When it comes to getting great fuel economy, there is definitely more than one way to skin a cat. The Prius may be thrifty but it certainly isn't the be all and end all. Just to demonstrate that the Times of London decided to go for a little a road trip with a Prius and a BMW 520d. While the 535d that we tried out a couple of months ago is a mighty machine, it's only the tip of the iceberg for 5-series diesels. Starting things off is the 520d with a 2.0L four cylinder diesel with 177hp. In a large sedan the size of a 5-series that may not seem like much but the diesel torque still manages to get it to 62mph in a respectable 8.3 sec. That's more than enough to easily merge onto highways without feeling like you're about to get run down by that oncoming truck. That's also about 2.7 seconds faster than a Prius. But of course the Prius is specifically designed to have a minimal thirst for fuel. So how did they do? On a jaunt from London to Geneva, that specifically included an extra 100 miles of city driving just to let the Prius shine, the Prius managed 40 mpg (U.S.). The 520d on the other hand managed 41.9 mpg, all in real world driving conditions. So who says GM has to cancel all their rear wheel drive programs to meet the 35 mpg standard?
[Source: The Times of London, TTAC]