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For The BMW 5 Series 520d SE is a refined, comfortable and spacious – and considerably more economical to run than its direct competition.

Against Ride is suspect without the active ride and integral active steering options. Larger wheels than standard also impinge.

BMW 5 Series Touring

What Car? says

5 out of 5 stars

The BMW 5 Series 520d SE is an extremely good car, even in its standard form, but you have to pick the right dynamic chassis options to turn it into a great one.

What Car? readers say


Key facts

8.1 secs
Top speed
142 mph
Average mpg
Tank range
946 miles
See all running costs

View the whole BMW 5 Series Touring range

Read in full

The full BMW 5 Series review

Buyer's notes

Target Price team says:

You buy a BMW estate as much for the way it drives as for its load-lugging abilities, which means you may want to explore the dynamic chassis options. You can add Variable Damper Control to four-cylinder models and Adaptive Drive to six-cylinder models, and we strongly recommend that you do. These options transform the car, making the ride more cosseting and the handling sharper.

Regardless, you’ll have no problem lumping heavy loads, as all Tourings come with self-leveling rear suspension.

Obviously, the more powerful petrol versions will deliver thrills, but there’s no need to punish yourself at the pumps when the 520d will deliver performance and economy.

Although it's powered by a relatively small 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine, its 181bhp gives very decent performance; yet, take things easy and it'll return 55.4mpg.

If you're a company car driver, then the 520d's CO2 output of just 135g/km places it in a lowly company car tax bracket.

Reader test team says:

BMW 5 Series Touring 520d SE 5dr

Disappointment. This replaced my Volvo S60. I got a 520d F11 Auto Touring with lots of extras. Cost from Approve used was £19k. The stereo upgraded…


2 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Touring 520d Luxury 5dr

Lovely car to drive, well equipped but I hate the runflat tyres. They do nothing for the ride quality. The fuel economy is nowhere near the advertised…

Dave boulder

4 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Touring 520i M Sport 5dr

Got this car for 4 months now. Went for the petrol because i dont do alot of miles. I must say it has been outstanding so far. The petrol engine is…

len chan

4 out of 5 stars

BMW 5 Series Touring 520d SE 5dr

I received the car in January 2014 having looked at the competition in depth previously and concluded the 530d is the best all round model. The 530d…

Stephen Howe

4 out of 5 stars
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