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Old 07-26-2010, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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2011 BMW 550i GT (Gran Turismo) Review

After decades of selling a 5 Series wagon in the U.S., BMW has decided to drop the venerable choice of performance-minded wealthy folks with dogs. In its place comes a new model, combining added luxury, a higher ride height and a unique (if not a little strange) trunk that opens both like a more traditional boot and like a hatchback.

Called the 5 Series Gran Turismo, or GT for short, the name conjures up images of driving some Italian coupe along the French Riviera, not transporting your groceries back from Costco. And yet, this GT does offer tremendous luxury, excessive amounts of power and the sort of handling you'd expect from a BMW.

The most notable feature that separates the 5 Series GT from its sedan sibling is the unique trunk layout. Trunk space can be accessed by either flipping up the smaller reverse liftgate portion, or by lifting the entire back hatch (glass included) like a traditional hatchback. Doing so is effortless thanks to two separate trunk latches.

Cargo room is a somewhat average 15.5 cubic feet of space, that expands to a more substantial 60 cu.-ft. with the rear seats folded flat. That's slightly less trunk room than the old 5 Series wagon, but is actually a few cubic feet more than the wagon's total cargo space. But don't let that fool you, as the total area isn't as useable as on the wagon because the rear seats don't fold flat. Interestingly, the strict cargo space is short of the 5 Series sedan's 18.3 cu.-ft.

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