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Latest Business Car Manager News: BMW 520d GT: new business friendly take on the imposing luxury hatch


BMW has created the new business friendly version of its 5 Series Gran Turismo. It's impressive. Business Car Manager has an in-depth review featuring below.

(PRWEB UK) 31 October 2012

BMW has created a new business-friendly version of its big 5 Series Gran Turismo, based around its acclaimed and economical 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine.

For those Business Car Manager readers new to the 5 Series Gran Turismo, it's basically a hatchback version of the 5 Series – so it sits, in terms of functionality, between the 5 Series saloon and 5 Series Touring estate car.

This ‘downsized' entry level 520d GT gets the same 2.0-litre Twin Power diesel that features in the 5 Series Saloon and Touring. This has the effect of dropping the GT down into a lower and more fiscally attractive company car tax bracket.

The key numbers are 139 g/km and 53.3 mpg, coupled with power of 184 bhp and torque of 380 Nm.

This puts it into VED band E. For company car users it also means a company car tax band of 21 per cent and a benefit in kind of £8343

OTR prices start at £36,605 for the 520d GT SE, rising to £39,905 OTR for the M Sport version tested here.

Compared to the bigger engined diesel and petrol 5 Series GTs, the numbers for the 520d certainly look good. The car also comes with a long and lavish equipment list including leather trim and big panoramic sunroof as standard.

Ultimately, though, it all comes down to how the 520d GT performs with its ‘small' engine and whether it has real appeal outside of those all important CO2 and company car tax band numbers.

What's hot?

•Big and bulky, the 520d GT is no lightweight yet there's still a decent level of performance to be enjoyed with the ‘small' Efficient Dynamics 2.0-litre turbodiesel on board. Acceleration, in fact, is suprisingly lively
•BMW quotes 8.9 secs for 0-62 mph, yet subjectively the car feels fleeter than that. A big wall of that all-important pulling power called torque (380 Nm peaking at just 1750 rpm) plus well chosen gear ratios are the key to the BMW's effective turn of speed
•BMW's latest eight-speed automatic transmission is standard
•Combined economy hits an impressive 53.3 mpg thanks to a full range of Efficient Dynamics technology, including Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration and ECO PRO transmission mode
•The 5 Series GT is a super refined, comfortable and quiet, It also cruises beautifully
•Exotic and airy interior one of the GT's big selling points. Fit and finish both outstanding
•High specification levels as standard, including Dakota leather upholstery and BMW Business Advanced Navigation System and enhanced Bluetooth telephone functionality with telematics
•The 5 Series's quirky styling is courageous…and different
•It's an impressive car for just a 21 per cent company car tax band.

What's not?

•As a curious, sybaritic coupe-meets-wagon, the BMW 5 Series GT is still a niche car that not everyone “gets”
•Also, the 5 Series GT's sheer size not always ideally suited to UK roads
•Cabin is sumptuous and a stunning place to be but poor packaging means actual load carrying is compromised.
•Sloping tail means over-the-shoulder, rear three quarter vision is also not the best.
•Efficent Dynamics 2.0-litre engine could be smoother and quieter at idle and low speeds
•139g/km CO2 emissions means 520d GT Turismo misses new 130g/km leasing tax break that arrives in 2013.

Business Car Manager road test verdict

Without question, this is the most sensible 5 Series GT to date. With a sub £40K price point, 50 mpg-plus and CO2 emissions below 140 g/km, it's a formula guaranteed to give the model a new lease of life in the UK and appeal directly to business car buyers, particularly company directors of SME firms.

Crucially, the 520d GT doesn't feel underpowered with the ‘small' 2.0-litre Efficient Dynamics diesel on board and the car handles crisply, belying its size and weight.

For all that, and its classy interior, the 5 Series GT is still something of a curious fish on UK roads. Users should just make sure if they are thinking of one as their company car, they should tick the box marked “520d”. Both on paper and on the road, it adds up in a business car comparison.

BMW 520d M Sport Gran Turismo – the low down

P11D Value £39,730
Monthly business rental (ex VAT) From £543 (3yrs/30,000 miles)
Company car tax bands 2012/13 to 2014/15 21%; 22%; 23%
Benefit in kind 2012/13 to 2014/15    £8343; £8741; £9138
Engine 2.0-litre 4cyl turbocharged diesel
CO2 Emissions 139g/km
Power/torque 184 bhp/380Nm
0-62mph/top speed    8.9secs/132mph
Economy (official) 53.3mpg

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