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BMW's 5 Series Touring is longer than ever

And you can have it with four-wheel drive. Who needs an SUV, really?

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BMW’s back with the latest edition of its big, executive estate. And boy, does it have a lot to do.

Aside from the fact that everyone seems to be buying SUVs and crossovers these days, there’s stiffer competition than ever in the form of the lovely Mercedes E-Class estate and Volvo’s swish new V90.

So, what’s BMW done for the new 5 Series Touring? Quite a bit, it seems. To kick off, it’s thrown most of its almost-autonomous tech from the 7 Series at the 5, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control that can come to a stop and set off again without driver input – something that’s sure to be a salve on the M4 on a Friday afternoon. You can also have four-wheel drive.

The new 5 Series estate follows its saloon brother, with aluminium and magnesium playing a large part in the Touring’s construction. And it’s not just body panels, either – suspension components and engine mounts are on the non-steel diet. The saloon is 100kg lighter than the old one, so expect similar shedding from the Touring.

Design-wise, the Touring follows the direction of the new 5 Series saloon, with subtlety clearly the order of the day. That said, the new Touring is a slipperier fish than before, which will help keep the mpg high and the emissions low.

Also on an economy drive is the ‘EfficientDynamics’ series of engines, which BMW says are more efficient than the old ones, despite power hikes across the board.

The entry-level, two-litre turbo four-cylinder petrol (confusingly called the 530i) is 10 per cent more efficient, returning 46mpg, even with an extra 7bhp on tap for a total of 252bhp. That’s not a patch on the two-litre diesel, though, with 190bhp, 295lb ft and more than 65mpg.

The 540i’s three-litre straight-six petrol gets a boost of 34bhp and 37lb ft, for 340bhp, 332lb ft and a 0-62mph sprint of 5.1secs. That’s a pretty brisk family wagon, if you ask us. Perhaps the best all-rounder of the lot, though, will be the 265bhp/56.4mpg diesel 530d. Each of the engine choices is channeled through an eight-speed automatic gearbox, while the higher powered petrol and diesel come with the option of xDrive four-wheel drive. Who needs an SUV?

The new 5 Series Touring is 36mm longer, 8mm wider, 10mm taller and rides on a 7mm longer wheelbase than before, taking the estate’s wheelbase to a shade under three metres long – or more than an entire Smart Fortwo.

And those larger exterior dimensions are reflected inside, with more luggage space – now 570 litres with the rear seats up, 1,700 with them flipped down. That’s a lot of dog.

BMW’s already taking orders ahead of the Touring’s debut in Geneva in March and showroom launch June, with prices starting at a little more than £38,000 and topping out just shy of £50,000.

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