The 5 Series Touring comes with a futuristic cabin and boatloads of high-tech features but its conservative styling means it isn’t as distinctive as the Mercedes E-Class Estate
The BMW 5 Series Touring is a smart estate car that’s more fun to drive than a Mercedes E-Class Estate and has a more stylish interior than an Audi A6 Avant. It’s also available as a four-door saloon model which is reviewed separately.
The Touring’s cabin looks just as slick as its exterior – you get lashings of soft plastics, glossy trims and sturdy switches. It’s not quite as eye-catching as an E-Class Estate’s swoopy interior but it feels more solid.
You get BMW’s excellent iDrive infotainment system with satellite navigation as standard. It comes with a second digital driver’s display – just like Audi’s Virtual Cockpit – instead of conventional analogue dials.
Avoid the optional voice and gesture control features and it’s more intuitive to use than the systems in an A6 Avant or E-Class Estate. Its menus are logically laid out and the bright screens are easy to read on the move.
You’ll have no trouble getting comfy, even if you’re very tall. There’s plenty of headroom in the front and loads of seat adjustment as standard. Annoyingly, lumbar support – to help reduce backache on long journeys – is a £225 extra on all models.
The back seats are almost as roomy as those in the front. There’s even more headroom than in the saloon and there’s more shoulder room for three to sit abreast than in an E-Class Estate or A6 Avant. Unfortunately, the hard middle seat makes it tricky for your middle passenger to get comfortable and the huge lump in the floor leaves very little room for their feet.
Finding room for your luggage is a much easier task. There’s more than enough space in the Touring’s 570-litre boot for some large suitcases and soft bags, and there’s room under the floor to store the load cover. You can flip the rear windscreen up separately to throw in a few small bags, too.
Need to carry long luggage and some passengers? The back seats fold in handy three-way (40:20:40) split as standard. You can flip all three down using buttons in the boot to open up a completely flat 1,700-litre load bay. The flat boot lip and wide opening make it easy to load but it’s not quite as practical as the cavernous E-Class Estate’s 1,820-litre load bay.
The BMW 5 Series Touring has long been the go-to model for drivers wanting a sporty car that’s also practical, and this new car brings loads of clever tricks to the large estate party
You can get the 5 Series Touring with two petrol and three diesel engines. The quiet 530i petrol will be best suited to pottering around town and it returns around 40mpg – compared to BMW’s claimed 46.3mpg. Pick a 520d diesel if you do lots of motorway miles. It’s a little noisier than the petrol but it’s cheaper to buy and returns approximately 45mpg in real-world conditions.
All Touring models come with rear air suspension as standard to help them deal with massive potholes – even with lots of luggage on board. As a result, they’re not as sporty as the 5 Series saloon nor as comfortable as the E-Class Estate. The optional £985 adaptive suspension helps close this gap, however.
The standard 5 Series received a five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP – expect the Touring model to offer near identical crash protection.
The 5 Series Touring is well worth considering if you’re looking for a stylish estate that’s spacious and absolutely packed with high-tech kit. For more in-depth info on the BMW 5 Series Touring read the interior and specification sections of our review over the following pages. And, if you want to see what sort of saving you can expect on the 5 Series, click through to our deals page.