Thursday, November 23, 2017

Devon test drives a 5-series with split personality (used)

BMW 5er GT (F07) – Frontansicht, 17. Juni 2012, Düsseldorf.jpg
The 5-series Gran Turismo is supposed to be a real Jack of all trade. It's a hatchback with 4x4 driving position and executive saloon interior space. Not to mention the splash of BMW dynamics, but in the times with gas prices rising will BMW be able to convince buyers to consider one?

Likes: Luxurious interior, plenty of space for four, clever tailgate design, effortless engines.

Dislikes: Quite expensive to buy and running costs are high, not as sharp to drive as a BMW should be.

Performance: There are two engines available for the 5-series GT. A 3-liter turbocharged six-cylinder with 300hp and a 4-liter turbocharged eignt cylinder with 400hp. Both engines offer effortless pace and are loads of fun to drive. Picking between the two however depends on the depths of your wallet. All-wheel-drive is optional, too.

Ride & Handling: The 5-series has a smooth ride, but handling isn't as sharp as you'd expect from a BMW. Steering is sharp and the response is great. Both engines provide a high degree of passing power. Put your foot down and you'll feel the turbo kick in. It feels like the 5-series GT is better suited for motorway driving than twisty narrow roads.

Refinement: Wind and road noise are both well suppressed. You'll enjoy a smooth quiet drive in the city and on the motorway. Both engines are hushed at most speeds, the eight-cylinder engine has a lovely grunt when revved hard.

Behind the wheel: There's no doubt that you'll find a driving position that suits you best. The steering wheel adjusts for reach and height, as well as the driver's seat. The dashboard is your typical minimalistic BMW design. Everything feels high quality, but is user friendly and easy to nagivate. However, the fidly iDrive is best avoided.

Space & Practicality: The 5-series GT is strictly a four-seater vehicle. The driver and front passenger will get comfortable easily, and so will rear passengers. The boot isn't massive, but it offers a quirky trick up its sleeve. The trunk can be opened like a saloon, or a hatchback for added versatility. For the price however, we don't think it's really worth paying the premium.

Equipment: The 5-series GT comse well equipped. Even the base model comes with Xenon-headlamps, panorama glass roof, keyless start and parking sensors. You'll need the parking sensors because of the small rear windscreen. This leaves you with big blind spots for merging and parking.

Buying & Owning: The high asking price says it all. It's not cheap, and you'll need deep pockets for the running costs. The turbo six-cylinder returns 30 miles to the gallon on the highway. Discounts are available but not huge, and resale value should prove to be strong.

Quality & Reliability: The interior feels classy and well put together. The materials used feel sturdy and have a long lasting look and feel. Reliability should be good as with all BMWs. However, reliability of the electronics long-term should be a bit of a worry.

Safety & Security: The 5-series GT comes with side-curtain airbags, side impact airbags, traction control and anti-lock-brakes all standard across the range. An engine immobiliser and deadlocks are standard, however an alarm system is optional.

The 5-series GT is like no other car on the road. You may be a little disappointed at its on road dynamics. It doesn't really feel as sharp as a BMW should, and the price is quite high for what it is. There are luxury 4x4s that are cheaper to buy and cheaper to run. So is it a real Jack of all trades? Well it offers decent space for four passengers, and the boot is clever in design. But it fails to be a real luxury 4x4 alternate, and the price is just too high to justify.

Devon M 

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