Make / Model Search

Car reviews - BMW - 5 Series - 530i Touring

Our Opinion

We like
Styling, handling akin to sedan, road-holding, performance, under-floor compartments, towing capacity
Room for improvement
Rear seats don't fold flat, less cargo space than a Commodore, price

28 Jun 2005

IF a Commodore wagon drives pretty much like a Commodore sedan, then you would certainly expect the BMW 530i Touring to offer a similar driving experience to the sedan on which it is based. It does.

Which is to say that this mid-size estate drives very well indeed, and much better than a Commodore. The Touring is every inch a BMW but there are not enough of them make it a truly brilliant wagon. "Touring" is much more appropriate than "wagon".

The 530i Touring is what is still quaintly known as a niche vehicle. Sales hover around 100 per year. These customers will not have selected the BMW over a Holden but more likely because they want just a little more practicality and versatility than is offered by a 5 Series sedan.

It is fairly typical of the new breed of sports wagons which are so popular in Europe, where estate buyers do not use their vehicles in the way Australian use Falcon and Commodore wagons.

The 530i Touring is not designed primarily as a load carrier and the space behind the front seats is significantly less than you find in the Ford or Holden.

With the rear seat in place you can carry 500 litres of luggage, which is about what fits in a big boot. Fold the backrest forward and there is room for 1650 litres.

Before getting behind the wheel, I had a good look at the load area. Sure, there are no wheelarches to intrude on the space, but then I couldn't work out how to achieve the "flat floor" promised in the press release. You can't.

The rear seat back folds forwards but the cushion does not tilt forward against the backs of the front seats. The resultant fairly modest cargo space has a less flat floor than you get in a Commodore wagon.

There are dinky little compartments beneath the floor with load separators and these are ideal for carrying briefcases, laptops and suchlike. And this is surely the Touring's forte.

With the new 190kW 3.0-litre engine up front, it hauls executive baggage very sweetly. BMW claims a zero to 100km/h time of 6.9 seconds, which is precisely midway between the sedan powered with the same engine (6.7) and the outgoing 530i sedan (7.1), so there is no compromise to be found in performance.

The top speed is 250km/h, only because it is governed. Kerb weight is 1590kg, up just 15 on the sedan. To remember you are driving the Touring variant rather than a 530i sedan, you will need to look in the mirrors.

The handling is marvellously fluent and the active steering is fantastic around town, while delivering perfect feel at higher speeds. The self-levelling rear suspension stops the headlights from searching the sky and with a braked trailer you can tow 2000kg in plenty of style - at a price.

The Road to Recovery podcast series

Click to share

Click below to follow us on
Facebook  Twitter  Instagram

GoAuto can help you buy a new 5 Series

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires


This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only

5 Series pricing

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.

Catch up on all of the latest industry news with this week's edition of GoAutoNews
Click here