BMW 5 Series Touring (2017) Review

BMW 5 Series Touring (2017) At A Glance

5/5
Honest John Overall Rating
It's hard to find fault with the 5 Series Touring - it does everything you ask of it impeccably. The ultimate estate car? We'd find it hard to argue with that.

+Rides superbly thanks to standard fit self-levelling air suspension. xDrive available on top models. Impeccable quality interior. All have 2000kg towing capacity.

-Steering lacks the weight of previous 5 Series.

Insurance Group 37
On average it achieves 79% of the official MPG figure

The BMW 5 Series Touring is one of the mainstays of the BMW range as well as the premium estate car sector, alongside key rivals like the Audi A6 Avant, Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate and the Jaguar XF Sportbrake. It sticks to the BMW formula too, with rakish, sporty looks, an emphasis on driving pleasure and lots of tech. It’s also helped by a good engine range, and if you choose wisely it need not cost a fortune to run. Ultimately it’s not the best in class in terms of practicality, but it is strong in a range of areas which means it has broad appeal.

If you're after a big premium estate, you've never had it so good. The quality of models from the likes of BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar and Audi mean there are really no bad choices. Whatever you choose, you're unlikely to be disappointed. In fact there are such fine margins between them, heralding one as the 'best in class' is nigh on impossible.

But this generation of the BMW 5 Series Touring makes a very good case for itself. It's every inch the upmarket estate it presents itself as, with a beautifully finished interior, excellent refinement and a huge load area. It’s not that the outgoing version was a bad car, but the latest generation 5 Series manages to improve in all the key areas.

Longer than before and with a bigger wheelbase, rear space has improved while the boot is a little larger too. The 5 Series Touring is also incredibly refined and the 520d - which is the most common model - is powered by one of the best 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engines around. Diesel may still be off the menu for some buyers, but the combination of performance, economy and low emissions is hard to ignore.

Seriously, this thing is excellent. It's punchy, eager yet quiet and smooth too. It's also economical to run with claimed economy of more than 65mpg. There's no need to look at this as the 'poor relation' in the range, if anything it suits the BMW to a tee. Say it quietly, but unless you just feel the need to spend a heap more money the 520d should be more than capable enough for everyone.

That said, the top diesel is immense. The 530d is available with xDrive four-wheel drive but at close to £50k it's not cheap. However, it's all the car you'll ever need - quick, capable and comfortable.

Even if you go for an M Sport model, the 5 Series Touring rides exceptionally well, helped in no small part by the automatic self-levelling rear suspension which comes as standard on all models. Also standard fit is an eight-speed automatic gearbox - you'll no longer find a manual transmission on a 5 Series Touring. You can also tow up to 2000kg depending on which engine you go for.

While the steering may lack the weight of the the previous 5 Series, this generation actually handles better with the reworked suspension giving it an agility that belies its size. It's speciality may be covering motorway miles in comfort, but the 5 Series Touring's forte is to be found in tight corners. 

Ask Honest John

What's the best car to carry golf clubs?
"What would say is the best, used car for £12,000? It needs to carry two sets of golf clubs and trolleys."
We'd recommend a BMW 5 Series Touring. It's one of the best estate cars you can buy, with a superb interior and big boot. It'll look good at the golf club, too. If you'd prefer something newer with lower running costs, look at a Skoda Octavia Estate.
Answered by Andrew Brady
My BMW is being recalled and the replacement car isn't a suitable replacement - what do you advise I do?
"My diesel BMW 5 Series Touring has a recall. When booking I was told (verbally) that the replacement part was in stock and that an X2 was available for loan - so I could load my fishing tackle. On taking the car in I have been informed that it could be 8 weeks as the part is not in stock and then I learn the loan car is not an X2, is not suitable for purpose and only available for one day. Then I find out that the rental will be provided if the part needs replacement but there is no choice with the vehicle. This means I might not be able to go fishing for up to two months. I really feel for the poor chap who had to deal with me because this seems to be a major issue. However, BMW is failing big time and letting their dealers down. Hearing about the dealer’s problems does not help, although I can sympathise. I could sign a disclaimer and have my car but suspect my insurance would become invalid. Apart from my confidence in BMW taking a massive hit, do you have any advice to offer? Of course, if my EGR is found to be okay, the problem goes away."
165,000 people are in the same boat and BMW is doing what it can to manage the situation. Some new EGR coolers are coming through and being fitted. The problem is having to suddenly remanufacture the numbers needed in the shortest possible time and put owners into courtesy or hire cars for the duration of the wait. I guess if you wanted to get stroppy you could tell the dealer you were hiring your own suitable car and then bill the dealer for it, following up with Small Claims if it failed to pay. But it'd be better if you tried to find a compromise. I would not continue to drive your car.
Answered by Honest John

What does a BMW 5 Series Touring (2017) cost?