The new BMW 5 series 520D - a car that drives YOU

“I do hope buyers in the market for a new sedan consider taking this great business athlete for a test drive!”

I have a friend who owns a BMW 5 series and when I asked how he found driving it in Cape Town’s awful traffic he said, “I don’t drive this car. This car drives me.” When the new BMW 5 Series 520D arrived at our office last week, I was pretty excited to send him some pics of my new test car, never mind get behind the wheel and experience it for myself.

BMW’s seventh-generation 5 Series Sedan hit South Africa’s shores in the first quarter of this year (2017). This was when BMW introduced it as a vehicle that provides the modern businessman (and woman) with comprehensive connectivity as well as practical and economical performance in a stylish and sporty new model.

A business athlete

If you enjoy a car that feels executive and ultra premium inside you need to hop into the new BMW 5 Series and experience it for yourself. It’s still typically BMW with super sleek and lush finishes inside, but it’s taken a big step up in terms of infotainment and connectivity. It’s perfect for anyone working in a professional environment that still enjoys a fun-to-drive experience, whether travelling to work and back or for those long out-of-town business trips.

I made the most of my six days with the new 5 Series and spent a lot of time driving from suburb to suburb, around the city and then out to Pringle Bay where I headed back to Cape Town via Hermanus. I loved how comfortable I felt behind the wheel and those seats really had me feeling as comfy as I do at home on my couch! It really is an impressive cabin with its 10.5 inch touchscreen display houses new iDrive technology: Gesture Control, navigation, telephone, entertainment features and vehicle functions.

The ride quality of the 5 Series 520D is superb. It’s smooth, ultra responsive, even in comfort mode, and hitting the Sports button keeps things exciting, especially on those winding mountain passes and hills.

On the outside, the new 5 Series Sedan holds the line on size and is 37 mm longer, 8 mm wider and 15 mm taller than its predecessor. You’d think this would make it heavier, right? Wrong. In fact the new 5 Series is up to 100 kilograms lighter! That’s all thanks to the use of lightweight materials to produce a faster and more economical vehicle.

It’s wheelbase measures at 2, 975 mm (7 mm more than the outgoing model).

With Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW’s Selective Beams that lead into an Active Air Stream Kidney grille, (much like the 7 Series), its front end is eye-catching and sophisticated while its width is emphasised.

BMW’s new 5 Series offers a great combination of comfort, ride quality (it really does drive YOU and not the other way around) and technological advances.

I was gutted to have to say goodbye to my new favourite sedan and driving other vehicles around Cape Town still hasn’t quite matched my level of excitement for the new BMW 5 Series. Having said that, I do hope curious buyers in the market for a new sedan consider taking this great business athlete for a test drive!

Engine and Performance

BMW 520d: Four-cylinder diesel engine, eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
Capacity: 1,995cc.
Output: 140 kW at 4,000 rpm.
Maximum torque: 400 Nm at 1,750 – 2,500 rpm.
Acceleration (0–100 km/h): 7.7 s/7.5 s (7.6 s).
Fuel consumption, combined: 4.2 l/100 km / 4.1 l/100 km (4.5 l/100 km)*.
CO2 emissions, combined: 109 g/km / 108 g/km (119 g/km).


520d starts at R770, 500

530i starts at R838, 700

530d starts at R952, 500

540i starts at R985, 300