15-03-2019

BMW 530D M Sport Driven

REVIEWS

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You have had a long day at work, back to back investor meetings, then a board meeting, few critical to business decisions and then finally after long day at work, you are finally home, brazing the city traffic. Dinner done, you settle in quietly in your bedroom to doze off.

12:00 AM: Ting, your iPhone notification sounds, you pick up your phone to check the notification, nothing important though and as you are about to turn around, you see a key lying next to the side table nextto your bed. A quick look at the key, and it shows the key is fully charged. You pick the key in your hands, glance at it. The city comes alive in the night you think, but naa, you are damn tired isn’t it.

You look around once more, your wife is sleeping peacefully, you quietly wake up, do a check of kids room, they are sleeping, and you think to yourself, one quick drive, that’s it, I should be back home in 15-20 minutes. So, you quietly sneak out of the house. Go down to the basement, look at the car parked. Fire up the engine through the remote key, let the car come out of the parking, simply sit in the car and drive off to torch the tarmac in the night.What looked like a 15 minutes drive, has seen you behind the wheel from more than an hour, and you still aren’t satisfied. You just don’t want to go home yet.

You just can’t get enough of it. Because what you are driving is the new BMW 530DM-Sport. That’s what BMW has been able to achieve with the 530D M-Sport. You want to be behind the wheel, irrespective of what time it is or irrespective of what’s your physical state of body and mind. Because once you are behind the wheel, you liven up.

Lot of it has to do with this statement- “Freude Am Fahren" (Sheer Driving Pleasure). It wouldn't be wrong to state that this tagline is as important as to BMW as the Gospel is to Christianity. Time and again, BMW has done justice to its iconic tagline by offering cars where driving dynamics were a cut above the rest, no matter what the era, no matter what car. Hydraulic power steerings made way for electric ones, stiffly sprung coil springs made way for air suspension and oil burners made way for hybrids, but the German Auto giant has held onto its morals like a rock.

And the BMW 5 Series has played a pivotal role in that sense. It is BMW's second best selling car after the lesser 3 Series and has sold more than 5 million copies worldwide with a legacy spanning over 40 years.

So did you visualise yourself stepping out of the house late in the night and going for the drive? Are you the one who wasthinking, gosh, why don’t I do such things with the car parked in my garage? Well, then I think, I found a perfect car for you- The BMW 530D M Sport. But, just because, it’s the perfect driving machine, should be the sole reason to pick one? Read on to know more.

But before we get into the review of the car, here’s an interesting history of the car.

The E60 was the first generation of the 5 series to make a prominent mark in India (5th generation globally). It was offered with a 2.0L turbocharged four pot oil burner (520D) or the coveted 3.0L six cylinder diesel (530D). A 6 cylinder 2.0 N/A Petrol was also on offer (535i) at the time. The stiffly sprung suspension and the heavy hydraulic PS did put off a few buyers, though it made the E60 famous for being the best driver's car. It is still dubbed as the 5 series with the best driving dynamics till date.

The F-10 made its Indian debut around 2011. With a softer set suspension and the HPS making way for an EPS, it found wideracceptance as a saloon especially among the developing markets (Enthusiasts were obviously put off though).

And finally, the G-30 debuted in 2017. In typical BMW fashion, the G-30 seems to be more of an evolution over the F-10, although the changes are far more than skin deep. The percentage of aluminium used in the chassis has increased as compared to the F-10, although it still (understandably) doesn't get the carbon fibre bits that its elder sibling employs.

Can we look at the car in further details.

Design Language - Exteriors


Classified as the G-30, as mentioned earlier, the new 5 Series is longer and wider than the outgoing 5 Series. Look at both the cars together, you will appreciate the fact that the new one looks leaner, meaner, has tighter lines and an athletic stance.

The front profile is reminiscent of any other BMW, just that now the bumpers have got sharper, the headlamps have got sleeker and now house all LED BMW Adaptive lights and the kidney grill now sports active aerodynamics which open and shut basis the machinery requirements. Next to the air-dams now you have sleek fog lamps, which also get LED treatment. What we had for the review is the sportier 530D, with the M Sport Trim (which is standard), that comes with sportier bumper, aggressively designed side skirts, bigger alloys and aggressive brakes.

