The BMW model lineup keeps expanding at an almost exhaustive rate and one of the focus points continues to be the diesel models that are available to us here in the United States. One of those diesel variants is the 2014 BMW 535d that boasts a inline six-cylinder 3.0-liter with BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology. This is not your average diesel as it produces an eye popping 413 lb-ft of torque and a very usable 255 horsepower to propel the 535d from zero to sixty in 5.8 seconds.
From the moment I set foot in the 535d and hit the start button I was surprised by just how quiet the engine was – if it weren’t for the instrument panel I may not have even realized the engine was running. While mashing on the throttle, you got a slight increase in sound from the motor coming to life but it seemed almost too quiet. The exhaust note may well increase through a thorough break-in period of the 535d but I would not expect this car to turn many heads for how loud it is.
The best part about the 2014 Dark Graphite Metallic 535d may just be the amount of torque that is provided throughout the rev range. This is important given that the rear-wheel drive version of the 535d weighs in at 4,085 pounds and the all-wheel drive variant topping the scales at 4,255 pounds. From the moment you step on the throttle, you feel like you have all the power you could need. Whether you are throwing the car through some back country roads or stomping on the gas to leap past slower traffic on the highway, the 535d seems to have the power to propel you where you want to go. The only negative was a leveling out of power near the top of the rev range but that could easily be dealt with by manually shifting with the paddle shifters mounted on the steering wheel.
Driving the 2014 BMW 535d around the back roads in Washington State left me with a good impression of the car overall. The BMW was more than capable of bringing a smile to your face through the twisty sections of the roads but was smooth enough for a long and comfortable trip on the highway. I would have preferred a bit more sound and wish the steering could get back to the feedback you received from the hydraulic days but I have to say it is getting better every year.
The big question is would I buy it and that is tough one. If I was in the market for a 5 Series I would seriously have to consider the 535d over the 535i. The torque is phenomenal in the diesel and aligns more with how I drive a car. Add in the additional 7mpg combined highway fuel economy over the 535i (20/29/23 for the 535i and 26/37/30 for the 535d) and the reasoning for buying the diesel keeps adding up. The final winning vote for me is when you factor in that the 535d xDrive is only $1,500 more than the 535i xDrive. If BMW brings back the eco credit that would make the starting price lower on the diesel than on the gasoline version which would make this an easy choice for me in picking the 535d.
One more note to consider. If you are open to a Sport Activity Vehicle, I would highly recommend you take the 2014 X5 xDrive35d (read our first drive report here) out for a spin as well. If you toss that into the mix, I would buy that every time over both the 535i and the 535d.
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