BMW 530d xDrive: ‘Just don’t let this car try and park itself’

BMW 530d xDrive: ‘Just don’t let this car try and park itself’
BMW 530d xDrive: ‘Just don’t let this car try and park itself’

The new BMW 530d xDrive has a neat trick up its sleeve. At the end of a journey, you can get out and at the push of a button on the, frankly oversized key fob, it will park itself.

BMW 530d xDrive M Sport

Engine capacity: 3.0-litre diesel
Power output (BHP @ RPM): 261 @ 5,000 – 4,000
Top speed (MPH): 155
Fuel economy (MPG): 62.8
C02 emissions (g/km): 124

You can even use this witchcraft wand to inch the car backward and forward like a remote-control-toy. James Bond has a BMW like this in ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’. After dodging some anti-tank missiles, he drove it off the top of a car park into a car rental office.
Thankfully, I didn’t try that, though it’s up there with my all-time favourite bond scenes. I didn’t auto-park it either, because as far as I can tell my oversized fob was faulty and wouldn’t charge on the charging pad. I had to park the old fashioned way, which frankly with all the sensors and cameras in the 5-Series isn’t a massive problem.

Parking problems

But it’s certainly neat idea, though if I’m honest, I’m not sure how I feel about. I don’t mind my train going driverless or my car helping me stay in lane on the motorway. But if the day comes that I refuse to bay park at the supermarket, well, what’s the point of learning to drive?
And that would be a shame as the new 5-Series, especially the BMW 530d xDrive M Sport I tested, is almost impossible to fault. It’s a wonderful car to drive, whether out on the ragged edge on a B-Road or cruising silently through town.
It uses the latest turbocharging technology to push 261 brake horse power out of its 3.0-litre diesel to offer genuine performance car pace, with 0-60mph taking just 5.4 seconds. Economy isn’t sacrificed though and MPG figures in the high fifties are possible if you have a light right foot.

Surge forward

It’s astoundingly capable too, and those performance figures don’t convey just how rapid it is or how powerfully it hugs the road. Hit the throttle and the 530d will surge forward, whatever the speed or gear.
This is all done in exemplary, sound insulated comfort with practically every technological gadget you could want for. Engage economy mode on the motorway, turn on cruise control and all that can be heard is a gentle hum as the 530d sips fuel, and eats up the miles.
It’s main rivals are the new Jaguar XF and the Mercedes E-Class. I’m due to review both of these here soon, so watch out for that. But, as it stands the 5-Series is a car that can do everything you’d want in a luxury saloon, except it seems park itself. But who wants that anyway.

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