Diesel Magic
    Category: Forbes Life By : Yessar Rosendar Read : 1083 Date : Friday, January 16, 2015 - 17:06:01

    Tony Permadi for BMW Indonesia

    Last November Forbes Indonesia had a chance to try some of the latest diesel models from BMW, including the 520D, 320D and the X3. There was also a chance to test them over about 500 km in a variety of real-world driving, from relatively open and twisting roads between Jakarta and Semarang, to stop-and-go in the more built-up areas. Among the diesel models, the 520D is the most luxurious and yet at Rp 838 million (off the road as of December), it is the most affordable model in the 5-Series lineup, selling just below the basic model 520i with a gasoline engine. Driving through Jakarta traffic, it feels like a regular 5-Series with all the comfort and features such as a sunroof and leather seats. The car is surprisingly quiet inside, without any diesel engine rattle and no black smoke even at full throttle.

    The main feature of its diesel engine is its combination of common rail direct injection technology from Bosch and a turbocharger with variable output for low and higher rpm range. The two-liter engine, with 184 horsepower, has a big advantage with abundant supply of pulling power. The 520D has a peak torque of 380 Nm at 1,750 rpm, around 40% more than from the 520i. The difference is quite significant compared to the gasoline model—the moment you depress the throttle you can feel the solid pulling power, even for a car that weighs 1.7 tonnes. It also helps with fuel efficiency as you don’t need to press the throttle as much as the gasoline model. A diesel engine is also more environmentally friendly, as the 520D emits 20% less CO2 than emitted from the 520i.

    When tested from Sumedang to Cirebon through windy roads, the car is still a pleasure to drive, especially on corners. The car also experienced some heavy traffic when going through traditional markets in Sumedang and places clogged with large trucks; yet managed to record a fuel efficiency of 18 km/l. When the road clears up and the car can maintain a stable cruising speed, it can record a fuel efficiency of over 20 km/l. The car has adequate ground clearance to go through potholes and uneven roads on the trip. Going uphill in the Alas Roban area the car torque was handy for quick overtaking, but when cruising the car is also equipped with some of BMW’s latest fuel saving technology. One is a coasting function that allows the car to move without engine power, if within a speed range of 50 to 160 kmh and the driver takes their foot off the accelerator and does not brake, the system disconnects the engine and the car coasts.