BMW 5 Series Touring interior

The 5 Series Touring has a high-quality cabin and one of the best infotainment systems on sale. a Mercedes E-Class has more flair to its design inside, mind you. 

Style

The 5 Series Touring’s interior looks good and the materials used are excellent. There aren’t any cheap, brittle plastics or scratchy trims – no matter how deep down in the cabin you look.

Swathes of glossy plastic, brushed aluminium and polished wood cover almost every inch of its minimalist dashboard. It’s not quite as eye-catching as the E-Class Estate or Volvo V90 but it has its own charm.

Notable option packs are the Comfort Plus package, which adds heated seats, four-zone climate control, a powered bootlid, keyless entry and an automatic tailgate, and the Technology Pack, which adds a head-up display and wireless phone charging. There’s also the Entertainment pack, which adds TVs for the rear seats.

Even entry-level models come with a slick digital driver’s display instead of conventional analogue dials. This is joined by a 12.3-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, which is new on 2020 models. It’s a fantastic system – read on below to find out more.

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Infotainment

All models get a 12.3-inch screen with BMW’s excellent operating system as standard, including satellite navigation with real-time traffic updates to help you avoid sudden traffic jams. It calculates routes to avoid jams and lets you know about unavoidable traffic ahead.

The handy scroll wheel on the centre console means it’s a doddle to use. The menus are logically laid out and it’s even more intuitive than the systems you get in an A6 Avant or E-Class Estate. There are voice and even gesture control options, but the wheel is by far the easiest control method.

Both screens are easy to read – even in bright sunlight – and entering a postcode using either the touchscreen keyboard or the control knob is easy. Using the handwriting recognition feature on the scroll-wheel touchpad takes longer, however, and it’s not quite as easy to add a waypoint as in an A6 Avant.

Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are both available (though it’s a shame you have to pay extra for wireless phone charging). You can even connect your iPhone wirelessly in the 5 Series, which is a rare feature even on modern cars.

The Touring’s standard stereo delivers punchy bass and crisp high notes but the optional Harmon Kardon system is even better. Yet for a no-holds-barred audio assault, you’ll need the Bowers and Wilkins unit. It’ll set you back a fairly eye-watering sum but it’s loud enough to shake cobwebs from attics for miles around.

Next Prices & specs
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