BMW 535d review

Beauty in the Beast

BMW 540d.jpg
‘Sheer driving pleasure’ really does sum up the new BMW 535d, which combines effortless family motoring with searing performance, which makes you feel like Sebastian Vettel booming around Silverstone.

Don’t be fooled by the diesel tag either, they’re a different specimen to the noisy tractor engines that were typical of yesteryear. Indeed, the 535d boasts a sensational three litre twin turbo power plant, can thrust you to 100 km/h in a mere 5.5 seconds, all the way up to 250 km/h. And that’s governed; she’ll do closer to 280 km/h with the training wheels off. That’s Porsche 911 country in something that you can take the kids to school in. 

Diesel engines have come such a long way that the 535d is only a mere 0.5 of a second slower in the industry standard 0-100 than the five litre 550i top of the range petrol model. 

The vehicle offers various ride settings from Sports+ which gives you every last ounce of power, together with taking the traction control off. Then there are two comfort settings for smooth sailing, down to the Eco Drive mode which turns the snarling 230 kilowatt engine into a cuddly puppy, yearning for a sensible drive.

It’s also a rather intelligent offering, and will automatically close the door for you. The boot is also full automatic, while the windows have a clever child lock, so that your nearest and dearest doesn’t guillotine themselves whilst playing with the windows. 

The driver’s LCD display does the business; while it’s also nice to be able to turn it off for the times you want to avoid the technological revolution. At night, soft red lighting, and clean dash board gives you a sense of occasion, while the oversized sunroof is arguably the best on the market. 

The seats are first class, with all the adjusting you’d ever need. Thankfully they’ve chosen to avoid the vibrating seats, which can get as bit much after awhile, and cost more than a small car to fix.

On the negative side, she’s a little heavy through the corners, which is too be expected from a vehicle weighing over 1700 kilograms. All the bells and whistles do add weight, so don’t expect 911 cornering, thou you’d have no problem in a straight line dealing with German counterparts. 

At R1.1 million for the top of the range model, it’s priced awfully close to some fierce completion from Jaguar and Merc. It’s definitely a tough call; thou the Beemers refinement give it the edge. 
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This edition

Issue 72