New BMW 530d Touring 2021 review

Is there still a place for large estates in a world dominated by crossovers? We try out the updated BMW 530d Touring to find out

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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The 530d xDrive Touring proves there are some very good reasons why you shouldn’t overlook the more traditional options. This estate serves up more than enough space, is beautifully built inside and out, and is powered by a truly excellent six-cylinder diesel engine. The only drawback is the price; at £56,835, it costs around £8,000 more than the already-excellent 520d Touring.

The diesel-powered estate, once the de facto option as a sensible family car, has perhaps never been further from the top of buyers’ wishlists than it is today. Crossovers and SUVs continue to eat away at the sales of estate cars, while the rise of more affordable and longer-range EVs is delivering another hit to their popularity.

However, this recently updated BMW 530d xDrive Touring offers a perfectly sound and strong argument for an estate car being your number one consideration.

First, the 5 Series drips with desirability, especially in this racy M Sport trim. It’s handsome but understated and, as a Touring, is very well proportioned, with all the right lines and curves in all the right places. This updated model also features a slightly reshaped front end over the car it has replaced; look closely and you’ll see sharper LED headlights and an enlarged front grille, along with 3D-effect tail-lights.

Second, there’s the interior space. The rear bench can comfortably sit three adults, who will all have plenty of head and kneeroom. The outer two seats have Isofix points, while the bench splits 40:20:40 for maximum flexibility in the 570-litre boot. Drop that bench flat and the figure rises to an impressive 1,700 litres. There are a couple of handy features back there, too: rubber strips on the floor to stop large items rolling around when you’re driving, plus a window on the tailgate which doubles as a small hatch so you can load items without having to open the boot fully.

Then, of course, there’s the way the 5 Series drives – which is to say that it remains the benchmark in its class for luxury, refinement and entertainment.

The 530d xDrive we have here makes use of a six-cylinder 3.0-litre turbodiesel mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive. The 3.0-litre engine is truly superb, serving up impeccable refinement, oodles of power and impressive fuel economy at the same time. It doesn’t comprise in any of these areas and still proves the merits of a diesel engine, even if the fuel is falling out of favour with buyers.

Key to the 530d’s ability is the low-down slug of torque – all 620Nm of it – that’s available from little over idle. It allows the 5 Series to glide effortlessly, with that sense of ease backed up by impeccable refinement and excellent ride quality.

The eight-speed auto goes about its work without detection, slicing through the gears and changing up and down at the optimum time to maintain momentum and the sense of refinement. As you’d expect, traction from the xDrive system is excellent, giving surefooted security at all speeds.

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While this may be a big, refined family car, it’s also one you can really drive. The steering is smooth and responsive, and the body control brilliantly manages the car’s weight over bumpy surfaces. Sport mode tightens up the car’s responses – namely the steering, throttle and dampers – but it’s best left in Comfort, which suits the Touring’s laid-back and relaxed nature.

The 530d is on the pricey side, at £56,835, but if you can make your budget stretch beyond a 520d xDrive, which starts at £49,045, we’d recommend the upgrade. On a monthly PCP deal those figures will translate into £890 and £740 respectively.

Model: BMW 530d xDrive M Sport Touring
Price: £56,835
Engine: 3.0-litre 6cyl turbodiesel
Power/torque: 282bhp/620Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic, four-wheel drive 
0-62mph: 5.6 seconds
Top speed: 155mph
Economy: 44.1-47.9mpg
CO2: 168-154g/km
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