By on October 8, 2009

BMW 550i GT

The last time we checked-in with jameslist.com, they were pimping a no-miles-to-speak-of XJ220 that was up for auction. I didn’t play coy on the subject; I slated the XJ220 as a slap-in-the-face of Jag’s history, and one of the most difficult and dangerous automobiles to drive on a public road. Period. Several of our Best and Brightest leaped (leaped I tell you) to the big cat’s defense. It’s as sexy as Kate Beckinsale writhing on a kitchen counter-top in front of aluminum pots of steaming water (as if)And Jeremy Clarkson says the XJ’s faster than a Pagani Zonda (in a straight line)! So, from that “debate” to this: the BMW 5-Series GT. If you ask me—and I’m fully aware you haven’t—james has grown a set of stones. While BMW doesn’t play at the top tier, their boutique brand Rolls Royce sure does. And the company has a nasty history of vindictiveness against truth-telling journos. So well done that man, ’cause the GT is fugly. AND the rear seats don’t fold flat. Take it away James. Please.

They say beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I say they’re wrong. Beauty either is or isn’t. It’s not a question of  subjective evaluation, but rather common sense. Beauty conveys a well-proportioned image to your senses which creates a sense of well being, excitement and/or pleasure. In contrast, ugliness creates, discomfort, unease and/or nausea. When it comes to cars, the more criteria you apply to a design, the less attractive it is going to be. If you, like BMW, decide you want a sporty, four-door coupé with a limousine-like backseat, then what you’re really after is something terrible, like an MPV. To disguise it as a faux GT is doing yourself a grand disservice as potential customers (everyone named Keith) will feel embarrassed, while the rest of us will point and laugh.

Chris Bangle certainly was controversial when at the helm of BMW’s designs. But at least he pushed in one direction. Seeing the once-proud BMW marque struggle with its new identity as crowd pleaser is awkward, for all of us. It’s like they’re trying to be Opel. What I don’t get is why they need the 5-series GT? A car with the size of the 7-series and  the looks of an AMC Eagle is bound to be a lesser car, not least for those of us who have to look at the damn thing. Just like poseurs wearing Ed Hardy, motorist driving the new 5-series GT will have to accept the fact that we’ll be making fun of them, publicly. [ED: NOW how much would you pay?]

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72 Comments on “The New BMW 5-Series GT is Ugly...”


  • avatar

    Attended a dealer preview for this car the other day. It’s hopelessly overengineered. To expand the rear seats, you not only fold these seats, but also have to open and fold a bulkhead behind the seats. With the liftgate, you can either open the entire thing, or just the bottom half of it.

    It’s as if they brainstormed a bunch of features they could add to the 5-Series, then attempted all of them in a single car.

    I’m a fan of hatchbacks. But would I rather have this or the more attractive AND more functional 5-Series wagon…

  • avatar
    97escort

    At lot of new things appear ugly at first, even babies. But as time goes by people get use to them and they can grow on you (a little).

    When I first saw a Jeep Compass I thought Chrysler had gone nuts. But now it doesn’t seem to look as gross for some reason.

    And the same thing can happen in reverse. Cars with tail fins when they first came out were mostly considered beautiful. But now they’re ugly and no one puts fins on cars anymore.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    If BMW wasn’t already confused, then this “vehicle” confirms it without serious contradiction.

    This and the stinkin’ X6.

    RF, this should be in WTF?

  • avatar
    Lokkii

    As a 10 year BMW owner and fan, I am very sorry to say that I have to agree with both Robert and Michael on BMW’s wander into the wilderness. Fugly isn’t the worst part of all this recent BMW design madness.

    Would that it were only cosmetic failings. However, the fault isn’t with the stylists as it was with the forever-to-be-well-cursed Mr. Spangles.

    BMW has done the “LaCoste” sellout that will ruin the brand. How many series are there now? One for every occasion, customer and purse! It’s gotten to where you can’t tell the players without a score card.

