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?...
As standard, the 5 Series gets a crystal-clear 10.3in touchscreen that you can also control with a rotary dial by the gear selector; this is easier while you’re driving. Either way, this is by far the most user-friendly interface; it’s supereasy to navigate and there are no delays while the system loads functions. You don’t need to pay extra for the many online services, either, although you do for smartphone mirroring.
You can’t miss the wall of colour that is the two 12.3in screens in front of you, but both are optional (£1495 for Comand online, £495 for the digital cockpit display). The standard infotainment is an 8.4in screen with sat-nav, but we recommend the upgraded system. Along with the bigger screens, it brings enhanced connectivity, although the rotary dial interface isn’t as slick as the BMW’s and the menus are slower to respond.
We’ve no complaints about the clarity of the V90’s standard tabletstyle 9.0in touchscreen, and it has plenty of features, including satnav, wi-fi and online services. The problem is, it’s like an iPad to use, and swiping screens or trying to pick out small icons while driving is hugely distracting. Having to use it for so much, including the climate control, makes things worse. An emergency call system, which the others get as standard, costs £550.