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Posted by portugalpress on May 25, 2017

All hail the fifth generation BMW 5 Series Touring, the world’s most accomplished executive estate.

The new BMW 5 Series is still fresh on the market but BMW is already rolling out the Touring version – and boy it looks good. Even better in the flesh than in the pictures and definitely more attractive than the saloon.

Although the German big-three – BMW, Mercedes and Audi – rely heavily on China and the US to boost their overall sales, this is a car built for the Old Continent. We love estates over here and 96% of all 5 Series Touring live in Europe.

The new Touring is, of course, bigger than the car it replaces, but not by much, thankfully. Cars are way too big already. Regarding the old generation, at 570 litres there are only 10 litres more boot space, and a bit more room inside for all passengers. Lack of space was never a problem.

Lightweight materials cut 100kg from the kerb weight, boosting efficiency up to 11% and making the 5 Series a paradigm of performance and low fuel consumption, especially on both diesels available at launch: the four-cylinder 520d with 190 horse power and the six-cylinder, 268 horse power 530d. Prices start at €58,360 and €79,670 respectively.

BMW flew us to their hometown, Munich, where we were greeted by a welcoming spring sun – even the locals were surprised by that. Dinner, nighty-night and an early rise in order to hit the road as soon as possible.

When I drove the new 5 Series saloon a few months back, I said it was the best of its class. And guess what? So is the Touring. It really feels like sitting on your sofa at home, except you’re moving somewhere. The ride is superb, the isolation from the outside faultless and everything feels like it has been engineered to perfection.

I promise the only sound that will annoy you will be your kids asking how long it will take to get ‘there’ – which won’t be that long really, because this thing is fast. On derestricted German autobahns, that 250kph limiter is not hard to put into work, not in the 530d at least.

Then there’s that all-important element these days: connectivity. I haven’t tested all cars on sale but I can tell you this: from the ones I have tested, BMW’s iDrive infotainment system is the best. Better than Porsche’s? Yes. Ferrari’s?

Yes. Bentley’s? Yes. This one really works and you learn to work with it pretty fast. I am not the world’s most technological guy and I feel that in a BMW I can actually get the maximum from my car’s and my phone’s connectivity.

After a two-hour drive we got to Lake Tegernsee. Beautiful. And the restaurant? Beautiful. The sun was shining, the food was great, the view even better and I asked the people from BMW if they had so little hope in their car that they had to put together such a nice day for us. I was joking, of course.

On the way back to Munich, I took a 520d, the best-seller of the range. Nobody can want more from a machine that is supposed to take the family from one place to another in comfort, safety and an all-round sense of premium execution. And that got me thinking about the way the car industry is evolving and how the new 5 Series Touring is a perfect reflection of it.

There is nothing wrong with this car. I mean it, not one thing. The problem is it is so good that, like the saloon, I am afraid it can become a bit boring. Driving it everyday you will know it won’t let you down, it will feel like new in 10 years time and it will balance performance and efficiency forever. But this is the most fun executive estate on the market and it left me feeling a bit cold.

So I guess the solution is this: if you can, buy a BMW 5 Series Touring as your everyday car. It will never disappoint you, or your family. It’s perfect, it really is. But put some money on the side and get yourself a second-hand toy for those moments when you just feel like driving. Driving as the interaction between you, the car and the road. Practicality, fuel consumption, resale value, reliability – when you don’t really care about these things, leave the 5 at home and go out in something else. BMW even has a very good solution of their own for this idea of mine: it’s called the Mini.

Now that is a perfect two-car garage.

By Guilherme Marques

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