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Entry-level diesel heads new BMW 5-Series line-up

on December 15 2016 | in Highlights, Industry news, Latest news | by | with Comments Off

It was in the late 1990s when a BMW executive exclaimed: “Diesels! We are not going to bring diesels into New Zealand.” It was in Spain, at the launch of the then 3-Series range. The standout model among a handful of peaky petrols was a lone diesel, the 320d.

Fast forward over a decade and a half and BMW is doing something that once would have caused bad language in the NZ boardroom: it will launch the new 5-Series sedan range in February with a diesel, the 520d.

The second offering in the three-car line-up is also a diesel, the 530d. The lone petrol model is the premium 540i. Later next year the petrol-electric hybrid 530e will land here.

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Once, BMW might have waited for the appropriate entry-level petrol model. Not any more. BMW does big diesel sales – has done for many years – as do German rivals Mercedes-Benz and Audi.

The new 5-Series line-up is available for order now and kicks off in price at $99,900 for the diesel 520d and jumps to $133,900 for the diesel 530d. The premium model is the petrol 540i, at $142,900. The price of the hybrid 530e is not yet known.

The carmaker’s NZ managing director, Florian Renndorfer, said the seventh-generation 5-Series gets a high level of connectivity and driver assistance technology, along with an “unparalleled driving experience”.

BMW 530d xDrive

“A wealth of assistance systems are on hand to offer the driver unbeatable support – not only at critical moments but also in less demanding situations at the wheel, such as traffic jams and slow-moving traffic,” he said

All three models have as standard the so-called Driving Assistant Plus package, which utilises a suite of radar and camera sensor systems and includes a semi-autonomous mode to help the driver stay on the straight and narrow.

There is also the latest head-up system, a full colour display with a projection surface 70 per cent larger than before. It shows traffic signs, telephone listings, radio stations, music tracks, navigation instructions and warnings from the assistance systems.

BMW 530d xDrive

The new 5-Series is a mix of aluminium and high-strength steels, architecture which contributes to it being stronger than the outgoing model but around 100kg lighter. It also has a lower centre of gravity and maintains a 50:50 weight distribution, says BMW.

The four-cylinder turbodiesel in the 520d delivers 140kW/400Nm; the six-cylinder diesel in the 530d generates 195kW/620Nm; the straight-six petrol unit in the 540i is good for 250kW/450Nm. Claimed fuel use is 4.3 litres/100km and 114gr/km for the 520d; 4.7 litres/100km and 124gr/km for the 530d; 6.7-litres/100km and 154gr/km for the 540i.

Standard specification in the 520d includes 18-inch alloy wheels, leather ‘Dakota’ upholstery with heated front seats, LED headlights, parking sensors, and a 360-degree camera.

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The BMW 530d adds a Sport Line package, including 19-inch alloys wheels and sports front seats. It also gets anti-dazzle headlights, an upgraded HarmanKardon audio system, wireless charging for mobile phones and a gesture control system.

The premium 540i gets all of the above plus a standard M Sport package, including exterior styling enhancements, Dynamic Damper control, 20-inch alloy wheels, and an improved brake package.

  • BMW looks like it will lose its title as the world’s biggest-selling luxury automotive brand this year, a position it has held since 2005. Mercedes-Benz reported worldwide sales at the end of November of 1.89 million cars and SUVs, a monthly average in 2016 of 171,800 units. A similarly heathy December would mean it would surpass two million annual sales for the first time. BMW this year has been averaging around 165,000 sales a month and Audi 156,000. Mercedes-Benz targeted 2020 as the year it would become the luxury leader. Daimler AG chairman Dieter Zetsche was reported this week as saying: “We will achieve it this year, four years ahead of time.” Mercedes-Benz worldwide sales are up 12 percent; BMW’s are up 5.5 per cent and Audi’s 4 per cent. In the Asia Pacific (including NZ and Australia), Mercedes-Benz is up 20 per cent.

 

 

 

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