Growing up, I never really understood the appeal of wagons, or “estates” as we called them in England. TheÂ triumph of sensibleness and practicality over style, they didn’t seemÂ particularly cool or desirable. Instead, theyÂ were for posh people in the countryside who owned big dogs. But as I’ve gotten older, and particularly since I moved to America, something has changed. Not only do I find myself needing to carry around a lot more stuffÂ these days, butÂ wagons have become, well, cool. No longer the staple of the staid upper classes, they’re for the person who needs the extra space of an SUV or a minivan but says “f-that, I’m not ready to give up on life just yet.” And there are some seriously coolÂ wagons around these days.Â On aÂ recent trip home to London, the first sight greeting me in the car park at Heathrow was that of an F11 530d M-Sport, B8 S4 Avant and anÂ E63 AMG estate,Â all lined up next to each other. It’s as if somebodyÂ was trying to make a point.
The E39 Touring, already a fairly handsomeÂ car, looks especially good when specified with the M-sport package, as here.Â This particular 540i represents the top of the range and not only has it been blessed with MÂ exterior styling and sport suspension, as an added bonus the current ownerÂ has gone to the trouble of retrofitting a 6-speed manual transmissionÂ from an M5, turning this into a quick, capable and seriously coolÂ longroof.