2008 BMW 5-Series Wagon

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2008 BMW 5-Series Wagon Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 BMW 5-Series Wagon was new.

The 5-Series Wagon has a powerful new engine, a luxurious technology-filled interior and excellent handling, but passenger and cargo room are only fair. Some also find the exterior a step backward as compared to other slick-styled BMWs.

8.7

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 8.8
Performance: 9.3
Interior: 7.2
Safety: 8.9
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

Pros & Cons

  • Powerful new six-cylinder engine
  • Excellent handling and steering
  • Luxurious interior with lots of hi-tech features
  • Some reviews find the exterior less attractive than earlier BMWs
  • Interior iDrive controls can be confusing
  • Passenger and cargo room could be better

2008 BMW 5-Series Wagon Overview

As you might expect from BMW, the 2008 5-Series Wagon is a pleasure to drive, with a powerful new engine and first-rate handling. Auto experts say these components along with the wagon's standard all-wheel drive make it a luxurious (and perhaps more practical) alternative to an SUV. The Auto Channel calls the 5-Series "an excellent wagon with the added advantage of AWD."

Storage space, while not extraordinary by station wagon standards, is at least adequate for individuals and families who want to haul luggage and more. The New York Times says the 5-Series Wagon is "a terrific road car that happens to get respectable gas mileage and has room in the back for a couple of golden retrievers -- provided you don't mind scuffs and hair tufts in the elegant leather interior." But there are differences of opinion on the recent changes to the 5-Series' exterior, plus the BMW iDrive system continues to confuse test drivers.

Similar to the Audi A6 Avant, the BMW 5-Series Wagon's sole trim is available with all-wheel drive. If you're in the market for a luxury wagon, consider a BMW 3-Series Wagon, or the Volvo XC70.

  • "BMW knows the market for wagons is minimal, yet it continues to cater to people who want a sporty, fun-to-drive vehicle that has lots of utility by selling the 5-series wagon." -- Car and Driver
  • "The BMW 5 Series Wagon delivers an appealing blend of practical attributes with sports-car-like performance and handling." -- Forbes
  • "Overall, this was a very comfortable car to drive. It didn't call itself a crossover or small sport utility. It was a station wagon, no bones about it. And in that sense, it filled its purpose excellently." -- The Auto Channel
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