    1 coupe,convertible; 3coupe, convertible, convertible hardtop,sedan, wagon M3;5 sedan,M5, GT;6;7;Z4 convertible, coupe; X1,X3,X5,X6- Did I miss any? Probably who knows? The market is going to become flooded and then saturated.

    My 2008 328i looks for all the world like someone in studyhall took my 2004 E46 325i and pencilled in a bunch of emphasis lines and flares. It’s way over-done.

    Then there’s the gimmicks and gadgetry. Fun, yeah, but wow…overdone. I’m still learning stuff – like the computer won’t let you turn on the highbeams during daylight; the sensor knows…and you’re not smart enough to override the sensor.
    Naturally, my BMW dealer will know precisely how to repair each and every option on each and every model…. yeah, naturally.

    So – too many models competing for the same customers with too many gimmicky features and economic hard times meaning less development time at the factory.

    Damn! Where have we heard that story before?
    I sense a fall coming for BMW

  • avatar
    Gardiner Westbound

    Unfortunate BMW 5-Series styling and run-flat tires are keeping it off my shopping list. The relatively un-Bangled 3-Series is too small.

    Doubtful Kate Beckinsale will climb onto a kitchen counter or anything else for a putz who spells her name incorrectly.

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    I owned a ’99 528i at one time, great car, and have always thought the E39 body style was the pinnacle of BMW styling. I’ve even warmed to the current-gen 5 series. But lately, it seems BMW is flailing around. The X6 is atrocious, the 1-series odd looking and too expensive, the X3 outdated and now this…thing (535i Crosstour?).

    I love hatchbacks, but they don’t have to be ugly.

    Of course, I’ll never have to make that choice since I drive a custom S550 hatchback.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’m a fan of hatchbacks. But would I rather have this or the more attractive AND more functional 5-Series wagon…

    I agree that the double-hinge is kind of silly, but that has a lot to do with someone else (Citroen? Peugeot? Skoda?) doing it first. The Germans cannot allow a niche to remain unexploited.

    The hatchback configuration is a good one, though. Here’s why: despite the smaller net area, the cargo opening is much, much larger than a wagon. When I still had a Saab 9-3, I loaded some truly massive, awkwardly-shaped articles in the rear without sweating it; far easier than it’d be in a car with a wagon-back. Bicycles, furniture, mattresses, three small trees (upright, with the hatch open)—all no trouble. I’ve seen a picture floating around of a riding lawnmower in the back of a 900 hatch.

    Of course, they’re still funny-looking, but at least they (and this car) can be rationalized in a way that the X6 cannot. And I happen to like the way it looks, but I like Saabs and the Suzuki X-90, so my taste is suspect.

  • avatar
    jacksonbart

    I can’t remember that last successful upscale (65+gs upscale)hatchback car in the US… Oh that’s right, because there hasn’t been one. Better reserve it for europe

  • avatar
    carve

    A lot of people are bitching about this car, and the crosstour. I think they’re fine. They’re hatchbacks…like a sedan, but more practical and more aerodynamic. What’s the issue with that? It reminds me of the the layout of the 85 Supra I had in college- a surprisingly practical car. Very easy to load my bike into, and could carry all kinds of outsized cargo. I simply don’t see the advantage of a traditional sedan. Upright rear glass is the only real styling difference, and that isn’t sexy. I think the flank and back end look fine. This and the crosstour are not the best looking cars ever, but far from ugly.

    What is ugly is the flat, pig-nose snout. Unfortunately, I think they had to go this route to satisfy new European pedestrian crash-test regs…they have to have soft crumple space between the front edge of the hood and the engine. What a travesty.

  • avatar

    PartsUnknown:

    S550 hatch? Pics anywhere?

  • avatar
    seabrjim

    97 escort, its called acclimation. And its not always a good thing.

  • avatar
    Billy Bobb 2

    The rear seats don’t fold flat?

    This vehicle had potential as a weekend “antiquing” car. With a rainbow sticker.

