Although our test car, like all 5 Series GTs, came with Dynamic Drive, it did without BMW's optional Active Drive and Active Steer. As a consequence, toggling through Normal to Sport+ does nothing to affect the GT’s dynamic behaviour beyond adjusting the steering weight.
It did, however, come with 20-inch wheels, a £2430 option over the standard 18-inch alloys. Whether it is these that are to blame for the GT’s dismal low-speed ride is something we have so far been unable to verify. But if a car is designed to look its best with large wheels (as is the case here) then it should be engineered to work with them fitted.
The issue is not that the car is deflected by potholes and sharp edges, but how intrusive the impact becomes. Some bumps are neutralised well, but every now and then the rear suspension seemingly gives up, sending a shock crashing through the cabin. Although there aren’t any excuses for the ride, it might be slightly more understandable if the GT proved an exceptional drive. It doesn’t.
Our overriding criticism is that while the GT has its strengths, it doesn’t deliver a consistent, rounded dynamic experience. Moving away from rest it feels strangely un-BMW-like, the steering overly assisted and oddly unresponsive. Turn into a side street and although the roll rate is low, the overall feeling is of imprecision, doing nothing to hide the GT’s dimensions.
At higher speeds the steering weights up, but still there is little feel, meaning that although you sense the GT’s grip and agility through its ability to change direction with minimal fuss, you feel somewhat disconnected from the experience. In truth the GT is at its happiest on the motorway, where it feels planted and stable without being cumbersome.