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Capitalist
12-09-2003, 04:15 PM
Today I finally had a chance to drive the 545i. The car was silver gray, non-sport and automatic; it did not have active steering, dynamic drive or any other option besides the auto.

You know how most magazines/Bangle critics seem to hate how the new 5 looks but love the way it drives? Well, I had a completely opposite experience. First of all, let me say that the car looked absolutely gorgeous in silver
gray - very slick and muscular. The interior was also very nice – modern and spacious. I'm not a big fan of laminated wood but I liked the fact that the door handle trim was real metal. Overall, the materials quality seemed pretty good. I’m having a hard time understanding where all the "cheap interior" comments are coming from.

Now here's the weird part – I was totally surprised by the car's dynamics, and not in a good way. First of all, the power steering felt EXTREMELY light. As a matter of fact, it was so light that it was hard to keep the car straight simply because there's no feedback.

The other problem was that the 545 seemed slow for a 315 hp car. I was expecting to be blown away by the car's power buy alas, it just felt "normal". Is the car geared too high?

Finally, I had a major problem with the car's traction control, specifically the fact that it kept cutting in like nobody’s business. The roads were a little wet today from all the moisture in the air (though it wasn’t raining) but it's wasn't that bad. Yet, every time I tried to accelerate aggressively the damn traction control kept cutting off fuel and causing the car to jerk and bog down. As a matter of fact, I don't think that I was able to take the car above 4,500 rpm without interference from traction control. What gives?

I can only hope that the sport package adds tighter steering and a less intrusive traction control.

Jeff_DML
12-09-2003, 04:52 PM
The other problem was that the 545 seemed slow for a 315 hp car. I was expecting to be blown away by the car's power buy alas, it just felt "normal". Is the car geared too high?

Finally, I had a major problem with the car's traction control, specifically the fact that it kept cutting in like nobody’s business. The roads were a little wet today from all the moisture in the air (though it wasn’t raining) but it's wasn't that bad. Yet, every time I tried to accelerate aggressively the damn traction control kept cutting off fuel and causing the car to jerk and bog down. As a matter of fact, I don't think that I was able to take the car above 4,500 rpm without interference from traction control. What gives?

I can only hope that the sport package adds tighter steering and a less intrusive traction control.


I assume there is a way to turn off the traction control, probably buried somewhere in the i-drive menus.

Just attended BMWCAA auto-x last saturday and I guy was driving a brand new E60 546 6-speed manual. It was accelerating very quickly on the course. He was burning up his tires all over the place in probably second gear :yikes: I was very impressed

Andy
12-09-2003, 05:31 PM
Maybe the car seemed slow because of the traction control kicking in all the time. :dunno: I've never heard of anyone refer to the 540i as slow. Then again, this is the first feedback I've heard from the new 545i. Isn't the 545i suppose to be lighter then the 540i?

nate
12-09-2003, 05:34 PM
Nick claims that the non-SP E60s feel like his car without the front swaybar attached. That is pretty bad.

The handling of the SP cars is pretty well acclaimed by most reviewers...

Plaz
12-09-2003, 05:37 PM
Nick claims that the non-SP E60s feel like his car without the front swaybar attached.

:yikes: :eek:

Do they come with motion sickness bags for the twisties?

nate
12-09-2003, 05:44 PM
I assume there is a way to turn off the traction control, probably buried somewhere in the i-drive menus.

Just attended BMWCAA auto-x last saturday and I guy was driving a brand new E60 546 6-speed manual. It was accelerating very quickly on the course. He was burning up his tires all over the place in probably second gear :yikes: I was very impressed

How were the times?

I would bet that the active steering system would help a lot in auto-x.

The new C&D puts the 530i SP at 0.9g on the skidpad. Not bad, especially considering the crappy run flats.

I haven't been to auto-x for a while, maybe I will try at the Jan. 5th even since by A032Rs are nearly bald. A good chance to cord the rears....

Jeff_DML
12-09-2003, 05:49 PM
How were the times?

I would bet that the active steering system would help a lot in auto-x.

The new C&D puts the 530i SP at 0.9g on the skidpad. Not bad, especially considering the crappy run flats.

I haven't been to auto-x for a while, maybe I will try at the Jan. 5th even since by A032Rs are nearly bald. A good chance to cord the rears....

pretty good, he told me his best times where in the mid 80 seconds I think. He was in novice so not sure how he placed. I think the C group he would of been towards the top rankings. :thumbup: here is some of the results, MS = m stock? I forget. He beat me in the understeering rex by 4 seconds :yikes:

LarryN
12-09-2003, 06:52 PM
pretty good, he told me his best times where in the mid 80 seconds I think. He was in novice so not sure how he placed. I think the C group he would of been towards the top rankings. :thumbup: here is some of the results, MS = m stock? I forget. He beat me in the understeering rex by 4 seconds :yikes:

Sorry to change the subject, but you only get three runs?! For the entire day?! :dunno:

Jeff_DML
12-09-2003, 06:55 PM
Sorry to change the subject, but you only get three runs?! For the entire day?! :dunno:

3 timed runs. First part of the day is untimed.

dlloyd1975
12-09-2003, 07:04 PM
One of the sales guy at the dealership was nice enough to give me a test drive a few weeks ago in a 530 sport w/step. I didn't get to drive for too long as my wife wasn't feeling too well, but the active steering and active sways feel great. It took me all of 15 seconds to get used to the active steering and my car felt a littke, well, porky after driving the 530.

