Recently I was lucky enough for BMW to lend me the new 5 Series for a long weekend, so with that I swiftly booked a trip to the Lake District with 4 close friends to give it a ‘proper’ test drive.
When the car arrived my first thoughts were, a lovely looking estate car with a beautiful interior. In my personal opinion I find the BMW interiors out dated, the dash never really changes and it’s usually fairly basic looking compared to it’s competitors, however this car had a different look and feel to it, it felt spacious with the perfect amount of technology on display, not too complicated either, and even though the typical dash concept was still present the large screen and centre controls transformed it.
The seats were large and comfortable and there was plenty of storage areas, which is fantastic if like me you’re always carrying around your mobile phone, wallet, big bunches of keys, sunglasses etc!
The boot space was ample as expected in the touring model, we managed to fit a large bag each into the boot along with shopping bags and a few boxes of beers for once we reached our destination!
Admittedly I’m 33 years old and I’ve always been a petrol head! When I first drove this car I felt no excitement, it was the standard feeling I get when driving a diesel. Driving it around my home town where there is a lot of traffic was very easy though to say the least, I felt a little ashamed that I was enjoying an automatic so much, it was perfect for sitting in traffic after a long days hard work, however once the traffic cleared I got to enjoy the semi auto paddle shifts along the country lanes for the final part of my journey.
The next day my friends arrived. Coming on this trip didn’t take much persuasion as I was driving there and back and all they had to do was sit back, relax and provide the music. Surprisingly relax they did, and I say surprisingly as they average 6 foot between them. The rear seats and leg room were deceptively big and they quickly settled in ready to start our 300 mile each way journey from Essex to the Lake district which took around 6 hours with just 1 stop, and to my amazement there were little complaints coming from the back besides the choice in music.
This particular vehicle had the M Sport Plus pack fitted which included the Harman Kardon sound system so even if the song choice’s weren’t to everyone’s liking there was no denying the quality provided by the sound system.
Majority of the journey was on the motorway so I opted for comfort mode, this softened the suspension and even though the car was fully loaded it still eat up the bumps with no problems.
The roads were clear that morning so I got a chance to open it up a little, this was the moment my opinion started to change, the car wasn’t feeling boring, it felt like an endless source of power, it always seemed to have more power even with a full car, more than I could legally use, but eventually I hit the typically British motorway traffic and slowly moved in a start stop motion…. Thank goodness for automatics!!
Throughout the journey I was happily surprised by the fuel consumption, even with my heavy foot and a full car I was still getting an average of 46 mpg which I found very impressive. That may not sound amazing but if you looked at the Mercedes or Audi equivalents they would be very similar.
Once I had reached the back roads of the Lake district I decided to switch it to sports mode giving me a higher rev count and a later gear change as well as tightening up the suspension, this turned it into a ‘drivers’ car, providing me with a large smile and my passengers with a concerned quietness!
Unfortunately what came next was the ultimate test, the navigation system had taken me a ‘short cut’ across the hillside! If you’re familiar with the Lake District then you probably would have heard of this road, mainly from people advising that you avoid it at all costs! This road is called Hardknott Pass and it was very testing, the roads were barely wide enough for 1 car, yet I always seemed to meet cars coming the opposite way (thankfully I had a reversing camera!) If there weren’t cars coming towards me then it was sheep or steep cliff edges.
The roads were steep but the BMW overcame them with no problems. The parts I had to really be careful on were the tight bends, this car has a 190bhp diesel engine and is rear wheel drive which is fun but requires your full attention when accelerating out of corners.
The BMW conquered the Hardknott Pass and we had arrived in the village where we were staying, all I had to do now was park it on the narrow drive way…. Easy. This car had the sensors and parking camera, musts on a vehicle of this size. Parking it was easy.
whether you’re young, middle aged or retired this car is suitable for all. It was practical and reliable whilst providing excitement at times and comfort throughout.
The diesel engine makes a great company car due to it’s low co2’s and reasonable price tag.
Would I choose it as my company car, yes. Would I want to own it, No. I’d want the 4L petrol!
Am I now a typical BMW driver?… no because I used my indicators…. But I am now definitely a fan of this car.
- M Sport Plus Pack
- Sophisto Grey Xirallic Paint
- Ivory White Dakota Leather
- Visibility Pack
- Comfort Pack
- Mpg Combined: 62.7
- Co2 Emissions: 119G
For our best deal BMW 5 Series leasing deal please click on the link below:
By George Barker
Plan Car Leasing