Our Cars: BMW 5 Series Touring - August

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BMW 520d bumper
BMW 520d bumper
BMW 5 Series Touring 520d M Sport

Week ending August 26
Mileage 11,185
Miles driven this week 600

It was a bang followed by a sickening crunch. I would have liked to have blamed the fact that the parking sensors didn't pick it up or I didn't see it on the reversing camera. But it was only my idiocy to blame for reversing our 520d into a concrete post.

It mangled the rear valance so much that it twisted onto the exhaust and put a big scar on the bumper above. I had to rip the valance off as I was worried it would melt on the tailpipes so the BMW looks even less pretty.

Ouch. I'm waiting to see how much the bill will be. But it won't be pretty...

Week ending August 19
Mileage 10,585
Miles driven this week 500

My theory about estates is rather than look at their ultimate carrying capacity, look at their practicality. So while our 520d Touring is smaller outright than a Merc E-class wagon, the BMW's been doing a good job of convincing me what a great estate it is.

I've been using it as holiday transport and it's terrific. The square boot was great for luggage and it's got plenty of great touches too: I've used the underfloor storage for valuables and the elastic retaining straps are terrific for stowing bottles of French wine. I'm also enjoying the way it rides and handles on twisty French back roads to the beach.

Week ending August 12
Mileage 10,085
Miles driven this week 850

I headed down to the South of France in our 520d and impressive it was too. I did the 600-mile schlep in one hit and mostly at French motorway speeds. The car averaged 70mph and 41mpg and it was fully loaded, too.

Barely any complaints either, save that it's impossible to have the rear wipe on constantly and it was needed on those concrete Autoroutes in the rain. I still reckon the eight-speed automatic option is preferable too - but it probably wouldn't have been as economical.

Week ending August 5
Mileage 9235
Miles driven this week 1950
You can fit 21 bottles of wine under the boot floor of a 5 Series Touring, as I found out when
I nabbed the keys for my summer holiday near Bordeaux. The feat had nothing to do with hoodwinking the customs department at Calais, you understand. It simply prevented the bottles sliding around in and smashing into one another, and left the main boot free for suitcases and other clutter.

Our Cars: BMW 5 Series Touring - July


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