A recent addition to BMW’s portfolio of vehicles is the BMW 520d GT, a 2.0 litre four-cylinder turbo-charged diesel, which is essentially a hatchback version of the 5-Series sedan. The 520d GT was released in Australia in July of this year, and is considered by the company to be an entry-level vehicle for BMW’s luxurious yet popular 5-series range.
The vehicle, which features a semi-MPV body, has received a mixed reception. While, the interior of the vehicle has been very well received, with features such as elegant leather upholstery and a full-length glass roof being offered in the standard model, there has been a general feeling, particularly among BMW enthusiasts, that the direction the company has taken with the bodywork is not one of which to approve.
Having said that, BMW have nevertheless introduced some new features to the vehicle. Driveability has been improved from previous models, with BMW’s patented Driving Experience Control being a standard feature. This enables the driver to select from three predefined settings of steering, suspension and drivetrain configuration. Other new feature included is an upgraded safety system, with BMW’s Active Protection Safety Package also now fitted as standard. This system identifies potential collisions via a front-mounted camera, and compensates with emergency braking or distinctive over or understeering. The 520d GT does not scrimp on power for the size of the engine. The 2-litre engine produces 135 kW (184hp) of power, and enables acceleration from 0-100 kmh in under 9 seconds, and can push the vehicle to a nifty top speed of 212.5 kmh.
The 520d GT features BMW’s Efficient Dynamics technology, which has been adopted across the 5-Series range. BMW claim that this system has a significant impact on both the amount of distance per litre you can get out of the vehicle, and carbon dioxide emissions. However, Car Enthusiast Magazine described the 520d GT as “too big, too ugly and too expensive...[BMW needs to] introduce a more efficient, cheaper to buy (and run) entry-level car”.
However, the vehicle has not met with a particularly enthusiastic response in Australia, with sales apparently pretty meagre. Many BMW enthusiasts consider the 5-Series GT to be a rather ugly car, with none of the practical appeal of the Estate version of the same vehicle. It doesn’t seem to clearly fit the genre of being a ‘family car’, yet it probably wouldn’t really appeal to those wanting something sporty. It does not appear to have either the classic style of some of the older 3-Series vehicles, nor even any particularly enviable characteristics or specification that would mark it out from several existing BMW vehicles.
That said, this particular BMW model appears to be like Vegemite, as while some have criticised the design, pricing and efficiency of the vehicle, others are completely sold on it. Autocar described the 520d GT as “competitively priced, refined, efficient...it is our favourite Five yet”.
So which camp are you in? Is this a refined, spacious, high-spec, powerful vehicle, or an ugly, bulky, superfluous one?Read More