Flicking to sport mode on the 535d lets loose a tidal wave of power.

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Updated Beemer at top of its class
Economy will likley be the last thing on your mind while driving the diesel BMW 5 Series 535d.

There are certain questions that, when asked, you are never going to say no to.
"Would you like an upgrade to first class?"
"Another beer sir?"
"Do you want a BMW next week?"

So it was that I slipped into the updated 5 Series for a few days of trundling while the boss got his hands on the new Maserati.

I wasn't complaining, though. Pretty much everything in the BMW 535d is at the top of its class.

The higher-end of the two diesel variants available, the turbocharged six-cylinder engine puts out an entertaining 330kW/630Nm power/torque breakdown that translates as a reassuring rumble once you hit the start button.

While prestige sedans like this one are almost all uniformly fantastic in all departments, they can start to feel a little bit utilitarian in some ways. Like you should be in the back seat and a bloke in a jacket and peaked cap should be driving.

Don't expect to find anything of the sort here though, with a nice feeling of weight into the corners never dulled by the electronic steering control.

It glides rather nicely through the suburban traffic and while the electronic stop/start system still feels a bit odd when you're sitting at the lights, it plays a big part in keeping the thirst down to just 5.6L/100km, a pretty big tick on something this size.

Economy, however, will be the last thing on your mind when you take it out on the open road.

Flicking the switch to sport mode reduces the effect of the ESC and opens up an absolute tidal wave of power.

In most other rides, you'll start to feel a little bit of pushback once you hit 100 - a signal to suggest you may wish to restrain yourself lest an awkward conversation with the constabulary follow.

It's safe to say that sport mode in the 535d removes any such artificial thoughts of conscience. There's no suggestion at all that slowing down is in your near future.

Thankfully, when I looked to be running into this dilemma on the Mitchell Freeway while heading to Joondalup, a glance at the handy HUD speedometer meant I avoided any costly encounters with Joondalup police.

Because its tech, comfort and convenience is where this generation of Beemers have really set the standard.

Past goes at heads-up displays have see-sawed between innovative and intrusive but this one (the magic occurs via a forward-facing projector in the dashboard) sits at perfect viewing height without being annoying.

The computer itself presents the usual space-age array of options for monitoring just about every one of the car's specs - even the reversing camera appears to be a satellite shot, thanks to the multiple in-built cameras.

With a list price of $121,900, it's hard to pencil in an exact recommendation for the 535d for most buyers out there.

But if you've got the money, spend it. You certainly won't have any regrets.

VERDICT
Port-and-cigar class, in beige leather. The 535d is certainly something to check out if you're in the market for a premium sedan.

BMW 5 SERIES SEDAN
Model: 535d
Price: $121,900
Engine: 3.0-litre six-cylinder turbo-diesel
Outputs: 230kW/630Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Thirst: 5.6L/100km

COMPETITORS
MERCEDES E-CLASS
Model: E250 CDI
Price: $98,900
Engine: 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel
Outputs: 150kW/500Nm
Transmission: Seven-speed automatic
Thirst: 4.9L/100km

AUDI A6
Model: TDI Biturbo
Price: $119,700
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo-diesel
Outputs: 230kW/650Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Thirst: 6.4L/100km

JAGUAR XF
Model: S Portfolio
Price: $112,900
Engine: 3.0-litre V6 turbo diesel
Outputs: 202kW/600Nm
Transmission: Eight-speed automatic
Thirst: 6.0L/100km