Skip advert
Advertisement

BMW 520d EfficientDynamics

Cleanest version of the BMW 5 Series is also the best

Overall Auto Express Rating

5.0 out of 5

Find your BMW 5 Series
Offers from our trusted partners on this car and its predecessors...
Or are you looking to sell your car?
Customers got an average £1000 more vs part exchange quotes
Advertisement

The 520d EfficientDynamics proves that you really can have your cake and eat it. Not only does it tick all the boxes for performance and luxury, but it’s also incredibly cheap to run when it comes to tax and fuel consumption. If you’re after a large executive car that’s an eco-winner but requires no compromises from the driver, this is it. And as a result, it’s undoubtedly the pick of the 5 Series range.

Advertisement - Article continues below

A luxury saloon that’s as clean and economical as the average supermini – that’s the BMW 520d EfficientDynamics.

Costing just £405 more than the standard 520d, the ultra- frugal diesel executive impressed us on European roads, but does its business case stack up in the UK? 

The 520d ED emits only 119g/km of CO2, which makes it the cleanest car in its class. Business drivers will be pleased to learn it sits in a 13 per cent benefit-in-kind band and is cheaper to tax than the most efficient diesel Audi A6 and Mercedes E-Class (both 18 per cent). It trounces the Jaguar XF diesel, too, which has a 22 per cent banding.

Private buyers, meanwhile, will be happy with the fact that road tax is free in the first year, and only £30 thereafter.

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement - Article continues below

And it’s very economical, with BMW claiming 62.8mpg – up from 58.9mpg in the 520d – which gives a range of over 900 miles between fill-ups.

So how does it achieve such incredible figures? Surprisingly, there have been only a few tweaks. Visually, the only differences are a set of aerodynamic alloy wheels, which come with low-rolling- resistance tyres.

Under the skin, the 181bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine is untouched, but the six-speed manual gearbox has a longer final drive ratio, which lowers engine revs, particularly on the motorway.

On the move, you’d be hard- pressed to notice the difference between this and the regular 520d. In town, you might need a touch more throttle at low revs in second gear, but once the turbo is spinning, there’s lots of punch – 0-62mph takes 8.2 seconds (just a tenth of a second longer than the 520d).

Plus, with 380Nm of torque, there’s loads of overtaking urge, too, while on the motorway the 520d ED settles to an even quieter cruise.

The only real negative is that there’s no automatic version. All the 5 Series virtues remain intact – the handling is poised, the steering precise and the ride cushioned. Regardless of whether you are a business driver or a private punter, this is the 5 Series to go for. 

Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Most Popular

Ford Explorer review
Ford Explorer 2024 - front
In-depth reviews

Ford Explorer review

Ford’s long-awaited electric SUV drives well, has some neat touches and impresses for efficiency
18 Jun 2024
New Nissan Leaf is an SUV! 2025 model gets advanced tech and concept car looks
Nissan Leaf exclusive image
News

New Nissan Leaf is an SUV! 2025 model gets advanced tech and concept car looks

The next-generation Nissan Leaf will transform into an SUV inspired by the Chill-Out concept and our exclusive image previews how it could look
16 Jun 2024
New Audi e-tron GT facelift ups the power to a colossal 912bhp
Audi RS e-tron GT Performance - front
News

New Audi e-tron GT facelift ups the power to a colossal 912bhp

The Audi e-tron GT has been updated for 2024, while new entry-level S and flagship RS Performance models join the line-up
17 Jun 2024