BEHIND THE WHEEL: BMW 530e Sport

MONDAY APRIL 30, 2018

Just when you think the F10 was huge, think again. The last I drove something that this large was a 7 series. I’m guessing there is nothing for the boffins at Bavaria could have done to conceal the mass of the all-new 5 series because it is actually acres. So long it provides space, comfort and is relatively good to drive it then it's mission accomplished?

 

The model in question was a 530e. A 5 selling at a smidge over 340 thousand sound does sound like a lot of value for the money. And in the flesh, it too looks like something nice to be had. Brown interior, white or black paint with 19” million-spoke wheels goes together rather well.

PRO

Coherent powertrain

Better than ever iDrive

Separation from outside world Economy

CON

Hopeless steering on comfort mode

Sheer size

Grabby brakes

SPECIFICATION

2.0-litre inline-4

252hp 420Nm 8-speed ZF

0-100 km/h: 6.2s

Top speed: 235 km/h

RM 324,380

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Despite large wheels, you waft along rough tarmac smoothly like its predecessor that shared parts with Rolls Royce’s Ghost. During my drive and I’m not kidding, not once did I hear pesky motorbikes with modified exhaust. The G30 is that quiet. Apart from not knocking over buildings, I had nothing to worry as it’s got warning this and assist that.

 

iDrive is still king when it comes to infotainment and has been made better by making it a touchscreen. The transition from battery to petrol was seamless unlike hybrids of earlier years. Gearbox too is flawless despite being single clutched.It is more than good at being an executive saloon except the steering is oddly large by today’s standards. All these qualities are extremely good and that is the very problem.

I’ve lived around the 5 series lineage for the past two decades (except for the F10) and although they were not as well specified as the 5s’ of today, BMWs of old had that extra something that separates itself from Mercedes-Benz and Audi. They went for a straight-six instead of a V6 and hydraulic steering as opposed to electric.

 

Thanks to efficiency, BMW have been struck on their Achilles heel and the 5 responded to its arch rival, the E class, with ambient lighting which is not as well executed. The cabin was likely designed to lean towards the sportier side of things. Because the team decided to dock off early that day, the design language turned out not to be as cohesive as Merc’s.

The new 5  managed to be prettier than an E not because more hours was put into thinking after work but because the W213 looks boring in caps. BMW may just nab it on the outside, not on the inside. And that  For those who’d like to dip their toes into BMW waters, the 530e may just tempt them for having an interactive infotainment and competitive pricing. The pricier non-hybrid model, 530i M, is superior by having adaptive headlights, sunroof and Harman Kardon speakers.

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