• Jul 8th 2009 at 3:58PM
  • 26
BMW 5 Series Sports Wagon – Click above for high-res image gallery

Autoblog road test editor Damon Lavrinc is in Spartanburg, South Carolina to drive BMW's new all-conquering X6M, and in between bouts with the monster-motor'd crossover, he has had a chance to bend the ear of Martin Berkmann, manager of product planning for BMW North America, about another new capacious Bimmer – the 5 Series Gran Turismo.

Given the Bayern brand's increasingly crowded stable, it should come as no surprise that the boundary-blurring 5GT may result in the death of the sole 5 Series Sports Wagon model offered here in the States (a 530i model is shown). While the company's Touring variants carry a lot of water for BMW in other markets, the 535i xDrive SW makes up but a sliver of U.S. sales, and apparently BMW officials reckon the 5GT could just about extinguish what little demand there is.

By our measure, that's something of a shame, as the 535i xDrive wagon is a nice package all the way around. Further, the 4,100-pound wagon's more compact form, coupled with what figures to be a lower center of gravity ought to make for significantly better handling than the 4,800-pound 5GT. That said, our man Lavrinc is about to get a bonus preview ride on the company's test track in the Gran Turismo, so perhaps we'll learn otherwise very soon.

In any case, the official word hasn't come down yet, but judging by the fact that top officials are even willing to engage in discussions with us, this strikes us as a likely move.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      How is a wagon being compared to a car on an SUV platform? The entire point of a wagon is the rear wagon area. The GT has no such area-so how will it appeal to wagon shoppers?
        • 6 Years Ago
        It is not about space and function, it is about sales. Wagons don't sell well here and if the GT can do better it will survive and the wagon will stay in Europe.

        The down side is that luxury hatchbacks have never sold here at all. Try to think of one. It will be interesting to see how the car is marketed, and if it can get sales traction.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "The entire point of a wagon is the rear wagon area. The GT has no such area"
        Yes it does:
        • 6 Years Ago
        The real suck is that the M5 avant isn't coming to America. Those would sell out before they were shipped.
        • 6 Years Ago
        No, it doesn't - no 3rd seat = useless. However Double-VANOS rocks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Let's see. The Gran Turismo is heavier, uglier, and has less room than the wagon. So they're going to kill the wagon. Ugh.
      • 6 Years Ago
      NOOOO! This cannot be true!

      First, I really look foward to the F10 wagon and hopefully one with a diesel engine (PLEASE???) otherwise I will be buying a used E60 wagon until BMW comes to their senses (Or maybe the Audi A4 Avant - I know it's smaller but man is it a good looking wagon!).

      The idea of GT replacing a wagon makes absolutely NO SENSE! GT only has four seats, has less room and is ugly to boot.

      I mean come on, seriously, do you really think BMW will sell more GT's over wagon's - NEVER!!
        • 6 Years Ago
        RIP Euro Sportwagen..most beautiful, versatile and capable cars on the road These days the new auto scene is getting depressing, too many silly CUV's and the like... arghhh!!!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a shame for what the vehicle is, yet I haven't seen a single current-generation 5 Wagon in my area (or anywhere else, even on dealer lots) yet.
      700 lbs more? That's a LOT!
      • 6 Years Ago
      No wagon shopper would buy the GT or even cross shop it.
      Personally I can't see the demographics that would buy the GT at all, possibly someone torn between the sedan and the X5.
      • 6 Years Ago

      First Audi kills the S4 Avant.
      Second Audi kills getting the 3.2L A4 Avant (love that engine)
      Third Audi kills getting the 2.0T A4 Avant in a manual (so forget about chipping it)

      A BMW 535xi wagon in manual was the _ONLY_ next choice for me. WTF!

      Now's here hoping that CTS wagon comes in V-spec and that the massive C-pillar isn't too bad on it.

      So sad. It's probably due to our stupid certification laws. Bad enough that we don't get half the engine choices as everyone else does.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I am driving a Saab 9-3 Aero Sportwagon with 2.8t V6 and a 6-speed manual transmission. It is an incredibly beautiful and rare car. It is one of the best-handling fwd automobiles out there and in terms of power it keeps up with almost anything on the road. My lease is up in October. It seems there is not many other choices out there. I do not see myself driving an SUV, as I actually like driving. C class wagon? Mazda 6 wagon? Legacy? A4 with V6?
        • 6 Years Ago
        The 3-series Touring is still available in xi AWD trim as well as RWD, so that should be a contender until they decide that either the X3 is good enough for silly Americans or they come out with a bloated, repulsive, heavy slope-assed 3 series "GT" and drop the 328 Touring models too.

