Parkers overall rating: 4.1 out of 5 4.1

Should you buy a BMW 5 Series Touring?

It handles almost as well as the saloon, is just as comfortable, and has all the engine and trim options you can shake a stick at. There are some compromises in terms of refinement and dynamics compared with the saloon – but we're talking very small ones.

You'll get all the premium experience you'd expect from the saloon, too. Which is a good thing, because all the thoughtful improvements to the load bay (the estate's USP, of course), have resulted in a very practical and competent car.

The Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate still offers the most amount of cargo space and it's comfort-biased setup will suit those who aren't interested in driving fun at all. This also applies to the Audi A6 Avant, but how well that rides is very spec-dependent. The Jaguar XF Sportbrake offers a more agile driving experience thanks to it being lighter and offering even sharper steering, but the gruff engines and low-rent interior spoil the experience - even if load-carrying capacity matches the 5 Series.

The 520d makes the most sense for the majority of buyers, while M Sport will be the most popular - as a result, even though you may be tempted by the cheaper SE model, the M Sport should be easier to sell when the time comes. The plug-in hybrid 530e will be ideal for those who only cover short journeys, when they can fully utilise the battery's 30-mile or so electric range.

The 530d xDrive with its optional adaptive dampers seemed to have the worst ride quality, so if you are tempted by the larger diesel's added performance, it's worth sticking with the standard suspension setup.

Is the 5 Series Touring the perfect large estate car? Pretty much. It's certainly up there as one of the best all-rounders.

Further reading

>> Best estate cars

>> Best family cars

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained