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2024 BMW 520i Mild Hybrid Review Singapore

The 2024 BMW 520i Mild Hybrid is BMW's 8th generation of the reputable 5 Series. Now dubbed the G60, the 520i features mild hybrid technology alongside its 2 litre 4 cylinder turbocharged engine that is mated to an 8 speed ZF transmission, allowing it to achieve 187 bhp and 310 Nm of torque with a 0-100km/h time of 8.1 seconds. The 520i operates OS8.5 with new menu shortcuts via BMW's integrated curve display with full digital driver's display.

One Face Two Cars

While some automakers have undertaken the route of separating their ICE and EV lineups, BMW have gone down a "one face two cars" sort of route, utilising the same platform for both corresponding ICE and EV options. In the case of the G60 5 Series, this means that the BMW 520 and the BMW i5 are almost identical from an architectural and aesthetic standpoint - but run different powertrains.

While there are surely compromises to this approach, the benefits far clear. If you are a BMW 5 Series owner today and are looking to acquire the newest G60, you can conveniently choose between two very different powertrains, without having to worry about which car looks better. In some ways, its a brilliant approach to things. Go for the i5 and you need not worry about looking too different or abstract - go for the 520i and you still benefit from the technologically advanced sheen that the i5 has bestowed on the G60 generation.

Bigger Than Ever Before

Apart from aesthetics, one of the first things you'll notice about the new 520i is that it feels like a big car - and you'd be right. It's the largest 5 Series ever built and is consequently now comparable to the size of a 7 Series from previous generations. Armed with better space utilisation in the cabin as well, the 520i optimises the use of its larger shell and ensures that legroom and cabin space in general is generous and welcoming.

For driver and passenger alike, the new found size of the 520i is always going to be more of a good thing than a bad. After all, with car prices in Singapore being what they are, it's a good thing cars are getting bigger as well - which adequately maintains the price-value equation of these cars. However, it is worth wondering if the 520i has gotten too big for its own good, detracting a tad from the original purpose of the 5 Series, which people believed was the right balance between the luxury of a 7 and the drivability of the 3. In some sense, the 520 almost feels too large to be perceived as sporty, yet still too small to be considered luxurious enough for the chauffeur-driven segment.

Built for the Masses

Depending on the who you ask, the 520i will likely illicit different perceptions. Ask a 5 Series loyalist who has owned previous versions of the car, and the response might be a little lukewarm. However, ask the general public and people who might be new to the BMW brand or the 5 Series, and you might get a more resounding rate of acceptance. Luckily, there are more members of the general public than 5 Series loyalists lying around, because the new 520i is a car that is built for the masses.

Armed with a tested and proven turbocharged 4 cylinder engine mated to a trusty 8 speed automatic, both of which are used extensively throughout the BMW range, the 520i's powertrain brings a somewhat reliable and dependable flavour to the table. While not particularly unique or with character, the 520i carries out its duty with little fuss and no drama, presenting users with many traits that are hard to fault. With 187 bhp on tap and a respectable 0-100km/h time of 8.1 seconds, the 520i is spritely enough for the masses, and the mild hybrid assistance adds a gentle sheen of refinement to the overall driving experience. Steering is light and easy to operate at lower speeds, and the suspension is a good balance of comfort and handling.

Who will it Appeal to?

If it feels like I don't have much to say about the 520i, that's probably because there isn't. Its a hard car to fault by any measure, but also not particularly endearing if I'm being honest. Still, you could do a lot worse with the same amount of money, and beyond the shadow of a doubt, the 520i is a remarkably capable car that will serve you and family well in many many situations.

If you're looking for a dependable, luxurious, comfortable, and spacious luxury sedan, the 520i is surely a car you need to have on your shortlist. If you're looking for something special though, there are probably more exciting options out there.


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