While magicians often have tricks up their sleeves, today’s Nice Price or No Dice BMW 5 Series keeps its tricky bit at the back, where a two-hatch tailgate offers multiple loading options and marvels onlookers. Let’s see if this tricky GT offers a trick price as well.
Last Friday we looked at a 1998 Saab 900 SE with a broken convertible top mechanism that no amount of magic incantations or Wicca spellbinding would be likely to fix. A few of you noted in the comments that you had gone down the road of actually repairing a recalcitrant Saab top. And, while there was no promise that it would be a joyous and life-affirming task, no one said doing so would kill you either. That, along with an otherwise tidy presentation and a modest $3,800 asking price, ensured that the Saab took home a solid 68 percent Nice Price win.
When its assemble lines were humming, Saab was a niche carmaker. It went after buyers looking for quirky but safe and somewhat sporty cars that offered loads of space and the ability to get through a Swedish winter without complaint. Sadly for Saab, there weren’t enough of those buyers to sustain its business, and by the time it branched out into more mainstream ware (thanks, GM) it was too little, too late.
Not wishing to go the way of that Swedish competitor, BMW has, over the years, sought to fill damn near every automotive niche and crack imaginable. That’s given us not just the expected SUVs and crossovers that every automaker seems to churn out these days, but also a bunch of weird-ass in-betweeners that mash-up AWD chassis with odd hunchback bodies. They even make them in multiple sizes, with the X4 and X6 offering compact and midsize weirdness.
For a time, BMW sold something even weirder than that. Once just an executive sedan, BMW’s 5 Series expanded its model line with the E34 edition to include a commodious estate edition. This carried through two more generations, but with the introduction of the F10 in 2010, the company decided that Americans didn’t want wagons anymore. No, what Americans want, BMW imagined, is ungainly hatchbacks with compromised cargo space and poorer visibility.
This 2011 BMW 535i GT — the Gran Turismo in the company’s communications — is an example of that product strategy. While it was wildly misguided (the GT never got anywhere close to BMW’s planned sales) that wasn’t for want of a pretty clever bit of kit in its hatch. There you’ll find the expected full hatch, a sizable opening that includes the back glass and offers access to the reasonably spacious cargo area. Hidden inside that hatch, however, is yet another, smaller door that opens like the boot lid on an old Volkswagen Rabbit cabriolet. It allows access for small stuff for when the use of the full hatch is too much, I guess. I’ve actually never been able to figure out when exactly you’d use the second hatch, but I think it’s pretty neat that BMW’s engineers included it in the GT’s design.
While the GT is branded as a 5 Series, it’s based on the larger 7 Series platform. The car could be had with either six-cylinder or V8 power and RWD or AWD. This one is the less complicated, but accordingly less capable, six with just RWD. That six maintains a pair of turbos that give it 300 horsepower. An eight-speed automatic with semimanual mode backs that up.
This silver over gray GT rocks 104,000 miles and shows little in the way of wear and tear for its decade of life or those miles. The paint is shiny and there are no obvious blemishes beneath that shine. The factory alloys holding that all up appear to be free of major curb rash and wear Pirelli rubber.
There’s a bit of egress wear on the driver’s seat bolster, but other than that the cabin seems to present in almost as-new condition. The GT was positioned as one of BMW’s top-tier cars so it also features just about every bell you could whistle. That’s all topped with a panoramic moon roof for an appreciably light and airy cabin.
This a private-seller sale, and the ad claims a clean Carfax, clear title and no issue with passing emissions. Notably, the ad is a bit all over the place as it lists the engine as a “four” and the driveline as “4WD.” The car offers neither.
The asking price for the car is $11,995. That’s a hell of a drop from the 60 grand the car likely cost new and is perhaps evidence of just how unpopular these cars tend to be in the market.
Still, there’s an ass for every seat, and seeing as this GT has been on the road for the better part of a decade, there’s obviously an audience for the cars, even if it’s a small one. For that small audience, do you think this GT would prove a good deal at that $11,995 asking?
That does seem to be a lot of car for the money, and you have to admit that it’s in nice shape, even if you might not be a fan of that shape. What do you think, should a fan of the GT fan out $11,995 in cash for this rare 5 Series? Or, is that too much for the car, even if it does have two hatches?
H/T to Thomas C. for the hookup!
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