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Parkers overall rating: 4 out of 5 4.0
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PROS

  • Great driver’s car
  • Enhanced practicality
  • Competitive running costs
  • Improved level of standard kit

CONS

  • Not the most capacious estate
  • Harsh ride on bumpy roads

Verdict

For those executives seeking more practicality than the saloon can offer, the BMW 5 Series Touring (or estate in everyday speak) is BMW’s answer. It takes on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz E-Class estate and the Audi A6 Avant, and each of these estates aren’t simply a bigger, boxy version of the saloons they are based on. In terms of the BMW its design is intended to shout ‘premium’ and ‘elegance’ and it succeeds with its sleek lines, LED lights and trademark shark fin on the roof. The 2010 Touring also improves on the practicality of the last model with an increase in length for more passenger legroom and modified rear seats to increase boot space.

A driver’s car

With the majority of sales likely to be diesel, BMW has a strong line-up including the popular 520d, which emits just 137g/km of CO2 making it a sure-fire hit with company car drivers. There’s also a 530d which offers slightly more power, and a stupendously fast 535d for those looking for near sports car performance from a diesel 5 Series Touring. There’s also a pair of petrol options – a 523i and a 535i making 202bhp and 304bhp respectively. Handling is also an important part of the BMW philosophy, and this isn’t lost on the 5 Series Touring. Although an undeniably large car, it drives extremely well on pretty much every type of road. The steering, while a little on the heavy side, is full of feedback and feels extremely direct.

Technical wizardry

You can specify a serious amount of optional extras, and the interesting systems available include Part Assist – which will steer the car into a space for the driver, leaving only brake, gear and throttle inputs to do – and Surround View, which uses several cameras around the car to provide the driver with a 360-degree bird's-eye view of the car, making parking extremely simple. This is a very competitive market with not only other premium estates but also executive 4x4s and large people carriers to compete with. So is the new BMW estate the best premium yet practical offering for executives? Read on for our BMW 5 Series Touring review to find out.

What owners say about this car

The large boot. I was concerned coming from an avensis estate which had a feature to keep shopping /... Read owner review

Many aspects. Perhaps the best is the flexible design of the boot space with extremely easy seat... Read owner review

Huge boot, lots of power, good fuel economy... all makes for a practical package. Read owner review

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