BMW 520i First Drive: Is it worth it?

first_imgIndia is a rapidly adapting but extremely fickle-minded country. Like a kid picking petals from a sunflower, we can never come to a steady conclusion of what our preference in engines are. With diesels furiously facing the wrath of the government, NGT and environmentalists alike, we have once again crawled back to the warm embrace of gasoline goodness. The luxury segment manufacturers can’t sit still either. BMW, at one stage decided to flood their stables with diesel-powered models and is now re-introducing petrol variants, one model at a time. We initially welcomed the scorching BMW 320i which was a fun-filled petrol package on epic proportions. And now we get the 520i.Headlight assembly houses the familiar signature daytime running LEDs and BMW adaptive headlights and auto-high beam assistance.  Yes, BMW’s mid-sized luxury sedan powered by the same 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo – a twin-scroll turbocharger coupled to BMW’s Valvetronic and High Precision Injection tech – four cylinder engine. With 184bhp and 270Nm of torque, the 520i definitely impresses on paper. Even the claimed 0-100kmph acceleration times is a respectable 7.9 seconds. In real world conditions though, things are a little different. We’ll get to that in just a bit. It’s interesting to note, the petrol-powered 5er only comes in one trim, and that is the Luxury Line. Which means, what you also get are illuminated entry sills and chrome treatment on the kidney grille, front and rear, window frames, tailpipe and the key fob. Also Read:India-bound BMW 5 Series to debut at Detroit Auto Show 2017advertisement Enter the cabin and you’ll be greeted to familiar interior specifications too. What we get is a design which, like we’ve mentioned before is starting to show its age. But this will be fixed when the new-generation 5-Series is launched here, the details of which you can read about elsewhere in this very issue. Till then, we have to make do with this. However, it is still very luxuriously appointed and the convenience features definitely haven’t been skimped on. You do get iDrive Touch with a 10.2-inch colour display, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, 3D mapping, rear-view camera (absent on the 320i), multifunction steering controls, a 10.2-inch instrument display with individual drive mode design and a crisp-sounding 600W 16-speaker Harman Kardon surround sound system. But what about that engine?  The BMW 5-Series is one of the best known and successful business sedan in the world. In India, the businessman likes his cars long and rear space aplenty. That is where a majority of the owners will spend a majority of the time. In that regard, the easy-going nature of the engine and supple suspension will leave no room for complaints. Coupled with features like audio operation, AC vents, centre armrest at the rear, one can get very comfortable very fast. If the owner does decide to give the driver a rest and take over control, it won’t completely disappoint. The 520i is amongst the better handlers compared to its competitors. However, when left in Comfort or Eco Pro mode, the BMW will tug itself along at a relaxed pace. It feels refined but never in a hurry when you leave it to itself in these two modes, looking at the weight the 2.0-litre engine has to haul. Shift to Sport, slot the gearbox into S or manual and that’s when it starts to hustle. This is when the engine is much more responsive and will hold on to gears longer before shifting.Also Read:India-bound BMW X7 caught undergoing testing in Germany VerdictBMW has thrown in the 520i for the enthusiasts and environmentalists alike. It doesn’t disappoint. But entering as a CBU unit and priced right in the middle of the 5-Series range price spectrum? For my money, I would have preferred it to be a 528i for better poke and a 10+kmpl figure.The rear LEDs are hard to miss at night.last_img read more