The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo is still a relative baby in the industry after only making its debut in 2009. But in the short time that its been around, the 5er GT has made quite an impression on a lot of people, but not exactly for the right reasons.
Just like with the sedan and touring, the 5 Series GT has received a host of changes to its design to make it a little more enticing to the public, including a new front bumper, a slightly revised grille, and a new headlight design. On the backside, it will receive a new bumper and taillights with new graphics. All these changes, while extensive in description, don’t really add the kind of eye-popping upgrades that we were looking for in the 2014 model.
The interior of the 5 Series GT is wonderful, though. That’s pretty important considering that with its young age relative to its competitors - the Audi S6 and the Mercedes E-Class, among them - BMW needed something to catch some eyes and pique their interests.
Where the 5 Series GT has the leg up though is the impressive powertrain options being offered. The old N55 engine is still alive and kicking, as is the world famous N63 powertrain that gives some serious noise under the hood of that fastback.
Hard as it is to see any noticeable changes to the 2014 5 Series GT, BMW wants to make us believe that there really are upgrades to the car. Unfortunately, it’s all minimal and something that you probably won’t notice at first glance.
The 5er GT does have a modified front apron, which for nothing else, provides a look that adds a little bit of presence and solidity to the car’s front end. Fresh contour lines were also added around BMW’s iconic kidney grille, while a new front bumper gets treated to matte silver accents and a new air intake that besets the powerful presence of the car’s front end.
Standard on all 5 Series models, including the GT, are the Xenon Adaptive headlights, while the side indicator lights are now integrated into the exterior mirrors.
The rear end also has its share of upgrades, highlighted by an extra crease in the apron, as well as an extended look that harmoniously transitions the roofline into the rear of the fastback design of the car.
Overall, the 5 Series GT still has the sporty characteristics, including the coupe roofline, four doors with frameless windows and the high-opening tailgate, which all exude the kind of sporty and luxurious visuals that BMW has been known for.
Whether that translates to public attraction is different matter entirely.
For most Americans, the term “Gran Turismo” is mostly related to the hot-selling video game for the PS3. In this case, however, BMW is referring to something with just a tad more history behind it. When translated from Italian – yeah, a German brand using Italian words – Gran Turismo means Grand Tourer, a type of do-it-all car that dates back to the late 1920s.
A Grand Tourer is a unique car that allows drivers to enjoy quickness and performance handling without compromising comfort and luxury. For the most part, GT cars highlight the comfort and handling of a car over its straight-line speed and they highlight cargo-carrying capacity. And, the latter is precisely what the 5 Series GT and most other modern GT cars do.
With its massive hatch fully opened, you can easily drop all of your cargo straight into the 5er GT without worrying about lifting it over the trunk jamb and fitting it into a surprisingly small trunk opening. Additionally, the 5 Series GT offers the ability to open just the rearmost section of the rear hatch – almost like a trunk (image below) – to slide in smaller items.
So why bring this odd body style to the U.S.? The answer to that is simple. The only other option to a GT variant is a station wagon and to this date, station wagons still have a stigma of boring slushboxes with faux woodgrain stickers down the side. Yeah, its not a pretty sight... "Gran Turismo," on the other hand, just sounds cool. Looking cool is a different story altogether.
The BMW 5 Series is known for having some of the cleanest and most spacious cabins in its segment. The 2014 5er GT is no different.
BMW slightly raised the 5 Series GT’s seating position to a height that’s higher than the standard sedan, albeit a little shorter than an SUV. This may not sound like a big deal to some, but considering the added space it gives, particularly to rear passengers, there’s plenty to like about enjoying enough legroom to keep your lower limbs from cramping up.
Thanks to its fastback configuration, BMW was able to improve trunk space with a few adjustments to the seating arrangements. These adjustments increased the trunk’s capacity from 17.7 cubic-feet to 23 cubic-feet. If that isn’t enough for you, you can fold down and move the rear seats all the way forward, creating a maximum space of 62 cubic-feet of load capacity.
