Perfection does not exist, but on the fifth generation BMW Series 5 Touring you really do have the impression that this car has achieved the very highest levels of style, elegance, driving dynamics, safety, comfort and man-machine interaction.
Conceived specifically for the European market, where it has enjoyed huge success since the first version was launched 25 years ago, the new BMW Series 5 Touring is now marginally larger, 4943 mm long with an (extended) wheelbase of 2975 mm, 1868 mm wide and 1498 mm high. The side view of the vehicle emphasises the dynamism of the styling – underlined by the line of the roof and strongly inclined D-pillar – and highlights the expressive design of the front and the tail end, where the horizontal lines draw attention to the car’s width. We should also mention the aerodynamic refinement (a Cd of 0.27), which is enhanced by the new air intakes in the front apron that direct the air flow towards the outlets in the sides without creating a vortex, as well as the adjustable intakes on the front. What is more, recourse to high resistance steel and aluminium for the roof, tailgate and some suspension elements has made it possible to reduce the weight by an average 100 kg.
Inside, the available space has been increased in all directions (even the luggage compartment is larger, increased from 570 to 1700 litres), and the furnishings and the finish convey quality, ergonomics, and measured, elegant luxury. The driver has a new version of the Head-Up Display which projects various items of information onto the windscreen. The Control Display with touch screen and gesture control, and a whole range of equipment that is drawing ever closer to the driverless car: for example, Lane Change Warning which, combined with Lane Departure Warning keeps the car in its lane and provides active protection from side-on collision, or Active Cruise-Control with a stop-and-go function that “reads” road signs and adjusts the speed accordingly. Plus Pedestrian Warning to protect pedestrians and a Lane Change Assistant for safe lane changing.
The picture is completed by air suspension fitted as standard at the rear and the option of xDrive four wheel drive, the M Sport suspension and four steered wheels, Dynamic Damper Control and Adaptive Drive with anti-roll stabilisers. Where “intelligent” communication is concerned, there is BMW Connected Drive – a true mobility assistant that manages cell phones – an information service, the Concierge Online Entertainment Service that analyses traffic flows in real time and On-Street Parking Information that looks for parking places, with automatic and even remote controlled manoeuvring.
The current range comprises several versions: the 530i Touring petrol 2.0/252 bhp, 540i xDrive, petrol 3.0/xx bhp, 520d Touring Diesel 2.0/190 bhp; 530d Diesel 3.0/265 or 249 bhp. 6-speed manual, and automatic Steptronic 6 and 8-speed transmissions. Comfort, Sport and Adaptive drive modes. Sport Line and Luxury Line outfits.