If it was a boxer, it would be a light heavyweight; as a rugby player, a flanker; yes, plenty of beef and lots of speed…
Tom Scanlan enjoys a big comfy, sporty, saloon the BMW 530d M Sport
The BMW 530d M Sport, however, is not the Ultimate Driving Machine. It nearly is, but doesn’t quite get there because of the slight deadness in the steering feel. But, yes, what do you expect when the car wears such wide, low-profile tyres on 19-inch wheels? And the tyres are the main provider of road noise, on some surfaces, at otherwise very refined and quiet motorway speeds
So the car feels big, which is OK, and solid, which is good. On the down side, rearward visibility could be better; the satnav regularly disagreed with the speed limit signs and the remote key (part of the £1495 Technology Package) got discharged so that I wasn’t able to manoeuvre the car while standing outside it. This is a smart feature that can let you, for example, park the car into a, particularly tight space. Charging the key should have been simple enough by placing it in its little docking bay in the centre console, but even after an overnight rest, it was still discharged; this meant I neither could I access the various pieces of information within the car’s computer memory, had I wanted to. Luckily, the discharged bit did not affect getting into or locking the car or starting the ignition.
Apart from those such things and the eye-watering cost of all the packaged and options on the test car that lifted the price from its base of £46,355 up to £63,770, it’s all good news.
Other motoring writers say that this car needs the optional £985 VDC or Variable Damper Control. I’ll take their word for it because this car had it and I have not driven a 5-series without it. The ride was indeed excellent. That goes for the driver’s seat, too, especially with another option — back massage…lovely! Yes, a pothole would create a thump, but so it would in any car.
The car can be driven in Sport, Comfort or Eco mode, with the instruments changing accordingly. Comfort was my preferred choice. Sport is perhaps only for the wide open spaces out on the moors or through the mountains for a bit of fun. And, given the superb engine’s 261 bhp and acceleration figure of just 5.7 seconds to 62 mph, fun is available big-time. Eco would be more useful around town.
The BMW 530d M Sport’s 8-speed Auto gearbox is top-class, too, almost imperceptible and of course with the usual paddle or manual shift options. The car handles and brakes impressively as you have the right to expect.
As a family car, for all that money, with BMW’s various ‘Packages’ for comfort, Premium equipment and so on, it offers a lot. Passengers in the back, for example, can have their own air-conditioning settings.
The boot is big enough for the family to take more than they would probably need on any holiday and bring back plenty of souvenirs, too. My week in the 530d finished at a very satisfactory 42.8 mpg…and I admit to often pushing in a bit. Emissions are down, equally impressively, at 124 g/km.
All in all this makes for an impressive big family car with all the tech you would expect from BMW.
Car reviewed: BMW 530d M Sport – Base Price On the road £47,125 0-60mph 5.7 secs Top speed 155mph Fuel Economy combined 60.1mpg CO2 emissions 124g/km Engine 2993cc 6-cylinder EU6 Diesel Max Power [email protected] rpm Torque [email protected] Transmission 8-Speed Automatic with manual mode
Big luxury family car
Great fuel economy and emissions
Excellent 8-speed auto
Issues with remote key