BMW 5 Series GT (2009 – 2017) Review
BMW 5 Series GT (2009 – 2017) At A Glance
It may be called a 5 Series, but the Gran Turismo is more a versatile version of the BMW 7 Series. This has a lot to do with the 5 GT being based on the 7 Series platform and borrowing a lot of its parts, the result being oodles of luxury to cosset you. BMW kept this in mind when designing the tailgate, which can open as a hatch or like a saloon’s boot so those inside the car don’t suffer an icy chill. It also drives very well, but the 5 GT is pricey to run and it’s not as good to drive as a 5 Series saloon or Touring estate.
Car makers are forever looking for the next big thing and, in 2009, BMW reckoned it had hit on this with the 5 Series Gran Turismo. The GT mixed up elements of the 7 Series luxury saloon that it borrowed most its under underpinnings from with coupe-cum-SUV looks.
This mash up of different styles was supposed to make the BMW GT appeal to a broad selection of customers.
However, they already had the 5 Series saloon and Touring estate, 6 Series coupe, 7 Series luxury car and the X5 and X6 to pick from, not to mention the various SUVs from other premium brands including Porsche. This made the 5 GT a tough sell and the numbers bore this out.
However, the 5 Gran Turismo is not without its charms and those who looked past the slightly awkward exterior styling that was never the best expression of the original Bangle-era ‘flame surfacing’ experiment were in for an opulent treat.
Just as Mercedes had discovered with its gawky R-Class, if you could get people to sit in and drive the 5 GT, they would be impressed with its space, comfort and versatility.
While it's called the 5 Series GT, it's more a cross between the luxury BMW 7 Series saloon and the X5. It's also bigger than it looks at five metres long, but the coupe profile helps to disguise the sheer size of it.
The exterior styling divides opinion and it's certainly not what you'd describe as a traditionally attractive shape, but it does stand out from the rest of the BMW range, even if it does look unfortunate from certain angles.
It's when you get inside that the 5 Series GT really starts to make sense. It has amazing space cabin for four or five adults with acres of rear legroom and superbly comfortable seats.
And then there's the clever twin-opening boot which can operate like a standard saloon boot, or open up larger like a hatchback. If you want to carry four adults - and a large amount of luggage - in supreme luxury, the 5 Series GT is a perfect choice.
And this is where it's really at home - long distance cruising. The ride is smooth and quiet, and you have all the techy and luxury kit you could wish for in a car of this era.
BMW also didn’t stint when it came to the engine line-up. There was an entry-point 520D model, but most buyers ignored this and head straight to the 530d and 535d versions for their greater pace. Buyers could also choose the rapid 535i and 550i petrol models, though these found fewer takers outside of the USA due to their appetite for unleaded.