2010 Top Gear Awards: Family Car of the Year

If the 520d Touring were to put an ad on a dating website, potential prospects would think it a liar. Why? Because it offers such a comprehensive set of interlocking genius that it sounds too good to be true. Here is a handsome, large, premium estate car with a 2.0-litre diesel engine that you can easily sell to the bank manager. A brilliant 135g/km and 55.4mpg mean it is as environmentally friendly as it gets, yet the 2.0 turbodiesel still squeezes out 184bhp and 280lb ft, enough to propel the big wagon from 0–62mph in 8.3secs and onto a perfectly respectable 137mph.

Words: Tom Ford
This article was originally published in the Awards issue of Top Gear magazine

It's more fun to drive than any people carrier could ever hope to be and can be specced with fun stuff, like a glorious eight-speed auto and adaptive damping - though it's fine on standard springs and helped by the fact that all Tourings come with self-levelling rear suspension as standard. Although it sounds pricey at £30,380, the Touring is surprisingly well equipped, and granite residuals shore up long-term confidence.
But the overwhelming reason the 520d Touring is TopGear's Family Car of the Year is that it doesn't feel as if you've been forced into buying it by the unrelenting pressure of ‘practical' family transport. Unless you have more than three kids, it's the best family wagon out there, a car you buy not because you have to, but because it's the best at what it does. Job done.

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