The American people flat out don’t know what’s best for them. As a young American, I’m only just starting to realize this. We take for granted what we have and reject anything we aren’t already accustomed to. We also make flash judgments about things we don’t understand without ever giving them a try or a chance. What am I talking about, specifically? Wagons, of course (what did you think it was?). We just don’t get any of the great performance or luxury wagons in America and it’s a damn shame because the new BMW 5 Series Touring seems like it could be the best in the business and it’s only reserved for people who live east of the Atlantic.
Top Gear recently reviewed the newly released 5 Series Touring and has almost unanimously positive things to say about it. In fact, I’m struggling to find a genuine negative in their review. Inside, the 5er Touring is made of top-notch materials and houses one of the nicest automotive cabins in the business. It’s luxurious with just a hint of sporty, as a 5 Series is supposed to be, and leaves all the flashy nightclub stuff for the Mercedes E-Class. It’s also incredibly ergonomic and packs better tech than any other car in the segment. While Gesture Control might seem a bit gimmicky, it’s almost impossible to argue with BMW’s newest iDrive being the best system in the industry.
Admittedly, the very same things can be said about the 5 Series sedan, as there’s no difference in interior comfort and luxury between the two. The difference comes at the back, where the elongated roof of the Touring allows for far more cargo room and practicality. There’s also genuine thought put into the back of the 5er Touring and isn’t just extra space. The rear window can open independently of the tailgate, as with all BMW hatches, which not only allows for quicker storage of lighter items but allows for a safer way to carry very long items, such as a couple of long pieces of lumber from the hardware store. The parcel shelf also lifts up automatically as the tailgate opens, so as to make storing items underneath it easier. There’s also automatic rear seat release switches to fold the rear seats down, making it much easier when loading large items. Lastly, the 5 Series Touring gets self-leveling rear air suspension as standard. Nice.
But the new 5 Series Touring isn’t just a luxury car with a long roof and extra cargo room. It’s a genuinely dynamic car to drive and every bit as fun to drive as the sedan. The added weight of the wagon does little, if anything, to disrupt the chassis dynamics of the new 5er Touring. Steering is precise and nicely weighted and the body stays flat through corners without being upset by road imperfections. It’s one of the most enjoyable cars in the segment to drive, behind the Jaguar XF, but probably the most well-rounded.
Plus, it looks great as a wagon. The previous F11-generation 5 Series Touring was a great looking car but this new G31 is even better. BMW just knows how to make good looking wagons and might be the best in the business at it, up there with Audi and Volvo. It’s a shame we don’t get the 5 Series Touring here in America and I blame us. We don’t buy them because we think of old wood-paneled Fords and Chevys of the sixties, so we just dismiss every wagon as an old-people car or a car only for people who wear socks with Crocs (that’s actually true for most Subaru owners). Unable to except that things aren’t necessarily as they are in our minds, we just don’t accept wagons here in America. Yet we buy a Ford F150 about every 20 seconds, despite the fact that 90 percent of F150 buyers will never use it as an actual truck. We spend outrageous money on SUVs that are literally just jacked up versions of sedans just so we can feel tough and ‘Merican. Wagons are better, cheaper, offer similar cargo space and way more fun to drive. Dammit, America, get it together. Buy more cool wagons.