If you wouldn`t see it on the odometer, you would have never guessed this car has done this many kilometers. It still feels solid, very little interior creaks despite being a wagon.
It`s built like a tank, roomy like a wagon, comfortable like an armchair, safe like a Volvo and handles like a sports car. If you think that`s too good to be true, wait until I tell you about the fuel consumption. It drinks around 6 litres per 100km, that's 47 Imperial MPG. And that`s mixed driving with highway speeds of 150km/h, if I obey the speed limit of 130km/h it does about 5l/100km, that`s 56 MPG.
If you find a good one, buy it and you won`t regret it.
The downside of this car is that it`s only a four cylinder engine in a heavy chassis. This can be improved by having the car˙s engine electronics remapped, this upgrades the power to 170HP and torque to about 400Nm (300Lb-Ft). After this is done it accelerates like a stock 530d, but consumes much less fuel. Even without this remap, the car is fairly drivable and can safely overtake most traffic when needed, the turbodiesel provides sufficient torque.
Its diesel nature is most noticeable when the engine is cold, due to the clatter. But the cabin is very well insulated and this poses no problem when the windows are closed. It is also very quiet at motorway speeds.
Ergonomics are excellent, everything fits like a silken glove and the materials are of high quality. Seats are comfortable, gearbox is perfect, but the steering wheel is a little too big if you don`t go for the sporty version, still livable though.
Handling and braking are sublime, the car has ideal weight distribution, meaning you just point and it goes in that direction, without trying to tear the steering wheel off your hands in corners. Very relaxing to drive and inspires confidence at all times, even goes very good in the wet.
A let down could be the stereo, without the hi-fi equipment feature it can be disappoint for audiophiles. But the speakers are easily accessible for swapping them with some quality ones and after that the sound quality is more than sufficient.
When it comes to service, try bypassing the dealers and find a BMW specialist, it is at lot cheaper for the same if not better quality of service. If you are a DIY mechanic it is also quite easy to work on.
A letdown can be the image, some people do have their misconceptions about BMW drivers. But they usually change their mind once they get to travel in this piece of excellent machinery.
It certainly is a car you can appreciate. It`s disappointing to drive most other cars once you own a decent 5 series, it is just a package of comfort, handling and quality that is very rarely met in other cars. But beware, get a good one with service history or you might regret it very badly.
And if you do decide to get one, be a good man and use those turn indicators, will you :)