Part sport sedan and part crossover, the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo combines the former's athletic handling with the latter's higher ride and greater cargo-carrying flexibility. The result is a capacious, if somewhat ungainly, luxury hatchback that packs a serious performance punch. The 5 Series GT's signature utility feature is a dual-mode hatchback that can be either partially opened (similar to a sedan's trunk lid) or lifted up completely to take on bulkier items. Under the hood, meanwhile, there's a choice of turbocharged engines that provide executive-class acceleration.
On the downside, the 5 Series Gran Turismo is too tall and heavy to be truly sporty, and it's not as versatile as many crossovers. But if you're looking for a relatively practical luxury vehicle with an impeccable performance pedigree, this multi-talented BMW could be a nice fit.
Current BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is offered in either 535i or 550i trim. The 535i is powered by a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, while the 550i gets a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 good for 445 hp and 480 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is the only transmission offered, but buyers can choose from standard rear-wheel drive or available all-wheel drive ("xDrive" in BMW-speak).
All 5 Series Gran Turismos are very well equipped. The 535i comes with 18-inch alloy wheels, adaptive xenon headlights, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, Bluetooth, the iDrive electronics interface with navigation and a 12-speaker stereo with an auxiliary audio input jack. The 550i adds the gutsy V8 engine, plus 20-way power front seats and a rearview camera. The options list for both models is long and includes items like an adaptive suspension, premium audio and a night-vision camera.
Inside the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo you'll find top-quality materials and adult-size room for both front and rear seat passengers. The backseat in particular is enormous. Folding the rear seatbacks down creates a healthy 62 cubic feet of cargo space that's easily accessed through the large rear hatch. If you don't need quite that much cargo room, the 17.7-cubic-foot regular cargo hold can be accessed from either the full hatch or the trick half-hatch that opens more like a traditional trunk.
In reviews, we've found that the 5 Series Gran Turismo strikes a pretty agreeable balance between athleticism and ride comfort. Compared to the 7 Series, the ride quality is a bit on the firm side, and the car's extra pounds and taller profile combine to produce more body roll than you'd experience in a BMW sedan. Even so, this quirky addition to the 5 Series lineup offers an unusual combination of sportiness, practicality and luxury.
Used BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo Models
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo debuted for the 2010 model year with slightly lower output for the 550i (400 hp, 450 lb-ft) and optional two-passenger rear seating. The 535i wasn't offered with all-wheel drive until the following year. BMW upped the V8's power for 2013. For 2014, the 5 Series GT received minor styling updates but lost the two-passenger rear configuration, while the previously optional navigation system became standard along with an updated iDrive controller.