2024 BMW 520d: A Worthy Base Diesel Contender

BMW steadfastly offers diesel engines in Europe, including in the new G60 5 Series’ base 2024 BMW 520d. While the industry pivots to hybrid and electric, BMW constantly improves its diesels. These enhancements meet European preferences, keeping BMW’s diesels desirable in an evolving market.

Diesel engines weren’t as prevalent in new European cars a decade ago as today. Many models, once synonymous with diesel power in Europe, no longer come with these engines as standard. However, several manufacturers, including BMW, continue to offer diesel options, which is excellent news. Even at the entry-level, BMW’s diesel is known for its exceptional quality and performance.

Choosing the G60 5 Series 520d variant is a nod to performance. It harnesses mild hybrid technology, pushing over 200 horsepower. Despite weighing 100 kg (220 pounds) more than the G30, BMW ensures the G60 matches its predecessor’s speed. The 520d, with 197 horsepower and 400 Nm torque, hits 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. Opting for xDrive, the all-wheel drive system, doesn’t affect its efficiency or acceleration, maintaining consistent performance.

The transition to a more powerful integrated starter generator, replacing the traditional starter thanks to mild hybrid technology, is impressive. This change ensures exceptionally smooth engine startups. This applies both when the stop-start system kicks in and during cold starts. Operating on a 48-volt electrical system and backed by a 0.48 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, this setup provides some of the smoothest engine startups ever experienced, especially for diesel vehicles. Additionally, it offers a boost in torque for quick acceleration bursts.

The 2024 520d is expected to perform well in sales. However, it likely won’t reach the heights of popularity seen in previous generations of diesel-powered 5 Series models. This is partly because BMW isn’t promoting diesel as vigorously as before. Moreover, adding options to the 520d is quite easy, significantly increasing its cost.

The base price for the 2024 BMW 520d in Europe starts just below €60,000. My xDrive test model, not fully loaded, reached around €90,000. A fully optioned 520d can top €100,000, mirroring new car price trends and BMW’s upscale market positioning, akin to the short-wheelbase 7 Series of a decade ago.

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