Well today I had the pleasure of testing (for a good few hours) a BMW 535d In the prep room. Just for those unsure of this model, the specs are as follows:- 2993 cc Straight 6 (24 Valve) Twin Turbo. 272bhp at 4000rpm / 560nm at 2000rpm 18" alloys, M-Tec body kit, Alloy Interior 6 spd box, etc, etc Sorry for papish photo. I've got to admit, up until about 3 years ago I was a total petrol head. Anything Diesel was smokey, dirty, pap performance, and only good for one thing...........economy. Then I was introduced to a 330d and everything changed. Voted on numerous occassions as the best Diesel engine in the world the x30d was an engine to aspire to and even in 182bhp trim it flew, and shifted failry heavy exec. cars to 100mph in 17.4 seconds and onto 148mph where it finally ran out of puff. So, 5/6 years on, BMW have fundamentally retained most of the M57 whilst giving power increases and adding harmonic balancer units, etc, etc, but now, they've gone one better. Behold, the 535d. I've got to be honest, if you've driven a BMW you'll understand that they are worth their price. New, this car is £40k basic for the M-Sport. This is a second hand car which had over £6ks worth of extras and is on the forecourt at £35995. The interior is nothing short of amazing. Totally luxorious and the quality of materials used really is second to none. The i-drive system initially received large criticism, but please remember, the average age of someone driving a car like this (NOT A 520d rep mobile) could be well into their 30s / 40s, etc. The i-drive to someone reasonably technically savvy (and it has been redesigned) was a doddle to work and all the main functions were easy to find. There were loads of sub menus, but again they were easy to scroll through and select what you wanted. This model came with air conditioned seats which was really really nice! Very roomy, and at 6ft 3" there was a load of room in the back had someone wished to sit behind me. The drive was well...........awesome...........absolutely stunning. Turn the key, I had to check the Rev counter to ensure this was the 535d and not a petrol variant. The 4500k redline confirmed that yes this was indeed the diesel. Funny, I couldn't hear the engine, lets blip the throttle. WOW, the car rumbles from side to side as the 6cyls start doing their thing. Out on the road, this car is unbelievable, power everywhere, I pootle around town in 4th and am able to shove my foot to the floor and roar off from 30mph with no lag, its like someone has hit the N O S! Take it onto the A338 and wait for the NSL signs. BANG, I floor it, 50mph to 80mph in 4th takes seconds, I mean seconds. The second turbo comes in completely smoothly, you don't feel it apart from a 'greater' shove into your seat, 5th pulls you round the dials even more rapidly, i'm hitting well into three figures now on my private test track! 130mph indicated and I could have put it into 6th and let the second turbo carry me on to the 155mph limited top speed. The problem was it felt like I was only going 80mph until I glanced at the speedo and realised that the owners of this private test track would have something to say if I had been stopped! Onto the A31, a long dual carriage way with 4 rapid round a bouts in succession. This thing handles too, very very well. For a 5m long car it hogs the roads on its 245 shod tyres and doesn't let go. I want more......MORE. Not even a squeel as I punch the last round a bout a good 15mph more than i'd have felt comfortable with in any other car! Floor it and the wave of torque kicks in again, and my grin just gets wider and wider! This is the car i'm aspiring to own in the next few years, and test driving one today as just re-affirmed what I always thought the car would be like. A complete and utter mental motor car that shows clean heels to almost everything else on the road and returns a healthy 40mpg in the process! I love it, but I would have loved it more in black!