Is BMW bigger than Lexus

Comparison test BMW 530d and Lexus 450h: luxurious fuel savers in a duel

In many vehicles, the ignition key - or whatever is left of it today - ensures feverish anticipation in the hand. How the (diesel) engine sounds. The voice with which the powertrain responds to accelerator commands. A Lexus key, on the other hand, usually arouses great expectations of the audio system, as an acoustically rather stale hybrid usually lives under the body. Please do not get it wrong: This is exactly what makes it so attractive, even with the brand new GS 450h. How long can it slide silently electrically? How do you drive to recharge the 2.6 kWh battery? The hybrid fan base vehemently throws off the fact that the fuel consumption values ​​are usually higher in the end than with a comparable diesel with the significantly higher, environmentally harmful nitrogen oxide emissions.

Clean chemical club in the BMW

In the case of the BMW 530d, this remains the case despite the corresponding catalytic converter. However, its three-liter diesel engine emits around 56 percent less nitrogen oxides than without a catalytic converter. How does the exhaust gas cleaning work? Take a deep breath: The nitrogen oxides produced in lean operation are stored as nitrates in the storage catalytic converter. Since a part is present as NO, it must first be oxidized to NO2. In cyclical fat phases (lambda <1), in which sufficient reducing agents (H2, CO and HC) are made available at low oxygen concentrations (<1%), the stored nitrates and the reducing agents react to form N2, H2O and CO2 - and that is only the short version. The inmates don't notice anything of the chemistry spectacle. Instead, they hear the familiar, serious rumble of the six-cylinder diesel, which develops 258 hp and a maximum torque of 560 Newton meters.

The direct injection engine makes full use of this shortly after exceeding the speed of the play street, which is noticeable in the stomach through a slight feeling of pressure and on the measuring device in a time of 6.1 seconds for the sprint from zero to 100 km / h. The diesel engine is really fun, however, with juicy intermediate sprints. Then it doesn't matter if the automatic shifts to the next level at 4,000 rpm. Only in manual mode does she let the diesel turn higher, which in turn comments with only a moderate increase in temperament, but with a protesting growl.

Only 6.5 liters in the BMW 530d's Eco-Pro mode

Meanwhile, the eight-speed gearbox changes gears with a harmony that can only be found in educational textbooks, and at a speed with which the Olympic relay runners press the baton into their hands. If the driver is still infected by the so-called Eco-Pro mode, diesel consumption will drop. Similar to the power flow diagram of the Lexus hybrid, a graphic animates cautious acceleration, which is rewarded with the gain in range. With the new virtual instruments (optional) adopted from the facelifted Siebener, the displays are even more prominent. The reward: a minimum consumption of 6.5 L / 100 km.

The GS 450h counters with a respectable 7.1 L / 100 km and plays its electric trump card, especially in the city (see box on the right). He also draws this card when performance is required. Together with the V6 petrol engine, the drive delivers 345 hp, the torque of the 292 hp internal combustion engine is 352 Nm. A stepless automatic keeps it at the optimal speed level - due to the design significantly above that of the 530d - and pulls the sedan from standstill to 100 km / h in six seconds.

Lexus GS 450h with the start of a sports car

In addition, the hybrid duo reacts so acutely to accelerator commands, as if it wanted to recommend itself for use in a sports car. And the acoustics? Still takes some getting used to. In return, the engineers put a lot of effort into the noise insulation. The alternative: the standard sound system with 835 watts in the test car. If you want to adjust its volume and other settings, you can of course do this using the multifunction steering wheel - or using two stylish metal knobs that look as if they were stolen from a high-quality power amplifier. The rest of the quality in the cockpit reaches a high level, but fails in the details. Bare cables on the inside mirror and some buttons that are also hidden by the steering wheel look like they were hastily built.

Meanwhile, the GS Hybrid tries to divert attention with the seats, which are adjustable in all imaginable directions, just like the BMW, but which are a little too softly padded. Is its suspension comfort also correct? Nearly. Even if it does not cushion uneven ground as unimpressed as the 530d, hardly any passenger will complain. Annoying: fully loaded, the Bavarian hits through nasty faults, the Japanese rumble loudly. In a direct comparison, its somewhat more brittle response and stronger body movements are noticeable even without a load. The latter does not apply in the Sport Plus mode, but then the suspension comfort too - without a relevant gain in agility. The steering is also partly to blame for this, because it responds with a delay. The 1,750 euro expensive all-wheel steering of the BMW with variable ratio cannot be accused of that, however, it snaps greedily for steering commands.

BMW neutral, Lexus rather restless

While the 530d then follows the given line largely neutrally, the Lexus becomes jittery and restless when changing direction quickly and shows slight load change tendencies. The previously tested F-Sport variant (issue 19/2012) with 19-inch wheels and all-wheel steering showed a more clearly defined self-steering behavior.

So it is the sum of numerous small deficits that is behind the BMW. The GS, which is particularly impressive due to its harmonious drive, continues to increase expectations of future models from the brand - and not just of the audio system.

The diesel for the motorway and the hybrid for the city

If you want to compare the efficiency of a diesel and gasoline engine fairly, you first have to bring their energy content up to date. Diesel is heavier per liter than petrol, so it also carries more carbon atoms necessary for combustion and therefore stores around 13 percent more energy per liter. If the BMW 530d wanted to achieve the same efficiency as the Lexus with minimal consumption (7.1 L / 100 km), it would have to consume 6.3 instead of 7.4 liters of diesel / 100 km. In the city, the difference is even clearer for the Lexus. Here the Lexus also benefits from its large nickel-metal hydride battery with an energy content of 2.6 kWh. Even if this is only partially used for reasons of longevity, it allows a few kilometers of burn-free travel at low speeds. In addition, the 147 kW electric motor fills the torque weakness when the six-cylinder is running in the so-called Atkinson cycle in the partial load range. In this lean operation, the inlet valves close particularly late. With increasing speed on the highway, however, the big hour of the diesel engine and the eight-speed automatic strikes. Diesel engines do not have to be cooled with fuel even under full load and therefore do not increase their consumption significantly. In addition, the ZF automat acts more effectively on the motorway with its higher gear ratio spread.

1. BMW 530d510 points

The 530d proves once again that a BMW can no longer just whip around corners, but also bounce. In addition, it secures victory with the powerful, economical diesel engine and the spacious interior.

2. Lexus GS 450h Luxury474 points

Never before has a Lexus come so close to its German competitor as the GS. Its efficient, but space-consuming hybrid is just as improved as quality and comfort - but there is still a respectable margin.

Technical specifications

BMW 530d Lexus GS 450h Luxury Line
Base price52.100 €71.800 €
External dimensions4899 x 1860 x 1464 mm4850 x 1840 x 1455 mm
Trunk volume520 l482 l
Cubic capacity / engine2993 cc / 6 cylinder3456 cc / 6 cylinder
power190 kW / 258 hp at 4000 rpm254 kW / 345 hp at 6000 rpm
Top speed250 km / h250 km / h
0-100 km / h6.1 s6.0 s
consumption5.3 l / 100 km6.2 l / 100 km
Test consumption8.3 l / 100 km10.0 l / 100 km
Show all technical data