Parkers overall rating: 4.5 out of 5 4.5

The 535i is a 3.0-litre petrol engine which uses two turbochargers to produce 306bhp. This is one of BMW’s finest engines and is equally impressive in the GT with an immediate urgency across the rev range and a 0-62mph time of 6.3 seconds. Despite this it still manages to return a useful 32mpg along with acceptable CO2 emissions of 209g/km. The top engine is the mammoth 550i. For outright BMW 5 Series GT performance go for this model. Despite the name, this is actually a 4.4-litre V8 engine, but like the 535i uses twin turbochargers to boost power. As a result it produces 407bhp and is thunderously quick as you’d expect, accelerating from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds. The downside is economy of just 25mpg. All models come with the latest eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard which delivers incredibly rapid yet smooth shifts.

Diesel engines

BMW’s best engines are available in the 5 Series GT, starting with the 530d. This three-litre six-cylinder diesel engine is incredibly smooth and refined on the move plus with 245bhp along with immense amounts of low down pulling power, it can accelerate from 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds while still averaging 44mpg. That’s even more impressive when you remember that the GT weighs around two tonnes. It can be a little noisy under hard acceleration, but overall is very quiet, especially on the motorway. The 535d is a twin-turbo version of the 530d and comes with 300bhp for 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds and astonishing low- and mid-rev acceleration. In mid-2012, BMW added the 520d that offers superb 53.3mpg and 139g/km carbon dioxide emissions as well as still serving up a fine drive and refinement thanks to its 184bhp.

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While the larger engines appeal for their performance, it’s hard to see past the economy and emissions of the 520d model.

On the move the GT feels very much as BMW describes it – as a cross between a normal saloon and a 4×4. Its real forte is effortless motorway cruising which it does supremely well, feeling incredible stable and reassuring at high speeds. This is helped by the advanced rear air suspension which maintains a consistent ride height, whatever the road conditions.

On more demanding roads it can feel a little heavy and not as agile as a standard 5 Series, this is most noticeable when bringing the GT to a halt. But it corners incredibly well for such a big car with very little body roll and well weighted steering while there are impressive grip levels too. All models come with a system called Drive Dynamic Control which allows you to change the throttle response, steering feel, gear changes and the level of stability control.

There are three pre-set settings – Normal, Sport and Sport+ but you can also partly configure these yourself. A further system called Adaptive Drive is available as an option. This adds a Comfort setting with a softer ride.