The midsize 535d sedan is built around a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder diesel engine, which achieves 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving -- even when equipped with all-wheel drive. With 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque under its hood, the 535d hits 60 mph in 5.8 seconds, a dead heat with the regular six-cylinder model. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered.
The 535d starts at an appropriate level of BMW luxury with leather seating, a driver memory package, dark wood interior trim, HD radio, navigation and a sunroof. BMW offers the 535d in two optional “lines” that give the car extra character. The Luxury line comes with additional chrome exterior trim, 19-inch multispoke wheels, and specific upholstery stitching and accents. The M Sport goes in the other direction with a sport-tuned suspension, an aerodynamic body kit, 19-inch double-spoke wheels and sportier styling details throughout.
There's also the Individual Composition package, which starts with 19-inch V-spoke wheels and then lets you create your own look with an endless combination of colors, leathers and styling accents.
The popular Premium package adds a hands-free power trunk lid, keyless ignition and satellite radio. You get 20-way front seats with ventilation and massage in the Luxury Seating package. For a sportier feel, the Dynamic Handling package provides an adaptive suspension that adjusts ride and handling to speed, vehicle load and road conditions.
Turning to safety, the Driver Assistance package equips the 535d with a rearview camera, a head-up display, parking sensors and extra gauges. A Plus version of the same adds side- and top-view cameras, a collision mitigation system, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning and (optional) adaptive cruise control. Finally, the Cold Weather package throws in heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel and headlamp washers.
Note that many of the features of the various option packages can be purchased separately.
The option packages are all reasonably priced, but numerous enough that you'll have to make some decisions in order to keep the price from running away. We consider the Premium and Driver Assistance packages to be most essential for a luxury sedan.
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