BMW 535d M Sport review - price, specs and 0-60 time

The new F10 5-Series has failed to capture our hearts so far. Will the 535d M Sport change that?

Evo rating
Price
from £45,320
  • Effortless pace, refinement and economy
  • Sports saloon? Getting closer...

The latest version of the car that did more than any other to make the idea of a performance diesel acceptable: the BMW 535d. It still uses a twin turbo version of the 3.0-litre straight six, but power is up. Unfortunately so are both the weight (1790kg) and the cost (£45,320). This is also the first chance we’ve had to drive a 5-Series with the new M Sport pack.

Engine and performance

In this car it has to be the engine – very few other companies have bothered with the idea of a sporting diesel. On the surface the 3.0-litre twin turbo diesel doesn’t seem to have moved on that much since it was first introduced with 268bhp and 410lb ft at 2000rpm back in 2004. Now it has and extra 27bhp and 32lb ft (delivered 250rpm sooner). Hardly a huge leap, but power doesn’t tell the full story here. Compared with the Jag XF the BMW’s engine was lacking refinement. The latest update has addressed that.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Subscribe now and get your first 5 issues for £5 or buy the latest issue in all good newsagents!

What’s it like to drive?

We haven’t been the biggest fans of the new 5. Too big, too heavy, too much like a 7-Series. This is the best we’ve tried, though. It’s still not particularly feelsome through corners, but the M Sport mods (developed By M division) do make the saloon more agile when changing directions. It’s a crisper car – still not as biddable and engaging as an XF, but close.

The engine is better than the Jag’s though. Massively strong from low revs it delivers deceptive pace and gearshifts that are pretty much undetectable even though there are eight ratios for the electronics to shuffle through. Noise levels have dropped, smoothness has improved and the drive through and out of corners means there’s more to enjoy about this car than the claimed economy figure of 46.3mpg (we easily got 38mpg).

Rivals

Audi and Merc still have nothing to compare to the 535d, so it’s only natural rival is the Jaguar XF Diesel S. I have to say that’s a very close run thing and unless I needed the BMW’s extra space, I’d probably nudge towards the Jag for its more rounded, driver-orientated persona.

Price and release date

The 535d is also available as an SE model for £43,915, the M Sport upgrade costing £3300 (it’s the same price across the range). However, if you opt for £2265 Adaptive Drive to further sharpen up the handling, you’ll lose the M Sport Suspension…

Specifications

Engine3.0-litre straight six, twin turbo
Max power295bhp @ 4000rpm
Max torque442lb ft @ 1750rpm
0-605.7secs
Top speed155mph (limited)
On saleNow, for £45,320
Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/5-series/22919/2020-bmw-5-series-facelift-spied-with-subtle-updates
BMW 5 Series saloon

2020 BMW 5-series facelift spied with subtle updates

22 Jul 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/porsche/911/201958/porsche-911-gt3-vs-gt3-rs-vs-gt2-rs-track-battle
Porsche 911

Porsche 911 GT3 vs GT3 RS vs GT2 RS - track battle

Porsche’s GT3, GT3 RS and GT2 RS are the most hardcore of the 911 breed, but pitched head‑to‑head which will we crown champion?
15 Nov 2019
Visit/buying-advice/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
15 Nov 2019
Visit/ford/mustang/201952/ford-mustang-mach-e-uncovered-as-all-electric-suv
Ford Mustang

Ford Mustang Mach-E uncovered as all-electric SUV

The Mustang has been hit with the all-electric, SUV treatment
18 Nov 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to find out.
20 Sep 2019