The 530d Gran Turismo tested here came in white, with a panoramic glass roof and the diesel power plant to properly move this luxury vessel. A 'bulky' cruise ship, perhaps, but it certainly looks a lot less beastly than its sibling the X6. And its real aim is definitely to wait until you are comfortably seated inside of it to begin to seduce you.

Comfort is key. With its moveable rear seats, the GT can offer more rear leg room than a standard 7-Series. But one can also opt to push them forward for more luggage room. And a road trip is what this car is made for with a rear hatch that opens fully to reveal loads of cargo space. The cargo compartment can also be accessed by way of the integrated trunk door for one's more daily needs.

As the 5-Series GT is intended as a niche model, really more an extension of the 5-Series range than a stand-alone model, it only comes with 3 engine options - a 535i, 550i and this 245 hp 530d. And driving a BMW diesel these days one can easily forget (What, again?) are the advantages of a petrol/gasoline engine. Coupled to BMW's new 8-speed transmission, you're always in the right gear to maximize fuel economy but still left with loads of torque to call upon when needed or desired (540 Nm).

The GT drives, very likely, just the way BMW intended it to. It funnels through corners as a solid, singular entity, never a part of it wavering or slipping away from the rest. This goes for all 3 of the available suspension settings that allow for drivers to select between a stiffer, sportier ride or something a little jollier.

Other highlights include the delicate dashboard lighting that makes driving at night pleasantly atmospheric and very easy-going on the eyes, with the dials in the cockpit lighting up in a crisp, sharp definition.

The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo is, in the strictest sense, the kind of car it was wants to be - a spacious tourer with 7-Series comfort and performance. It represents what BMW has become over the last few years. An automaker that creates niche models with bold designs but that beneath it all, are always Fahrvergnugen (driving pleasure) machines.

Price as tested 108,000 Sfr. (73,275 euros). Options included leather interior in Dakota black, panormaic glass roof, and 19-inch wheels.


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