2013 BMW 535d M-Performance – Drive and Review

2013 BMW 535d M Performance

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If a BMW dealer would suddenly invite you to test drive a BMW M Performance model, would you be in? I hadn’t to ask this question myself. The only steps I had to take was to register myself via the internet, select a car and pick a date for the drive. I selected a BMW 535d sedan M Performance which awaited me at the BMW Niederlassung in Fröttmaning, in the north of Munich. It was a grey and rainy June morning as I entered the parking lot of the dealership. The streets were still wet from the heavy rainfall during the night. All in all, the scenery was set for a hour of Freude am Fahren.

Engine and Technology

The BMW 535d F10 (BMW internally code-named F10) came in the best shape as one would imagine a M Performance model. The M Sport package featured Alphine White as exterior color and was completed with several M Performance exterior accessories, such as the black kidney grills, the carbon fiber rear diffuser and a carbon fiber rear spoiler. Under the hood, the second strongest 3.0-liter six-cylinder diesel engine generated powerful 313 hp (230 kW) with an amazing torque of 465 pound-feet (630 Nm). The engine is only topped by BMWs sportiest diesel flagship in the stable, the BMW M550d with 381 hp (280 kW) and 545 pound-feet (740 Nm) of torque. Behind the wheel, the driver finds itself surrounded from further M Performance accessories for the cockpit. The Alcantara sport steering wheel, carbon fiber interior trims and the carbon-fiber gear lever of the 8-speed automatic gearbox continue the sporty appearance inside the car. Never before has a diesel powered BMW transferred more sporty emotions to me like this BMW 535d M Performance did.

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Driving the BMW 535d M-Performance

Since my test drive was only scheduled for one hour including the time I took for photos, the experience in relation to the driving was somewhat limited. I tried to make the best out of it and warmed-up the engine around the streets of the Allianz Arena. Of course I selected immediately “Sport” via the Driving Experience Control after I switched on the engine. Since there was no soccer game scheduled, the three-lane streets were more than empty. After 10 minutes of driving around the arena, I entered the A99 in the direction to Nürnberg / Stuttgart. I was luckily to enter a section with less traffic and without a speed limit and pushed the BMW 535d to its electronically limited maximum speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The acceleration of the 465 pound-feet (630 Nm) of torque were overwhelming. According to my feeling, it took only seconds to reach the limiter. I exited the A99 at the next intersection and returned to Fröttmaning in the opposite way. This time there was heavier traffic but I was able to return the car without any delays. The board computer of the BMW 535d reported a combined fuel economy of 9.3 l/100 km (25.3 mpg) after a drive of 50 km (31 miles).

Starting this summer, customers in the US and Canada can order BMW M Performance parts also for their 5 Series. The 2014 BMW 535d and 535d xDrive will enter the North American market after an absence of nearly 25 years. However, both models are not equal to their European counterparts. The North American version of the BMW 535d produces 255 hp (190 kW) and 413 pound-feet (560 Nm) of torque. This figures come close to the European BMW 530d.

The Details

Base price/price-as-tested  € 57,800 / € 83,500
Drivetrain Front engine, rear-wheel drive
Engine 3.0-liter turbocharged I-6
HP/Torque (lb-ft) 313/465
Transmission 8-speed sports automatic
Curb weight (lbs) 3,968
Wheelbase (inches) 116.8
Length x width x height (inches) 192.8 x 82.4 x 57.6
0-60 mph (seconds) 5.5
City/Highway fuel economy (mpg) 39 / 47

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