Passenger & boot space
How it copes with people and clutter
The 5 Series Touring is a big car in the front. It offers a touch more leg room than an Audi A6 Avant and is roughly on par with an E-Class Estate. There's plenty of head room, too, and while adding a panoramic roof trades a bit of that, six-footers will still be fine. When compared with its obvious rivals, the 5 Series Touring is the widest in the front, but in truth, none of these estate cars are small. Mind you, the E-Class's interior design feels more 'fitted' and less airy than the 5 Series' and A6's, but it'll come down to personal preference if that's a plus or not.
Getting in is also comparatively easy, thanks to doors that open wide. The glovebox is a good size and there’s a lidded cubby behind the gear selector with USB ports that’ll take most wallets, keys or a mobile phone, along with two cupholders in front of it. Each door pocket will accommodate a small water bottle.
If you want the roomiest rear seats, then hands down the Volvo V90 is a better bet than the 5 Series Touring. That said, both head and leg room are still good enough for six-foot adults sitting behind similar-sized folk up front, and it has a touch more knee room and lots more foot space under its front seats than an E-Class Estate. That makes the 5 Series Touring a more relaxing place for rear-seat passengers to chill out.
There’s a tall central tunnel in the floor for a middle passenger to clamber over, though, and if you’re trying to fit three burly fellas side by side, shoulder room will be tight. That said, it would be a similar story in any of its rivals.
Seat folding and flexibility
Just like the driver’s seat, the front passenger seat has electrically adjustable height and backrest angle as standard, making it easy to fine-tune the perfect position. It’s just disappointing that electrically adjustable lumbar support costs extra – even on the more expensive trims.
With handy electric release buttons just inside the tailgate opening, you can flip down the 40/20/40 split-folding rear seats very easily. It's worth noting that V90 owners have to make do with less flexible 60/40 split-folding rear seats.
The 5 Series Touring's boot is a good square shape and, with a 570-litre capacity (with the rear seats in place), it’s marginally larger than the A6 Avant's and V90's. There’s also a bit of extra luggage space under the boot floor, which is big enough for shallower items such as laptop bags. Even so, it’s still a bit smaller than ‘the king of boots’ that is the E-Class Estate. To prove that particular point, the 5 Series Touring's boot can take eight carry-on cases, while the E-Class trumps that with nine.
With the rear seats folded down, you get a long, flat extended load bay all the way through to the front seats, and the boot floor comes flush to the tailgate opening, so there’s no lip to lift heavy items over.
It’s got some neat features as well. The standard powered tailgate automatically retracts the tonneau cover as it lifts; and if you’ve backed up so close to a wall that you can’t open the whole tailgate, you can still gain access to the boot by popping open the rear window, which is hinged separately.
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