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BMW 525D

Written By Nathen Bridgwater on Sunday, November 13, 2011 | 6:33 AM

From entry-level 520d to flagship 507bhp M5, the BMW 5-Series never fails to impress dynamically at least. In terms of styling, it�s a different matter. The kindest thing we can say is that the design has grown on us over time, although the bodywork remains clumsy and heavy-handed.Exactly the same criticism can be levelled at the driving environment. With its tall, slabby console and bulky binnacles, it�s the least attractive layout here. Worse still is the interior�s lack of stowage � there�s no handily accessible compartments on the transmission tunnel console.As a result, the BMW�s cockpit isn�t as welcom�ing as that in any opponent here. That�s a shame, because the driver is very well catered for. The seat is very comfortable and also the most supportive on test, with a spot-on position.Occupants in the back have plenty to be happy about, too, thanks to the well shaped, high-backed rear seats. 

And the 520-litre boot is generous.The engine is the best here for keen drivers � smooth and cultured, with minimal turbo lag and consistent power delivery across the rev range. But the 525d doesn�t perform any better than its riv�als, and the springy clutch action of the otherwise good six-speed manual box is hard work in traffic.BMW now seems to be getting to grips with run-flat tyres. The ride still isn�t as smooth as the Merc�s, but most ripples, ruts and ridges are dealt with well. The car�s sporty image means firm suspension, yet the handling makes this worthwhile. The 5 really enjoys being thrown into corners, and has the best steering feedback and body control.

 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
 BMW 525D
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