  • avatar
    drifter

    Which is the ugliest of them all?
    Pontiac Aztec
    BMW 5GT
    BMW X6
    BMW 6 coupe/convertible
    Honda Crosstour
    Acura ZDX
    Acura TL

  • avatar
    PartsUnknown

    S550 hatch? Pics anywhere?

    Did I say S550 hatch? Must have mis-typed…should read “Saab 9000 hatch”. My portfolio isn’t that strong…

  • avatar
    carguy

    It’s no more ugly than the current 5 series with its unfortunate “Dame Edna” headlights and that dreadful iDrive bulge on the dash.

    The 5GT isn’t beautiful but the design language is more coherent than the current model and it looks to be very practical. I doubt it will be a hit in the US but the Europeans will most likely buy it in larger numbers than the sedan.

  • avatar

    It is a shame because the 5 is a woderful drive.

    However i do agree that it is about time they put together a team of designers who could at least make the car look attractive.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    What’s up with mis-matched tail light/turn signals? At first I thought it was the c-g picture, but I looked at the actual photos and that’s the way it is. They wanted it to look like someone put the wrong hatch on it? Only BMW has the hubris to think they can make something this contrary to good design cues and everyone will accept it because we’re supposed to, its a BMW after all.

  • avatar
    amac

    This car really has got all you American hatch-haters in an uproar. I don’t understand. This car is a zillion times less offensive than all those SUVs you love so dearly. And by the way, Billy Bobb 2, I’ve seen my fair share of weekend “antiquing” Hummers with rainbow stickers on them.

  • avatar
    stars9texashockey

    If it doesn’t strike you immediately as good design, it’s not. Ugly doesn’t grow on you.

    Signed,

    Non-hatch hating BMW owner

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    What’s up with mis-matched tail light/turn signals?

    They just gave up caring …. That or the X6 parts bin is overflowing because they can’t sell them.

  • avatar
    pete

    I haven’t seen it in the metal yet so I’ll partly reserve judgement. As an example I liked the looks of the VW CC from pictures but the reality of the really high hood was odd when I first saw one for real.

    It’s certainly not my favorite current BMW but fugly is too strong. Drifter points out other much stronger candidates. Ungainly is a better description of the 5 GT IMO.

  • avatar

    I do’nt know about ugly, or fugly. But it’s no better looking than your average Japanese family sedan anymore. I thought Bangle did a good job, except on the eyes. He is one of those rare, highly skilled designers who can make a busy design look truly good. This thing is all Pontiac.

    @drifter
    You left off the ugliest of them all, the Caliber. And you left off the Murano, its infiniti clone, and others of that ilk, except you did catch the acura version.

  • avatar
    TomJones

    @psarhjinian
    Skoda was recently the first with the funky hatch/liftgate design (the Superb model).

    @carve
    The ugliness of the front end has a lot to do with the latest pedestrian impact regulations.

    Large SUV’s are very incorrect right now in Europe, so BMW is probably hoping that this car will fill in the void for all the former SUV well-to-do’s. Time will tell.

  • avatar
    threeer

    sigh…I miss my 1992 325is (or for that matter, my 1985 318is…or my 1974 2002). BMW has lost me with their styling and flood of product offerings…

  • avatar
    kericf

    But does it have a vagina on the grill?
    Details people…

  • avatar
    mattstairs

    It does have that weird “Am I hatch or a wagon or a sedan?” back end, I think there’s a Mercedes with a similar shape.

    I actually don’t mind it. I even like the X6.

    However, I must be about the only one, because I have only ever seen one X6 on the road.

  • avatar
    ponchoman49

    Ugly or bland is the current fad or rather lack of styling talent and direction. Look no further than the Nissan Cube, most newly introduced Acura products, half of BMW’s current lineup, anything with the Scion badge save the coupe, Toyotas FJ Cruiser and the repulsive Yaris coupe, Fords weird Flex and Lincolns weirder MKT, Hondas Crosstour and Element and the list goes on. This decade will go down as one of the worst for automotive design and styling.

