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View Full Version : Car and Driver review of the new 5-series


zen68
05-25-2007, 09:55 AM
http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/13051/first-drive-2008-bmw-5-series.html

I have to disagree with their comment below. Who are they kidding? :dunno:

The twin-turbo inline-six, quite frankly, renders the 550i obsolete, a tool for ignorant status seekers and those with a vendetta against Mother Earth.

Russ Williams
05-25-2007, 10:45 AM
That's a well informed comment...this is being typed with a truckload of sarcasm. If we are going to talk about a vendetta against Mother Earth then any petrol burning vehicle fits this description and the millions of SUVs on the road should certainly be outlawed. One of many reasons I do not purchase this publication.

lwall
05-25-2007, 11:37 AM
Excellent read. I particularly liked the downside comments about the car. Very helpful.

Spyder
05-25-2007, 12:44 PM
Ya' know, I think it's kind of absurd to pit two fine BMW engines/cars against each other. I own a 650, and will be picking a 535 for my wife next month in Munich. We'll enjoy both engines while recognizing that they meet differing priorities.

BMWSTL
05-25-2007, 01:32 PM
See also the article on the "5-series Rally." http://www.caranddriver.com/features/13053/2008-bmw-5-series-rally.html A car was wrecked during the drive.

Finally we crest a hill and see what we feared: A 5-series has gone off the road and parked on its roof. We know it is a 5-series because the full-length underbody tray is intact, and we doubt that many vehicles in this rural area have such extensive aero tuning. A BMW rep is already on hand so, not wanting to add to the cluttered scene, we move along at a much slower pace.

As it is later explained to us, the car missed a sharp left-hander, got tripped up by the ditch, and rolled over at least two times. Likely thanks to the 5-series***8217;s standard curtain airbags, the passenger walks away from the wreck. The driver is taken to a hospital but will also recover. The car is not likely to heal, although we***8217;ve had no updates on its status. Fear not, neither driver nor passenger is a Car and Driver staffer.

Lou

bmwguynj
05-25-2007, 03:39 PM
http://www.caranddriver.com/previews/13051/first-drive-2008-bmw-5-series.html

"The twin-turbo inline-six, quite frankly, renders the 550i obsolete, a tool for ignorant status seekers and those with a vendetta against Mother Earth."


I have to disagree with their comment below. Who are they kidding? :dunno:

That is a funny quote from C&D. I too disagree with it, but still find it funny.

As a 550i owner, the 550i is not your practical car however it's a vehicle that you dream about & long for just simply love to drive always.

chrischeung
05-26-2007, 12:16 AM
I just read the article - thanks for the link.

They don't mention explicitly where they drove the 550i, but they said it was fine going uphill. So this may be at a higher altitude (since they panned the 528i at higher altitudes). The 535i with twin turbos will perform comparitively better at higher altitudes than the 550i at higher altitude, since the turbos actually pull in more air than a naturally aspirated engine can. Back in the days of Formula 1 running at Mexico City, when they had turbos and naturally aspirated cars running in the same race, the turbos ran a wider performance gap due to the high altitude of Mexico City (over 7,000 ft), than at tracks at sea level.

Coupled with the lower rater 300hp output quoted by BMW (many sources say it actually makes 320-330), the heavier weight of the 550i, and the high altitude, these may render their performance to be very similar. But they still say that the 550i IS faster. So, we can say the 550i will ALWAYS be faster?

Just a theory...

Bigdog
05-26-2007, 12:59 AM
What they failed to mention is your car doesn't look like every other 5 series on the road when you have an 08 550i sport. That is one thing I have hated most about my 545i. The only difference is the wheels between cars until 08.

w5lx
05-26-2007, 07:10 AM
Unfortunately Car and Driver has become just another "rag." I have subscribed to it for the past 20 years or so and it WAS an excellent and reliable source of information for auto lovers. About a year ago in December, the majority of their long-time editorial staff resigned/retired/or were fired and they hired a bunch of kids to assume their responsibilites. Since then the magazine has plummented in quality and content. Unfortunately I am into the 3nd year of a 5-year renewal so I continue to get the magazine but there's not much of substance in it to read. Their reviews are now no more reliable than Consumer Reports. I will not be renewing my subscription. Just my .02 cents worth. Does anyone still find their reviews relevant?

Mac Daddy
05-26-2007, 07:28 AM
Unfortunately Car and Driver has become just another "rag." I have subscribed to it for the past 20 years or so and it WAS an excellent and reliable source of information for auto lovers. About a year ago in December, the majority of their long-time editorial staff resigned/retired/or were fired and they hired a bunch of kids to assume their responsibilites. Since then the magazine has plummented in quality and content. Unfortunately I am into the 3nd year of a 5-year renewal so I continue to get the magazine but there's not much of substance in it to read. Their reviews are now no more reliable than Consumer Reports. I will not be renewing my subscription. Just my .02 cents worth. Does anyone still find their reviews relevant?