The prominent design element that stands strikingly out from the side profile perspective is the longish bonnet, which establishes the connect with the fact that, there’s a mammoth of an engine sitting beneath the hood. The 18 inch twin spoke diamond finished alloys give the car, that much of aggression even when the car is standing still. The subtle kink at the bottom of the front fender and door help in breaking visual bulk and give the 5 a more cohesive look. The drooping nose and the longer rear overhang is clearly a bias towards luxury and space than outright sportiness, (unlike its predecessor which had a stubbier boot and aggressive haunches), but make no mistake, she is still a BMW in essence.

Coming to the rear, the front aggression continues, the all LED tail lamps, are amongst the very best in the business, give the car a sportier character. The rear bumper sports a diffuser which adds a dash of class and sportier appeal to the car.

The boot space at 400 litres, may be lesser than the competition, but is capable enough to carry your weekend worth of bags and BMW has added the space saver tire, after multiple complains from their existing customers against the run flats.

Overall I would say, the 530D M Sport, would appeal to the young atheartyou, who would choose a sportier looking business sedan, over the elegant looking sedan.

However, if you are looking for a more elegant design, look no further, as then the 520D is the way forward for you, though not aggressive or powerful as the 530D, it goes about doing it’s job well, that is taking you from place A to place B in utmost comfort and luxury and occasionally making people turn around and give a passing glance to the car.

Design Language - Interiors


Unlock the car by pressing the unlock button on the display key, all the tell-tale lights illuminate and moment you open the door, the centre console illuminates with BMW Signage flashing in. The ambient lights inside switch on, lifting your mood further.

Step inside, and you will be hard-pressed to find single fault in the car. BMW has nailed the interiors. The front seats are well bolstered, the cushioning is soft, and the thigh extenders work perfectly well to give you additional comfort on those long drives. The dashboard, just as any other BMW is driver centric, it gets bigger 10.25 centre screen, which is absolutely intuitive to use, comes with satellite navigation and BMW’s much famed gesture control. The driver instrument console is all digital with metal inserts, which adds a character to it.The display changes basis the mode that you choose to be in.

The i-drive as usual is intuitive and easy to use. It can be controlled by the scroller next to the gear knob, or buttons on the steering wheel or simply use voice commands to use it. There is not a single panel inside here which feels out of place or not from this segment or not worth this price. The storage space below the centre console houses wireless charging pad, which also wirelessly pairs the iPhone for Apple CarPlay.The ambient lighting in the 530D is more pronounced just as in the X3, with similar six dimmable colour options (Orange, Lilac, Mint, Bronze, Blue and White) to suit every individuals taste and needs.

Step into the rear, and the first thing that you note while stepping in, is the fact that the doors open nice and wide, which allows easy ingress and egress. Once you are inside, you have loads of room, of course not in the league of the E Classsince it comes with an extended wheel base. Legroom is comfortable enough for you to stretch after tiring day a work, what helps further is the headroom that makes it comfortable for a 6 footer to sit comfortably. Though the car is wide, can it hold 3 people at the back. Well actually no, the centre console is tad bit higher and the seat cushioning itself in the centre is raised up, which will make that occasional third rear passenger a bit uncomfortable on the long journeys.

A four-zone climate control AC ensures that you are at best comfortable, whatever the temperature outside and should the heat rise up on the outside, you have manual blinds on the rear windows to help you maintain not only your privacy but cool temperatures inside the cabin. The rear glass panel gets automated blind, which can be operated through the buttons on the door panel.

The feature list of this 530D is exhaustive enough to keep you engaged with the car for years. Each day you will make up to discover a new feature, which will enhance your experience with the car. What features we particularly liked and not in any order of preference were, Gesture Control, Automated Parking, Head’s Up Display, 360 degree multi angle and intuitive camera, 16 speakers Harmon Kardon Audio Setup and no doubt, the Dynamic Damper Control.

In Car Entertainment

The 10.25 inch centre console screen also doubles up audio system for the sedan

Powering this 10.25 inch audio screen is 16 speakers, 600 watts high end surround system from Harmon Kardon, which boasts of high fidelity sound. The bass notes are deeper and richer. Connectivity options include wireless Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and USB.

