Comparison: BMW 5 Series GT vs. BMW 5 Series Touring

5-series, Featured Posts | March 29th, 2010 by 15
bmw 5 series touring vs 5 gt 750x500

BMW 5 Series GT vs. BMW 5 Series Touring? One of the questions we have been seeing for months now. While both cars are targeted …

bmw 5 series touring vs 5 gt 02 655x529

BMW 5 Series GT vs. BMW 5 Series Touring? One of the questions we have been seeing for months now. While both cars are targeted towards a different demographic, the general consumer and BMW fans still see an overlap.

Ever since its inception, BMW’s marketing line on the 5 Series GT revolved around the classic definition of a Gran Tourer: high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving, with the emphasis on “high-performance luxury”. The idea behind the 5 Gran Turismo is to give customers who want the utility of an SAV, but want to drive a car that isn’t a station wagon. With a coupe-like stretched roofline, proportions of a typical BMW four-door sedan, a panorama sunroof and frameless windows, the car stands out from other BMWs. Some may say in a positive way, while others, more conservative BMW fans, would use the opposite adjective.

The BMW 5 Series GT launched in the U.S. market in November of 2009, and there are currently two models offered: BMW 535i GT and the 550i GT. BMW expects to sell more than 4,000 units per year, a high sales number based on the initial idea that the 5 GT was built and designed for a niche market, a new segment that focuses on interior space and luxury, while not neglecting the performance. bmw 5 series touring vs 5 gt 655x262

On the opposite side of the table, we have the old-school, classic and somewhat under-appreciated 5 Series Touring, or Sports Wagon, as it’s being advertised in the North American market.  And by old-school, we’re simply not referring to the design language since the latest 5er Touring has been considered one of the best looking wagons in BMW’s present and past line-up; but rather implying that the 5 Series Touring is one of those established models in BMW’s history, a very successful vehicle in Europe and a benchmark for many competitors.

Unfortunately, the U.S. market has not shared its love with the previous generation E60 Sports Wagon and as a consequence, the new F11 5 Series will not be offered to U.S.-based consumers. At least in the near future…..

In 2009, BMW of North America reported 878 5 Series Sports Wagons sold, a comparable difference between then and four years ago when the 5 Wagon sales peaked at 2,351 units sold.


Compared to the new and somewhat controversial 5 GT, the 5 Series Touring has a well established  place in the BMW line-up. It has always been labeled as a family-oriented car, a spacious automobile that is perfect for long trips and suitable for many occupants. Pets included.

Looking at the photos we’ve prepared for you, we feel obligated to reiterate our previous statements: it all comes down to personal preferences. While some the BMW buyers, us included, have never been fond of the Sports Wagon, there are still plenty out there that love the idea of a wagon vehicle and the 5 Series Touring has always been one of the best offerings in that segment.

On top of this, we’ve been under fire from our readers many times in the past for being somewhat supportive of the 5 Gran Turismo, “a hideous hybrid design” as some called it, but one that made sense to us from a marketing perspective.


Before we jump into the full photo comparison and the usual voting people, let’s recap some of our the main points. BMW 5 Series GT is a upscale vehicle, a high-luxury automobile that comes to fill a gap between the 5 Series Sedan and BMW’s flagship, the 7 Series.

The BMW Tourings/Sport Wagons remain attractive for larger families and a great buy in Europe. The latest iteration, F11, combines the new design language with a spacious interior, increased performance and reduced fuel consumption, four valid reasons why any driver should take it into consideration.


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15 responses to “Comparison: BMW 5 Series GT vs. BMW 5 Series Touring”

  1. bob says:

    The E61 sales figure provided is somewhat misleading. Yes, NA sold 395 units, but, YTD 2009 thru June. I’m concerned that some might be confused with November.

    FYI, NA sold 878 E61s in the US during 2009. And, 390 F07s, in the short period it was available in the marketplace.

    So, AG could very well be justified in not exporting the F11 to the US. We shall see…

  2. barry says:

    Pets included? I know my pets would be seriously pissed off if I locked them in the “trunk” that the GT has! Is it a done deal that we won’t be getting the 5-series touring in the US? It’s a shame! While the GT is a great car, it doesn’t have anywhere near the utility of the touring and I think the touring is better looking, too! I may have to consider another car manufacturer for the first time in my life when my current E46 sport wagon is ready for replacement, which is pretty soon now!

  3. L1ndja says:

    The last photo explains a lot.You see the 5GT with an automatic gearbox while the 5 touring has a manual gearbox which explains that the 5GT is a pure grand tourer and cruiser which is suited to long driving distances while the 5 touring is more sportier and isnt as much comfortable or smooth as the 5GT

  4. viper says:

    looking on the sides 5er touring apperas longer.
    looking on the front the 5 GT looks 2004ish and needs a facelift right now compared to 5series
    from the rear the GT is a loser
    inside I find the 5 series much more interesting

  5. BMWM6 says:

    horatiu I know that this might be a bit old but is it possible we can have an x5m vs x6m comparison like the one above with side views and everything


  6. Alan says:

    no one wouldve said that the 5er GT looks just like the 5er wagon if BMW didnt place this car in between the 5er . BMW couldve named it a 4er or 7er … like mercedes or ….. to increase the number of their models . so just shut up . these two cars are different in every thing .

  7. Dan says:

    There’s no contest. The Touring is by far the most attractive car. Compare the size of the two vehicles. The Touring is low and sleek and the GT is tall and bulky. The GT is larger in every dimension and of course heavier as well, while the trunk size is almost the same! This love affair with big ‘honkin’ trucks has got to stop. I purchased my 2003 525iT because it has style and fantastic handling (all be it a little lethargic in the acceleration department). I now have 250,000Kms (150,000 miles) on it and am ecstatice with it! I had hoped that gas prices would drive the buying public into more rational vehicles, but I guess not. It is a tragedy the new F11 will not be available in the U.S.

  8. Gord says:

    If they didn’t raise the 5 series GT, it would have been more sleeker, and CS-concept like.

  9. Peter says:

    I’m so saddened by the demise of the 5’er wagon. Myself being a former owner of an E39 wagon and current owner of an E46 wagon (w/ sport suspension) I love it to death, perfect compromise between comfort, performance and practcality – just wish it had a manual tranny too…and that twin turbo mill!

    It’s blately obvious to me why BMW is not selling a lot of wagons here in the US – have you ever seen an advertisement for one?
    No, neither have I, living in CA, one of BMW’s largest markets. Customers don’t know they exist and what practicallity they provide. I use mine for everything, dogs to the beach, hauling a trailer to the dump, picking up lumber for the house, going to the Sierra’s, commute and camping.

    The biggest minus with the GT is that you cannot use it for pets. If you had a dog in the trunk, you are putting him right under glass in the hot sun – that’s no happy hot dog!

  10. Ben says:

    Which one is lighter? I suspect the GT is heavier.

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