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BMW 5 Series Touring

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By Jonathan Crouch

BMW has high hopes of its much improved 5 Series Touring. Jonathan Crouch reports.

Ten Second Reviewword count: 80

Big estate cars have come a long way from their utilitarian roots and the seventh generation BMW 5 Series Touring is a good example of just how far. Air suspension at the rear offers composure with a big load onboard and you'll be able to fit plenty in one in thanks to a 570-litre capacity. The engine range is now even more efficient and the smartened styling, though formulaic, has definite elegance. It may even be sharper than the saloon's.

Backgroundword count: 157

BMW paints a not unrecognisable picture of the executive estate market before the arrival of its 1991 first generation 5 Series Touring. Before that car, big estates were pared-back workhorses to their sportier and more sophisticated saloon counterparts. After it, they were positioned more equally with equivalent design and driving dynamics. Today, many even see the estate as a more stylish alternative to the straight-laced saloon, with its extra practicality coming as a handy bonus. The MK7 model 5 Series Touring is a worthy successor to successful previous generation models and just like most of its predecessors, it has the Audi A6 Avant and Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate to contend with. BMW's expertise in autonomous driving systems and media connectivity will help here, as will the greater luggage capacity on offer. If all of this can shroud a car that cossets its passengers while still rewarding the driver at the wheel, then quite a contender is in prospect.

Driving Experienceword count: 269

You don't have to drive very far in this seventh generation 5 Series Touring to notice this model's sharper feel and extra agility. Losing 100kg in weight will do that for you. It doesn't feature the kind of full air suspension set-up that can be specified as an option on a rival Mercedes E-Class, but if you add in the extra cost 'VDC' 'Variable Adaptive Damping' system we'd recommend, you'll find very little to complain about when it comes to ride quality. Engine-wise, the 184bhp 2.0-litre petrol turbo unit in the 520i will be popular, which slots into the range just below the 252bhp 2.0-litre four-cylinder powerplant used in the 530i. Alternatively, there's a 340bhp 540i variant which needs xDrive 4WD to control its prodigious 450Nm of torque. Most 5 Series Touring buyers though, will continue to want a diesel, probably the familiar 190hp 2.0-litre four cylinder unit used in the 520d or the 3.0-litre six cylinder 265hp powerplant used in the 530d. xDrive 4WD is optional in both cases. All 5 Series models must use an 8-speed Steptronic auto gearbox. Both these variants are available with optional xDrive if you want it. For the first time, BMW xDrive can be combined with Integral Active Steering, as well as lowered sports suspension. As for handling, well a step forward was needed here with many commentators reckoning that the previous generation model was too comfort-orientated in its standard guises. This time round, BMW's engineers reckon they've achieved a much better balance of performance and luxury thanks to reductions in weight, revised steering and new double-wishbone kinematics in the front axle.

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Pictures (high res disabled)

Statistics (subset of data only)

Min

Max

0-62 mph (s):

5.4

9.9

Combined mpg:

36.7

62.8

Extra urban mpg:

47.1

68.9

Height (mm):

1462

Length (mm):

4907

Max Speed (mph):

130

155

... and 6 other stats available

Scoring (subset of scores)

Category: Luxury Saloons and Estates

Performance
80%
Handling
90%
Comfort
80%
Space
80%
Styling, Build, Value, Equipment, Depreciation, Handling, Insurance and Total scores are available with our full data feed.

This is an excerpt from our full review.
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