For The Alpina B5 is fast yet comfortable and effortless to drive. It’s also suitably luxurious and exclusive, and you can personalise almost all the interior furnishings to your own taste.
Against There’s no disguising the fact that the B5 is a big, heavy car; it isn’t particularly engaging to drive, either. It’s expensive to run and you won’t go far before having to stop for fuel.
It’s a fine way to travel quickly yet serenely, and the large cabin and boot mean it can easily cope with family duties. Pity the Alpina B5 is not more exciting to drive.
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The Alpina B5 comes with a twin-turbocharged 4.4-litre V8 engine linked to an eight-speed automatic gearbox, so you’re biggest choice is between saloon or Touring (estate) bodystyles. Not many are sold each year, so there are no discounts, either.
The big thing about buying an Alpina, though, is being able to personalise it. You can choose from a range of BMW colours and those exclusive to the B5, or have your own colour, for a price. The quality, colour and amount of leather inside can also be chosen; it’s even possible to have any colour of stitching you like.
It’s worth noting that the B5 comes with a two-year, unlimited-mileage warranty, unlike the three-year, unlimited-mileage cover you get on the BMW 5 Series donor car. A range of pre-paid servicing packages help keep routine maintenance costs in check.