What is it
Our full examination of the new 5-series continues, with the combination of the entry-level four-cylinder diesel engine and the Touring bodyshell, tested on British roads.
As standard, the 2.0-litre diesel engine comes with a six-speed manual gearbox and stop-start to deliver the combination of 8.3sec 0-62mph pace and CO2 emissions of just 135g/km. Our test car, however, came with the optional eight-speed automatic gearbox, which, without stop-start, pushes emissions up to 139g/km.
What’s it like?
As the marginal increase in CO2 is not enough to move the 520d into a higher BIK category, we strongly recommend the £1495 automatic gearbox, as its taller top gear provides more refined motorway cruising. If there is one aspect in which the 5-series comprehensively trumps all its rivals, it is in the efficiency and refinement of the smaller-capacity diesels.
With an additional 60 litres of load space, the new Touring is now comparable with the current Audi A6 Avant but still trails the Mercedes E-class estate by 135 litres. Usefully, the Touring retains the previous model’s split tailgate. All 5-series Touring models get self-levelling rear air suspension as standard (the saloon uses coil springs).