Former F1 champ tells TG about his car history, and why he’ll never own a McLaren F1
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The Top Gear car review:BMW 5 Series Touring
For:Versatility, dynamics, powertrains, refinement
Against:We might think estates are cool, but everyone else is mad for SUVs
What is it?
It’s BMW’s biggest estate. As big as almost anyone else’s. But as we’ll see it’s also a 5 Series.
Estate bit first. The stretched roof leads to an integral spoiler. As with most BMW wagons, you can open the rear windscreen while leaving the main boot closed, which is handy for just chucking in or retrieving light items. The load bay is long and wide. For the estate, self-levelling air suspension is standard at the rear.
It’s a 5 Series. The new one is very refined, great to drive and high-tech.
The engine range at launch is all from BMW’s B-series modular family: four-cylinders in petrol and diesel, called 530i and 520d, and six-cylinders in petrol or diesel, the 540i and 530d.The 530d is optionally xDrive 4WD, while the 540i is always xDrive in the UK.
As with the saloon, the body uses a lot of aluminium in its skin, and one big magnesium cross-member beneath. The rest of the structure is high-strength steels. The suspension, seats, brakes and other parts are the same weight-saving parts used in the saloon, and the current 7 Series. Overall it drops 100kg versus the old one.