2 months of seat time in a 5-series diesel, the overall experience is pleasurable. There are a few minor differences in comparison to my previous 3-series with a twin turbo engine.
Let’s begin with the most absolutely enjoyable element: Fuel efficiency – I normally go about 330 miles per week, and my 3-series would require pumping gas twice a week but with the diesel … it’s only about ½ of a tank for my regular routine each week. I never enjoy making a trip to the gas station to pump gas because I would need to carefully calculate the distance with all the places that I could possibly go and squeeze time to stop by during my busy schedule; most of all, I hate the gasoline smell on my hands or the drops of gasoline running down my car eating away the paint. Thus, not having to run to the gas station as frequently is the No.1 best thing in my book.
No.2 in my book – the power of acceleration. I’m always worried about power especially when it comes the instant acceleration on occasions such as:
a quick pass of a slow car when merging onto highway. So far, the diesel hasn’t failed my expectations. I did notice about a 5 second delay before the engine kicks in and give instantaneous acceleration to 60mph or 70 mph. However, the acceleration is very smooth unlike the 3-series twin turbo, you won’t see a sudden sharp increase in RPM from 1000 to 4000 with the engine giving a kick and charging forward.
I’m a fanatic user of i-device as my music source. It’s extremely important that a vehicle be able to seamlessly connect with the ipod and iphone interchangeably. With the new 5-series, it allows me to use a regular ipod 30pin cable to connect to the BMW iDrive system. However, it requires the cable to be as short as 4 inches long. My take on that is as the technology is getting advanced it requires more power strength which a longer power cord will reduce the power from the ipod to the car system. We have tried all different cables (size, and ages) and different generation of ipods. I’m currently using the 4th generation of video ipod. What I enjoy the most is being able to switch between ipod and iphone when it comes to music playing. Using Bluetooth for audio connection to play music via smartphone is fabulous because I can decide when to use iphone as my music source to prevent draining down more battery from my iphone.
The location of the cigarette lighter charger is in the center of the cup holder just above the key holder. If your phone charger cable is long, you will feel cluttered in that place. So I have a 6 inch long cable with faster charge capability. The front-center console is organized quite well. My phone, car key, and drink are all in one place.
Not to mention in the last few years, BMW has finally put a great amount of thoughtfulness and awareness of our daily life style. The cup holder is designed and positioned to be greatly improved in the past few years and has incorporated a natural human ergonomic. I don’t need to hold the drink while I’m braking to avoid a bottle tipping over or possibly spilling coffee, nor do I need to drive slowly to prevent my drink from spilling.
Overall, I’m pleased and amazed with the diesel technology; my lovely 535d gives me the satisfactory of power and fuel savings. Although, I still think my 5-series puppy is still a little too big for me to drive. A 3-series diesel is great but a bit of underpowered in my opinion. Therefore, a 335d would be “PERFECT” for me: power, fuel efficiency, and the size; only if BMWNA would bring it over here. ☺