So our time with the BMW 5 Series has come to an end, which neatly coincides with the car picking up the Fleet News boardroom car of the year award.
After six months, we have very few negatives to report: other than the temporary loss of sound reported in a previous review, there were no maintenance issues despite more than 10,000 miles of motoring and no instances of trim buzz that often afflicts media cars.
We averaged 48.2mpg, a little way off the car’s official 55mpg figure, but when driven ultra efficiently, that target is within reach.
Everyone who took a turn in the car – driver and passenger alike – enthused at its refinement, comfort and sheer driving enjoyment.
The seat are class leading. They do not massage your back or move in 50 different directions like some options offered by rival models; they simply hold you in and enable major journeys to be undertaken without the risk of backache. What else do you really need?
Even the interior, often a shortcoming of BMW models, was less stark, combining function with a more pleasing design. One minor quibble was the protruding dash on the passenger’s side which could be a little claustrophobic, according to one occupant.
And the headlamps are not the brightest, particularly when compared to Audi.
Three setting options allow the driver to select comfort, normal or sports (with individual configurations if required), enabling the right level of chassis stiffness, throttle/engine response and gear change characteristics, depending on the circumstances or personal preferences. Ours was mostly set to comfort for the motorway and sports for everything else.
The 5 Series leaves us with both a glowing scorecard and a trophy under its wing.
Mileage at end: 10,182
Average fuel consumption – 48.2mpg