Test date 15 November 2009 Price as tested £40,810
For Interior style, performance, rear accomodation
AgainstLuggage space, crashy ride, overly assisted steering
Remember when life was simple? When manufacturers stuck to what they did best? BMW made executive saloons (with the odd estate and coupe for variety), Land Rover made off-roaders and Renault the family hatchback.
Now, though, everyone does everything – and they’re all different from each other. BMW still makes saloons, but also SUVs (in whatever size sir would like), including one that thinks it’s a coupe.
And now we have the 5-series Gran Turismo, a car offering the raised driving position of a SUV (but without the conspicuous looks and all-wheel drive), the versatility of a hatchback and the space of a full-size saloon. To confuse matters further, the GT has the same wheelbase as a 7-series, with which it shares suspension components, but is badged (and priced) as a 5-series.
Answering the question of what exactly the 5-series GT offers, and whether its split personality works, is the 530d, the model BMW expects to account for the greatest proportion of sales. Can it succeed in trying to be all things to all drivers?
Although our test car, like all GTs, came with Dynamic Drive, it did without the optional Active Drive and Active Steer. As a consequence, toggling through Normal to Sport+ does nothing to affect the GT’s dynamic behaviour beyond adjusting the steering weight.