  • avatar
    roadracer

    Doesn’t look that bad to me, better than the Panamera. Will have to see one on the road to be sure.

    Now the Jeep Compass, that’s fugly, no doubt about it.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    The intended buyers of this truly ugly Bimmer are ELDERLY buyers.

    BMW realized that its demographics were getting older, and older people like a tall seating position with ease of entry, many of them suffer when they sink into a low seating position.

    it is a NICHE vehicle, and may do OK if the target is a modest no. of sales.

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    PeteMoran :
    They just gave up caring …. That or the X6 parts bin is overflowing because they can’t sell them.

    “The BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo may be an answer to a question few people have asked, but one could say the same thing about the BMW X6. And right now, the longest wait list for any BMW product sold in the United States is an X6, so we’re guessing the 5 Series GT will be a hit. Although BMW officials are candid in saying the GT was not necessarily designed for U.S. customers.”

    This from an Autoweek article 9/18/09. It could be a while before you will able to buy a 5 series GT without sitting on a wait list.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “And right now, the longest wait list for any BMW product sold in the United States is an X6,”

    I suspect BMW had low expectations and imported only a few (or even made only a few) X6s. I saw one at the local dealer when I went to get a new winshield wiper arm (a $67 part, no other store had it) two weeks ago, and it is extremely cramped in the back (no headroom). Plus it is really expensive at over $70k list.

    I would be far more interested in a X5 diesel. Ideally, an “as new” 3 yr old with 100k (yes, 100k!) easy highway miles on it.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Yes, it was Skoda that did something similar. Behold, the Skoda Superb and it’s TwinDoor system.

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    If it’s ugly, then prove it. Show more than just one rear-quarter pic.

    I’m not disagreeing with the thesis here. I’m just not familiar with this car and without pics, I just don’t have enough evidence to support or to refute.

    I could look it up, yes; but I don’t have much time on my lunch break.

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Yes, it is indeed ugly. But it would appear to be more functional than and superior to the 7-series, X6 and X5.

  • avatar
    26theone

    The people that can afford this car, dont want this car.

  • avatar
    Martin Schwoerer

    The thing is — it’s overweight, and it looks it. Just like the Panamera.

    Big is supposed to be elegant, not fat.

  • avatar
    Stingray

    psarhjinian:
    And I happen to like the way it looks, but I like Saabs and the Suzuki X-90, so my taste is suspect.

    I also like Saabs, the 90’s 900/9-3.

    But those cars look OK. There is a balance in the shape. Even the new ones look balanced, save for the new 9-5, which shape I still don’t get it.

    That 5 GT is FUGLY. Ala Accord Crosstour

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Michael Karesh :
    October 8th, 2009 at 10:43 am

    PartsUnknown:

    S550 hatch? Pics anywhere?

    Where’s Flashpoint? :)

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I confess…I actually think the X6 is kinda cool, but this looks like a suppository.

  • avatar
    qfrog

    I feel like an ugly bomb air burst and all of these hideous (yes this car is hideous… an accident wouldn’t make it any worse looking) vehicles are the shrapnel falling from the sky. Ugly twisted metal from above for all to enjoy!

    I’m just a touch bitter that I find an increasing number of vehicles on the road displeasing in appearance not from dirt but from needlessly gimmicky design.

  • avatar
    akitadog

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, BMW is determined to cannibalize itself to death.

    “Let’s see, I want a Bimmer, but with some practical interior space. Which will I take, the X5, the X6, the 5-wagon or the 5GT? Maybe I’ll check out the X3 or a 3-wagon for comparison. And aren’t they coming out with an X1?”

