BMW 535d Review and Road Test Part I: The Road to Burghausen

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THE DRIVE TO BURGHAUSEN

Burghausen is the largeset city in Altötting, a region of Oberbayern (Upper Bavaria).  It lies on the Salzach river near the Austrian border.  Its castle, or Burg, at 1043 m (3422 feet), is the longest castle in Europe.

The 100 km drive took about one hour and fifteen minutes with an average speed of 82 km/h (51 mph).  For the trip to Burghausen, the 535d used 8.1 l/100 km (29 mpg).

We started off on the Autobahn A9 in the direction of Salzburg and Innsbruck.  The A9 (known as the A3 until a new Autobahn numbering scheme was implemented in 1974) is one of the oldest highways in Germany and connects Munich to Berlin, with a total length of 524 km (326 miles).

After 4 km, we continued on the A99, the ring road that encircles Munich connecting multiple Autobahnen (highways).  After 13 km, we continued on the A94 for 11 km. The A94 is supposed to connect Munich with Passau at the Austrian border, but due to a strong controversy about its proposed route, only the Munich-Forstinning and Ampfing-Burghausen sections have been built to date.

After exiting the A94, we continued on the Bundesstraße 12 in the direction of Neupullach for 46 km.  The B12 runs all the way from Lindau past Munich and Passau to Phillippsreut on the Czech border.

We then returned to the A94 for 32 km in the direction of Burghausen.  At the Burghausen exit, we turned onto the Bundesstraße 20, which led us directly to the city center.

After a stop for coffee in Burghausen, we crossed the border into Austria and started to head back to Munich to drop Christian off.

The 118 km (73 miles) return trip took one hour and 23 minutes. We used 8.9 l/100 km (24.4 mpg) on the return trip with an average speed of 87 km/h (54 mph).

For the first 45 minutes of the trip, our fuel usage (6.0 l/100 km or 39 mpg) at an average speed of 74 km/h (46 mph) was quite respectable for a vehicle of this size and power, although it still fell short of what the car is rated at (5.3 l/100 km or 44.4 mpg).  Both Chris and I have been able to coax far better fuel economy out of other cars (without making a special effort), including his recent run to Hamburg and back in the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition, where he used only 4.2 l/100 km (56 mpg), and my drive to Portorož and back in the BMW 730d, where I used only 7.4 l/100 km (34 mpg) in a much larger and heavier sedan.  Lots of things, ranging from traffic to weather conditions to how the car was broken in, can impact fuel economy, however, so we will simply have to take the 535d on another trip and see how it does.

Part II of this review,  The Road to the Bavarian Alps, will be published shortly.

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