The 5 Series Touring comes with the same range of silky-smooth engines as the saloon but you’ll have to hand over extra cash for a peachy six-cylinder model
You can get the 5 Series Touring with three diesel and two petrol engines. All versions come with a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and xDrive models get four-wheel drive for extra grip in slippery conditions.
If you spend most time around town pick a 530i petrol model. Its 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is quieter and smoother than the 2.0-litre diesels and it returns around 40mpg compared to BMW’s claimed 46.3mpg.
The diesel-powered 520d versions are slightly cheaper to buy and will be a better bet if you spend lots of time on the motorway. They’re not quite as powerful as the 2.0-litre diesel E-Class Estate but they’re reasonably quiet at speed and return around 45mpg in the real world. Pick an xDrive model with four-wheel drive and you’ll lose out by around 5mpg, however.
The 5 Series Touring’s one of the smoothest and most relaxing estates on the market but this newfound maturity means it’s lost some of the old car’s fun factor
BMW’s six-cylinder models are well worth considering if you can stomach the extra cost. Both the 530d diesel and 540i petrol are smoother and more powerful than their four-cylinder counterparts, yet return similar fuel economy. The 540i model is seriously fast, too – it’ll accelerate from 0-62mph in a shade over five seconds.
Some BMW purists might be disappointed to hear you can’t get a manual gearbox in any 5 Series Touring model. The standard eight-speed automatic is excellent, however, and responds almost instantly to the steering-wheel-mounted paddles – unlike the slightly sluggish ‘box in a Volvo V90.
The 5 Series Touring’s a piece of cake to drive – despite its large size. It’s easier to see out of than the saloon – thanks to its larger back windows and taller rear windscreen – but the pillar where the front doors meet the windscreen produces a large blindspot at junctions.
You get front and rear parking sensors as standard so it’s not too tricky to manoeuvre into a tight space. A reversing camera and a self-parking system (that’ll steer for you into bay and parallel spaces) costs a fairly reasonable £695.
Even better, however, is the 3D surround view system. It costs £1,095 but it displays a rendered image of your car in its surroundings that you can spin round – just like in a video game. It sounds expensive but it makes it a breeze to slot your large estate into tight parking spaces.
The optional £235 Smart Key comes with a feature that’ll let you remotely drive the car forwards and backwards over short distances – just like a giant radio-controlled toy. It’s especially handy if someone’s parked a little too close for you to climb in easily.
Unlike the saloon, all Touring models come with rear air suspension as standard. This helps them stay level (even with a boot full of heavy luggage) and means they’re ever so slightly more comfortable over rutted roads. It does blunt the saloon’s sharp handling slightly, however.
M Sport models come with lowered suspension and large alloy wheels which can highlight bumps in the road. They aren’t as wafty as an E-Class Estate but the £985 adaptive suspension option helps make them nearly as comfortable and much sportier.
You’ll hear barely any wind noise or tyre roar at motorway speeds and you get cruise control as standard on all models to help make long journeys as relaxing as possible.
The standard 5 Series saloon received an impressive five-star safety rating from Euro NCAP in the strict 2017 tests. Expect the Touring estate to offer near-identical crash protection. For a little extra peace of mind you can get a the £2,250 Driver Assistance plus pack. It comes with adaptive cruise control that’ll steer for you on motorways – providing you keep your hands on the wheel.