Wagons, or more specifically Touring in Munich language, are still in fashion despite the assorted SUV raiders including BMW's own X3 and X5.

The 5-series touring still wins friends because of its flexibility, practicality and genuine car-like handling for those who want a driver's package to boot.

There are arguments that the SUV's of this world can do the job but as the saying goes, once a truck always a truck.

A long-time owner of a 5-series Touring, who had the M-sport package kitted out on his vehicle, had a dog and a young child and yet wanted a vehicle, which could also offer driver enjoyment whenever his family and dog were not being ferried around. He didn't believe the X5 could do that, something that can be debated until the cows come home.

In any case the overall message is that Touring wagons have survived the onslaught of SUVS in this country because of the aforementioned reason.

In the CARSguide garage for a week was a 530i Touring, which did some weekend haulage work between the usual obligatory visits to the normal retail outlets.

Short of carrying a queen-size bed home with the rear-seats folded down, it is possible to stash a good payload into a Touring.

It's practicality is unquestioned and by virtue of its run-flat tyres, like them or lump them, there is no spare so there are a whole heap of individual compartments where you can stash stuff underneath the cargo floor.

Hmm, run-flats. They have never been CARSguide's cup of tea. They might now be in their third or fourth generation but it doesn't matter.

By the nature of their construction with almost bullet-proof sidewalls, the ride quality is compromised.

A Volvo S80, set on the comfort setting admittedly, was in the shed at the time the 5 Series Touring was around and the big Swede played it off a break.

In the owner's manual (very unmanly of us to even contemplate a look, we know) the recommendation from the manufacturer is that new tyres be fitted after not more than six years regardless of wear.

Why?

Because most tyres, run-flats are no different, become brittle with age and the run-flats must be replaced rather than repaired is the message.

Furthermore there is also a recommendation you do not rotate the tyres between the front and the rear because, the manufacturer advises, it might impair handling.

Maybe, maybe not.

It might be more of a case of trying to coax drivers into shelling out for tyres before they otherwise should.

The 530i Touring needs a bit of urge down low but once it's spinning the luxury wagon is agile and responsive.

Vision is excellent and the seats are firm, supportive and can easily be set to a position to suit all shapes and sizes of occupants.

On this drive of more than 800km average fuel consumption stood at just under 13litres/100km.

This wagon has a lot of virtues and still carries plenty of on-road presence.

And obviously there is still demand for such body styles from luxury car makers despite the seemingly insatiable appetite for SUVs.