BMW 5-Series GT | European Luxury In The Shape Of A Hatch!

MyDrive | BMW 5-Series GT | European Luxury In The Shape Of A Hatch!
Written by Adam Tonkin

MyDrive | BMW Australia – BMW decided to enter the hatchback fray with a luxurious and sleek BMW 5-Series design that performs faultlessly with the lavishness of a 7-Series and a touch of extra space.The BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo (BMW 530d) or GT, as it is commonly referred to, was designed by Christopher Weil with the first concept released in 2009. 

Since then the 5-Series GT has received plenty of criticism for being too big and awkward looking especially the rear, although if you like comfort and superfluity with a touch of flexibility, this might be the hatchback for you.

History of the hatchback or hatch design is based on a rear door that opens upwards.  The design can be traced back to the 1930s and is today considered a staple of the car manufacturing industry. 

In the 70s and 80s, Japanese car manufacturers had the hatch market cornered although I don’t remember my first car, a 1985 Toyota Corolla SECA Hatchback ever being quite this good!

Exterior Styling

The new F07 5-Series styling is a grown up version of the E60 BMW with the younger sibling look of the new 7-Series.  The design of the GT proves that BMW are not a company to conform to the norm but an organisation that will push the envelope by designing vehicles that may be controversial in style but are eye catching and cutting edge.

Some may suggest the GT’s long coupe shaped body looks cumbersome and bulky, which certainly is not the case especially from the driver’s seat.  The overall design of the GT with its European free flowing curves demonstrates BMW’s ability to combine power and grace.

The long bonnet curves downward to meet the large nose and nostrils, a key BMW design.  Below this sits the brand new LED driving lights, fog-lights and the chrome outlined air-dam.  The front of the GT doesn’t look overly sporty or aerodynamic although it performs without complaint. 

The front and rear doors have a nice weight to them and return a solid thud when closed thanks to frameless windows.  The “Callisto Grey Metallic” paint gives the GT depth whilst the window frame that runs the length of the cabin is highlighted in matte chrome and emphasises the elegance of the GT. 

The GT includes newly designed 15 spoke 20” rims with Pirelli P-Zero run flat tyres that complement the chassis, the technology in the GT’s suspension setup and the heavy 1940kg kerb weight of the GT.

I was excited to drive the GT at night to experience the 10.25” TFT LCD dash and the LED adaptive headlights.  The light blue adaptive LED headlights provide a constant beam of light across the entire road in front of you; they literally turn night into day and are a definite must have tick box option.  LED lighting is also used for rear taillights and indicators.

At night each door handle is illuminated with LEDs that bath the ground with a soft blue light to aid entry and exit from the vehicle.  The rear is designed in true hatchback form; a higher rear-end with an automatic tailgate that can be opened and closed with the key fob and closes with a hefty thump. 

The tailgate is flanked by the LED taillights and down below are the two polished side by side chrome exhaust tips that round off the exterior.

Interior Styling

The interior is everything you would expect from BMW, plush and well-appointed starting with the cream coloured leather seats.  The front memory function seats are supportive and comfortable with an attractive pattern sewn into the seatbacks. 

Sadly in the middle of summer there is no cooling option for the front seats in the 530d GT however they are heated for the those cold wintery nights. 

The dark grey leather bound steering wheel offers straight forward and simple functionality whilst including toggle switches for the cruise control, station selection and volume control.  The wood trim on the dash and doors offers an executive touch to an already stylish cabin.

The 10.25” TFT LCD dash is the latest in design and provides the driver with clear information regardless the screen you choose.  The cream coloured leather with matching headliner with a sunroof and a panoramic glass roof for the rear passengers makes the interior feel open and inviting. 

A soft orange light at night changes the tone in the cabin to a warm swish environment that is inviting and comfortable.  The hatch styling has also had a positive effect on the size of the boot space, increasing it by 60 litres to 500 litres. 

Head-up display is another feature that assists you to keep your eyes on the road at all times.  This is a feature that I’ve never used before and I admit it did take me a few drives to get used to looking forward and not down to check speed radio and satnav functions. 

The system works seamlessly during both day and night time driving.  The biggest concern with hatch design is the cream coloured rear parcel shelf and rear-view visibility as it reflects onto the rear window causing rear vision to be dulled especially in full sunlight.  However, if the parcel shelf was darker in colour, this wouldn’t be such an issue.

Safety Systems

The 530d GT comes standard with Dynamic Stability Control, ABS, Dynamic Traction Control,  Cornering Brake Control, Adaptive Brake Assistance, Airbags (front and rear), Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Collision Warning, Head-Up Display and Park Distance Control.

The Lane Departure Warning system works brilliantly and gently reminds the driver by vibrating the steering wheel that the car is crossing over the traffic lane.  Some lane departure and accident mitigation systems can be very loud and unnecessary with bells ringing and brake warning messages flashing before your eyes. 

This can be quite alarming and annoying especially when the system mistakes a tram line for a traffic lane in Melbourne.

Engine and Transmission

Diesel engines are today proving their worth as a worthy petrol engine competitor.  The 530d GT 3.0 litre diesel will provide the driver with smooth power delivery regardless of the situation. 

During my week long review, I chose a mixture of highway, city and country driving.  The GT returned an impressive fuel consumption figure of 6.8 litres per 100 kms with a quarter of diesel still in the tank.  This isn’t bad considering the air-conditioning was running and carried some 120 kilos of equipment in the hatch.

The whisper quiet 3.0 diesel engine provides plenty of power with little turbo lag and is happy to cruise the open roads and the inner suburban streets without complaint.  There are two other engines available, a 2.0 litre diesel with 135kW of power and a 3.5 litre petrol version with 225kW of power. 

Between the three engine types, the 3.0 litre diesel on paper looks to be the pick of the bunch with ample power and good fuel economy to match.

The new eight speed gearbox is seamless in its changes and provides the right gear for every situation.  There is plenty of sportiness in the gear changes when ‘SPORT’ mode is selected which sharpens up the electronic steering and throttle inputs although after driving 910 kms on one tank, economy comfort and smooth gear changes are a regular event for this GT cruiser.

Vehicle Details

Year, Make, Model

2014 | BMW | 5 Series

530d Gran Turismo

Engine

3.0 Litre BMW TwinPower Turbo Diesel Inline 6 Cylinder Engine

Kilowatts

190 kW

Horsepower

258 HP / 4000 RPM

Maximum Torque

560 NM

Fuel Consumption

6.8 Litres per 100 KMS

0 – 100 / 60

6.2 Seconds

Gearbox

8 Speed Tiptronic Transmission

Fuel Tank Size

70 Litres

Weight

1940 (Kerb Weight)

Final Thought

The GT hatch concept has taken BMW DNA and created a purposeful and classy vehicle that will cater to most buyers and covers many options.  The 5 Series GT does herald a second look with its elegant 7 Series styling and long list of inclusions. 

The lack of popularity surrounding the rear design may be a talking point for most but cut away this feature and you’ll find a very usable, flexible and impressive diesel powered vehicle that has the competition talking.

Key Competitors

Audi A6, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and the more expensive Porsche Panamera.

Vehicle Will Suit?

The 5 Series GT will suit buyers wanting the luxury of a 4 door sedan with the added bonus of having hatch like luggage space thanks to rear folding seats. 

Pricing and Features

The standard 2014 BMW 5 Series GT 30d has a recommended price of $119,230.00

For further information on the 5 Series GT including options and other specifications, click > www.bmw.com.au

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