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BMW 5 Series long-term test review

The BMW 5 Series saw off all-comers to be named the 2017 What Car? Car of the Year. We’ve added one to our long-term test fleet to see if it’s as impressive when you live with it every day

Words By Steve Huntingford

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  • The car: BMW 520d SE
  • Run by: Steve Huntingford, editor
  • Why it’s here: To see if this class-leading luxury saloon has any flaws which weren’t obvious when we group tested it against rivals
  • Needs to: Offer outstanding comfort and refinement, a sumptuous interior and low fuel consumption

Price Β£36,815 Price as tested Β£42,815 Miles 7924 Official economy 68.8mpg Test economy 44.6 Options fitted 18in multi-spoke alloy wheels (Β£995), Electronic Damper Control (Β£985), electric front seats with driver’s memory (Β£895), Glacier Silver paint (Β£675), enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging (Β£475), sports front seats (Β£475), reversing camera (Β£375), folding, anti-dazzle door mirrors (Β£335), split-folding rear seats (Β£335), Anthracite headlining (Β£265), Apple CarPlay (Β£235), Display Key (Β£235), adjustable lumbar support (Β£225), Gesture Control (Β£160), online entertainment (Β£160), High-beam Assistant (Β£95), run-flat tyres (Β£0), WiFi hotspot (Β£0)


28 February 2018 – sixth report

Last week, I briefly swapped my 520d for the new D5 S, which was in on test. Based on the 5 Series, it’s the work of Alpina – an independent company which has spent the last 43 years modifying BMWs with the aim of making them both faster and more luxurious. So, is the D5 S a better 5 Series?

Well, as you'd expect it's seriously rapid and has more leather inside than my car. However, more than anything else I found it actually reinforced how good the regular 520d is.

After all, it still has loads of poke and an interior that’s genuinely luxurious. And it still offers a superb blend of ride and handling. Yet while my car costs Β£42,815 with options, the test D5 S was more than twice that.

Don't get me wrong, the D5 S is a brilliant car in many ways. It's just that the majority of them are down to the donor car rather than the changes made by Alpina.

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