At the end of the 1990s, the tri-star badged part of the German trio of premium car manufacturers went all cuckoo and started to aggressively diversify its range, achieving an unprecedented number of models in less than a decade. It all started with the SLK roadster-coupe, the double-floor and front-wheel drive A-Klasse and the M-Klasse premium SUV, but it all went downhill from there.
During the next few years, the Mercedes-Benz range of models doubled and then tripled, while Audi and BMW had to keep their sales increase momentum with just their "regular" models. The situation really started to worsen at the beginning of the 2000s, when BMW didn't take it anymore and somewhat spilled the beans on their future model range expansion as well. Among their future projects were a couple of models comprising a never-before-heard-of range of BMWs.
The so-called BMW "Project Activity Series" was first thought by car journos around the world to be a direct retaliation against the Mercedes-Benz R-Klasse and B-Klasse, consequently, but as time went by it became apparent that this was not the case.
When spy-shots first began pouring in with the first model from the upcoming two-model range it became obvious that one of the new cars will have a completely unexpected raked roof, making it a totally different type of car than the Mercedes R-Klasse.
First launched as a teasing concept at the 2009 Geneve Auto Show, the first PAS (Progressive Activity Sedan) production model became known as the BMW 5-Series Gran Turismo. Based on the 5-Series platform, the 5 GT is actually closer in size and interior amenities to the 7-Series with a pinch of X5 and X6.
Technically a niche within and niche, the 5 Series GT is a very peculiar appearance in the land of sedans, coupes, hatchbacks and SUVs. We say this because it borrows details from each of these types of bodywork. It has four doors like a sedan, but it can also have a hatch, it has frameless doors and a sloping roof like a coupe and the seating position is almost as high as in an SUV. In other words, it's a mumbo-jumbo of a car.
To see what its qualities and downsides really are we managed to borrow a 530d GT and put it to the test. Our preconceptions about the car before the test drive were either smashed or strengthened during our drive, but if you want us to get into details you should check out the rest of the review.Continue reading