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The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo was officially unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show, providing an unusual high-spec alternative to premium SUVs. The Gran Turismo does not have any direct ancestry, but the Z22 concept from which it emerged from was revealed all the way back in 2000, so the idea behind it has long been in the pipeline for BMW. Pitched somewhere between a saloon and the BMW X5, the 5 Series Gran Turismo offers fantastic practicality and all-round performance to rival the likes of the Jaguar XF, Audi A6 Avant and Infiniti FX. A subtle facelift in 2012 made tweaks to the engine range and styling, and has left the Gran Turismo better than ever.
The engines on offer in the 5 Series Gran Turismo includes a pair borrowed from the larger 7 Series. These are the 245bhp 3.0-litre turbodiesel and the 407bhp twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol, while there is also a new addition to the line-up in the form of the 306bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol. All engines come with eight-speed automatic transmission, offering fantastically rapid yet smooth shifts in gear. Irrespective of engine choice the Gran Turismo is an effortless performer, delivering reassuring stability at high speed and incredibly good handling.
BMW buyers can generally expect excellent appointed high-quality interiors, and the 5 Series Gran Turismo is no exception to this. Standard equipment includes 18-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry and ignition, automatic air-conditioning, heated front seats, Dakota leather upholstery, parking sensors, a 6.5-inch colour display screen and more in the entry-level SE trim, while upgraded M Sport models will want for nothing. Overall enjoyment for driver and passengers alike is enhanced by the panoramic sunroof, also included as standard, while the competitive 500-litre capacity boot space adds family practicality, too.
It is hard to find fault with the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo, which offers levels of space and comfort to rival the very best in its class. Performance and refinement are high thanks to the brilliant choice of engines, and the Gran Turismo will hold strong appeal for those in the market for something a little bit different.