    None of these vehicles will have the type of volume each needs to pay for itself, as they all jostle for your money, and will end in BMW needing to kill 2 – 3 of them over the next five years or so to cut losses.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “SherbornSean :..it would appear to be more functional than and superior to the 7-series, X6 and X5”

    WHY??? (apart from the obese and claustrophobic back seat X6, both the 7 and the X5 are outstanding designs and far superior to the 5GT. In addition, the 7 is far larger outside and in the passenger compartment than the 5, and the X5 is a three-row full size “activity” vehicle.

  • avatar
    jonnyguitar

    It is ugly, but not quite as bad as the x6.

    Most people buy BMW for the drive, not the styling, where Audi has the upper hand.

    When they design a car like this, it takes the desirability of the entire brand down a small notch.

  • avatar
    romanjetfighter

    Since 1999, BMW has introduced 7 new SUVs across 5 nameplates!

    X5 gen 1, gen 2,
    X6,
    X3, (going to be gen 2 soon)
    X1,
    5-series GT!

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    I’m not seeing the reason to dislike the car. It’s not particularly ugly, especially not versus the “normal” 5-Series. It’s not a crossover, either, but rather a 5-Series hatchback with Malibu Maxx-style rear seats. Think “modern Saab 9000”.

    The cognitive dissonance on this site is astounding: we bitch about the ZDX, X6 and/or Accord Crosstour, especially compared to the hatchbacks of Europe that we don’t get. Well, now we get a rear-drive European hatchback (not even a front-driver like the French would do) and we’re lambasting it. I don’t understand: do you want the taller, heavier, less agile, less sleek X5 or X6?

    Personally, I think this is a good car: better looking, equipped with a larger cargo opening and better seats than a “normal” 5er, but without the cladding and ride height of the X6. What’s not to love?

    Some good pics here. About the only complaint is the high rear load floor that compromises space, but it’s a rear-driver, so all that driveline and suspension hardware has to go somewhere—and as a bonus, the floor is flat.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    @psarhjinian – the problem is that it IS jacked up and heavier. I would have NO problem if this thing actually WAS a 5-series hatch, but as usual it is actually some sort of mutant jacked-up AWD mess. And I still totally fail to see the point vs. the most excellent 5-series wagon.

    On the other hand, BMW will price it such that they will make a nice profit on each and every one they sell.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    So I pulled up this car on BMW’s site, where you can view different angles.

    Good news: the dash is much improved over the current 5-series. The back seat looks cavernous.

    Bad news: the car’s weird from all angles.

  • avatar
    BostonDuce

    The GT looks like the X6’s progeny.

    Aw come on guys, the X6 isn’t that bad. It has many more redeeming qualities than the oft-compared Azdreck.

    I can attest the X6, when dressed in metallic black, shrinks in it’s proportions, courtesy of the dark silhouette. It doesn’t have to look like a Panzer IV. It’s between a SUV and a car in height, so you don’t need running boards to climb in, but it is w i d e.

    I could not find a better combination of ride, handling, acceleration and $$ out there-even at the Porsche store, where I was prepared for the nose-bleed just for peeking at the option list. Yes, I want it all baby.

    There is plenty of headroom in back of the X6, unless you’re in the NBA, and I could stack at least 3 large Italian bodies in the trunk, if needed (does that make it a 7 passenger?). Try that in your GTR.

    Did I mention it(@ 6000+ lbs GVW) corners as flat as my M3 on exit ramps? How about running on ’89’ gas with blessings from the fatherland?? All this with 5.0L, twin turbo thrust, at all speeds.

    Finally, after lying to myself for all these years that size doesn’t matter, I find out it’s true. That my friends, is worth all the carbon credits that I piss away by just whipping it out of the garage.

    Go take a ride and give it a chance-hold your nose if you have to, but you’ll be surprised.

    BD

  • avatar
    SherbornSean

    Autosavant,
    The reviews I’ve seen say that the 5GT is actually built on the same track and wheelbase as the 7. It is taller, making it roomier inside than the 7 or X5. Granted, the X5 has a third row, at least in theory (have you tried to sit back there?).

