BMW Grand Tourismo 530d SE 15 | 08 | 2010Scotcars rating

    BMW GT is the perfect solution for ... well, life


    A friend showed great interest in the test car. “That’s some machine,” she said, which I took to be that she was impressed. But no. “It’s a BMW at the front but looks like a Vauxhall at the back,” she continued. Certainly the 5 Series GT is a slightly unusual design, but not quite as bizarre as a BMW/Vauxhall combo. It is a big machine, although not as overpowering on the road as the massive X6.

    The GT aims to combine a coupe-like silhouette to the luxurious interior of the 7 Series while also offering the functionality and flexibility of the 5 Series Touring or the 4x4 X5. It comes as either a four-seat executive or five-seat practical option for the family, and has three engine variants; not suprisingly, the biggest seller in the UK is likely to be the 3.0-litre diesel. The long wheelbase gives it warehouse proportions inside, especially if you drop the rear seats, but all the time there’s still a lot of emphasis on luxury.

    The car groans with traditional BMW equipment

    On the road

    The diesel engine of the test car was superb and the all-new eight speed auto transmission was effortless and smooth, regardless of whether it was on the M8 or a country track in the Trossachs. The car groans with traditional BMW equipment and there’s a real feeling of quality and engineering excellence throughout. Performance is pretty stunning too and even with a sparkling drive, the economy can be impressive of around 30mpg.

    Comfort & Safety

    It is very comfortable and I really like the leather used in BMWs. In some other executive cars the leather can feel unforgiving, but the hides from Munich are softer yet supportive and warmer but breathable. The high driving position gives a feeling of security and visibility is excellent, helped, if you need it, by the optional rear view camera and two side view cameras mounted on the front wings. They help you when pulling out of blind junctions by giving you a clear view on the central console screen of any oncoming traffic before it has the chance to remove your front end.

    The GT is also the first in the executive class to have a two-piece tailgate which allows you to open it as a conventional boot or, by pressing a separate lever, lifting it as a hatchback for bulkier luggage. Standard fittings are a panoramic sunroof, ambient lighting — including some crystal clear welcome lights on the outside doorhandles — and heated front seats. The Head-Up display of speed and other vital driver information is very clever, useful and surprisingly unobtrusive.

    Should I buy one?

    Yes, if you like your luxury combined with sportiness but also need flexibility and practicality. And you’ll have to have a few bob as well.

    Alan Douglas

    Quick Stats
    Price OTR/As Tested £41,710 / £47.335
    Engine / Power: 2998cc / 245bhp
    How fast?: 0-62mph 6.9secs, Max 149mph
    How big/heavy?: H1559mm  W1901mm  L4998mm / 2035kg
    How thirsty/CO2?: Combined 43.5mpg / CO2 173g/km
    InsGP/Road tax: 42 / Band H
    Alternatives: Mercedes R-class; Porsche Cayenne; Audi Q7

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