When BMW Malaysia first launched the G30 5 Series in 2017, it came in the form of the 530i M Sport, oozing with sportiness thanks to features like the full M Performance exterior package, double-spoke style 664 M alloy wheels, blue M Sport brake callipers, a generous dose of high gloss Black bits, and what not.
Even when the company expanded the 5 Series range for the first time four months later with the 530e plug-in hybrid, the emphasis was still on sportiness, as the model was clad in Sport Line Exterior bits like the 19-inch V-spoke wheels and high-gloss Black front bumper elements among others.
Only during the next 5 Series range expansion in April 2019, BMW Malaysia saw the need to bring in something more subtle and more affordable, in an effort to cater to buyers who didn't want something that was downright sporty.
And this was when the car we’re looking at here – the 5 Series 520i Luxury Line, made its Malaysian debut. Priced at RM328,888 on the road without insurance, the 520i Luxury Line is the most affordable 5 Series model in the range alongside the 530e Sport which goes for the same price, followed by the 530e M Sport which asks for RM338,888, the RM372,800 530i M Sport, and of course, the RM1 million big daddy M5.
For the 520i Luxury Line, the engine is perhaps the largest distinction between it and the other variants. Powering it is the same B48 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as the 530i M Sport, but in a different state of tuning.
This explains why the 520i Luxury Line produces 184 hp and 290 Nm of torque, versus the 530i M Sport’s 252 hp and 350 Nm, and the 530e’s 248 hp and 420 Nm of torque. Coming back to the 520i Luxury Line, sending all of its power to the rear wheels is the ZF 8-speed automatic transmission.
The main trim differences between the 520i Luxury Line and the other variants are as follows:
- Chrome Plated Kidney Grille VS the M Sport’s Black Kidney Grille
- Chrome Exterior Trim VS the M Sport’s Shadow Line bits
- 18-inch wheels VS 19-inch M Sport wheels
- Sensatec Dashboard
- Circular chrome Exhausts VS hexagonal tips
- More elegant bumper with generous chrome bits VS M Sport’s sportier bumper
- Luxury Line door scuff plates VS M Sport trims
Inside, the 520i Luxury Line features Dakota leather upholstery and a Sensatec dashboard which is not available in any other variant, black high-gloss trim with highlights in Pearl Chrome, front sports seats, a sport leather steering wheel, illuminated aluminium door sill finishers, along with an 11-colour ambient lighting system.
Other features include Comfort Access, automatic air-conditioning with four-zone control, but unlike the 530e, the 520i does not have BMW’s Driving Assistance package and the only driver assistance features we have here are the passive cruise control with braking function, Parking Assistant, and a rear view camera.
That being said, this is what we feel about the 520i Luxury Line:
- Design: 3.5/5 – Still handsome, but not as dashing as the M Sport variants
- Driving Dynamics: 4/5: Sharp, but more power would’ve been welcome
- Comfort: 4/5 – Smaller tyres & suspension setup add to comfort
- Space: 4/5 – Cabin feels roomier than the Mercedes-Benz E-Class
Ups & Downs
- Plus: It’s the cheapest 5 Series variant, and it strikes a perfect balance between comfort and a dynamic driving experience
- Minus: Lacks driver assistance features, looks quite “uncle-y”.
Like any other car, the BMW 5 Series 520i Luxury Line has its ups and downs. On the upside, it has brought the price of the 5 Series down, drives exceptionally well, looks very matured, and somewhat ticks most of the boxes of what one would expect from a car in this price range.
Despite having smaller tyres and a more comfort-oriented suspension setup, the 520i Luxury Line drives just the way you would expect a BMW to – with great agility, responsiveness, eagerness, and composure.
The level of comfort and plushness in the car was also impressive for an entry level variant. In fact, our stint with the 520i Luxury was so satisfying that we didn’t think of the 530i or 530e even once.
However, we can’t run away from the fact that there are still areas in which the car could have been better. For instance, the list of driver assistance features could have been more extensive, and there could have been a bit more power to make things a little more exciting.
But then again, those who want the complete package can always opt for the better kitted 530i or the 530e M Sport can’t they?
While many entry level models out there are merely what we call “kosong-spec” cars with minimal features, the 520i Luxury Line here is actually quite well equipped.
So, if you’re looking for a premium executive sedan that is not visually loud but still classy and matured, equipped with all the necessary stuff, spacious, delivers decent amount of power, and offers a comfortable ride, the 5 Series 520i Luxury Line may just be the right car for you.