BMW 530d GT
The BMW 530d GT is a confusing car. To discuss it requires beginning a conversation about the 7 Series. I stepped out of the superlative 7 right into the GT. The parallels are immediate. Built on the same wheelbase as the 7, with identical and superb rear legroom, adjustable rear seats, one begins to wonder why they bothered to build thi s . E xc ept i t ha s more headroom. In fact X5 levels of rear headroom. And space. Near X5 packing space. With fold down rear seats. Without looking like a station wagon.
With its clever rear hatch, quirky two stage opening. The benefits of an SUV, lots of room, command seating position, just without the drawbacks of ungainly SUV high centre of gravity, and of course, no need to lug about the inefficient four wheel drive drivetrain you are never going to get any real use from anyway. Back to the 7. The seven is superb. In every way. Even the looks are now tolerable to those who still have their eyesight. And here is the thing. This GT looks better.
Way better. Better in my opinion than any other BMW on the road at the moment. It has the looks that the 6 series ought to have had. Muscular and taught without looking fat and bloated. Think body builder before the middle aged spread. And that is something few big BMW's of late have pulled off successfully. It manages to pull off that look pioneered by the like of Mercedes with the CLS and VW with the CC, a four door that looks like a coupe, complete with frameless door glass. This one appearing even more like a shooting-brake. Following the noble tradition of luxury cars with space for the sportsman.
So again, all the 7 Series' majestic systems, safety, comfort, cleverness,plus an impressive panoramic roof as standard. And here is the real difference between this and the Seven. The 730d will cost R947 000 in its cheapest form, the GT will set you back R733 000! A two hundred and twenty thousand rand saving! You get the same drivetrain including the very good and clever eight speed auto box, the identical 180Kw and 540Nm of torque. But there are differences. The GT is 0.3 seconds quicker to 100kms an hour at 6.9 and the fuel consumption is 6.5 versus the seven's 6.8. Hardly worth saving R220k for is it?
So to sum up the differences between the GT and the Seven: faster, quicker, more spacious, much better looking and around 25% cheaper. Which one would you choose? The only thing I could even begin to criticise is that it is not available with that superlative V12 fitted to the 760iL I had previously tested. Now that would be a magnificent achievement! Not that the diesel is inadequate or underpowered but this body deserves the best they have to throw in it.
M department time?