BMW has unveiled the wagon version of the new 5-Series, and it’s called the BMW 5-Series Touring, which I find amusing because the “Touring” seems to have a larger storage area than the “GRAND Touring” model. Less is more? This is the proper estate with a huge boot space – starts at 560 litres and goes up to a maximum of 1,670 litres by folding down the 40:20:40 split rear seats, which are also individually inclinable by 11 degrees in 7 stages by the way!

All of the new stuff that made its debut in the new F10 Sedan is also found in the Touring model such as the new range of engines, Electric Power Steering on all models and the new 8-speed automatic transmission that is optional in Europe but will no doubt be standard here in Malaysia as at that price point, not many people are interested in manually operating the clutch!

I’ve also found out that the iDrive system’s featureset has been expanded in the latest version. There are news and RSS reader functions with text to speech so you can listen (and not read) the latest while driving. Your navigation point of interest database can now be supplemented by Google Maps, though without the option of BMW ConnectedDrive’s wireless EDGE model here in Malaysia you probably won’t be able to use this.

The audio system can now also play audio from a Bluetooth Audio Streaming source other than the existing CD, USB, iPod and aux in sources. The Bluetooth featureset has also been expanded beyond the new audio streaming feature – iDrive can now display SMS, tasks, memos and calendar entries all from your mobile phone through the new “Office” function.

Look after the jump for a hi-res gallery along with the full release and a video.

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