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Great news for people who like to cram their wagons to the rafters: the handy separate opening rear window has made the jump to the new-generation BMW 5-series Touring. It might be low tech and nothing new, but that little glass tailgate is just as handy as the gesture control on the latest iDrive multimedia system.
The Touring gets that too, along with something the saloon Five doesn’t get: standard air suspension on the rear axle. Options include adaptive dampers, active roll control and active steering. With that much activity coursing through its oil it’s a surprise the 5-series can stay parked long enough for you to even climb in.
Like the saloon, weight is down around 100kg compared with the previous model, mostly thanks to savings made on the body itself through the use of high-strength steels and greater aluminium content. That’s worth an 11 percent improvement in efficiency, says BMW.
Inside, there’s a bigger screen and much improved voice control for the iDrive, but the dashboard already looks dated compared to Mercedes' rival E-class cabin. Luggage space varies between 570-1700 litres depending on seat position. That’s good, but not great. Score another one for the E-class.
More engine variants will follow, but for now the petrol range is limited to the 530i (2.0 4-cyl, 249bhp, 6.5sec to 62mph) and 540i xDrive (3.0 6-cyl, 335bhp, 5.1sec). Diesel fans, meanwhile, get to choose between a rear-drive 520d (2.0 4-cyl, 187bhp, 7.8sec) and a 261bhp 530d, the latter in rear (5.8sec) or XDrive all-paw (5.6sec) forms.