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In 2010, BMW entered a niche market with the 535i Gran Turismo, a stylistic mash-up that offers wagon-like cargo space and car-like looks. The 2013 model year carries over from 2012 with a single addition: a start-stop ignition that conserves fuel when the car would be idling at a stop.
The 535 GT comes in a pair of trim levels: i and i xDrive. Superficially, the two appear virtually identical: they both feature high-end amenities like 18-inch wheels, HID headlights, panoramic sunroofs and power seats. Their main difference is that fact that the 535i Gran Turismo comes with rear-wheel drive, while the 535i xDrive is an all-wheel drive vehicle.
The Dynamic Handling Package features dynamic damper control and adaptive drive. The Luxury Seating Package installs multi-contour seats, and active and ventilated front seats. The Luxury Rear Seating Package has ventilated comfort seats in the rear, and a four-zone climate-control system.
The Premium Package adds soft-close doors, keyless entry and one year of SiriusXM radio. Finally, the M Sport Package features 19-inch light-alloy wheels (or optional 20-inch wheels), seven exclusive exterior colors, an aerodynamic kit, an anthracite headliner, Shadowline exterior trim, an M steering wheel and an increase to the top-speed limiter.
The base 535 Gran Turismo has a 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine that pushes out 300 horsepower. Standard features include: an eight-speed automatic transmission; a panoramic sunroof; fog lights; heated mirrors; 18-inch light-alloy wheels; HID headlights; leather seating with power front seats; and a 12-speaker audio system with AM/FM/MP3/CD/HD Radio capabilities and an iPod adapter.
The 535i xDrive Gran Turismo adds all-wheel drive and Hill Decent Control.
Loads of power, standard all-wheel drive and fully loaded, but lower mpg, higher price and less rear headroom
Super-low pricing, well-laid-out cabin and roomy, but lacks horsepower and fake leather interior standard
Built for performance, awesome luxury and unique styling, but very expensive
Powerful V-6 engine, standard all-wheel drive and lots of luxury, but too wagon-like for some buyers and lower mpg