Vehicle Profile: The 2012 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo
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Where do luxury-segment buyers go when they want all the world-class attributes they’ve grown accustomed to in premium sedans, but need more space for bulky luggage and more spacious accommodations for rear-seat passengers? BMW provides the ideal solution with the 2012 5 Series Gran Turismo, a vehicle that broadens the definition of a premium sports sedan to include the spaciousness and flexibility of an upscale crossover, along with the available all-weather assurance and pinpoint handling of xDrive all-wheel drive.
Luxury wagons are another option for premium-class shoppers hungry for more space, but wagons have their drawbacks, especially the way they expose occupants to the elements when the tailgate opens. The 2012 5 Series Gran Turismo solves that problem with a “Dual-Access Tailgate” that functions as a full hatch when you need to load large items or as a conventional trunk for toting smaller cargo, which offers the added benefit of keeping the car’s interior sealed and comfortable.
BMW sells this unique 5 Series model in four versions: The 535i Gran Turismo (MSRP $57,000), 535i xDrive Gran Turismo, 550i Gran Turismo and 550i xDrive Gran Turismo (MSRP $68,300).
The Italian term “Gran Turismo” translates to “Grand Touring” in English. Traditionally, the term was applied to high-performance sports cars equipped with opulent amenities and sufficient luggage space for a couple on a weekend getaway. The 5 Series Gran Turismo meets all those criteria, then adds commodious room for up to three rear-seat passengers to join you on the trip.
Think that claim borders on exaggeration? How does 41.8 inches of rear-seat legroom sound? How about 15.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seat, or over 60 cubic feet of maximum cargo room with the rear seat folded? Placing even greater emphasis on accommodation, the 40/20/40-split/folding rear seat in the Gran Turismo also slides up to 3.9 inches fore-and-aft while the seatback adjusts from 15 to 33 degrees of rake - giving passengers the perfect fit.
Choosing the Luxury Rear Seating Package delivers rear-window sunshades, four-zone climate control and ventilated power seats for two passengers. Give those passengers the ultimate road-travel experience by selecting the Rear-Seat Entertainment Package, which includes a DVD player and two independent eight-inch, tilt-adjustable color monitors mounted in the backs of the front-seat headrests. The system also lets passengers control in-car audio and video systems from the rear seat via a remote control.
Of course, like the rest of its 5 Series siblings, the Gran Turismo models are exemplars of opulence and sophistication. Dakota leather upholstery and Dark Wood trim come standard, as do 10-way power driver and front passenger’s seats, both with four-way lumbar support. A panoramic power moonroof, Park Distance Control and a three-spoke leather-wrapped steering wheel with controls for audio, cruise control and Bluetooth hands-free calling are just a few of the highlights on the roster of standard amenities.
Order the available navigation system (standard on the 550i models), and the fourth-generation iDrive system gains a 10.2-inch display (a seven-inch monitor is standard) with 1280 x 480-pixel resolution and transreflectivity, which allows sunlight to enhance rather than obscure images on the screen.
All its added comfort and practicality make the Gran Turismo a popular member of the award-winning 5 Series lineup. As you’d expect from the BMW EfficientDynamics system, power is abundant with the turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder under the hood of the 535i Gran Turismo cranking out 300 hp. The 550i Gran Turismo boasts a twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 making 400 hp and featuring piezo direct injection, four overhead cams and Double VANOS steplessly variable valve timing.
All Gran Turismo models come standard with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission that includes “Sport” and “Manual” shift modes. Dynamic Stability Control (with Dynamic Traction Control) also makes the long list of standard and available driver-assistance technology while xDrive all-wheel drive models provide absolute assurance when driving in any weather condition.
Proving power and efficiency can attain perfect harmony even in a high-performance machine, the 535i Gran Turismo returns up to 28 mpg during highway driving. Even more impressive, the 550i xDrive Gran Turismo smokes through runs from zero-to-60 mph in just 5.3 seconds while delivering an EPA-estimated 22 mpg on the highway.
In their review of the 5 Series Gran Turismo, the editors at Motor Trend magazine declared it “a genuinely useful piece – truly luxurious and impressively spacious inside with astonishingly versatile load carrying capacity.” To experience the ultimate “grand touring” machine, gather a few traveling companions and contact us to schedule a test drive of the 2012 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo.
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Looking to Save?
Check here for Dealer Specials.