Which diesel is for you? 530d seems to hit the sweet spot.

Diesels might be under scrutiny in the aftermath of the scandal at the Volkswagen Group, but there’s still a huge market for them in Europe. Depending on budget, BMW has a multitude of diesel engines available for the 5 Series, starting off with the entry-level 520d priced at €46,100 in its domestic market Germany. It’s basically the bread and butter of the range as it offers a decent amount of performance from its four-cylinder 2.0-liter engine developing 190 horsepower (140 kilowatts) and 400 Newton-meters (295 pound-feet) of torque.

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Those willing to step up to the more powerful 530d have to pay at least the €55,400 and will be rewarded with a six-cylinder 3.0-liter mill rated at 265 hp (195 kW) and 457 lb-ft (620 Nm). It should be mentioned that in some markets, such as Germany, there’s a 525d version (not featured in this video) bridging the gap between the 520d and 530d, with a four-cylinder engine pushing out 231 hp (170 kW) and 369 lb-ft (500 Nm) priced at €52,600.

Priced from €64,200 in Deutschland, the 540d packs 320 hp (235 kW) and 680 Nm (501 lb-ft), whereas the quad-turbo M550d monster sits on top of the diesel range with a monstrous 400 hp (294 kW) and 560 lb-ft (760 Nm). Price? That would have to be €85,000.

But numbers don’t necessarily tell the whole story, so seeing these four diesel members of the BMW 5 Series family in actual acceleration and top speed tests gives us a better look at how these models stack up. Of course, the M550d is the quickest of the bunch and is the go-to model for those looking for a performance luxury midsize sedan without any budget restrictions, but our pick of the range would have to be the 530d. It’s only slightly slower than the 540d and is €29,600 cheaper than the M550d. With the money saved, you could buy a base 2 Series Coupe.

Gallery: 2018 BMW M550d xDrive

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