Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), widely known as a split personality disorder, is a phenomenon characterized by the regular appearance of two or more clearly distinct and often contrasting personalities in the same person. DID is a much controversial psychiatric disorder that has been the topic of several intensive research works. However, there’s nothing – absolutely nothing – in the world of cars that can draw a better parallel to this weird syndrome than the latest-gen BMW 530d M Sport.
Basically, the 530d M Sport can be found slotted between the vanilla 5’ers (read: 520d, 530i) and the totally utterly bonkers M5. Of course, this one gets some traits from both the ends and hence, offers two personality traits. Our BMW 530d M Sport test drive review here lists out all that there’s to know about this very interesting car.
Design & Styling
The design and styling of the latest-gen BMW 5-series sedan is all about some bold creases, taut surfaces, and the hallmark BMW proportions, which are, in turn, defined by the long bonnet, rather short overhangs at both the ends and an aft-set greenhouse. The front-end is characterized by a set of sleek headlamps that are bridged together by the highly recognizable and the much-revered ‘kidney grille”. The M Sport livery brings in a sporty bumper with huge airdams.
The side profile is characterized by the bold beltline, a long wheelbase, and the slightly flared wheel arches. The beltline sweeps up at the Hofmeister kink, which lends the design a very dynamic character. The 530d M Sport differentiates itself from the ‘lesser’ variants through tasty 18-inch wheels shod with 245/45-spec tires at the front and 275/40-spec rubber at the rear. There’s also a small ‘M’ badge on each of the front fenders. The rear is characterized by the sleek LED-infused taillamps that are the latest interpretation of the signature BMW “L” shape taillights. The sleek units help accentuate the width of the car.
The interior design is a huge step up from the last generation. While all the classiness has been carried over, it now looks more modern, almost space age, and even comes across as fairly more premium. The 530d M Sport gets black interior panels with brushed aluminium trim. The steering wheel is a three-spoke unit that’s great to hold because of its thickness and the slightly cushioned surface. There’s more space at the rear than before. However, expecting anything close to what the LWB E-class offers would be a bit too optimistic. Overall, the design remains classy as ever but now comes across as more new-age. Moreover, the M-sport package adds extra dynamic allure to the design.
Engine & Gearbox
There’s more to this car than the all-new bodywork and the M livery. There’s a new straight-six under that long, exquisitely contoured hood. The engine displaces 2,993cc and the inline six-banger has the same 84×90-mm bore-and-stroke. The TwinPower turbo helps the oil burner output a respectable 265 bhp and a whopping 620 Nm – specs that number-crunchers would marvel at. Max torque is available as low as 2,000 rpm. The twin-scroll turbo setup and the revised cogs of the eight-speed automatic transmission totally eradicate the turbo lag. Compared to the last-gen 530d M Sport, which was no slouch either, the new car has improved in all almost every aspect. The engine is a wee bit more refined while being a tad better in terms of performance.
You can hit 100 kmph from a standstill in a matter of less than 6 seconds, which makes this sedan as fast as a number of sports cars out there. Top speed is electronically limited to 250 kmph. There’s ample torque on offer across the rev-band. The wide 275-spec rear tires are happy to lose traction on sudden hard throttle inputs. However, it’s not just these high-performance credentials that make the new 530d M Sport an amazing car. The 530d M Sport can help you turn from a wild boy racer to a responsible, caring family man in a matter of seconds. Drive the car in ‘Eco Pro’ and ‘Comfort’ mode and you’ll be impressed with the high refinement on offer. Putting the car in the ‘Sport’ and the ‘Sport Plus’ mode helps you play the Raikonnen and indulge in some tire-screeching and rubber-shredding action.
Ride & Handling
After the E60, from a couple of generations ago, the last-gen model (F10) was sort of an anti-climax. It looked a bit bulky and handled that way, too. For the latest 5-series, however, the good folks at Munich seem to have gone back to the drawing board to make sure the fun factor is restored. So, basically, the new 5-series can switch between a comfortable luxury chariot and a sharp apex-hunting tool with utmost ease. The ride remains plush almost all the time, regardless of the driving mode you are in or even the type of road surface you’re driving on. The harsh undulations do make their presence known but things never get really uncomfortable. Those in the backseat will never ever complain of any sort of discomfort. The 40-profile rear tires can diminish the effect of broken surfaces or speed bumps to a large extent in spite of their small sidewalls.
The new 5’er is much more fun than its predecessor. The steering is sharper and you can dial a lot of weight into it by opting for the Sport mode. Well, it’s still not in the same league as the E60 but BMW has definitely done a brilliant job by bringing together the plushness of the F10 and the sporty characteristics of the E60 – best of both the worlds, you see. The 530d M Sport gets a steering wheel that’s got a really thick rim. It’s wrapped in high-quality leather with enough cushioning to make it comfortable to have a firm grip on it. Push the car hard into the corners, and you’ll be impressed with how much more agile and confident it feels than the last-generation model. We’re happy that the fun factor has returned without making the new-gen 5’er any less comfortable than its immediate predecessor.
Like we said, the BMW 530d M Sport exhibits twin personalities. On one side, it’s like a purposefully suited-up corporate businessman that spends most of his day in boardrooms and impressing his colleagues with his methodical, unruffled nature. And then, on the other hand, there come moments when the slick back hair and the corporate wear give way to flamboyance and even a slightly aggressive nature. We really can’t think of any other car in this segment, or most others, for that matter, which can switch between two contrasting personalities so effortlessly. A highly comfortable luxo-barge on the weekdays and a formidable Bavarian warhead on weekends – that’s the 530d M Sport for you!