The 2017 BMW 5 Series GT blends a luxury sedan, SUV and hatchback into one vehicle. It's an interesting idea in theory, but the best traits of each seem to have been lost in the mix. It lacks the maneuverability of a sedan and doesn't have the full-blown cargo capacity of an SUV.
The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is unchanged for 2017.
The base 535i GT will easily meet expectations for the vast majority of drivers. Shoppers in regions prone to bad weather will want to upgrade to the all-wheel-drive 535i xDrive. We also recommend adding the Driver Assistance Plus package for its suite of advanced safety features.
The 2017 BMW 5 Series GT five-passenger hatchback is available in 535i and 550i xDrive trim levels that correspond to engine sizes. The base 535i comes with a turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine (300 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque) that is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission on its way to the rear wheels. The all-wheel-drive version is called the 535i xDrive.
The 550i xDrive receives a turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that puts out 445 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque.
All 5 Series GT models come with standard features that are typically found in midsize luxury sedans and SUVs, along with items including a power tailgate that can open either as a trunk or a hatch, adaptive xenon headlights, leather upholstery and a navigation system. The 550i xDrive is further enhanced with keyless ignition and entry, 14-way multicontour front seats, a rearview camera and a 16-speaker Harman Kardon audio system. You can also get these extra features as options on the 535i.
Other notable bundled options include the Cold Weather package (a heated steering wheel and seats) and the Luxury Seating package (ventilated multicontour front seats). We recommend getting the Driver Assistance Plus package to get the useful surround-view camera system, head-up display, blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and forward collision warning with low-speed mitigation. Notable standalone options include LED headlights, an adaptive suspension, Integral Active Steering (four-wheel steering), night vision, a dual-screen rear entertainment system and a premium Bang & Olufsen audio system.
There's no lack of power with any of the 5 Series GT versions. Both the 535i and 550i confidently gather speed to merge onto highways. Handling, however, is more like that of an SUV, with noticeable body roll and less athleticism than you'd expect from a BMW sedan.
BMW estimates the 535i GT will reach 60 mph in about 6 seconds and the 550i in 4.7 seconds. Both, if accurate, would be quick times for their respective classes.
Despite the similarities to the BMW 5 and 7 Series sedans, the Gran Turismo hatchback, because of its higher ride height, behaves more like an SUV. Drivers expecting a vehicle with BMW's performance pedigree may be disappointed as a result.
Comfort is one area where the 2017 BMW 5 Series GT excels. It hits all the high notes for seats, ride quality and the absence of noise. It's a good representation of BMW's luxury credentials.
The standard front seats are pleasantly comfortable after several hours. The available multicontour seats are even more comfortable, with an abundance of adjustments and even better support. The sliding and reclining rear seats will please adult-sized passengers, too.
Regardless of the road conditions, the 5 Series GT ably isolates occupants from bumps, ruts and other imperfections for a smooth ride comparable to that of any other luxury vehicle.
Noise & vibration
Road, wind and engine noises are nearly silent. Driving a 5 Series GT means enjoying a calm interior environment that should help keep you free of fatigue.
The 5 Series GT's interior is as nice as some flagship luxury sedans because it's based on that of the previous-generation BMW 7 Series. Comfort and quality are excellent throughout, just as you'd expect.
In general, hatchbacks and SUVs gain an advantage over sedans for their additional cargo space and versatility. In the case of the 5 Series GT, though, the gains are marginal due to the sloping rear roofline. The dual-mode hatch comes off as more of a novelty than a useful innovation.
Storage for your personal effects is limited to the center armrest bin and small door pockets. The cupholders are large, but their positioning right in front of the climate controls is not optimal.
The dual-mode rear hatch can open as a trunk (hinged right at the base of the glass) or as a full hatch (hinged at the roofline). The 63.6 cubic feet of maximum cargo space is generous, but the sloped rear hatch won't allow for bulkier cargo.
Despite its last-generation 7 Series origins, the 5 Series GT has kept up with the pace of technology. The iDrive infotainment system is one of the best interfaces out there, and a fair number of advanced safety features are available.
Audio & navigation
We like the BMW's iDrive infotainment system's rich feature content, quick responses, deep customization possibilities and sharp-looking display screen graphics. Some menus are more complicated than competitors, but most users will find operation second nature in short time.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.