The interior layout, fit and finish
When a donor 5 Series arrives at Alpina, much of the inside is covered with high-quality leather to build on what is already a five-star interior.
All of the materials look and feel expensive, and you get BMW’s iDrive infotainment system, which combines a 10.2in touchscreen with a rotary controller and shortcut buttons to make it easy to operate the car’s numerous functions.
In a neat twist, Alpina has incorporated its trademark blue speedo and rev counter into the digital instruments of the regular 5 Series while retaining all of their functionality.
However, it’s irritating that manual gearshifts are made by pressing buttons on the back of the steering wheel, because this arrangement is fiddly and unintuitive compared with the paddles most manufacturers – including BMW – favour.
All-round visibility is good, and while the D5 S is a big car, front and rear parking sensors help when manoeuvring in tight spaces. A bird’s-eye-view camera is only an option, though.
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