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First drive: 2010 BMW 535i GT

It's got a lot going for it, but is the GT really a 5-Series?

by on Sep.14, 2009

It may not be a classic 5-er, but there's a lot to like about the 2010 BMW 535i GT, says reviewer Henny Hemmes.

It may not be a classic 5-er, but there's a lot to like about the 2010 BMW 535i GT, says our European reviewer Henny Hemmes.

How do you define a hit in today’s automotive market?  Take BMW, which once limited its offerings to a handful of sedans, coupes and convertibles.  These days, the Bavarians offer an alphabet soup of offerings, with still more models on the way – notably including the 2010 BMW 535i GT.

Does it have the ‘Freude am Fahren,’ the joy of driving, qualities to become a hit in its own small niche segment?

In 2000, when BMW introduced the X5, there was some figuring out to do about the real character of the marque’s first crossover. It was referred to as a Sports Activity Vehicle, as the X5 put the emphasis on sport, rather than utility. Last year’s launch of the huge X6 only blurred the lines between car, truck and crossover even more.

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Now comes the GT, a 4-door coupe.  Or is it a crossover?  Or perhaps something else entirely.  After spending some time behind the wheel, during a drive through Portugal, one thing did become clear: The 5 Series GT is not a classic 5-Series, at all — but I’ll come back to that issue later.

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