- The car: BMW 520d SE
- Run by: Steve Huntingford, editor
- Why it’s here: To see if this class-leading luxury saloon has any flaws which weren’t obvious when we group tested it against rivals
- Needs to: Offer outstanding comfort and refinement, a sumptuous interior and low fuel consumption
Price £36,815 Price as tested £42,815 Miles 1342 Official economy 68.8mpg Test economy 44.6 Options fitted 18in multi-spoke alloy wheels (£995), Electronic Damper Control (£985), electric front seats with driver’s memory (£895), Glacier Silver paint (£675), enhanced Bluetooth with wireless charging (£475), sports front seats (£475), reversing camera (£375), folding, anti-dazzle door mirrors (£335), split-folding rear seats (£335), Anthracite headlining (£265), Apple CarPlay (£235), Display Key (£235), adjustable lumbar support (£225), Gesture Control (£160), online entertainment (£160), High-beam Assistant (£95), run-flat tyres (£0), WiFi hotspot (£0)
16 November 2017 – second report
There’s a lot to like about our BMW 5 Series, but the feature that most impresses first-time passengers is the optional Gesture Control system – in particular, the way it lets you adjust the stereo volume by rotating a finger in the air.
Funny, then, that it’s actually one of the extras I wouldn’t bother specifying if I had my time again; once the novelty has worn off, you realise that it’s actually simpler to just reach for the volume button on the steering wheel.
The way Gesture Control lets you answer or decline incoming calls with a swipe of your hand is more useful, although I’m still not convinced that the advantage is big enough to justify its £160 cost.