BMW Group Malaysia has bolstered the the F10 5 Series range available to Malaysians today with the new 520d launched in conjunction with the BMW Malaysian Open 2011 tennis tournament held at the Bukit Kiara Equestrian and Country Club Resort.
The 520d’s arrival in our shores marks the latest effort in BMW’s active push of diesel power in Malaysia, sparked back in 2009 with the simultaneous launching of four diesel-powered models which included the previous-generation E60 520d.
At that time, the E60 5 Series was nearing the end of its product life cycle, and as such, BMW only brought in a small number of units before phasing it out in anticipation of the F10’s arrival. This time round, however, with the 520d being introduced here relatively early in the F10’s model cycle, BMW can now contemplate bigger figures, and is thus able to justify local assembly for the new model.
Like the 523i and 528i, the 520d rolls out from Inokom’s plant in Kulim on a Semi-Knocked Down (SKD) basis. As a result, BMW is able to competitively price the F10 520d at RM333,800 before insurance, significantly lower than what they charged for the fully-imported E60 520d, which went for RM379,800. The 520d is also a full RM50k cheaper than the 523i, and a good RM33k more affordable than Merc’s entry-level E-Class, the E 200 CGI.
Sitting in the 520d’s engine room we see the familiar N47 D20 turbodiesel reincarnated in a vastly improved state of tune, and we mean that in every sense of the word. In the E60 520d, this engine produced 177hp and 350Nm while consuming 6.1 litres of diesel every 100km.
In this iteration, BMW is able to coax the 1,995cc four-banger to make 184hp @ 4,000rpm and spread 380Nm of torque over a window from 1,750 to 2,750rpm. Quoted fuel consumption, meanwhile, is impressively improved to 5.2 litres/100km. This engine has already seen action in Malaysian soils, as BMW has been selling the 320d with the engine in this state of tune since the last quarter of 2010. The X1 xDrive20d continues to use this engine in its 177hp state of tune.
Considering that it sits a full RM50k below the 523i in terms of pricing, most of you would probably expect a severe deficit in equipment in the new entry-level 5 Series. Well, here’s the good news, opting for the 520d over the 523i requires that you sacrifice only quad-zone climate control and Integral Active Steering. Everything else is as per the 523i’s spec levels. To refresh your mind, standard kit on board the 520d includes the ZF-sourced 8-speed automatic transmission, Dynamic Stability Control, Cruise Control, Dynamic Driving Control, and the fully specced-up version of the iDrive.
The new BMW 520d is also covered by BMW’s extensive service program, BMW Service + Repair Inclusive (BS+RI) which covers the normal wear and tear repairs or replacements as well as maintenance, service and repair of factory components of the vehicle. The service program provides cover for three years from its original registration date or 60,000km, which ever comes first.