As usual, the wagon version of BMW’s 5-Series is the most attractive member of the 5-Series family. Historically, in generations E34; E39; and E60; the beauty pageant was a contest between just the 4-door sedan and 5-door wagon. In generation F10 of the BMW 5-Series, a disastrous 5-door GranTurismo has come along to make sure we don’t recognize the 4-door sedan as the worst of the lot.
Indeed, it’s ironic that after one lost generation of 5-Series style at BMW, the builder of “Ultimate Driving Machines” regained a conservative, handsome touch with the 5-Series sedan yet still decided to manufacture a vehicle as awful as the 5-Series GT. Thankful we must all be, then, for the BMW 5-Series Touring, a car known in the USA as the 5-Series Sports Wagon.
Unfortunately, we might be thanking BMW for a car never meant for North American (or at least, American showrooms). With BMW pinning undue high expectations on the 5-Series GT, chances are the 5-Series Touring won’t make it anywhere but Across The Pond.
Whatever you heard about the new BMW 5-Series sedan, apply it here but with an extended roof and larger cargo bay…. and improved exterior proportions. The 2011 BMW 5-Series Touring isn’t as handsome a vehicle as the E39 wagon but manages to hark back to that car with simpler design cues than could be found on the dreadful E60 car. Indeed, even though the E60 was tolerable when seen in wagon form – offense could still be taken. This latest 5-Series Touring has concave body surfaces, overly sharp headlights, and rather large extensions of the twin kidney grilles. But it works as a whole. That’s something we never could have said about the outgoing car.
Basing sales impressions for the 2011 BMW 535i Touring on the outgoing BMW 535i xDrive Sports Wagon would be a mistake for BMW, yet their decision – one way or the other – was likely made months ago. GranTurismo equals hopes pinned.