+1

I have subscribed pretty much uninterrupted for 25 years or more. I used to read every issue cover-to-cover, and kept all of the back issues. Now it takes me about 10 minutes to look through a new issue, then I usually toss it. Csere is interesting in an academic sort of way, and Bedard can always be counted on for thought-provoking (and partisan) columns, but there is not much in there any more. By and large the reviews are boring, and I rarely get a visceral sense of what it is like to drive the cars. Too bad.

Bob Shiftright
05-26-2007, 07:55 AM
Does anyone still find their reviews relevant?

I've been reading C/D, on and off, for about 40 (yeah) years. And the social-commentary-type stuff has been a part of the mag for about, well, 40 years as far as I know. Maybe longer.

There was a gap of about 15 years when I didn't bother to read C/D at all. I've read/subscribed to Road and Track continuously.

I remember one commentary on the two mags that said that, unlike the writers at Car and Driver, the writers at Road and Track actually like cars.

bmwguynj
05-26-2007, 08:57 AM
What they failed to mention is your car doesn't look like every other 5 series on the road when you have an 08 550i sport. That is one thing I have hated most about my 545i. The only difference is the wheels between cars until 08.

As we are all BMW enthusiasts, we can tell the difference between a 545i and the others with the beautifully thick staggerred tires and those Sport 18" rims, however you are right the average person could not tell the difference even if the rims were different because everything else exterior on that vehicle was exactly the same (525/530/545).

It's going to be even worse now for 2008MY since the 535i has the 545i Sport Rims & although there were further minor exterior changes, they will now all look almost all the same. A 535i is an incredible vehicle, but it's still not 545i.

mwagner1
05-26-2007, 09:08 AM
Another useless report from a truly no longer important rag...C&D is right up there with some of the US audio print rags that are not even good enough to line my kitty's litter box..

For heaven's sake, quit B*TCHING about the iDrive and I expect the Lane Departure Warning to die a quick death after this year..:rofl:

Cheers,

Russ Williams
05-26-2007, 09:09 AM
What they failed to mention is your car doesn't look like every other 5 series on the road when you have an 08 550i sport. That is one thing I have hated most about my 545i. The only difference is the wheels between cars until 08.

I hear what you are saying but personally the only person I am looking to impress when I buy a car is the person driving it, me and i can say I am mightily impressed by my 545i. The more I drive it, the more I fall in love. :D

chuck92103
05-26-2007, 09:29 AM
That's a well informed comment...this is being typed with a truckload of sarcasm. If we are going to talk about a vendetta against Mother Earth then any petrol burning vehicle fits this description and the millions of SUVs on the road should certainly be outlawed. One of many reasons I do not purchase this publication.

+1 The writer is not informed. I bet he does not realize that a 550/650 gets about 19/27 MPG. Much better than any M car, and on par with the 335, Z4, etc. while utilizing and more powerful and smooth V8.

The turbo is an interim power solution. Sustained power draw will result in the engine overheating especially in warm climates. Plus turbos require more maintenance and more frequent oil changes.

iversonm
05-26-2007, 09:44 AM
Sustained power draw will result in the engine overheating especially in warm climates.

Really?

bmwguynj
05-26-2007, 09:58 AM
+1 The writer is not informed. I bet he does not realize that a 550/650 gets about 19/27 MPG. Much better than any M car, and on par with the 335, Z4, etc. while utilizing and more powerful and smooth V8.

The turbo is an interim power solution. Sustained power draw will result in the engine overheating especially in warm climates. Plus turbos require more maintenance and more frequent oil changes.

You are probably correct, but why are we spending so much time arguing about these off the cuff comments from C&D. Now we are even spending the time to substantiate that the 535i maybe even more detrimental to the environment than a 550i? It's like if someone says anything bad about our vehicle we have to rip their heads off.

Let's all come back to reality here. I own a 550i & I already know that it is not a fuel efficient vehicle as well as the most practical vehicle to own. It guzzles gas (not as bad as my Escalade) and it's not a environmentally correct car. It's a car of excess when you have more practical choices of vehicles for you to choose from (better MPG, etc..). I just still find the C&D reviewers comments somewhat amusing, but still can understand where he is coming from, since the 550i is definitely more than really every need.

Tanin
05-26-2007, 10:03 AM
The twin-turbo inline-six, quite frankly, renders the 550i obsolete, a tool for ignorant status seekers and those with a vendetta against Mother Earth.

Now I’m confused.

I wanted the V10 but settled on the V8 because I couldn’t justify the additional $600 per month.

