Whenever BMW comes out with a new 5 Series, it throws the whole basket of toys at it. It’s understandable: the meisters of Munich have a long reputation of excellence to uphold.
And whenever BMW has a new 5 Series, you can bet that Mercedes will be there with an E-Class to tackle it head-on.
The £47k 530d may be the best model in the new 5 Series range so far, so we've put a brand new BMW 530d xDrive up against its most competitive executive rival, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, here in E 350 d AMG Line format.
Remarkably, both cars deliver 5-second 0-60mph times and combined mpg figures that also begin with a 5. The Merc does that with one more ratio in its gearbox, making nine altogether. And there you were thinking that the BMW’s eight-speeder would be more than sufficient.
Both cars are packed with cutting-edge technology. The BMW knows what corners are coming up and prepares itself for them. When the E-Class ‘sees’ a speed limit sign coming up, it will slow down for you. Write ‘golf’ onto the BMW’s touchscreen with your fingertip and it will find local golf courses. Clever stuff.
But which of the two would you most like to drive? Which one delivers the best package of creature comforts? Which one will cosset you most on the motorway? And most importantly of all for executive car buyers, which drifts best with the stability control turned off?
Well, maybe that last one isn’t so important, but it’s fun, as our impartial judges Matt and Mauro are about to show you.