BMW 5-Series Diesel Engine

Excited, Nervous, and Sad when I’m driving a brand new 535d.

535d 2

Sadness – ditching my all time loved 3-series for a 5-series for the first time since my very first BMW in 1995.

Nervous – the size difference between 3 series and 5 series, not sure if I can still have the same driving experience as a 3-series, and parking in tight spots have a greater chance of getting a door ding. Diesel, with its 400 lb-ft of torque versus 300 lb-ft of torque in the 535i, does give me more instant acceleration than I’ve always enjoyed from the 3-series. The big question is would the brake system give me the same bite and quick response and would the car perform that awesome fast, tight turn at 50-65mph on a curved road.

Excited – ☺ a brand new car equipped with most of my wanted high tech options and driving performance packages except the premium sound system. Let me tell you that “NEW CAR” smell is sooo refreshing.

Welcome to my opinion and experience driving BMW’s new (at least to us here in the US) diesel technology


5 mins seat time with the 535i right after 30 mins of driving the 535d, I immediately came to the conclusion about which car to get. The 100 lb-ft torque difference makes the acceleration experience like night and day. The 535d gave a very smooth instant acceleration from 0mph -65mph as I’m entering the freeway, quick responsive steering system as I merge two lanes over, the RPM monitor shows steady increase, I don’t feel any pause as RPM shift to higher number than the 535i, the RPMs quickly shift from 2000 as acceleration continues to 65mph. You can certainly feel several quick pauses as the transmission is shifting to a higher gear, I don’t feel the quick response and the smoothness from the engine of the 535i. I’m always wondering can a diesel engine provide the ultimate driving experience as I have always received from all my other BMW cars. Once again, BMW generously using torque to achieve that driving experience.

I’m always fascinated with the “start/stop” option to turn off the engine during the stop motion. Because I’m not a big fan of hybrid technology especially having sat in several different generations of Toyota’s Prius from the first gen to the recent one, I don’t like the sound and vibration when the engine shuts off and starts back up again while at a traffic light. It feels like an earthquake, the whole earth is rumbling.535d 4  Thus, I immediately turned off the auto start/top when I sit in any BMW loaner car or my new 535d.

However, I decided to give it a try for about 1 hr. It’s very quiet, and it has duration time on how long the auto shut/on will activate when car in stop motion. The sound for engine shut and re-start was not so loud, probably due to the physical size of the car, also it’s mostly stop at the “STOP” sign rather than traffic light intersection. Toward the end of day, I was driving in the rush hours and on the freeway, … Hmmm… I guess once you dislike something, you will probably always dislike it. The sound and the vibration of the shut down motion was OK, but to “re-start” engine, the sound was louder, and the vibrations shake the car a bit more than I’m expecting, my kids were like “is it an earthquake? What’s wrong with car?” Thanks to the BMW Engineering team for being so thoughtful, I quickly pushed the “on/off” button to deactivate the feature.

Carbon Black is the only metallic black color to choose from if you add the M-Sport package.  What’s fascinating about the color is how the color changes under the sun. 🙂 It appears as navy blue under the sun light, and a true black color at night.  It’s beautiful and a new thing for us as we always jet black or metallic black for all our BMW cars.

first half - Black  Navy blue - at the edge of passenger door

first half – Black
Navy blue – starting from the edge of passenger door

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