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My preowned BMW 5-Series 525d (F10): Impressions after driving 1000 kms

Coming from a VW Jetta Mk5 1.9 PD TDI DSG, the refinement levels of the 525d are from another planet. Very impressive for a diesel.

BHPian Varun_HexaGuy recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

1000-kms up! Took delivery of the car on the evening of 16th June 2021. Four days in, car has clocked a 1000 kms.

I think I've used it enough to make my first set of impressions about the car.

Likes:

  • Looks really good. Especially with the M-Sport bumper on my car. The F10 is probably one of the best looking 5-series ever made. Period.
  • Fuel efficient. Off the 1000 kms, 750 kms are from my city runs only. When I mean city, it has been used across a variety of conditions. From roads with no traffic to roads with dense traffic and avg speeds ranging at ~ 10-kmph. Despite all of this, car managed a pretty decent 12-kmpl to the tank. I wasn't expecting anything like this when I picked the car up in all honesty.
  • Engine+gearbox combination obviously. The sole reason I have a F10 5-series standing in my parking. Enough has been spoken about how good the N57+ZF8 combination is, but it really deserves the compliments it gets. This thing is bloody quick and hits silly speeds even before you realise. What's even better are the brakes which help you do such speeds and even shed them in a jiffy. The best part, all of this happens without any drama whatsoever. Even before you realise, you're doing speeds you shouldn't be doing otherwise. The passengers are taken aback by the car's performance in most occasions. Cruise at sane speeds and then you tap ever so slightly on the accelerator, your passengers are thrown back into their respective seats.
  • Refinement levels. Coming from a VW Jetta Mk5 1.9 PD TDI DSG, this is from another planet when it comes to NVH levels. While ambling around in city speeds, you cannot hear the engine at all. Which is quite impressive for a diesel.
  • Comfortable front seats. It's as comfortable as my recliner from the living room.
  • The Hi-Fi sound system sounds quite nice. Despite the setup showing its age in a certain things, it still sounds quite good. Plus I'm back to the good old CDs. Courtesy of no Bluetooth streaming for audio. Bit of a hassle honestly in today's day and age. But the overall audio output is well worth it at the end of the day.
  • Feature kit. For a car that's over a decade old, the feature list is still pretty relevant barring a few exceptions.

Dislikes:

  • Dimensions. The car is quite huge. It's longer and wider than my Hexa and it shows. It's a royal pain to navigate the 5 through the neighbourhood I currently live in. Four days into the ownership, I'm already tired of going through the hiatus of maneuvering this car day in, day out.
  • In continuation to the first point, the extra large dimensions on the outside do not really translate into usable space on the inside. While it has more than acceptable space for most (case in point, my mom and dad found the car to be really spacious ). But this isn't a car where in two 6+ feet guys sit behind one another. On one of the joyrides with the bois back home (BHPian ViXit and Pratyushforza), both tried sitting behind each other. 15 mins into the drive, ViXit just couldn't bear it anymore and switched sides. Also we tried squeezing in three people at the back. Needless to say, the passengers at the back weren't exactly comfortable.
  • Boot space. Coming from a Jetta Mk5, practicality and overall usability has gone down by several notches. I had to ferry some stuff in the 5 today. Shallow opening coupled with not so deep boot meant I couldn't haul in a lot of stuff. Now this coupled with the fact that I do not have a spare wheel at the moment in the boot, I can only imagine how hard it will be going forward. Plus the rear seat cannot be folded down to make more room.
  • Car has a lot of pockets and slots to place your things in, but none of them are actually useful. The cup holder in front of the gear shifter cannot even hold my phone properly (I use an iQOO 7 Legend). One slight tap on the accelerator, the phone flies like a projectile and lands in the passenger seat. The storage area under the armrest is fine but it is damn inconvenient to remove the phone ever yime you keep it there. There's no real space provided for the bottles either. The door pockets are pretty average sized. Can squeeze in disposable bottles at best given their flexibility.

Despite its practical flaws, I'm loving every bit of owning the 5. Every time I floor the car, it manages to leave a wide grin on my face. That makes all of my practical compromises well worth it.

Here are a few pics to complement the post:

Future enthusiast in the making. The kid was in awe with the car and took his own sweet time to explore what the 5 had to offer. In the end, the smile on his face made me happy.

Beast waiting to be unleashed.

BHPian Pratyushforza on the left, ViXit in the middle. Their neighbour on the other end. All of them enjoyed their drive and appreciated the car overall minus the rear bench (which is obvious from this picture).

BHPian ViXit wanted a pic with the Bimmer. And I obliged.

Signing off with my most favourite shot of the car.

That's all for now.

Cheers!

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