I’ve been thinking about crossovers a lot, recently. At what point does the average punter walk into a showroom and get so confused by the variety of niche ‘hatchback/SUV/coupe/MPV’ options that they give up and go and buy a Ford Mondeo? Quite often, I reckon.
The BMW 5-Series GT is one of these cars that, despite having driven it, read about it and spoken to people who seem to get it, I’m still confused by. Don’t get me wrong, the BMW 530d GT that I drove recently was a great place to cover miles in – comfortable, refined, fast and spacious.
But so is a Mercedes E-Class estate, which surely fills the role of not being an SUV a lot better than the unsubtle 5-Series, and is also smaller, has a lot more boot space, and will cost you less money if you opt for the slower but still excellent E250 CDI.
Or how about a Land Rover Discovery? I realise that this behemoth is unlikely to win you friends at Greenpeace, but it is actually shorter than the BMW and only marginally wider. And it is hugely more practical, with double the minimum boot capacity and the potential to seat seven, though granted it is a lot less economical and it’s slower.
So maybe this is where the 5-Series fits in? Is it the performance that sets it apart from other more practical rivals? Well, maybe, but then it’s also a soft cruiser that never feels anything other than a cruiser even on a B-road, so I don’t think I would take the compromise.
Frankly, I think I’d just buy a Mondeo.