Be in no doubt, the F10 BMW 5 Series is a very accomplished car – arguably more for the breadth of its abilities than a strength in any single area. But the latest 5 Series is also refined, spacious, economical and (for the most part) comfortable. If you are looking for an all-rounder, it's hard not to recommend it.
The Touring model is an estate car that offers a blend of refinement, performance, usability, unruffled dynamics and high-quality cabin finish that’s hard to fault.
And there is still pleasure to be had winding the 5 Series, regardless of bodystyle, down an appropriate B-road. Granted, the 5 Series feels most at home on a motorway, but it is not devoid of reward, provided you’re happy to enjoy a sense of fluidity rather than any immediacy. It’s a very usable, if not overly large, estate car.
You can’t fail to be impressed by the quality of the cabin and the amount of space on offer; the benefits of the 5 Series growth spurt can be clearly seen in the rear accommodation, if not the boot space.
More importantly, the 5 Series, especially in 520d form, makes better financial sense than any rival, and that makes it easier to overlook its shortfalls.
But somehow we are left wanting more. And the surprise is that we find ourselves wishing the Five was a little more engaging to drive. In standard SE trim there is more body roll than we expect, and yet the ride is not without fault. And the steering, although good, is obviously not hydraulic. While it is possible to remedy some of these issues with options, the new Five still feels a touch artificial rather than naturally right.