Friday, July 22, 2011

Fuel Consumption: BMW 520d Touring F11

The BMW 520d is not only a potent verhicle, the x20d engine is a masterpiece in combining power with efficiency. In the “efficient dynamics” package, BMW has included some technical features all aimed at reducing fuel consumption.

  • Reduced friction of engine parts should save around 3,5%.
  • Auto-Start-Stop: when the car comes to a halt and is taken out of gear, the engine shuts down.
  • Brake Energy Regeneration: collects energy for the battery of the car, therefore reducing strain on the engine.
  • Active Aerodynamics: are closed when starting the engine, enabling it to heat up faster. If needed, the vents are opened for cooling, otherwise they remain shut for an optimized aerodynamical flow.
Moving on to the practical experience of the fuel consumption of the BMW 520d Touring with a 6-speed manual transmission. After driving about 1000 kilometers, the 520d averaged a fuel consumption of 7,6l / 100km. At first sight this might look high, but it was achieved after driving on the Autobahn at high speeds. On the contrary, while driving on a secondary road, an average fuel consumption between 4,5l and 5,5l on 100 kilometer was possible.

Driving on cruise control on the highway, the 520d achieved these results:

130km/h = 6 liter
150km/h = 7 liter
160km/h = 7,5 liter

From this information it can be conclude that for every extra 10km/h in speed, the car used about 0,5l / 100km more. Of course the fuel consumption at these speeds will increase exponentially, but it can be infered that above 150km/h the cars fuel economy is steadily decreasing.

A realistic estimate of the avarage consumption under normal driving conditions will be around 6,5l / 100km, which is excellent for a car in this class and a weight of almost 1800 kilo.

In this class, the Mercedes Benz E220 CDI Estate is a direct competitor of the BMW 520d Touring. Although the comparison-Benz had a 5-speed automatic gearbox instead of the 6-speed manual gearbox, it roughly used 1l / 100km more compared to the 520d while retaining the same driving characteristics.

For the Mercedes Benz E220 CDI Fuel Consumption Test review, please click here.

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