Buying used: (2011-2017) BMW 520d

    The diesel version of the previous-generation 5 Series is fantastic value for money. We tell you the pros and cons of owning one.

    Published On Apr 06, 2019 07:00:00 AM


    GOOD FOR: Strong engine, comfortable ride

    LOOK OUT FOR: Faulty steering column, worn-out interior

    Few deals are more tempting than a used luxury car. Thanks to rapid depreciation, big and expensive luxury sedans can be bought at laughable prices in the used car market. However, there are other costs that follow the purchase. Yes, you get them at a bargain, but the ownership cost is a whole different ball game.

    So if you are willing to spend about Rs 25 lakh on a new Skoda Octavia, or the newly launched Honda Civic, know that you can also get something like the swanky BMW 5 Series for pretty much the same price. The BMW 520d (F10) was launched in India in 2011 and it received a mild update in 2013 that saw it get sleeker headlamps and subtle changes to the interior and the infotainment system – and this is the one that you can buy for about Rs 25 lakh.

    Solid build quality, but design is a bit too plain. iDrive system works well.

    For that money, what you get is a 2.0-litre diesel engine that makes 184hp and 400Nm of torque mated to an 8-speed automatic gearbox. The space and comfort in the back is excellent, the boot is practical and the 5 Series is enjoyable to drive as well. In terms of efficiency, expect 10kpl in the city and 14.5kpl on the highway.

    Yes, as far as parts and service costs go, they aren’t cheap to maintain; a basic service of a 520d will cost you between Rs 20,000-25,000 and a major one can go up to Rs 70,000. However, running costs are similar to a new sedan’s. That means you have to look for a used 520d that is mechanically sound and one that comes with the BMW BSI Plus warranty pack, for added peace of mind.

    Cars like this have complex electronics, which can lead to a massive repair bill, so make sure you do a thorough check. You may not be able to identify some of the technical niggles so it is advisable you take a trusted mechanic along with you. Some known issues are the fuel pump failing, predominantly caused due to the use of poor quality fuel. A new one costs around Rs 50,000 and that’s excluding the high labour charge.

    Also, look for any warning signs on the instrument cluster. If you find one, a quick scan of the car at a service centre should reveal the issue. There are other niggles to look out for also, like the iDrive system malfunctioning, the parking camera not engaging and interior trim wear on the buttons and switches for the infotainment.

    Make sure you check out the steering column, especially those on 2011 model year cars that have crossed 50,000km. And it is best you steer clear from the early production versions because they have a high odometer reading and they were also prone to a timing chain issue.

    Lastly, these BMWs come with run-flat tyres, which may be reliable but are a lot more expensive to replace. Check the tyre sidewall for any damage or cuts, and even the alloy wheels thoroughly.

    BMW also has pre-owned programmes where you can get a model that is certified by the company; these are on the pricier side, but they come with the guarantee that the car is in good condition.


    Buyer beware …

    Diesel injectors

    Look for smoke from the exhaust and power loss. Cars that have been driven more on the highways tend to face injector malfunction due to the use of poor quality fuel.

    Run-flat tyres

    The 5 Series comes with run-flat tyres that are very expensive to replace. Check the tread and the condition of the tyre as it could turn out to be an expensive fix.

    Fuel pump

    Use of poor-quality fuel or running the car on a low fuel level can result in failure of the fuel pump. If the car is struggling to start or experiencing loss of power, this could be an issue.

    Also worth knowing

    Look for cars with BMWs BSI Plus warranty pack. This covers a lot of the repair work and saves you a ton of money in the long run. Sure, you won’t get all six years, but a 2015 model will still have around two years left and even that is quite reassuring.

    How much to spend

    Rs 24-28 lakh

    Given that this F10 version of the 5 Series is almost eight years old now, you can expect a 50 percent depreciation. However, it’s advisable to look for a car not more than 3-4 years old, as ones older than that usually have many issues. You can get a four-year-old car for around Rs 24-28 lakh. If the car is from the official BMW certified used car programme, expect a higher price tag, but one that’s in much better shape.

    Years produced2011-2017
    Price when newFrom Rs 52 lakh
    Engine4 cyl, 1993cc
    Top speed250kph
    Economy10/14.5kpl (City/Highway)

    Click here for BMW models, prices, reviews, videos, images and more

    BMW 5 Series
    BMW 5 Series

    ₹ 71,18,850 * on road price (New Delhi)


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