Infiniti M37 S Premium 2013 Review
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We turn the spotlight on BMW 520i and ask the big questions, including the most important -- would you buy one?
What is it?
This is the entry level medium large BMW sedan with the smallest petrol engine.
It comes in under the Luxury Tax trigger so the price is a tempting $79,990 but there are pages of options and a number of option packs to fix that conceivably taking the 520i up to and over the $100 grand mark. Ouch.
What are competitors?
What's under the bonnet?
There's a 2.0-litre, direct injection, turbo, petrol four cylinder pushing this big, weighty car. You wouldn't think it would cope but it does thanks in part to the eight-speed auto which flicks between gears to efficiently capture maximum available torque at any given speed. Outputs are 135kW/270Nm, the latter at under 1500 revs which helps heaps.
The engine is a tad noisy at start up, ticking away until it warms up, after that, it's smooth and effective no powerhouse though and you'll need to select Sport mode to get good acceleration and response. Paddle shift helps. Drive goes to the rear wheels.
How does it go?
OK, surprising given the specs but European manufacturers have become adept at making small capacity engines deliver acceptable performance in relatively large cars. It's the way of the future. In fact, they used to do it years ago so nothing's new really.
Is it economical?
Allegedly gets a combined fuel consumption of 6.2 litres/100km. We couldn't get near it with 8.0 being the average we achieved in mixed driving on premium. Given the size of the car and the kit you get, it's good at 8.0. The 520d does a lot better and goes better too but costs more.
Is it green?
Is it safe?
Is it comfortable?
Superbly, has Drive experience control with four modes including EcoPro, Comfort, Sport and Sport+, cruise control with brake function, park distance control, keyless ignition, leather upholstery, rear view camera, large info screen, electric park brake, electric power steering, bi-xenon headlights, auto wipers and lights, electric driver's seat, Bluetooth phone and audio, sports wheel with multiple functions, large multi controller dial, internet function, and satnav.
What's it like to drive?
Not bad, luxurious, quiet, staid, roomy, well featured, safe, relatively economical, adequate tech levels, an older person's car perhaps or an exec' stretching the car allowance.
Is it value for money?
In base spec yes, becomes less so the more you tick the options boxes.
Would we buy one?
No, we'd get the diesel 520d at $2500 more.
BMW 5 Series
Price: from $79,900 (520i)
Engine: 2.0-litre petrol turbo; 135kW/270Nm (520i)
Transmission: 8-spd automatic, RWD
Thirst: 6.2L/100, 144g/km CO2
|ActiveHybrid 5 Luxury Line||3.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$46,600 – 58,960||2014 BMW 5 Series 2014 ActiveHybrid 5 Luxury Line Pricing and Specs|
|ActiveHybrid 5 Modern Line||3.0L, Hyb/PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$46,600 – 58,960||2014 BMW 5 Series 2014 ActiveHybrid 5 Modern Line Pricing and Specs|
|535i Gran Turismo Modern Line||3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$45,800 – 57,970||2014 BMW 5 Series 2014 535i Gran Turismo Modern Line Pricing and Specs|
|535i Gran Turismo Luxury Line||3.0L, PULP, 8 SP AUTO||$37,200 – 48,180||2014 BMW 5 Series 2014 535i Gran Turismo Luxury Line Pricing and Specs|