With all the latest SUVs battling for space on our roads today, I’ve had a look at a genuine alternative that is capable of doing everything they do, and in some respects doing some things better. BMW’s new 5 Series 520d Touring ticks the box for me. For a start it’s practical, being larger than its predecessor, offering 560 litres of space with the rear seats up, and 1,670 litres with them folded down.
It’s also economical, with a combined fuel consumption of 5.1 l/100km, so you won’t be visiting the diesel pumps too frequently. The 2.0 litre turbocharged diesel engine produces 184 horsepower, which I found to be more than adequate for all my driving requirements.
The press car I drove came equipped with some optional extras, my preferred one being the automatic tailgate operation, which lets you open & close the tailgate at the simple push of a button, the rear windscreen can be opened independently of the hatch which is useful in tight parking spaces. On the move, there is nothing to suggest you’re driving a larger car over its saloon sibling, the steering is positive and the car feels planted to the road. The optional eight speed automatic gearbox provides silky smooth gear changes and is a joy to live with on long journeys.
Prices for the 520d Touring commence at €45,730, there is a 245hp 530d model also available and two petrol derivatives on hand, a 204hp 523i and a 306hp 535i. The 520d will clearly be the principal seller in Touring guise. I would find it tough to hand over close on an extra €18,000 euro to purchase the 530d when the 520d is so good. Overall, the 520d Touring is a refined estate car that offers comfort, performance and practicality. You’ll be hard-pressed to find fault with it.[table “8” not found /]