2017 BMW 520d SE G30 Review

Driven: 2017 BMW 520d SE G30 Review

I took a first drive of the new BMW 520d SE G30, and here are my thoughts on the car.

BMW 520d

What is the 2017 BMW 520d SE G30 All About?

The BMW 5 series is well-established as a sleek, business-ready car, and the 520d is no different. BMW are pretty much the go-to if you’re looking for a sturdy, premium car for an everyday commute. The 5 series has long been compared to the Mercedes E-Class, and the 2017 model aims to continue the trend set by its predecessors, with a couple of really classy upgrades.

Externally, the car looks more exclusive than ever before. You’ll immediately notice a few changes since the last incarnation – the scooped bonnet and wider grille at the front combine to give the car its trademark wide road presence. You definitely know this car is there – it’s bold, and definitely unafraid to stand out. The BMW 520d includes a lot of chrome on the bodywork, which contributes to the high-class feel to the vehicle. We tested the car out in Mineral White, and as you can see in our photographs the 520d just embodies luxury.

Moving around the car, you’ll see a number of features which add to the premium, business-class intention of a vehicle like this one. The intricate silver spokes of the wheel design, for one; right down to the solid 5-door saloon shape. The car is big enough to comfortably fit 4 adults, which is ideal for long journeys or motorway driving. Overall, the BMW 520d is a solid, quality car for daily use.

How Does it Drive?

I tested out the 2-litre Diesel engine, which was adequate in terms of power and performance. The 520d will probably be the most widely sold engine from the range of options available. The fuel economy figures are also excellent.

The first thing I’d say about the BMW 520d is that it gives an extremely comfortable, relaxed drive. The car absorbs bumps and potholes in the road with great ease, and doesn’t jerk or pull – it glides. The car packs 400 Nm of torque; not an overly powerful engine, but completely fine for the job it needs to do. The 520d just works – overtaking is effortless, driving is comfortable. BMW have definitely built another car that does what it’s supposed to do, and does it well. The car gets from 0-62 in 7.5 seconds – perhaps not the most impressive figure in the BMW range, but perfectly fine for normal driving.

BMW are notorious for their excellent driving position – the driver’s seat is relatively low, I can’t fault the pedal and steering wheel placement. The car is insulated enough that there’s no real engine noise – the 520d might be slightly lacking in terms of encouraging noises, but there’s definitely no real disturbance when driving.

What’s it Like Inside?

The 520d’s interior hasn’t changed much since the last 5 series model. It’s definitely spacious, with enough head and leg room to prevent long drives feeling tedious. The inside is decked out in Black Dakota leather, and the seats do a good job of looking great and feeling comfortable at the same time. The whole dash screams business-class, from the colour scheme to the multitude of driver control options.

However, it’s the technological side of things which really sets the bar higher for the 520d. On the photos above you’ll immediately notice the 10.2 inch infotainment console. The system has fantastic internet connectivity, and can be controlled via an analogue dial situated beside the gearstick. The dial has direction buttons and clicks to select as it should – but the really quirky part is that it has the ability to recognise handwritten symbols. Simply draw out the letter or character with your finger, and the console will do the rest.

The driver’s cluster is also now fully digitised. The speedometer and rev counter are lit up by an impressive LED display, and can be altered by changing the mode you’re using. Economy mode, for example, will display information relevant to that mode, Sport mode will show those figures, etcetera.

Another thing I found quite exciting is the new key fob. It not only has a great leather case, but a digital display face on the car key – this allows for the usual locking/unlocking features, along with the ability to open and close the boot and windows. It’s just another little touch that adds to the extensive range of technological and luxurious advancements the BMW 520d offers.

The Experience

Driving the 2017 BMW 520d was, simply put, effortless. Its range of features fit seamlessly together – you know you’re driving a high-quality, well-built car. Everything from how the doors shut to the engine power and infotainment system just works brilliantly. The 520d is incredibly comfortable, and immediately striking as a gorgeous, luxury model.

BMW 520d


To sum up, the 520d is definitely a strong contender for the best fleet car available in its price bracket on the market today. It’s perfect for work-related travel – you’ll look and feel prepared for anything. It’s obviously not cheap – this is a BMW 5 series we’re looking at – but at around £45,000 the 520d is a good alternative to its more expensive competitors.


2017 BMW 520d SE G30

  • Price: £45,815
  • Engine: 2.0 Litre Diesel
  • Power: 188bhp
  • Torque: 400 Nm
  • Transmission: 8 speed Auto
  • 0-62mph: 7.5 Seconds
  • Top speed: 146 mph
  • Weight: 1,615kg
  • Economy combined: 68.1mpg
  • CO2: 102 g/km

If you are a BMW fan check out our review on the BMW 335i M Sport.

Author: Paul Hadley