From £37,220
The BMW 520d GT represents the new entry point in the Gran Turimso range, slashing £9000 from the list price
31 October 2012

What is it?

The new starting point of the BMW 5-series GT range, which undercuts the rest of the range on both price and running costs.

Its CO2 emissions of 139g/km better the next cleanest 5GT by 34g/km and improve economy to the tune of 9.8mpg on the combined cycle.

However, it is still the most expensive route to the excellent 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo engine by quite a margin, even if equipment levels are comprehensive.

BMW says the 5GT has sold well to the chauffeur market, with the interior space and the standard-fit panoramic glass roof proving particularly popular. The split-opening tailgate also means luggage can be loaded without cold drafts entering the cabin.

It is safe to say that the consumer market has been decidedly cooler on the 5GT, preferring the looks of the 5-series Touring. But by lowering the lowest price point by almost £9000, its appeal has undeniably been widened.

What's it like?

While the 520d variants of the 5-series saloon and Touring impress with their flexibility and performance, the sharpness of the engine has been blunted by the extra 200kg or so that the GT carries over the Touring.

We criticised earlier models for a crashy ride, but the 520d GT feels slightly softer,  apparently aided by a lighter engine up front. Our test car was fitted with the £985 Variable Damper Control, which in its softest setting provided a fairly cosseting ride.

But for all its luxurious, grand touring pretensions, there’s too much wind, road and suspension noise.

The steering is a fair distance from that of the 5-series Touring, and takes a fair degree of coaxing through bends at speed, such is the amount of body roll.

It’s far better as a car to be driven in. Interior space is excellent, in particular rear leg and headroom, and the glass roof adds to the genuine feeling of space. It’s easy to see why it would be a popular choice parked outside an airport or posh hotel.


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Should I buy one?

The 520d is the pick of the GT range, primarily because it is far cheaper to buy and run. It may have a niche appeal for professional drivers, but the 5-series Gran Turismo is far from a ride or handling benchmark.

A 5-series Touring is a more comfortable, entertaining and practical package, and remains the better option.

Stuart Milne

BMW 520d M Sport Gran Turismo

Price £39,905; 0-62mph 8.9sec; Top speed 132mph; Economy 53.3mpg (combined); CO2 139g/km; Kerb weight 1950kg; Engine 4-cyl, 1995cc, turbodiesel; Power 184bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 280lb ft at 1750-2750rpm; Gearbox 8-spd automatic

Join the debate


31 October 2012

What an ugly, overweight, underpowered blob.

31 October 2012

I have to agree, if it wasn't for the BMW badge on the car, it would sell even less.

31 October 2012

It is true that some cars lose their'challenging' looks with the passage of time.This on the other hand is still a munter.Any of the mainstream manufacturers would be severly criticised for such an ugly car,but it is a BMW so it must be wonderful Sad 

31 October 2012

Where is my BMW?

1 November 2012

How many of these have they actually sold?

1 November 2012

The 5gt isn't a very bad car but isn't very good and is possibly the ugliest car BMW have ever designed. I have never seen a BMW depreciate quite like these: there are 1 year old 530gts for sale with loads of spec for less than £30k.  That's about £25k less than new which must mean they loose over 50% in one year! Actually quite good value but I still wouldn't have one as they are so ugly.


1 November 2012

Its not that much of a looker,  but its way better than a X5 or X6 ! Actaually, its like a better looking, X6, with all the off road sh*te removed.


This one aint TwinPower either, that ll be the twin turbo versions, this one only has one turbo.

1 November 2012

every test car is fitted with £1000 worth of computer to make them drive well. The ultimate driving machine. But only if you pay extra.

Im no died in the wool purist and like technology but this puts me off BMW. Why cant the cars have good honest nicely set up suspension\chassis\steering instead of needing expensive optional software to fudge it all into driving well?

6 February 2013

I'm 6'7" tall, we'll obverse 20 stone and this car is just perfect, loads of space, the most luxurious car I have ever had (I do have the comfort seats) and I love driving it, my last car was a 5 series tourer, I thought that was fab but this is even better, it just needs a rear windscreen wiper


27 March 2013

I changed my F10 520d to a 520 GT in january, I can honestly say it is the best car I have ever had in 50 years of motoring. As we use our car as a tow car occasionally to go on long continental caravan holidays we found the F10 marginal with regard to towing capacity, the extra 200kg of the GT makes all the difference and coupled with self levelling rear suspension, electric tow bar and the fantastic 8 speed auto gearbox , supreme comfort and economy what more do you want. I dont understand why it is considered ugly, it is much better looking than any X series and we find it very quiet, much less wind and road noise than the F10. The powered tailgate is so versatile and the stuff you can get in the back is as good as any 4x4. We are very very pleased with our car and intend to keep it for a long time. Just get a bit upset when people slag this car without realising how good it is.


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