2018 BMW 530i Petrol Review, First Drive

Enchanting –

  • Proper executive sedan design
  • Superlative chassis, brakes, engine
  • Plush interior, feature loaded
  • Practical with adaptive suspension over our roads

Unsatisfying –

  • Could do with more space in the back
  • Needs six-cylinder petrol engine as an option

The mid-size executive luxury sedan, a mouthful, is a segment that has been heating up recently to a point where every car guy knows something is happening here and it deserves your attention too. The same is the case with SUV’s in this segment too. The enthusiast has had a default choice in this segment, it has been the 5-Series. The sedan has gone through thick and thin and has delivered something or the other over the years with the 5-Series.

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This time, the Bavarian manufacturer claims that it can deliver everything which is essentially three things. Value, comfort and dynamics while the passive luxury, performance and charm are already present. The E-class has shaken the segment to a certain extent with its large wheelbase, but that is a 50-50 thing where you hate it or love it. Other competitors such as Volvo, Lexus and Jaguar have given it a tough fight. However, what is it like to drive? We drive the petrol 4-cylinder which is quite a popular option in the market right now.

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Styling

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The design continues to be typical BMW where it gets kidney grille, large headlamps which now connect to the grille. The bumper is large and completely open in the front. The side profile is more distinct now where it gets much more glass area and more sheet metal of the doors making it a very substantial and profound looking mid-size executive sedan. The alloy wheels are diamond cut in our test car and look quite good. The large and fluid tail-lamps make the new 5-Series stand out in the way they illuminate as well.

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The Hoffmeister kink size has been reduced drastically and the flowing C-pillar gives it the different look that the new 5-Series is being appreciated for. The 7-series like faux vent on the side door of the car gives it a high-value stance. Overall, it can look bigger in brighter shades and can mislead in darker shades to be the smaller 3-series at times from certain angles. Nevertheless, the elements and size once seen perfectly, does make it an attractive car.

Interior

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Interior continues to be high quality and this time it gets plush, almost like the 7-series. Piano black used in abundance with the dark dashboard, lot of brushed aluminium makes the cabin look far more luxurious than before. The steering wheel is different, switches and knobs are different everywhere. The center console has a darker layout while other switches are brushed aluminium. Space in the back seat is good, but could have been more. Nevertheless, once seated, the seats are extremely supportive. Boot space is good and now you get a full size spare wheel to make things more practical.

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Multiple schemes for ambient lighting, automatic blind shade for rear windshield, manual for rear windows, all the connectivity options, fully electric ORVM which are heated, automatic IRVM, rear a/c vents, steering mounted control, cruise control with automated braking, launch control, driving modes to choose from and a LCD instrument cluster are the highlights when it comes to the features list.

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The iDrive as always is easy to use, has many settings that be controlled easily, has a power and torque meter which is called ‘Technology in action’ makes the cabin experience nerdy and enthusiast friendly. The trip button is found on the left stock which controls all the options in the instrument cluster, which can be added or subtracted from the iDrive.

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Fuel economy parameter can be seen in cluster and iDrive. LED head and tail-lamps, electric seats, 3d Maps, gesture control for iDrive, sunroof, electric steering adjustable controls, front and rear parking sensor with a camera and assist, drive alertness warning and apple car play are part of the list as well.

Engine and Gearbox

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Driving the 530i means its the same petrol motor which have seen the last three times in the 3-Series. The 2.0 litre four-cylinder motor is 252 BHp and 350 Nm of torque. The gearbox is the 8-speed unit. Torque, gearing and power is well calibrated throughout the rev range. The all-aluminium engine spins smoothly, cleanly all the way till redline and does it quickly as well. Driveability is not an issue, mid and top-end power post 3500 RPM takes the 5-series forward, but not in the most exciting way. The 5-series deserves the 3.0 6-cylinder motor with almost 300 plus hp.

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NVH levels are downright brilliant. Wind and road noise creep in slightly at very high speeds. 0-100 km/hr is done in 6.2 seconds which is fast enough. We got 9.4 km/l in our testing which included city and highway run. Ecopro mode and comfort mode used at the right time do end up delivering even more fuel-economy while the sports mode can be used to explore faster throttle response and power delivered more immediately.

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Ride and Handling

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Dynamically, the car gets rear wheel steering, dynamic dampers and 18-inch wheels. This combination is fantastic on our roads as manoeuvring the car is easier and shorter because the rear inner wheels turn and make turning radius short. Easy for parking in tight spots as well. The steering lock ratio is as always short which makes it even more easier to live with and turns-in into corners quickly.

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Dynamic dampers mean you can control them via modes to make it comfortable or sporty. The minus point is that we miss the passive springs and dampers, which is the traditional setup that gives life to the chassis and makes more communicative and emotion behind driving the BMW, which is missing to a large extent. Nevertheless, since this makes the car more practical and delivers an exceptionally good ride quality, it scores full marks. Brakes are good, body roll is well in check and the steering gives good amount of feedback as well.

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2018 BMW 530i Petrol Review, Verdict

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The 5-Series has now become a car which is clearly fun to drive, practical, plush and offers just about adequate space, if not best in class. We are not comparing it to the over done E-Class LWB space which offers S-Class legspace. The BMW fights other rivals rather well and has an edge over them this time around because it has almost everything right. It can be, this time, the enthusiast choice and the family man’s choice at the same time. The 5-Series should have been this every time, since it is this time, it is an ideal car to consider be it in petrol and diesel as it provides good bang for your buck too!

530i Sport Line INR 53,80,000 ex-showroom Delhi

2018 BMW 530i Petrol Review
  • Design
  • Interior
  • Features
  • Space
  • Practicality
  • Performance
  • Dynamics
  • Value
  • Comfort
4.7

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