24-hour love affair

24-hour love affair

Malmaison Leeds’ GM Grant McKenzie spends an all-too brief 24 hours savouring the pleasures of BMW’s 530d Gran Turismo SE.

Y3mots main2To be honest, I wasn’t best pleased with the lads at BQ magazine. Fair enough, I truly appreciated the offer to test drive one of the finest cars on the market, but come on, only for one day! That’s like saying, “Grant, we want you to live the life of a millionaire for one day on us and write about it, but you can’t spend any money; just let us know what it feels like!” I had to make time in our busy season to make the most of this, so I made myself comfortable (which didn’t take very long), retracted back the panoramic sunroof, figured out where not to put the key, and set off.

Everything in this car is automatic – lights, wipers, transmission, seat adjustment, handbrake, even the steering wheel moves up when you turn the ignition off to let you out.

One could say that this car is not to drive, but to be driven in.

For me, this car has it all; everything that a 7 series has, and costs considerably less.

This muscle GT has even more space inside than it looks from the outside, which is surprising for a saloon.

Plus, you can fold the rear seat fully forward to reveal the space of an estate, though it is slightly hindered by the sloping roof.

The GT is comfortable and easy to drive, you can’t feel a bump or hear a sound, and it handles extremely well with the three different suspension settings to suit the driving conditions.

It is surprisingly quick for such a big, heavy car, with seamless transmission.

The on-board computer has a usefully large screen for the radio/CD, and the SatNav and phone are quick and easy to use with all the controls on the comfortable centre console.

What really makes the GT comfortable is not the automatic gadgets and gizmos, but the roof height and internal space.

The rear seat is more like a king-size leather bed.

With the driver’s seat fully back, there is still considerably more room in the back than any other car I’ve been in.

The deceivingly large boot gives more than ample space for the weekly shopping and a full set of golf clubs, though unfortunately I didn’t possess the GT long enough to even think about trying to fit in my suitcases to travel back home to the Scottish Highlands.

That night, I took the GT home to show my wife Amy and get her views and, I hoped, some assistance with writing this article, as she has a degree in English literature, but she only likes red cars.

In summary, would I trade in my Range Rover sport for the BMW 5 series GT? I actually think I would if it weren’t for the fact that I have to fit in two dogs and wee McKenzie junior on the way!

Grant McKenzie test drove the BMW 530d Gran Turismo SE, from £40,810 on the road, supplied by Scotthall Leeds, tel 0113 262 0641, www.scotthall.co.uk