2018 BMW 5 Series Estate Review
BMW's executive estate is larger and more luxurious than before
Pros: Superb handling, cabin quality and luxury, class-leading tech
Cons: More spacious rivals, no option of seven seats
This is the new 5 Series Touring, BMW’s executive estate which follows hot on the heels of the new seventh generation 5 Series Saloon. The Touring offers similar levels of luxury and appeal as the saloon, with added space and load-lugging credentials in the rear. We were impressed with the 5 Series Saloon when we drove it on Irish roads and at Mondello Park race circuit earlier this year, which means we have high expectations for the new Touring. The question remains however, can it challenge some of the best cars in the space including the impressive Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate, Audi A6 Avant and Volvo V90?
What is it like?
Even though the new Touring is slightly longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, it looks sleeker than before from the outside. The most notable styling changes include newly-shaped front and rear LED lights, air curtains next to the front wheels and a more-pronounced kidney grille, so the Touring is one of the best-looking estate cars currently on the market. Our test car is a high specification M Sport model and it has some sporty add-ons including optional 20-inch alloy wheels and a striking M aerodynamic body styling kit, but opting for this specification hikes the price tag significantly.
The Touring’s interior is more spacious up front with extra elbow and shoulder room for passengers. Boot space is abundant with 570 litres of room to use, but this falls short on the capacious Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate (640 litres). Drop the Touring’s rear seats however, and this grows to an enormous 1700 litres with a flat floor and wide girth which is helpful when loading bulky items. The dashboard and driver’s area is beautifully-designed with premium materials and technology throughout, while the new standard touchscreen infotainment system with BMW’s iDrive system is a joy to use.
The Touring is available with a choice of petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid powertrains and all are paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard. We drove the range-topping three litre 530d diesel with BMW’s optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system. The 530d generates an enormous 261 horsepower and 620 newton metres of torque, so it surges from 0-100km/h in just 5.6 seconds. For those who need performance and practicality, the 530d Touring certainly won’t disappoint. It isn’t the most economical choice however, as we averaged 6.4-litres per 100 kilometres of driving (44MPG), while annual motor tax is €390. The smaller two-litre 520d diesel will be the more popular powertrain here in Ireland, with superior economy and a more affordable asking price.
Out on the road, the Touring handles superbly for a large estate and more convincingly than the comparable Mercedes E-Class. It strikes an ideal balance of driving dynamics and comfort, with super smooth ride quality and road noise is barely noticeable at higher speeds. The high specification Touring that we tested has BMW’s optional adaptive suspension with Comfort mode offering increased luxury, and even increased wheel sizes doesn’t effect the ride quality. The optional xDrive all-wheel-drive system offers extra reassurance during poor weather conditions and winter months, but you will have to pay extra for the privilege.
Prices for the new 5 Series Touring start in the region of €56,000 for the base specification 520d SE model, which is on par with the entry-level Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate. Standard equipment is generous with full leather upholstery, BMW’s touch screen infotainment system, automatic transmission, a sports steering wheel and lots more featured as standard. M Sport specification increases the asking price to over €60,000 and adds all of the usual M Sport upgrades, while our test car is loaded with a host of optional packages including BMW’s visibility, comfort and technology packages and even a remote parking feature which means it can be parked while standing outside of the car, so it commands a hefty six figure price tag.
Carzone verdict: 4/5
The new BMW 5 Series Touring mixes practicality, luxury and driver engagement like no other large estate car can. It is incredibly comfortable and more refined than its predecessor, while the technology and infotainment featured inside surpasses the best in class. That’s not to mention the its comprehensive engine range with newly-introduced plug-in hybrid units. The 5 Series Touring loses out to the Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate in terms of load space however, while there is no option to have seven seats. There isn’t much to dislike overall however, and it seems BMW has created its best-ever estate car in the new 5 Series Touring.
Test Car Details:
Model driven: BMW 5 Series Touring 530d xDrive M Sport
Prices from: €56,870
Price as tested: €103,014
Annual Road Tax: €390
Engine: 2993cc four-cylinder diesel
Top Speed: 250km/h
0-100km/h: 5.6 seconds
Body style: Estate
Boot Space: 570 litres