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 5-Series Gran Turismo recently benefited from a mid-life update that includes of slightly redesigned headlights, a redrawn front bumper, more rounded tail lamps and extra trim pieces all around. New alloy wheel designs and a batch of additional exterior colors finish off the fresh appearance
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.
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. The slightly larger Mercedes-Benz R-Class could be considered a competitor, as could more traditional crossovers like the Audi Q7 and Infiniti JX35.