  • avatar
    beken

    I haven’t seen a 5GT in real life yet, so I will reserve judgment. I thought the X6 was truly ugly in pictures, but when I saw a real one on the road cruising around a highway bend, it wasn’t that bad. Though I still wouldn’t want one for myself, I can think of a few people who might think it looks great. The same might be said about the 5GT when they do arrive in the flesh on North American shores.

  • avatar
    mpresley

    jonnyguitar : Most people buy BMW for the drive, not the styling…

    One hopes this to be true, but it is a questionable proposition, at best. I think most people drive them because they like to be “seen” in a BMW. With the advent of the low mileage, low down payment lease, we’ve got secretaries in the typing pool driving 3s, where I work.

  • avatar

    “The cognitive dissonance on this site is astounding: we bitch about the ZDX, X6 and/or Accord Crosstour, especially compared to the hatchbacks of Europe that we don’t get. Well, now we get a rear-drive European hatchback (not even a front-driver like the French would do) and we’re lambasting it. I don’t understand: do you want the taller, heavier, less agile, less sleek X5 or X6?”

    No. American enthusiasts want hot hatches a la Golf GTi or Focus RS. This isn’t a hot hatch — it’s a sedan with crossover/suv pretensions. BMW believes it’ll sell thanks to the hordes of badge jockeys and trendy soccer moms. And it will sell.

  • avatar
    Andy D

    My fivers are 22 yrs old. I might move into an E34, but that is as far as I will go with BMW. That was the last non- ugly 5er

  • avatar
    wsn

    FreedMike :
    October 8th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    PartsUnknown:

    S550 hatch? Pics anywhere?

    Where’s Flashpoint? :)

    +1

  • avatar
    jmhm2003

    @97escort

    I understand your analogy.

    There is a horribly disfigured person at work, certainly not there fault. At first I could barely look but, over time, I’ve become used to seeing the person and can now have a conversation with them.

    This to me is BMW.

  • avatar
    PeteMoran

    @ StatisticalDolphin

    If you have 12 customers and 10 to sell then you have a wait list.

    In Australia they can’t sell them (X6s). I believe they’re a flop in Europe too (but larger cars aren’t big sellers I guess).

    Maybe there is no taste in the USofA????

    BMW dealers I drive past (in Australia) have row after row of used X5s too. That makes me smile.

  • avatar
    another_pleb

    Nobody bought this car when it was called the Renault Vel Satis so why should they buy it now that it’s been renamed the BMW 5-Series GT.

  • avatar
    another_pleb

    Nobody bought this car when it was called the Renault Vel Satis, so why should they buy it now that it’s been renamed the BMW 5-Series GT? This goes for the Merc R-Class too.

    And Yes, Skoda made a similar hatch, but the Superb sells at less than a third the price and has something of the quirky Czech charm of the Vignale designed Tatras about it, plus it’s the official car of the Provost of Aberdeenshire.

  • avatar
    guyincognito

    SherbornSean :
    October 8th, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Yes, it is indeed ugly. But it would appear to be more functional than and superior to the 7-series, X6 and X5.

    Talk about damning with faint praise.

    @ psarhjinian:

    I’m sorry, I know I pine for a cool rwd BMW hatchback, but this is just not it. I’d take a 135 hatch or a 335D wagon in a second though.

    It seems that Porsche has cleared the way for asses that put Bangle butts to shame. Look at the Tesla Model S concept. Why can’t big hatches have rear ends like that?

  • avatar

    I am not a fan of faux coupe looks. The designers have gone for form over function. Kids in the back will have claustrophobia and car sickness, dooming the next generation to being car haters.

    I actually like what Bangle did to the looks of “his” BMWs. I would own a 1 series hatch if they could provide an option for five sport alloy wheels with reasonable rubber instead of four hard as wood run flats and a can of sealant. The ride was too harsh to even justify driving between suburbs let alone seriously contemplate owning one.

    Bangle’s designs have taken BMW’s market share to new heights, and although I know its alienated some older BMW owners who enjoy anonymous slab sided styling, I think its brought more new owners into the fold.