Does that make me an ignorant enemy of Mother Earth or an informed, “green-hearted” non-status seeker?

BMWSTL
05-26-2007, 10:05 AM
+1 The writer is not informed. I bet he does not realize that a 550/650 gets about 19/27 MPG.

19 average city/highway is possible (2008 EPA estimate for the 550 automatic is 15/23, 18 avg.), but 27? Where do you get your numbers?

Lou

chuck92103
05-26-2007, 10:08 AM
Now I***8217;m confused.

I wanted the V10 but settled on the V8 because I couldn***8217;t justify the additional $600 per month.

Does that make me an ignorant enemy of Mother Earth or an informed, ***8220;green-hearted***8221; non-status seeker?

:rofl: The greenest people live in the city and drive little other than to/from work. A person with a Prius who lives two hours from work is burning a lot more gas than me. :p

Green is not just about MPG, but how much you drive. Although folks do not pay much attention to this. There are folks that would rather drive than walk a block to Starbuck's and if they are in a Prius somehow it is OK. :dunno:

It is all relative to me.

doug_999
05-26-2007, 11:06 AM
Unfortunately Car and Driver has become just another "rag." I have subscribed to it for the past 20 years or so and it WAS an excellent and reliable source of information for auto lovers. About a year ago in December, the majority of their long-time editorial staff resigned/retired/or were fired and they hired a bunch of kids to assume their responsibilites. Since then the magazine has plummented in quality and content. Unfortunately I am into the 3nd year of a 5-year renewal so I continue to get the magazine but there's not much of substance in it to read. Their reviews are now no more reliable than Consumer Reports. I will not be renewing my subscription. Just my .02 cents worth. Does anyone still find their reviews relevant?

Other than Brock Yates, who left?

Also - not referring to your comment, but to hear people talk about how the 535 just looks like any other 5-series makes the comment "...tool for ignorant status seekers.." sure seem justified.

Bigdog
05-26-2007, 12:06 PM
You see an E60 on every corner where I live. I just don't think it's reasonalbe to have exactly the same exterior on a car you spent 20k more on. I guess BMW agrees changing up the 08 sport.

///M Rakete
05-26-2007, 12:31 PM
Status seeker? Check.

Vendetta against Mother Earth? Check.

Car and Driver in the trash can? Check.

Checklist complete. Good to go.

doug_999
05-26-2007, 01:21 PM
Status seeker? Check.

Vendetta against Mother Earth? Check.

Car and Driver in the trash can? Check.

Checklist complete. Good to go.
ahhh, just like being on a non-BMW board. C&D writes something we don't agree with and it is now trash.

You see an E60 on every corner where I live. I just don't think it's reasonalbe to have exactly the same exterior on a car you spent 20k more on. I guess BMW agrees changing up the 08 sport.

But you misunderstand - their point is that you don't have to spend $10K more to get almost the same car (if not better handling).

Bigdog
05-26-2007, 02:56 PM
I understood exactly what they are saying. Once you buy and aero kit, wheels, and some tuning to get the same power the price difference shrinks to nothing.

///M Rakete
05-26-2007, 06:56 PM
ahhh, just like being on a non-BMW board. C&D writes something we don't agree with and it is now trash.

But it is trash, as are Road & Track and Motor Trend. I still read them but I much rather read Roundle, Bimmer, and Winding Road. Then again they are trash too. They are a means of communicating the opinions of the authors (and maybe by influence their advertisers). Their opinions are a product of their experience and their biases, as are everyone's, and seem to have no more relevance to me and my life than mine probably do to them and theirs.

If we accept that the contents are primarily the opinions of the authors then perhaps I have overloaded the term trash but people often attribute some greater significance to the content as if the authors were experts of such standing as to negate by definition anyone else's perspecitve. That's ridiculous as everyone should evaluate the facts for themselves.

I do read these magazines for the objective content, of which there is often very little. I collect facts, perform an analysis, and then formulate my own opinion, yes, negating theirs, becuase in the end the only opinion that counts is your own as that is your reality. Everything else is just an opinion from an outside observer who is in a different frame of reference. I don't ignore it or dismiss it out of hand but if it is contrary to the facts as I observe them then what is it? Outside my frame reference and frankly trash.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

bmwguynj
05-26-2007, 11:07 PM
19 average city/highway is possible (2008 EPA estimate for the 550 automatic is 15/23, 18 avg.), but 27? Where do you get your numbers?

Lou

I was thinking the same thing, 27 MPG Highway? That sounds out of wack for a 550i, more along the lines of a 535i or a Toyota Camry. I only wish I could get up to 27MPG Highway in my 550i.

