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Car reviews - BMW - 5 Series - 530d sedan

Launch Story

BMW logo6 Dec 2005

By NEIL MCDONALD

BMW has joined Audi and Mercedes-Benz by adding a luxury turbo-diesel to its passenger car line-up in Australia.

Launched this week ahead of a showroom introduction next month, the 3.0-litre turbo-diesel 530d will be priced from $113,500. An M Sport package will also be available for another $4000.

The 530d is the first 5 Series diesel offered here and joins the 525i, 530i, 540i, 550i and V10 M5 petrol offerings.

Both the 530d and just-launched $75,400 X3 3.0d four-wheel drive share the same Euro4-compliant 160kW/480Nm 3.0 inline six.

Paired with a six-speed automatic transmission, the 530d is claimed to be able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.2 seconds and return an average fuel consumption of 7.5L/100km.

The diesel is specified to the same levels as the BMW 530i petrol six. This means standard equipment runs to Dakota full-leather upholstery, electric driver’s seat with memory, central monitor with radio navigation, a 10-speaker CD sound system, three choices of high-gloss wood trim, automatic anti-dazzle rearview mirrors, dual-zone climate control, a leather multi-function steering wheel and an onboard computer.

Furthermore, the diesel has 17-inch star-spoke alloy wheels, rain-sensing windscreen wipers, automatic headlight control and front foglights.

The diesel also shares the petrol model’s high level of safety equipment with dynamic stability control and traction and dynamic brake control.

The M Sport package adds a recalibrated, lower-riding M Sport suspension, aerodynamic package, sport seats, 18-inch M alloy wheels with 245/40R18 tyres, Anthracite roof lining and "Aluminium Cube" interior trim.

BMW engineers have maintained the 5 Series’ dynamic balance by delivering an all-aluminium 3.0-litre engine that weighs as much as 25kg less than a similarly-sized cast-iron engine.

Other weight-saving measures extend to a flexible drive belt for the air-conditioning, which eliminates the need for a belt tensioner, as well as a lightweight synthetic material cylinder-head cover.

The diesel also features double overhead camshafts and four-valve cylinder head technology. Combined with an intercooled variable geometry turbocharger and direct piezo fuel injection operating through a third-generation common-rail system, the car’s 160kW is delivered at 4000rpm while peak torque is delivered between 1750rpm and 2750rpm.

In Germany, 42 per cent of all BMWs sold are diesel-powered. Worldwide, almost one in four of all BMWs produced are fitted with a diesel engine, while in Australia diesel represents almost 50 per cent of all X5 sales.

The arrival of the 530d brings the number of turbo-diesel BMWs available to three, the other two being the X3 3.0d and X5 3.0d.

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