BMW 5 Series Touring estate - Engines, drive & performance

The latest BMW 5 Series Touring is one of the best estate cars to drive on the market

BMW has a reputation for producing excellent drivers’ cars and many buyers looking at the 5 Series Touring will be hoping for a practical family car that’s also good fun on the open road. Fortunately, while the 5 Series does feel bigger than ever, the weight reduction that has aided fuel economy has also helped it retain an agile feel. Driving the 5 Series Touring on twisty country roads shows how capable it is in corners, with minimal body roll and direct steering.

As part of the 2021 update, mild-hybrid electrical assistance was added to every standard petrol and diesel engine in the 5 Series Touring range.

Where the 5 Series Touring really impresses is in giving this impressive sense of control without compromising ride quality. Even when big 18 or 19-inch alloy wheels are fitted, potholes are shrugged off without sending shockwaves through the car's structure. The ride is well judged, ironing bumps out of the road without giving rise to nausea-inducing floatiness.

In 530d spec, the turbocharged 3.0-litre diesel engine is punchy, smooth and economical. The six-cylinder engine boasts colossal pulling power from low in the rev range, making its rapid acceleration feel effortless as the eight-speed auto box operates smoothly in the background.

Despite its size, the 530d can cater to keen drivers. The xDrive four-wheel drive gives it a secure and grippy feel on the road at all speeds, and the responsive steering setup is smooth and nicely weighted. When cornering, the chassis is composed and resists body lean. Switching into Sport mode sharpens the car’s steering, throttle and suspension further still but the car is best left in Comfort mode, which better suits its relaxing driving experience.

BMW 5 Series Touring diesel engines

The 520d has a four-cylinder 2.0-litre diesel engine that produces 187bhp and it can get from 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds. The more powerful 530d, meanwhile, has a six-cylinder 3.0-litre diesel with 282bhp and has significantly more pulling power, getting from 0-62mph in 5.6 seconds. While the extra punch is noticeable and enjoyable, it’s hard to justify spending the extra cash when the 520d is so accomplished and sufficiently quick in its own right.

Petrol engines

The 520i costs slightly less than the 520d and is powered by a four-cylinder engine producing 181bhp. Its performance is slightly behind the entry-level diesel, taking 8.3 seconds from 0-62mph. A more powerful six-cylinder 3.0-litre 540i tops the petrol range, developing 328bhp. It features BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive and is capable of 0-62mph in 5.2 seconds, making it the fastest 5 Series Touring offered.

Hybrid engines

The hybrid 530e produces a total of 288bhp from its four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol engine and electric motor combination. It’s available in rear-wheel drive or with xDrive four-wheel drive form, and is officially capable of 31-34 miles of pure-electric running from a fully charged battery. Regardless of which drivetrain you pick, the 530e Touring manages 0-62mph in 6.1 seconds.

The 5 Series Touring comes with a slick eight-speed automatic gearbox as standard and the ability to switch between three driving modes comprising Comfort, Eco Pro and Sport, which adjust the suspension (if the optional adaptive dampers are fitted), gearbox and steering to match how you want the car to behave. BMW’s four-wheel drive xDrive system is standard on the higher-spec models.

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