While the X3 also had a similar setup, what stands out in the 530D, is the placement of the speakers. No matter, where you are sitting in this Beamer, the notes sound absolutely same. You exactly know the sound difference from left channel and the right channel.

Performance- Engine and Gearbox

There are rear wheel drive cars, and then there is this. How many of you have heard of an executive business sedan, which is an absolute hooligan? Well the 530D M Sport, is just that. With a 3 litre, 265 hp/620 nm torque engine, mated to ZF’s super quick 8 speed gearbox, this BMW brings out the hooligan in you. 0-100 kmph comes in BMW claimed 5.7 seconds, that is almost up there with much more expensive sports sedans and roadsters.

Interesting to note here is that this 3 litre Diesel motor, is much more refined and much more silent then its 2 litre counterpart. Making the driving on long distances, that much more comfortable.

The ZF, 8 speed gear box is super sleek and fast. Even before you have blinked your eyes, the gearbox must have executed its next move. This helps greatly in keeping the momentum going. BMW calls this transmission sports automatic.

The 520D in comparison has to do with BMW’s bread and butter, 2 litre four cylinder diesel engine churning out 190 HP of power and 400 NM of torque, mated again to the 8 speed gearbox, but BMW tells us that, the gearbox used in the 520D is in different state of tune as compared to the 530D.

Performance- Ride, Handling and Drivability

We did mention about the 530D being hooligan earlier isn’t it? This incoming 530D is larger than the outgoing version of the 530D, and yet it manages to be almost 100 kgs lighter than the older car. Infact, the 530D, is the lightest car in its class. And that translates in the way it handles. It absolutely agile, and lets you have some fun behind the wheel. When was the last time, you took a diesel executive sedan on a test track to drift? Well this is the one, that can do that for you, and let you have some fun while doing it too.

The steering weighs up really nicely, its responsive in any mode that it is put in. The adaptive dampers that come as standard across the BMW 5 Series Range, make this car absolutely stunning handler. The car is also able to muff the road and wind noise really well, hence ensuring that you have a comforting drive to your destination. True to the tradition of BMW’s, the suspension even in the Eco-Pro mode is setup on a stiffer side, which lets you know, what the tires are up to. That I think is the very essence of any BMW you buy. Downside, well, occasionally those thumps and bumps are going to filter inside the cabin, which some people may not expect and like from a 80 lac sedan.

There are four modes to choose from in the 530D, Eco-Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive . For those city drives, Comfort Mode goes about doing the job, it controls the 265 HP aggression well, and helps you maintain the pace with the start-stop traffic. Out on the highway, switch to the sport mode, and then this beast leaps forward like no one’s business. And then she plasters a wide grin on your face.However, the smarter mode between all of them is the Adaptive Mode, as it constantly adapts to your driving style and keeps shuffling between softening the suspensions and stiffening the suspensions, basis the road conditions, speed and your throttle inputs.

I can go on and on and on, about how this BMW drives, but this 530D M Sports, needs no introduction. Not only is it entertaining to drive, but its super comfortable too, inspite of having stiffly set suspensions. If you are looking for a car which has best of both the worlds- Performance, backed with Luxury and Comfort, this is the car you should be aiming for.

The Verdict

5 Series as we said earlier, is the largest selling sedan for BMW globally, after the 3 Series. And now we know, why. It was very hard to find a fault with this car. Infact, the new 5 Series, sets the benchmark for others to follow. While Audi and Mercedes-Benz do offer their segment flagship sedans, the A6 and E- Class in the 3 litre guise, but what emotions the BMW is able to evoke, latter two don’t. It is not only about how much power you make, but it is about, how that power is transferred to the wheels, and that is where the BMW 530D M Sport excels. So while you may still have them in your Garage, but you will not sneak out in the night for those late night guilt drives.

So its, 12 in the midnight, and you want to go on a drive, because you haven’t enjoyed driving back in the thick of the traffic, and along side you just want to enjoy your favourite tracks on the 16 speaker Harmon Kardon Setup in the car, we have found the key and the car for you- BMW 530 D- M Sport it is.

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About Author
Nilesh Sawant
Nilesh Sawant

With an experience of over 3 lac kms of driving across the continents and with extensive experience of driving on the tracks, and passion for technical things around anything on wheels, reviews written by Nilesh are crisp and to the point.  



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Reply | 19-02-2019


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