20 February 2004

BMW will finally open up its executive load-lugger at the Geneva Motor Show when it takes the wraps off this new 5-series Touring. Arriving in UK showrooms in May, BMW will initially offer two petrol and two diesel engines, as well as a host of clever innovations designed to renew the fight with Merc’s E-Class estate.

The Five wagon is 38mm longer, 23mm taller and 46mm wider than the old Touring, yet weight-saving aluminium means it actually weighs up to 50kg less, depending on model.

Boot space grows from 500 litres to 1615 with the rear seat folded – up 90 litres on the old model, and the new Touring also has self-levelling suspension.

On the options list is an automatic tailgate that opens and closes at the touch of a button, simultaneously rolling back the luggage cover. The rear window opens independently of the boot and there is lockable extra storage space in the load-bay floor.

Prices will rise over today’s Touring. Expect the entry-level 525i to come in below £29,500, rising above £30k for the 525d. The 530d is expected to cost less than £34k, and the range-topping 4.4-litre V8 545i will be around £44k.

Normal 5-series options including Dynamic Drive, Active Steering, run-flat tyres, adaptive cruise control and head-up display also find their way into the Touring. The options list will even include a two-piece glass panoramic sunroof.

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