Long-term update: 2010 BMW 535i Gran Turismo
With familiarity comes fondness. When we first asked BMW for a long-term tester, we requested the new 5-Series. When we found out we’ll be given the 5-Series Gran Turismo instead, we weren’t thrilled but we were ready to take any BMW we got. While we still haven’t seen head or tail of the 5-Series sedan, we now believe the 5-Series GT is actually the better luxury car, considering it is more expensive. And that means it gets every option that we saw in the last 7-Series we tested.
The reasoning behind the 5-Series GT is sound. It is basically a large car designed to carry four adults in supreme comfort while offering some semblance of practicality. In fact, the GT has exactly the same wheelbase as the 740i and is a few inches taller too. It is slightly shorter in overall length, but holds a lot more cargo. You might say the X5 is better than this pointless GT, but one could argue the X5 is even more pointless, the latter being a 4×4 that guzzles petrol and isn’t even offroad-capable. The Europeans might argue that a 5-Series wagon is better, but who honestly wants to be seen in a station-wagon in Dubai? We’re not trying to shill for BMW, but we believe we’ve figured out why the GT exists.
In fact, for some reason, we feel the GT offers a smoother ride in “Normal” mode than the 740iL we drove a year ago. It might have something to do with the computerised suspension tuning or better run-flat tyres. We look forward to playing with the “Sport” and “Sport Plus” modes.
Also, when we drove this very GT late last year, we managed an unimpressive 16.8 litres/100 km. Now, we’ve been driving it around for more than a week, and it is averaging 12.7 litres/100 km. So it burns as much petrol as a Toyota Camry with more power than a Toyota Aurion and more space than a Toyota Avalon.
While we’ve warmed up to the exterior, we’ve now realised that a lot of people stare at this car. It gets more respect on the highway and at hotel valets than our Infiniti ever did. Many are even amazed by its looks, crowding around at parking lots to take a closer look at this rarest of BMWs. And we haven’t even gotten to the technology yet.
Original Mileage When Borrowed: 27,410 km
Latest Mileage To Date: 28,500 km
Latest Average Fuel Economy: 12.7 litres/100 km
Cost of Latest Problems: Dhs 0
Cost of Latest Maintenance: Dhs 0
Total Non-Fuel Running Cost Since Borrowed: Dhs 0