Driving the BMW 520d – The Road to Frankfurt – Review

By Christian Stampfer on 1 May 2011
  • Share

Frankfurt am Main, Europe’s largest and most important financial center, is situated along the Main River in the south-western part of the German state Hessen (Hesse). Germany’s fifth largest city is home to over 672.000 people and was named one of the 10 most liveable cities in the world by Mercer. In addition to a large number of commercial banks, the European Central Bank and the German Federal Bank have based their headquarters here. Frankfurt is also well known to car enthusiasts as the location of the International Automobil Ausstellung (IAA), which takes place every two years

For the drive to Frankfurt, I had an elegant deep sea blue metallic BMW 520d sedan with an interior of dark wood trim and oyster leather. The car was relatively new with only 1.968 km (1.222 miles) on the odometer and it came fully equipped with all the latest innovations we saw in the BMW 535d sedan that we drove to Bratislava six weeks earlier.

Important safety features such as the Lane Departure Warning and the Active Blind Spot Detection were included. It also came equipped with Dynamic Damper Control, a Head-Up Display, and the new 8-speed sport automatic gear box.

Over the past year, I’ve had the opportunity to experience several versions of BMW’s 2.0-liter diesel engine (BMW 320d Edition EfficientDynamics and BMW 120d convertible), so this engine is well known to me. The first time I got to try out the reworked 2.0-liter diesel engine with its 184 hp and 280 pound-feet of torque was on the all-new X3 xDrive20d last December on my tour of Berchtesgaden and Austria.

Fuel economy for all of these cars was exemplary.  Indeed, because of these experiences, I was looking forward to seeing the performance and fuel economy of the BMW 520d first hand. According to the official data, the BMW 520d can go from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in 8.1 seconds. It has a maximum top speed of 225 km/h (139.8 mph) with the 8-speed sport automatic gearbox.

The 520d’s fuel economy ranges from 6.4 l/100 km (36.75 mpg) in city driving to 4.5 l/100 km (52.3 mpg) on the highway. Combined fuel economy of the EU test cycle is 5.2 l/100 km (45.23 mpg).  In contrast, the 535d is rated at 7.9 l/100 km (29.7 mpg) in the city and 6.1 l/100 km (38.5 mpg) on the highway.

For my drive to Frankfurt I had a choice of several different routes and I opted to take the Autobahn A8 (direction Stuttgart / Karlsruhe) and A5 (direction Frankfurt). According to Google Maps, this would be a four hour drive with a total distance of 433 km (269 miles).

Click here to continue to Page 2 -Driving the BMW 520d to Frankfurt

Pages: 1 2