The first time you see a 5 Series GT in the metal, BMW’s objective with this car becomes clear. From the front it has the road presence of an X6 (toned down a little for our more environmentally conscious times) and at the back the swoopiness of a coupé. Whether anything with four doors and an elevated ride height can be likened to a traditional coupé is debatable. As is the overall success of the styling, which we found split opinion.
What is clear, though, is that even despite its unusual proportions the GT is unmistakably a BMW. The kidney grille is canted forward at the front end, so that the upper edge forms the foremost part of the car – a nod to the most memorable design aspect of many historic BMWs.
The four distinctive, round ‘angel eye’ headlamps are lit by LEDs. Adaptive xenon lights and an automatic main beam are a four-figure cost option.
The ‘Gran Turismo’ tag tells you a lot about the car’s aspirations, BMW claiming it offers the comfort and space required for long-distance touring. The rear cabin, according to BMW, provides the leg room of a 7 Series and head room of an X6, while the luggage compartment offers the flexibility of a twin-boot saloon/hatch opening arrangement, like that of the Skoda Superb.
You’ll get 18-inch alloy wheels as standard, although our test car came on 20-inch double-spoke alloys that cost over £2000 as an option. They didn’t help ride comfort either.
The door handles on the GT come from the 7 Series parts bin and are fitted neatly into the sharp crease that runs the length of the car. However, pulling the one on the driver’s door does reveal unsightly metal beneath.
The 2018 model has been seen disguised and going through some durability testing, and while the details are sketchy on what changes will be made, it is clear thus far that it will appear up to 12 months after the new 5 Series makes its appearance and badged a 6 Series GT - which indicates a higher pricepoint and more luxurious appeal.