I also liked the interior layout. Climate controls are great, the instrument panel is clear and up front and I didn't even notice the i-drive.

One thing that I would like to see is some way to access additional gauges via the i-drive. You don't have to know what your oil pressure, oil temp, voltage, etc. are all the time, but it'd be nice to see it occasionally. I remember driving a rental Buick LeSabre and one of the nicer features I found was the ability to get that info to display on a little dot matrix multifunction readout. The i-drive binnacle seems like it'd make a nice "glass cockpit" like they have in airlines if they could add the ability to add additional virtual gauges.

andy_thomas
12-10-2003, 03:30 AM
Maybe the car seemed slow because of the traction control kicking in all the time. :dunno: I've never heard of anyone refer to the 540i as slow. Then again, this is the first feedback I've heard from the new 545i. Isn't the 545i suppose to be lighter then the 540i?

Lighter, and faster. Autocar proclaimed that it was hugely potent, only a step behind the E55/RS6/M5 supersaloons.

andy_thomas
12-10-2003, 03:40 AM
Today I finally had a chance to drive the 545i. The car was silver gray, non-sport and automatic; it did not have active steering, dynamic drive or any other option besides the auto.

You know how most magazines/Bangle critics seem to hate how the new 5 looks but love the way it drives? Well, I had a completely opposite experience. First of all, let me say that the car looked absolutely gorgeous in silver
gray - very slick and muscular. The interior was also very nice – modern and spacious. I'm not a big fan of laminated wood but I liked the fact that the door handle trim was real metal. Overall, the materials quality seemed pretty good. I’m having a hard time understanding where all the "cheap interior" comments are coming from.

Now here's the weird part – I was totally surprised by the car's dynamics, and not in a good way. First of all, the power steering felt EXTREMELY light. As a matter of fact, it was so light that it was hard to keep the car straight simply because there's no feedback.

The other problem was that the 545 seemed slow for a 315 hp car. I was expecting to be blown away by the car's power buy alas, it just felt "normal". Is the car geared too high?

Finally, I had a major problem with the car's traction control, specifically the fact that it kept cutting in like nobody’s business. The roads were a little wet today from all the moisture in the air (though it wasn’t raining) but it's wasn't that bad. Yet, every time I tried to accelerate aggressively the damn traction control kept cutting off fuel and causing the car to jerk and bog down. As a matter of fact, I don't think that I was able to take the car above 4,500 rpm without interference from traction control. What gives?

I can only hope that the sport package adds tighter steering and a less intrusive traction control.

I don't think the Sport trim includes any electro-mechanical changes. Fatter tyres will generally give more grip and the DSC will probably cut in less.

Besides, you accelerate "aggressively" in a 333 bhp car with (probably) low-quality US-market all-season tyres, and complain that the traction control keeps cutting in? What exactly did you expect? :dunno:

Try real (sport package, perhaps) tyres on a dry surface, and put your foot down at 80 mph. If it wasn't already obvious, that's the kind of performance BMW provides. If you want 0-30 mph stoplight stomp, a Dodge Ram or something will be much better for you.

mspeed76
12-10-2003, 05:25 AM
i found the car to be very fast and torquey. tap on it in any rpm and it goes. but i think the car is so smooth that it masks alot of the acceleration. it's hard to tell unless you're looking at the cars around you

Alex Baumann
12-10-2003, 06:00 AM
I wasn't impressed with the automatic transmission on the 530i, which I had test driven some time ago. Well, it's not a surprise for a manual driver though.

nate
12-10-2003, 09:58 AM
Well, it's not a surprise for a manual driver though.
didn't you have an automatic 323Ci at the time? :confused: :dunno:

Alex Baumann
12-10-2003, 11:50 AM
didn't you have an automatic 323Ci at the time? :confused: :dunno:

Nope, I already had the Alpina. :)

Pic from the test drive (http://bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15668)

The Roadstergal
12-10-2003, 12:40 PM
Nope, I already had the Alpina. :)

Pic from the test drive (http://bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=15668)
You're going to kill me, but having them next to each other like that - they look like older and younger siblings. A lot of styling parallels.

Alex Baumann
12-10-2003, 12:43 PM
You're going to kill me, but having them next to each other like that - they look like older and younger siblings. A lot of styling parallels.


:AF330i:

Moderato
12-10-2003, 09:24 PM
Why not try a 545i 6speed and see how you like it? My next car will be either a 530i, 545i, B6 S4 or a new A6 depending on how the redesign goes and if they offer a decent manual tranny.