New BMW 5 Series Touring vs Mercedes E-Class Estate vs Volvo V90

Plush estates make great family cars, with the latest to join the club the new BMW 5 Series Touring. But how does it compare to its two most competitive rivals?

Words By What Car? team

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Our verdict

Each car here has its strengths, but it’s the 5 Series Touring that takes the win. Why? Because estate buyers are primarily looking for luxury and space, and the 5 Series is the most comfortable by a mile and offers the best compromise of passenger and luggage space.

The surprise is the V90, which squeaks into second place. It still has the space to deliver your youngest, with a year’s worth of luggage, to their far-flung halls of residence, then keep you relaxed on the journey home. The tidy handling of this R-Design model lets you have a modicum of fun behind the wheel, too.

But rest assured, the E-Class is no rotter. As with the others, it’s comfier on optional all-round air suspension, which we have factored in, but the marks lost for passenger space, interior quality and driving position leave it third – just. But if outright boot space is your absolute priority, it’s still, by a small margin, the best of its breed.

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1st – BMW 5 Series Touring

For Best ride; quietest on the move; best interior quality; most user-friendly infotainment

Against Priciest to buy and own; doesn’t handle as well as the 5 Series saloon

Must-have options Adaptive dampers (Β£985)

Rated 5 out of 5

2nd – Volvo V90

For Well-controlled handling; roomiest rear seats; smart and solid interior; com¬fiest front seats

Against Distracting infotainment system; noisiest engine at idle; most wind noise

Must-have options Adaptive suspension (Β£1500)

Rated 4 out of 5

3rd – Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate

For Largest boot; seven-seat option; pokiest engine; cheapest on PCP

Against Lumpiest ride; so-so handling; iffy quality; road noise

Must-have options Air suspension (Β£1495); Command Online (Β£1495); Widescreen cockpit (Β£495)

Rated 4 out of 5

Specifications: BMW 5 Series Touring 520d M Sport

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£41,385

Target Price Β£39,262

Power 188bhp @ 4000rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm

0-60mph 7.9sec

Top speed 139mph

Gov't fuel economy 62.7mpg

True MPG 44.9mpg

CO2 emissions 119g/km

Specifications: Mercedes-Benz E-Class Estate E 220 d AMG Line

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£41,215

Target Price Β£36,778

Power 192bhp @ 3800rpm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1600-2800rpm

0-60mph 7.6sec

Top speed 146mph

Gov't fuel economy 67.3mpg

True MPG 41.2mpg

CO2 emissions 120g/km

Specifications: Volvo V90 2.0 D4 R-Design

Engine size 2.0-litre diesel

List price Β£38,365

Target Price Β£35,827

Power 188bhp @ 4250pm

Torque 295Ib ft @ 1750-2500rpm

0-60mph 8.0sec

Top speed 140mph

Gov't fuel economy 62.8mpg

True MPG 40.2mpg

CO2 emissions 119g/km

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