A non-PHEV BMW 5-Series now costs the same as a 3-Series

By daryl, 26 April 2019

In recent times, the best deals you can find in BMW showrooms in Malaysia are often for plugin hybrid models which benefit from tax incentives aimed at locally-assembled energy efficient vehicles (EEV). But the Bavarian outfit has the knack of pulling off a nice CKD surprise from time to time. And it has done it again with the latest addition to its G30 5-Series line-up: the 520i Luxury.

While the 530i continues to top the range in its sharp M Sport suit, the 520i takes things down a notch with a smattering of chrome, 18-inch wheels and a detuned version of the 530i’s four-pot turbo. So it’s less sporty and less powerful, but also considerably less expensive.

At RM328,800, the 520i Luxury is RM44,000 cheaper than the 530i M Sport, meaning you can buy one with enough change for a backup car – think Proton Iriz or Perodua Myvi – for the price of the latter. RM328,800 also happens to be the sticker price for the recently launched 330i M Sport CBU, so that's something else to think about. 

You still get a decent package for the money, though. Premium items like adaptive LED headlights, Dakota leather upholstery, four-zone automatic climate control, rear-view camera, Navigation System Professional (10.25-inch touchscreen multimedia interface), BMW ConnectedDrive and 20GB of memory for audio files are all part of a long list of features.

The powertrain itself isn’t too shabby. There’s 184bhp and 290Nm of torque piped to the rear via an eight-speed Steptronic auto. This output carries the 520i to 100kph from a standstill in a respectable 7.8 seconds, all the way to a top speed of 235kph.

The numbers aren’t as lofty as those of the 530i, but the 520i is naturally more economical with a combined fuel consumption of 6.2l per 100km.

Buyers who want even more economy will be delighted to know that BMW Malaysia also launched the 530e M Sport alongside the 520i Luxury.

Priced at RM338,800 – RM10k more than the existing 530e Sport and incidentally the 520i Luxury – the plugin hybrid 5er adds things like 19-inch M wheels, M Sport brakes and M Sport twin tailpipes to its eco-focused repertoire.

With 252bhp and 420Nm, the 530e M Sport’s hybrid output also makes it a swifter machine than the 520i on the straights – it does 0-100kph in 6.2 seconds. But the standout stat is obviously its 2.3l/100km rating complemented by carbon emissions of just 53g per kilometre.

Now all we’re missing is a diesel 5-Series. Or has that gone out of fashion?