Reviews Are In on the 5 Series GT

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We ‘ve sat in it. We ‘ve played with it. But we haven ‘t officially reviewed it yet. That honor was given to the European press this past week and the reviews are in. Here ‘s an excerpt from Insideline ‘s Matt Davis:

Drives Like a BMW…ish

Keeping in mind the total failure of the Mercedes R-Class to develop much allure, BMW has made certain that you feel like you ‘re in a real BMW as the 5 GT moves down the road. Technology is everywhere and it is of the latest generation, right down to the iDrive system (it ‘s really good, especially with the optional 10.2-inch screen) that we first experienced in the new 7 Series.

Even in the Curves?

Standard tires are 18-inch run-flats for the 535i GT (19-inch for the 550i) but our car ‘s optional tires were even bigger — 245/45 R19 98Y front, 275/40 R19 101Y rear Goodyear Excellence Xs. We also had the optional Adaptive Drive suspension, which includes Sachs dampers modified by BMW to recalibrate according to the preference you selected in Dynamic Drive Control.

BMW ‘s Integral Active Steering is also available, just like on our beloved new 7 Series, and this steering assist from the rear wheels is a good thing for the 5 GT. In the bends, we could feel the added volume of the large, relatively flexible body, but the technology BMW gives us compensates well, including the adaptive antiroll bars.

It ‘s interesting to note the difference of opinion on the Diesel. Davis finds it the worst of the range. However Autocar ‘s review finds it easily the best:

What’s it like?

All of that evangelism can turn you off a car before you even drive it, but that would be a mistake with this car. For starters, there’s the technology. It has the latest generation of 3.0-litre diesel, which is expected to comfortably outsell the 535i GT in Europe. It deserves to as well, because it has 241bhp of power at 4000rpm and 398lb ft of torque from 1750 to 3000rpm. It will help that it’s the cheapest Gran Turismo, but it’s also the best of the GT’s engine range.

All of that would mean nothing if the chassis wasn’t this astonishingly good. At 1960kg, the 530d GT has every excuse to be a floppy mess. It isn’t.

Dynamic Drive Control, which tweaks the gearbox, throttle and steering maps and the dampers, is standard and ranges from Comfort to Sport+ programs. Forget the extremes (Comfort is too wallowing and Sport+ is too aggressive on bump) and keep it inside Normal and Sport and you’ll find a terrific chassis lurking here.

It’s balanced, it never gets unsettled, it’s quiet, the ride quality is brilliant and there’s so much poise that it’s difficult to imagine how you’d ever throw one away, aside from falling asleep in it.

Look for our own review later this year.

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