is direct and sharp to handle. If you want to get into aggression mode, this car will surely assist you. All electronics system make sure that you don’t loose your driving confidence. ESP, traction control, ABS are all actively working for safety and drive control with command of driver. The car feels like a solid boat on highway when car moves on those  separating lines of road at speeds above 120 kmph. It does feel big while taking turns but steering is direct that allows you to make swift moves in confidence. The car cruises nicely even at a speed of 120 kmph and when fully loaded with 4 passengers. The fantastic seamless power delivery is observed while overtaking  in ghats when every other car is lagging behind and 5 series finds its way ruling the road.

2014 BMW 520d front

2014 BMW 520d front

The 2014 BMW 5 series has made its march towards rich and premium-ness keeping its sporty attitude intact. 5 series has already proved its mark in the last few years and these new updates to the car take it more closer to the customer demands when compared with other luxury car makers in that price bracket. BMW has updated it bestseller and now its more of premium and rich and lavish experience keeping the main fun factor intact – ‘Sheer Driving Pleasure’.  All in all it has marched to another successful story of its life cycle.

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