Combining the attributes of a wagon and crossover, the BMW 5-Series GT offers loads of space for people and cargo. Based on the normal 5-Series sedan, the controversially-styled GT replaces the 535i xDrive wagon in BMW's lineup.
The GT offers the same rear-seat legroom as the 7-Series full-size sedan and the same rear-seat headroom as the X5 SUV, while still maintaining 15.4 cubic feet of cargo space. If more cargo room is needed the rear seats can be moved forward four inches -- leaving the same rear-seat legroom as the 5-Series sedan -- creating 20.7 cubic feet of cargo room. For all-out hauling duties, the rear seats can be folded flat, revealing a cavernous 59.5 cubic feet of space.
Interior touches include an optional panoramic sunroof, fully adjustable rear seats and a dual-function trunk lid -- the latter intended to open wide for larger object but keep the cabin isolated when a standard trunk opening will do.
In true premium car fashion, the 5-Series GT has a number of available features, including BMW's ConnectedDrive, a unique feature that includes Cruise Control with Stop and Go, a High-Beam Assistant, Lane Change Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Speed Limit Info, BMW Night Vision with detection of individual persons, Side View, Top View and a back-up camera.
BMW has made a handful of changes for the most recent model year. Shift paddles are now standard on all 5 Series Gran Turismo models, as are enhanced USB, Bluetooth and Satellite radio features. Owners can now browse libraries via Bluetooth on all models and sync an additional hands-free phone.
The GT is available with a choice of forced-induction six- and eight-cylinder engines, both of which team up with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel-drive is standard, while those looking for extra traction inclement weather can spec xDrive, the company's all-wheel-drive system.
The 535i GT is powered by a turbocharged and direct-injected 3.0-liter inline-six that produces 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. This engine returns 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway (18/27 mpg with xDrive) and propels the car from zero-to-60 mpg in just over six seconds.
The 550i GT packs a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 that was upgraded for the latest model year with BMW's Valvetronic variable valve timing and lift system. The change increases output by 45 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque for totals of 445 ponies and 480 lb-ft. Fuel economy is rated at 15/22 mpg for both the standard and xDrive-equipped models, and the zero-to-60 mph sprint is achieved in under 5.5 seconds.
In order to ensure the 5-Series GT handles like a true BMW, it comes equipped with the automaker's Dynamic Drive Control, while the optional Adaptive Drive further ensures the GT's sporty nature.
All 5-Series GT models come standard with dual front, side and front and rear side-curtain airbags as well as traction and stability control systems.
The 5-Series GT is truly a one-of-a-kind vehicle, with no other car quite offering its blend of wagon, crossover and sedan bodystyles and (ahem) unique styling. More traditional crossovers like the Audi Q7 and the Infiniti QX60 could be considered competitors.