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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - September 29, 2015

Expert Rating

5.0 (Excellent)
26 City / 38 Highway

Unlike other websites and magazines, our ratings are not based solely on a singular road test, but rather a more encompassing batch of criteria: quality, safety, comfort, performance, fuel economy, reliability history and value. When comparing vehicles using our Rating System, it's important to note that the rating earned by each vehicle correlates only to the models within its class. For example, a compact car cannot be compared to a SUV—They are different vehicles altogether.

You can interpret our ratings in the following way:

5-Star: Outstanding vehicle. Only the most exceptional vehicles achieve this rating.

4-Star: Very Good vehicle. Very good and close to being the best vehicle in its class.

3-Star: Good vehicle. Decent, but not quite the best. Often affordable, but lacking key features found in vehicles of the same class.

2-Star: Below average vehicle. Not recommended, and lacking attributes a car buyer would come to expect for the price.

1-Star: Poor vehicle. Simply does not deserve to be on the road.

2016 BMW 535d OVERVIEW

Conventional wisdom used to claim that fuel economy didn't matter all that much when it came to luxury motorcars. Taking that maxim seriously, automakers spent most of their engineering and development funds on maximizing power and performance, not to mention enhancing prestige.

The current BMW 5 Series sedan family is an excellent example of that policy, with a selection of engines rated all the way up to 560 horsepower. The 535d follows a different path, focused on economy. Its main selling point is under the hood: a refined, high-efficiency turbo-diesel engine, delivering performance approaching that of its gasoline-engine siblings.

What's New for 2016

Enhanced USB and Bluetooth is now standard on all 5 Series sedans, including Mobile Office, an additional microphone, Bluetooth for a second phone, and library browsing. Turbine 19-inch wheels now are optional. A power tailgate also is available, as a standalone option.

BMW 535d Front Quarter

Choosing Your BMW 535d

BMW 535d Interior

As the “d” suggests, the focal point for the midsize 535d sedan is a turbocharged 3-liter six-cylinder diesel engine. Even if equipped with all-wheel drive rather than standard rear-drive, the 535d is estimated at 30 mpg in combined city and highway driving. Issuing 255 horsepower and 413 pound-feet of torque, the 535d can reach 60 mph in a swift 5.8 seconds: just about the same duration achieved by the regular gas-engine six-cylinder model. An eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission. Specifically, fuel economy is estimated at 26 mpg city/38 mpg highway.

Naturally, a suitable level of BMW luxury comes standard. The 535d equipment list includes leather seat upholstery, a driver’s memory package, dark wood interior trim, 12-speaker 205-watt audio, satellite and HD radio, navigation, and a sunroof.

BMW offers the 535d in two optional “lines,” to enhance the car’s character. Flaunting more chrome exterior trim, the Luxury line rolls on 19-inch multi-spoke wheels and, inside, gets exclusive upholstery stitching and accents. M Sport takes an opposing direction, emphasizing a sport-tuned suspension, aerodynamic body kit, 19-inch double-spoke wheels, as well as sportier details.

BMW 535d Interior

Various option packages are available:

  • The Individual Composition package starts with 19-inch V-spoke light alloy wheels, but lets you create your own look by selecting from a broad combination of colors, leathers, and styling accents.
  • The Premium package adds Comfort Access keyless start, and satellite radio.
  • Ventilated and massaging 20-way power front seats highlight the Luxury Seating package.
  • To achieve a sportier feel, the Dynamic Handling package supplies an adaptive suspension that adjusts ride and handling according to speed, vehicle load, and road conditions.
  • Turning to safety, the Driver Assistance package provides a rearview camera, head-up display, front/rear parking sensors, and an expanded instrument cluster.
  • Driver Assistance Plus adds side- and top-view cameras, a collision warning and mitigation system, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and speed-limit information. Adaptive cruise control is an option.
  • The Cold Weather package features heated front and rear seats, a heated steering wheel, and retractable headlight washers.
  • A Lighting Package includes adaptive full LED headlights with automatic high beams.

Note that many features in the option packages may be purchased separately. Available individual options include a power trunk lid, ceramic controls, multi-contour seats, and four-wheel steering

CarsDirect Tip

Diesels aren’t strictly for economy anymore. At least, not when they wear a BMW badge. In fact, quite a few driving enthusiasts have grown to accept, and even prefer, diesel power in performance cars. Most 535d option packages are reasonably priced, but you do have to exercise restraint, to keep the total price from getting out of hand. We consider the Premium and Driver Assistance packages to be most essential for a luxury sedan.

Get your price on a BMW 535d »

BMW 535d Rear Quarter

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BMW 535d By Year

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