BMW 5 Series Touring (520d SE)

Featured in:
February 2011

The BMW 5 Series Touring has always existed to be the perfect estate car for a premium car buyer who wants it all. And clearly it is a package that has global appeal as since the first ever car was introduced in 1991, more than 670,000 have been sold.
Now in its fourth generation, the latest 5 Series Touring has been sculptured to be more sporting and dynamic looking than its predecessor. It has been designed to reflect its almost perfect 50:50 weight distribution with beautifully balanced proportions, short overhangs, a flowing roofline and a long, contoured bonnet. The result is an extremely attractive car with versatility built in. For example, all models feature 40/20/40 flat-folding rear seat backrests, a luggage load cover that retracts and lowers automatically with the tailgate and a self opening rear window for ease of loading smaller items – a unique feature in the market. All models also feature self-levelling air suspension at the rear to ensure that the Touring is unaffected when carrying heavy loads.

From behind the wheel it is clear the driver is in control: information relevant to the driver and the control instruments are arranged on the side of the cockpit facing the driver, while the displays, control units and buttons that control comfort functions are positioned more towards the middle. The car also comes with the latest generation of BMW iDrive. Both the standard and optional audio, navigation and communication functions are operated via the controller on the centre console and the control display can be used for a multitude of functions, including leafing though the car’s handbook.

The 520d Touring, on test here in SE trim, is expected to be the biggest seller in the UK. Its 1,995cc four cylinder diesel engine features the latest generation common-rail direct injection and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry which increases power to 184hp at 4,000rpm.

On the road, that jewel of an engine ensures that the BMW can provide swift and safe overtaking responses at any time. Add the option of the German car manufacturer’s new eight-speed automatic transmission (fitted to my test car) and you have a shorter reaction time, smoother changes and the ability to match the perfect gear for any driving situation: whether trying to maximise performance and efficiency, or ensuring the right gear for all occasions when carrying a particularly heavy load.

The new BMW 5 Series Touring seems to have it all. It is undoubtedly an uncompromising fusion of power, handling, versatility and elegant style, delivering a driving experience that suits business and pleasure in equal measure.

• Max speed: 138 mph
• 0-62 mph 8.3 seconds
• Combined mpg: 55.4
• Engine: 4cyl, 1995 cc, turbodiesel
• Power: 184 bhp
• Torque: 380 Nm
• CO2: 135 g/km
• Price: £30,380.00 OTR

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