I remember the first time I drove the last (E39) 5-series. It was back in 1996 and we had got an early left-hand drive one over from Munich for a comparison test.
I was absolutely mesmerised by how far it moved the big saloon game on. But more importantly just how brilliantly the engineers had achieved the black art of making a car that had a terrific ride, yet still served up exquisite handling.
Yet every recent new BMW I’ve driven just doesn’t seem to ride well at all. A few months ago I spent three hours in a new 730d and for 99 per cent of the time I was fiddling with the chassis settings hoping that one of the four of them would prevent even the smallest of road scars causing thumps to come into the cabin. I didn’t achieve it.
This week I’ve spent a lot of time in a new 5-series GT. Now this car I have got a lot of time for, but around town the ride quality wasn’t just firm, or ‘sporty’ it was just plain bad. Now, granted, this car was on optional 20-inch wheels and I’d like to try one on smaller wheels.