        It sucks... I had thought the 5 Touring was a likely eventual replacement for my Legacy GT Wagon, but I don't need a new car anytime soon... Maybe I'll get a CPO on the last year BMW brings the 5 Touring, or maybe Cadillac won't drop the CTS Sportwagon after a year or two.

        There's always the faint possibility of an Alfa Sportwagon making it to the US someday... a guy can dream I guess.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The real problem with the 5 gt is that it's a 4 seater. Which means it's not even a realistic replacement for the wagon. What BMW and a few other companies don't understand is that the only thing Yanks hate more than wagons are hatchbacks.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "While the company's Touring variants carry a lot of water for BMW in other markets, the 353i xDrive SW makes up but a sliver of U.S. sales. . ."

      What's a 353i xDrive SW?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Typo. It's supposed to read 535xi. SW is station wagon, but that's Autoblog-speak, not BMW terminology.

        This news is too bad. My uncle has a 535xi wagon and loves it. 5 door sloped hatchbacks, or whatever the 5GT is, just don't offer near the level of practicality. I might grab a 3 or 5 wagon before they're gone for good.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sport Wagon
      • 6 Years Ago
      I really don't understand the stigma attached to wagons in America, but it seems like BMW and MB are going to give up on sports wagons and that will be the end of it unless you want a Subaru or a VW. More exampels: there is no more C class wagon in America and I hear MB is not going to bring the E Class wagon over this time. Audi also skipped the S6 Avant this time around, so the writing's on the wall with the Q5 and Q3 coming.

      The prevailing thought process seems to be, "why buy a wagon when I can get an SUV for that price?" as if SUVs are inherently better. For most (not all) people, I think wagons are the better overall choice if people can evaluate wagons at face value. Wagons usually weigh less, have a lower center of gravity, handle better, ride better, get better mileage and offers better interior packaging for most uses. For example, most small to mid size SUVs offer verticly oriented cargo space behind the rear seats whereas competing wagons usually offer lower, longer load floors which are better if you value visibility out the rear window.

      As I mentioned on the recent 335GT article, I think there's a classic chicken and egg problem with dealers selling wagons these days. Consider:

      Our local BMW dealer never orders wagons with their limited 3 Series allocation because it's easier for them to sell (usually lease) 3 Series sedans and coupes. That's not to say 3 Series wagons don't sell at all, but he says they have to trade for them or special order them every time someone wants one (we ordered our 328 wagon) because it's easier to sell a 3 Series sedan or coupe in most cases, so why waste an allocation on a car that's harder to sell relative to the fast selling coupe and sedan? Note that SUVs like the X3 and X5 have their own ordering allocations, so they don't have to compete with more mainstream models when dealers prioritize their orders. That skews the sales figures because shoppers are much less likely to buy what they can't see, sit in or drive, so the issue is self perpetuating. No wagons at the dealer means fewer wagon sales. Call around most SoCal BMW dealers and you'll find very few wagons.

      Aside from image (for those who think hatchbacks are cooler than wagons -- I don't, but some might), what possible advantage does this hatchback offer over the full wagon? It's a shame, but it's also ignorant to think that image isn't the primary concern or at least high on the list of most auto purchases, especially in the $40K+ range.

      This reminds me of the minivan stigma -- many moms want SUVs instead of minivans so they don't look like moms in mom-mobiles when that's exactly what they are. It's just pathetic logic, but it's there money, not mine!
        • 6 Years Ago
        You are correct sir!
        I also had to order my 328iX Touring. Everyone in my metro area is X3 obsessed. My 3 series touring gives me the best of all worlds.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Keep 'em coming, BMW!

      I look forward to the X6 Gran Turismo...oh wait...
      • 6 Years Ago
      "...BMW officials reckon the 5GT could just about extinguish what little demand there is."

      Yeah, and not the way you would think.

      Sigh. Another station wagon, dead dead dead.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Euro-wagons are neat. Don't know why more people here don't like them.
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