The modelRead full review
In the right specification, the BMW 5 Series Touring is quiet, smooth, classy, comfortable and well equipped. It’s also very practical, although it can't quite match the enormous boot that you get with a Mercedes E-Class Estate.
The trimSee full equipment
M Sport trim is extremely popular, thanks largely to its more aggressive body styling and bigger alloys. You don't get a lot of extra substance for the added cost, apart from sports front seats, bigger brakes, privacy glass and a much stiffer ride courtesy of the M Suspension.
The engineSee full engine specs
The 520d is punchy enough and it's our pick of the range. If you don't believe us, check out its claimed 0-62mph time of just 7.6 seconds, which is plenty for whisking you up to motorway speeds without any fuss. Performance is roughly on a par with the rival Mercedes E220d Estate's, although in terms of real-world drivability (as opposed to outright 0-62mph acceleration), the Audi A6 Avant 40 TDI has a slightly wider performance window making it fractionally more relaxing to drive. It's quieter than the 520d, too, although you won't be disappointed with the 520d's excellent mid-fifties average fuel economy and CO2 emissions, which drop it into a lower company car tax band than the Mercedes E220d.
Estate has bland handling and average performance, but majors...
Competitive in lots of areas but not outstanding