  • avatar
    AlexD

    The hatch looks like a skin graft.

    I want to Photoshop this picture so the damn tail lights line up.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    My understanding is that this isn’t a crossover but rather a next-gen 5-Series hatchback. It’s not lifted nearly as high (59″ for the 5 wagon, 61″ for this, 66″ for the X6) and it doesn’t have the cladding or wheel arch gap of the X6.

    It’s a car, people.

    I don’t see the problem: there’s now a 5-Series sedan, hatch and wagon; only the hatch is a half-generation ahead in platform design.

    Again, what’s the problem? If this was a 3-Series hatch, y’all’d be complaining about how it wouldn’t sell. About the only mistruth is that it’s really more of a 7-Series hatch than a 5er, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see the 5 grow a little and the 7 grow a lot in their next iterations.

    I’m sorry, I know I pine for a cool rwd BMW hatchback, but this is just not it. I’d take a 135 hatch or a 335D wagon in a second though.

    And that’s all well and good, but both those cars are really cramped inside. Let’s say you have kids: not even the 3er wagon (which has about as much useful space as a Honda Fit) will cut it, especially not with rear-facing childseats. So your choices are this, the X6, 5er wagon and X5. Let’s say you don’t want a crossover: you’re down to this and the wagon, and at that point it’s a matter of taste.

    If you’re down on this car, you may as well have been down on Mazda when the offered the 6 hatchback as well as the wagon.

  • avatar
    Da Coyote

    I long ago gave up on BMW. I had a 3-series back in the 80’s which was a wonderful car. Today – any “wonderfulness” is completely overridden by an ugly that requires scientific notation to adequately describe. And – given the number of really good brands out there, looks DO matter.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “SherbornSean :
    October 8th, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Autosavant,
    The reviews I’ve seen say that the 5GT is actually built on the same track and wheelbase as the 7. ”

    This is meaningless. Cars are not biult “on a wheelbase” (SIC) but on a PLATFORM. The CEO of Rolls Royce would choke on his food when he sees what you wrote, since the PLATFORM of the 7 is shared ONLY by the “smaller” Rolls Royce Ghost, which is heavier and longer than even the 7 “L”, BUT they do share the same entire PLATFORM. Unless BMW makes an X7 (they did think about it, but they realized it is not necessary, after the X5 got a third row), there are NO other BMWs that share the 7’s platform.

    Andn you have NO CLUE saying that the 7 and the 5t ‘s wheelbases have ANYTHING in common, the 5 GT has a regular wheelbase, while the 7, esp. the 7 L, now has an ENORMOUS 126″ wheelbase, which, combined with its weight and excellent suspension, makes long highway trips a real pleasure.

  • avatar
    TomJones

    @Autosavant

    The BMW 5 series GT “is” built on a version of the 7 series platform.

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “TomJones :
    October 9th, 2009 at 11:03 am

    @Autosavant

    The BMW 5 series GT “is” built on “a version of” the 7 series platform.”

    You may be correct, (I still note the “a version of”) but this makes ZERO sense.

    The 7 is sold for $100,000+ in the US and more in Europe, the 7 L even more.

    The Rolls Ghost will sell for $300,000.

    All other automakers do the exact opposite!

    M-B uses the cheaper C platform to make its so-called “E” Coupe, so it can sell it for more than a cheapo C-class.

    IF BMW indeed used the “7” platform to make the 5 GT,

    WHy in the world call it a 5 and not a 7? Then they would be able to sell it as a 7, for far, far more bucks than a lowly 5 sedan, which you can buy for as low as $50k!

    I don’t think they are that stupid!?

  • avatar
    TomJones

    Autosavant:

    We’re beating our heads in a dead thread here, but yes again, BMW is using the 7 series as a basis for the 5 GT.

    It’s all about economies of scale – maximizing the production effort they’ve put in place for the 7.