More than just the ample amounts of trunk space, the interior cabin of the 5 Series GT also comes with improved style and functionality. The Central Display of the iDrive operating system now has high-quality chrome trim strips as borders, adding a touch of style to the cabin. Even the storage compartments and cup holders in the center console are bigger than they used to be.
The iDrive also has the perfect setup to be a great companion to a driver. It might be a little complicated to learn at first, but once you get the hang of working on the touchpad surface, then you will catch onto the entire system pretty quickly.
BMW offers a choice of two different engines for the 2014 5 Series GT, beginning with award-winning 3.0-liter inline-six N55 engine that produces 306 horsepower and 300 pound-feet of torque, which enables it to hit 60 mph in just over 6 seconds with a fuel consumption of 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway.
If that isn’t enough for you, you can opt for the 550i GT and its upgraded 4.0-liter V-8 N63 engine. With the engine upgrade in tow, the 550i GT now develops 450 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque, which is good enough to hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds with a top speed of around 160 mph. This variant returns an average fuel consumption of 15 mpg in the city and 22 mph on the highway for both the standard and the xDrive-equipped models.
All 2014 5 Series models, including the Gran Turismo, come with a standard eight-speed automatic transmission with a six-speed manual coming as a no-cost option.
|Model||Engine||Acceleration (0-60)||Top Speed||Fuel Economy (city/hwy)|
|535i Gran Turismo||N55 3.0-Liter I-6||About 6 sec||TBA||20/28|
|535i xDrive Gran Turismo||N55 3.0-Liter I-6||TBA||TBA||TBA|
|550i Gran Turismo||N63 4.0-Liter V-8||4.5 sec||About 160 mph||15/22|
|550i xDrive Gran Turismo||N63 4.0-Liter V-8||TBA||TBA||TBA|
Suspension and Chassis
It’s not the flashiest part of the 5 Series, but the vehicle’s chassis is no less important. For the 5er GT, BMW fitted the fastback with cutting-edge chassis technology that delivers a balance of dynamic performance and ride comfort. Additionally Bimmer fitted the 5 Series GT with an automatic self-leveling air suspension at the rear axle to go with the standard air suspension on the front.
The 2014 BMW 5-Series GT comes in four different trims: the 535i Gran Turismo, the 535i xDrive Gran Turismo, the 550i Gran Turismo, and the 550i xDrive Gran Turismo. All four variants will hit dealers in August 2013 and pricing details are as follows:
|535i Gran Turismo||$60,925|
|535i xDrive Gran Turismo||$63,225|
|550i Gran Turismo||$68,825|
|550i xDrive Gran Turismo||$71,125|
By its design, you can make a case that the Audi S6 is a suitable competitor for the 5 Series GT. In some respects, there’s some validity to that, although not enough to justify the appeal of the BMW fastback compared its Audi counterpart.
The latter does have the performance credentials to give the 5er GT a run for its ponies, thanks to a newly developed 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 engine that nets an output of 450 horsepower.
Gallery Audi S6
The other side of the German triumvirate is Mercedes Benz and to no one’s surprise, it also has a car that can compete with the BMW 5 Series GT: the Mercedes E-Class .
BMW has done an impressive job at designing an interior cabin for the 5 Series GT that can rival the impeccable cabin styling of the E-Class. Numerous trim options for the E-Class, including the E400 and the E500, also give customers a chance to choose engines that suit them.
Whether it’s the E400 and its 3.0-liter V-6 engine that nets 333 horsepower or the higher-grade E500 and its 4.7-liter V-8 engine that drops 408 horsepower, there’s plenty to like about what Mercedes is offering.
Gallery Mercedes E-Class
The BMW 5 Series GT doesn’t have the glowing reputation of other BMW’s models. But even with the minimal styling changes attributed to the 2014 model, the Bavarian automaker has still given the 5 Series GT a chance to compete in a segment that has some noticeable rivals in it.
The power, especially for the 550i, definitely helps, as does the clean and stylish interior. The exterior style still leaves a lot to be desired, but given the improvements, we don’t have any problems taking what we can get.
- Powerful engine
- Classy and spacious cabin
- German roots make for luxury feel
- More exterior styling upgrades
- Competitive market
- It’s still expensive for a "family car"