I could probably do it by shutting off the engine and rollling down a very steep hill!:D

doug_999
05-28-2007, 12:12 AM
But it is trash, as are Road & Track and Motor Trend. I still read them but I much rather read Roundle, Bimmer, and Winding Road. Then again they are trash too. They are a means of communicating the opinions of the authors (and maybe by influence their advertisers). Their opinions are a product of their experience and their biases, as are everyone's, and seem to have no more relevance to me and my life than mine probably do to them and theirs.

If we accept that the contents are primarily the opinions of the authors then perhaps I have overloaded the term trash but people often attribute some greater significance to the content as if the authors were experts of such standing as to negate by definition anyone else's perspecitve. That's ridiculous as everyone should evaluate the facts for themselves.

I do read these magazines for the objective content, of which there is often very little. I collect facts, perform an analysis, and then formulate my own opinion, yes, negating theirs, becuase in the end the only opinion that counts is your own as that is your reality. Everything else is just an opinion from an outside observer who is in a different frame of reference. I don't ignore it or dismiss it out of hand but if it is contrary to the facts as I observe them then what is it? Outside my frame reference and frankly trash.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

So everything other than factual news is trash??? :dunno:

doug_999
05-28-2007, 12:13 AM
I understood exactly what they are saying. Once you buy and aero kit, wheels, and some tuning to get the same power the price difference shrinks to nothing.

Yet the 535 would still handle better....

BravoMikeWiskey
05-28-2007, 01:04 AM
+1 The writer is not informed. I bet he does not realize that a 550/650 gets about 19/27 MPG. Much better than any M car, and on par with the 335, Z4, etc. while utilizing and more powerful and smooth V8.

The turbo is an interim power solution. Sustained power draw will result in the engine overheating especially in warm climates. Plus turbos require more maintenance and more frequent oil changes.

Please provide a link / site the source of this information about BMW's turbos. Thanks.

abe
05-28-2007, 09:16 AM
I think what chuck was saying is that turbos, in general, require more frequent oil changes. I think...

ANZAC_1915
05-28-2007, 09:32 AM
I think what chuck was saying is that turbos, in general, require more frequent oil changes. I think...

That is already factored into the service schedule, and of course BMW pays for it for the first 4 years or whatever.

Now, it is probably true that a turbo will not last as long if you never change the oil, but who is dumb enough to do that?

I've lost count of the number of turbo vehicles I've owned, and I've never had a single issue related to a turbo. Alright, I'll count (XR4Ti, 4 Saabs, 3 Subarus).

I think the 550 has a nice smooth engine, the 535 has a lot of punch; I don't think there is a lot between them and they're both fine vehicles.

If I bought a 550, it would be to replace my (V8) Maserati. As a family truckster, the 535xi is pretty cool too.

1994_RX-7_Tour
05-28-2007, 10:29 AM
Wondering if the 550i had the $4k+ sports package option during their review testing - I saw no mention of it either way. The negative comments I read about the 550i handling (nose heavy, worse than 535, etc) might be alleviated by the sports package if they did not test in that configuration. That's my hope.

Anyone out there know for sure?

doug_999
05-28-2007, 11:15 AM
Wondering if the 550i had the $4k+ sports package option during their review testing - I saw no mention of it either way. The negative comments I read about the 550i handling (nose heavy, worse than 535, etc) might be alleviated by the sports package if they did not test in that configuration. That's my hope.

Anyone out there know for sure?

The pictures showed the sport package - however, the car pictured is often not the car tested :(

SouthBayM5
05-28-2007, 11:31 PM
But it is trash, as are Road & Track and Motor Trend. I still read them but I much rather read Roundle, Bimmer, and Winding Road. Then again they are trash too. They are a means of communicating the opinions of the authors (and maybe by influence their advertisers). Their opinions are a product of their experience and their biases, as are everyone's, and seem to have no more relevance to me and my life than mine probably do to them and theirs.

If we accept that the contents are primarily the opinions of the authors then perhaps I have overloaded the term trash but people often attribute some greater significance to the content as if the authors were experts of such standing as to negate by definition anyone else's perspecitve. That's ridiculous as everyone should evaluate the facts for themselves.

I do read these magazines for the objective content, of which there is often very little. I collect facts, perform an analysis, and then formulate my own opinion, yes, negating theirs, becuase in the end the only opinion that counts is your own as that is your reality. Everything else is just an opinion from an outside observer who is in a different frame of reference. I don't ignore it or dismiss it out of hand but if it is contrary to the facts as I observe them then what is it? Outside my frame reference and frankly trash.

"I reject your reality and substitute my own."

Well said.

ANZAC_1915
05-29-2007, 07:44 AM
Well said.

I gave up on C&D years ago. The only car mags I read are Octane and sometimes EVO, though the quality has been slipping at EVO. Octane is my favorite mag.

I don't read Roundel (not a CCA member) but I know the editor.