    They do the same with the 3 series – sprinkling some of it’s fairy dust down on the 1 series cars – engines, transmissions, suspension components, etc. Ever wonder why a 1 series is within spitting distance of a 3 series in terms of weight and cost?

    We don’t have to think this is logical, but this is what there are doing.

  • avatar
    Selektaa

    “I suspect BMW had low expectations and imported only a few (or even made only a few) X6s.”

    They’re actually not imported, but made in the US. I toured the BMW plant near Greenville, SC, where all they make are X5s and X6s of various trims. I’m not sure exactly what the split was, but they’re cranking out between 300 and 400 vehicles a day. Apparently someone’s buying them. Many of these are shipped back to Europe or over to Asia, though. BTW, sticker price for the X6M? 89 thousand dollars. :-0

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    “They’re actually not imported, but made in the US. I toured the BMW plant near Greenville, SC, where all they make are X5s and X6s of various trims.”

    This goes against Tom’s claim that it is based on the 7 platform, since there are NO vehicles made in the BMW US plant that even remotely resemble the 7. It makes zero sense, and I believe the BMW people are not damned fools to do something like that and… call it a 5, and not a 7.

    ” BTW, sticker price for the X6M? 89 thousand dollars. :-0″

    I saw an X6 at the local dealer, it had ludicrously little rear headroom, and cost 70 k with all options. Maybe yours has the larger engine or did they make a ludicrous “M” X6?

    HYUNDAI, btw, is one more automaker that, as I wreote before, went the other way 100%. After they had some success with the Genesis Sedan, they came up with thath FRAUD the So-called “Genesis” Coupe, trying to capitalize on the Genesis name, while this coupe is a tiny, far lighter car than the Sedan, probably not even sharing the same platform, AND with SMALLER engines (NO V8 available, and instead a 4 that is not avail in the sedan)

  • avatar
    Autosavant

    TomJones :

    I would need to see an official BMW LINK that proves your claim. I am a doubting Thomas, and if you see the above comments, I have even less reason now to believe that the South Carolina made 5 gt has anything in common with the Made in Germany 7.

  • avatar
    TomJones

    That’s enough play now kids…

    Production of the 5 series GT is in Dingolfing, Germany (BMW Werk Dingolfing) which is some distance from South Carolina.

    http://www.bmwarchiv.de/e-code/f07.html

  • avatar
    StatisticalDolphin

    There are numerous sources on the web that verify that the 5 series GT will be based on the 7 series platform. For example these quotes are from the BMW blog:

    “Based on the platform of the new BMW 7 Series, the 5 Series GT was built on the same principle that made the original Gran Turismo vehicles so popular: a high-performance luxury automobile designed for long-distance driving.”

    &

    “Since it was built on the 7 Series long wheelbase platform, BMW designers had plenty of “room” to play with the exterior design of the car. Therefore, a coupe-like roofline was expected to be seen in the GT model without sacrificing any headroom space for its rear-sitting passengers. The now classic and historical Hoffmeister Kink is still there, even though slightly different from the previous BMW models.

    Those of you that have considered comparing the 5 Series Wagon to the 5 GT model….we only have one thing to say: STOP! As BMW mentioned as well, despite the popularity of Wagons/Tourings models in Europe especially, these type of vehicle were never considered to be a true luxury automobile, but rather a practical and elegant transportation medium. From the design lines to the overall size, the two cars could be considered complementary and they are obviously “chasing” a different clientele. The BMW 5 Series GT distinguishes itself with has a higher seating position and more muscular look.”

    Why did BMW call it a 5 series GT instead of 7 series GT? This is purely spectulation…. Most of the planning and development happened before the global economic meltdown, when it was originally planned to be a 7 series. The bad economic conditions forced them to reconsider, since much of the potential market in 7 territory had evaporated. So, they changed the series to 5, and it will priced at the high end of 5’s, just below 7 territory, where BMW can find enough volume to make a profit.

    Again, purely speculation, YMMV, as they say….

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