BMW 535d
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Overall

5-Series adds both economy and throw-down performance with ActiveHybrid 5 and the M5 joining the regular sedan and Gran Turismo hatch.

Drivetrain

Every engine, from the base four-cylinder, to the V8 in the fire-breathing M5, uses one (or two) turbochargers; 3.0-liter turbo-diesel engine returns with good power and great torque; rear- and all-wheel drive models.

It seems like every year BMW brings more features and engines to its 5 Series, although that doesn’t necessarily apply to the GT. The sedan, however, redesigned for the 2011 model year grew a few inches in length and width, resulting in a roomier cabin with improved back-seat space and trunk volume that was expanded by 30 percent. The control panel is angled slightly toward the driver while BMW’s console-positioned “iDrive” controller reigns supreme over the ventilation, communications and optional navigation system. Six distinct 5-series sedans are offered for the 2014 model year. For fuel economy, the base 528i is fitted with 240-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, which is the same engine used in the X1. You can also specify all-wheel-drive, which BMW calls the 528i xDrive. As before, the mid-range 535i/535i xDrive features a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter turbocharged six-cylinder. The new 535d/535d xDrive feature a revised 3.0-liter turbo-diesel six-cylinder that makes 256 horsepower and 413 lb-ft of torque. It also gets up to 38 mpg on the highway, which is excellent given the ‘d’ can get to 60 mph in just under six seconds. The ActiveHybrid 5 uses the same turbocharged six-cylinder as the 535i but also adds a 55-horsepower electric motor and powerful lithium-ion battery for a combined output of 335 horsepower. The ActiveHybrid can drive on electricity alone up to 45 mph and has a range of about 2.5 miles before the gasoline engine kicks in to help. Next is the carryover 550i/550i xDrive with its 400-horsepower 4.4-liter twin-turbocharged V8, followed by the new M5 with its 560-horsepower version of the same engine. M5 buyers get a tougher-looking body kit, bigger wheels and tires, a performance suspension and a seven-speed automated manual transmission or six-speed manual. The rear- and all-wheel-drive GT (Gran Turismo) can be ordered in 535i and 550i livery only. According to BMW, an available eight-speed automatic transmission (standard in the 528i) helps improve fuel economy without adding weight. The best of the rest of the techno-goodies include the optional Sport Package with BMW’s Driving Dynamics Control that allows the driver to adjust the 5-series’ ride, handling and drivetrain characteristics to Comfort, Normal, Sport and Sport-Plus settings.

Base prices (incl. destination): $47,600; $61,100 (GT); $93,800 (M5)
Type: Four-door sedan; four-door hatchback
Base engine (hp): 2.0-liter DOHC I4, turbocharger (240)
Optional engines (hp): 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbocharged (300); 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbocharged, electric assist (335); 3.0-liter DOHC I6, turbo diesel (256); 4.4-liter, DOHC V8, twin-turbocharged (400; 560, M5)
Layout: Front-engine, rear- /all-wheel-drive
Transmission: Six-speed manual (standard on all but the 528i); eight-speed automatic (opt., but standard in 528i); seven-speed automated dual-clutch sequential (M5)
MPG (city/hwy): 23/34 (2.0)
Safety: Front airbags; side-impact airbags; rear side-impact airbags; anti-lock brakes; traction control; stability control
Weight (lb.): 3,800