The BMW 5 Series is an executive car manufactured by the German brand since 1972. Currently BMW is offering the 7th generation of the 5 Series for sale worldwide. But this article isn’t about the 7th generation of the German executive sedan. It is about the 5th generation.

Known to BMW and car enthusiasts as “E60” this 5 series is the last of the most beautiful looking 5 series to be made in my opinion. Manufactured from 2003 to 2008, the E60 just like any other BMW car was offered in many different variants with different engines. An “M” variant was also launched by BMW known as the “M5”. The M5 E60 was the last of the 5 series to be offered with a V10 engine. The last of the Naturally Aspirated (NA) engines to be made by the German manufacturer. Along side of the V10 engine, the E60 was also offered in other petrol and diesel engines. Both the engine options started from a 2.0L inline 4 cylinder to a V6 variant which was the top of the line variant offered on sale.

However, this article isn’t about the M5 or the V6 engine 5 series. This article is about the diesel 520d E60. A very close friend of mine has the 2008 E60 5 series and it is his daily driver. I have driven his car quite a lot and have never been disappointed with the sheer pleasure I have experienced by being driven or driving the 520d.

The 520d, like mentioned above is a diesel 2.0L Turbo inline 4 cylinder engine, mated to a 5 speed automatic transmission with sport mode to manually change the gear for maximum performance. At first I was very impressed with the engine as unlike many diesel vehicles of the same era throw smoke, or have vibrations in the cabin, the 520d feels velvety smooth despite having nearly 75,000 kms on the odo meter.

The interior of the E60 is very classy as well as a bit sporty at the same time. An infotainment screen is in the middle of the dashboard right above the AC vents, that is used for ‘I Drive’ or stereo/audio settings. Being a car made in 2008, there are no display screens for the AC temperature, but is shown in the screen above the AC vents. Wooden trims on the dashboard and door panels make the car look rich on the inside. The car comes equipped with parking sensors on both, the front and rear bumper and while parking an animated photo of the 5 series is shown with three lines that show how close or far you are from an object while parking or driving in traffic.

The cupholders are very interesting as they cannot be seen but come out from under the passenger AC vent at the click of a small button.

The driver and passenger seats are electronically adjustable with 3 memory settings for 3 different drivers and passengers. The seats are comfortable and is very good for long distance driving. The ambience of the car is very good as there are small orange lights mounted in the roof or ceiling of the car that when switched on give a very nice touch as it lights up the cabin just enough to feel good. The speakers give a very nice sound while listening to music. Being a car made in the mid 2000's, the stereo system offers bluetooth for only receiving or dialing calls and not to play music. Hence to listen to the songs of your choice, the car offers you a 6 disc changer CD changer.

The exterior styling of the E60 is what made me fall in love with it. The long headlamps with the 2 small individual grill and the chrome wrapped around it is what makes the front end look aggressive and gorgeous at the same time. The flares on the fenders make the car look aerodynamic and sleek. The rear tail lights are long and look gorgeous. The E60 reeks of attitude and despite the fact its 11 years old, it is still a headturner. At night when the headlights are on, the rings inside the head lamp and the orange LED’s make the car look stunning.

Now, how is it to drive? A lot of people have told me that the engine in the 520d is the same as the base variant diesel 3 series and that the car is underpowered, etc. I have never felt so. A driver used to driving a car with more power might feel so, but pottering around the city or even doing intercity driving on the national highways, doesn’t feel slow or undepowered. The steering provides good feedback of the road. The car communicates back and that’s an advantage as well as important in my opinion. The throttle response is on the heavier side and that’s again an advantage for city driving as the car won’t shoot ahead with a slight tap on the accelerator in traffic. Driving long distances or intercity driving isn’t tiring, as the seats are comfortable and the driving position is good too. I honestly cannot find any major flaws with the E60 as a car. In a nutshell, the E60 is one of my favorite 5 series of this era. Let me know what you think of the E60 and which is your favourite generation of the BMW 5 Series!

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