BMW 5-Series 530d GT Review (2010)
The BMW 5-Series has been around for decades now, with the popular Saloon and Touring (estate) versions holding strong in the premium saloon company car market. Then all of a sudden, someone at BMW decided to get creative with the 5-Series and they spawned the GT. Looking more like a hatch, but with a dual opening boot to appease the European market who didnt want a 5-Series as a Hatchback, the GT is an unusual design and shape which strangely grows on you.
At first looking at the 5-Series GT is appears to have a little more presence on the road, moving towards the back things really change with the higher back-end to the vehicle it seems to have lost its proportions a bit. However, it works, it looks smart, chunky and not as unattractive as you might think. The lines if anything are better with the gentle rake of the rear window down towards the short saloon boot lid.
For most when it comes to BMW it is all about the M Sport styling, however in its SE trim it looks smart and business-like with the heavier chrome lines and high shine alloy wheels. This is just as well as there is no M Sport variant, with only the Executive superseding the SE.
On the subject of the trim level, the 5-Series GT in its SE trim level is rather well appointed with Bluetooth Hands Free, 4-Zone Climate Control, Dakota Leather Upholstery, Electric Auto Dimming & Folding Door Mirrors, Panoramic Glass Sunroof, Front & Rear Park Distance Control, Cruise Control, Heated Front Seats, and 18³ Alloy Wheels. Our test model was equipped with a couple of extras including the Professional Media Package (which adds Sat Nav), Reversing Camera, Comfort Front Seats, and DAB Radio. Coming in at around £2,600 for these options, speccing up your 5-Series GT is not a cheap affair with none of these options appearing as standard on the Executive either.
The inside of the 5-Series GT seems to work just as well as the outside, the cabin feels specious (helped by the panoramic glass sun-roof) yet still cosy. It feels wider than the Saloon too. The broad panel across the middle of the dash really gives a strong sense of width making you feel there is probably more space than there is.
The seats are comfortable and supportive and will not leave you uncomfortable after a long journey and overall the interior of the cabin is a nice place to be and to look at with high quality touch surfaces and switch-gear.
One of the key exterior factors of the 5-Series GT seems to be the rear, this is also true on the inside, with the rear seats being far more spacious that in the Saloon. They have a limousine look and with good legroom and higher levels of comfort that the Saloon, they have limousine feel too. The centre seat back can fold down to making it feel more like a luxury 4-seater with a decent size table/cup holder area in the middle. Folding this up gives you a 5th seat that whilst not quite enabling 3 adults to sit without sharing shoulder space, it is certainly not a squeeze in the back.
Supplied with the powerful v6 Diesel engine the 530d is effortless to drive and beautiful smooth. Wafting along the motorway you know you have all the power you could possibly need yet still return a reasonable fuel economy of around 43mpg combined. The 530d GT is no slouch either, despite its more portly proportions, with 245hp on tap it will take you from 0-62s in a fairly spritely 6.9s. When things get twisty on the A and B roads the suspension is not too wallowy either giving a supple feel and soaking up pot-holes comfortably.
Overall the 530d GT is an excellent option for the mid/high level executive looking for something a little different who may need to move clients in comfort without appearing ostentatious and/or requiring a decent size boot for work or the family. As a well rounded package, the GT should certainly be considered subject to the styling which may turn some people off.
To lease the 530d GT SE, on a standard 3 year contract (3+35, 10,000mpa) you will be looking a little north of £400+VAT/Month which, comparing it to some of the deals around on the Saloon, or the A6/E-Class competition, may feel a little pricey, however taking into account the extra space and that you are getting the V6 diesel power plant from BMW, its not such a bad deal.
UPDATE: It is worth noting that since this review, the BMW 5-Series GT has broadened its range with the popular 520d engine and the M Sport trim level being added to the SE, and Luxury (replacing Executive) trim levels. Whilst the 520d may offer a little more on economy over the 530d the compromise may be too much. The M Sport will be a popular choice.
If you would like to find out more about leasing the 5-Series GT through JCS Fleet, please contact us on 01223 911 761 or complete our online enquiry form.