The Good Fuel economy in the low 30s and excellent handling make the 2014 BMW 535d xDrive a practical driver's car. The navigation system shows refined, detailed maps and integrates online Google search, with further apps available through smartphone integration. A host of driver assistance features are available.
The Bad BMW should at least make the rearview camera standard. Apps are integrated unevenly between BMW Online and BMW Connected. The music library interface takes attention away from the road.
The Bottom Line Despite some very minor quibbles, the 2014 BMW 535d xDrive delivers exceptional quality and feature content on all fronts, from online cabin tech to fuel economy to driving satisfaction.
BMW 535d xDrive proves diesels can be sport drivers
British petrolheads hold that gasoline-fueled cars are for fun, and diesels for economy. BMW turns this notion on its head with the 2014 535d xDrive. This diesel engine 5 Series displayed all of the "ultimate driving machine" fun of a BMW, yet attained a fuel economy average of around 30 mpg.
Slinging it around corner after corner, I was gratified by the ready power delivery, balanced handling, and complete lack of understeer. On city streets the engine whirred along like clockwork, so that I barely heard the rough cough of diesel combustion. After many hours of hard driving, the fuel gauge showed I was only down a quarter of the 18.5-gallon tank's full capacity.
Built on the latest 5 Series platform launched in 2010, designated F10 by BMW, the 535d xDrive sedan shows typically conservative BMW styling. The example I drove was fitted with adaptive LED headlights and the M Sport Line, giving it 19-inch alloys and an aerodynamic body kit. That LED headlights illuminated the road ahead with a well-defined and bright light pattern, and incidentally drew significantly less electricity than standard lamps.
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