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View Full Version : My opinions at 3 weeks and 1,800 miles


1HOT BMR
01-01-2011, 12:49 AM
I took my car to Northern Oregon and back without any problems (1,500+ miles). I was worried about all the issues I had read about and none of them came up. My steering is not pulling in any direction, there is no grinding noise or any other unwanted noises for that matter, and it hasn't burned a drop of oil in the 1,800 miles it has traveled so far. Just perfect! . . so far. I hit a moderately bad pothole at about 55 mph and I didn't get a side bubble on the tire and it didn't damage the wheel. I have the Michelin run flats on mine. Coming back I encountered torrential rain and heavy hail to a point where it scared me into thinking that it would damage the paint so I stopped and parked the car sharing a spot under the pine trees with a black M3 doing the same. In addition to the hail I drove with a little snow on the ground and the car behaved really well in spite of the summer tires on it.

Things that I dislike about the car: The visibility out is very poor mainly because of the high backs on the seats and the small side mirrors. I haven't figured out how to make the steering wheel move up when I turn the ignition off to get out of the car - it's in the way! Maybe it cannot be set to move up and out of the way while getting in and out of the car? . . I don't know. I have had some electronic glitches that perhaps were caused by my own doing or perhaps not. Sometimes the lock button does not lock the car the first time around, even when all the doors are closed properly. I put the keys in the center console getting ready to start the car and the sunroof and all the windows opened like when you hold the button down - it was raining lightly at the time and it has only happened once. My files on my USB thumb drive are not always recognized as music files and I get the "File cannot be played" message but most of the time it plays just fine.

Things I like about the car: Everything else not mentioned above.

Things that I love about the car: It's dual personality with the trick suspension components giving me a super plush and controlled ride in Normal and a Sports Car behavior but with a better ride in Sport. The Comfort setting is useless and it does not give you a better or plusher ride than Normal when the pavement is broken.

I took Highway 1 for a section of the trip - it is a road that follows the coast with lots of curves and a road that I know very well and have travelled many times in my NSX. All the people who have said that the steering is numb, disconnected, not sporty enough, etc. etc. just don't know what they are talking about or they are just parroting the sentiments of the first car magazine reviewer that made that statement. In my view the steering is a perfect example of what a modern sports sedan steering system should be. It is perfectly balanced, it tracks like an arrow, it has just the right weighting and I could feel exactly what the car was doing as I pushed it around each bend. Numb steering? Nonsense!!

The engine is just sublime - the immediate torque at just about any engine speed is unbelievable. The clutch and manual transmission are so good that my passengers did not notice it was a stick shift until I pointed it out to them. This car is that easy to drive smoothly. I read about someone who was selecting reverse by mistake when trying to engage first gear - it is really hard to believe that someone would have that problem, especially when my wife needs both hands to overcome the spring to engage reverse - the shifter feel with short throws and positive engagement is just about perfect for me.

I made the right choice when I bought this car. I only regret not getting the full camera setup to see around the car but I do have the proximity warning and the tilting mirror so it's OK but I would order the cameras if I had the chance again.

My car: 2011 550i with a 6 speed manual, M Sport and Integral Active Steering (IAS).

Average fuel consumption for 1,800 miles is 18.9 mpg. Best mileage was 21.5 mpg on a section of road where I traveled at around 50 to 60 mph in 6th gear for about 180 miles. Worst mileage was the day I picked it up and brought it home - 13.1 mpg.

bmwarchitect
01-01-2011, 05:45 AM
+1 on the small mirrors. I have a 550xi on order without the side cameras. Can you expand on how you think they might help? Did you drive the auto tranny model before deciding on the stick? If so, what sold you on the 6 speed? Many on the forum have commented on preferring the auto, even though they come from stick trannys. I drove the 550i, but liked the feel of the steering on the xi better. Don't know if it the i had the IAS though. Wondering if I should revisit this, but hard to believe the xi won't pay off in upstate ny winters. Nice writeup. Any further thoughts appreciated.

laser
01-01-2011, 06:44 AM
Glad you like it! Never driven North of the Point Reyes Peninsula but I bet that was a spectacular "test track" for the new F10.

Suspect most of the electronic glitches will smooth out as you become familiar with the car. The steering wheel should definitely move up out of the way when you shut the engine down.

Door locks have some iDrive settable options.

Re the outside mirrors, maybe I am the only one that didn't know this but at the PDC delivery driving experience they showed us how to set them so as to eliminate the blind spot on either side of the car.

Sitting in your normal driving position, lean to the left and set the left mirror out to just see the left rear of the car. Lean right and do the same with the right mirror. Now in the normal sitting position you will see into the blind spot on each side. The center mirror looks directly behind.

Took a little getting used to for me but I love it now.

pittner
01-01-2011, 06:48 AM
Thanks for the review. I have to pick my 550i up on Jan 6 and will also be looking for the different things discussed on the forum. It's nice to hear the more comprehensive reviews.

markl53
01-01-2011, 07:36 AM
Things that I dislike about the car: The visibility out is very poor mainly because of the high backs on the seats and the small side mirrors.

Just some helpful thoughts here...
Are you setting your mirrors "correctly"? I learned how to after reading a couple of articles many years ago. Need to set them much further outward than most of us are taught -- should not see the side of your car in the side mirrors. I have zero blind spots the way mine are positioned.

I haven't figured out how to make the steering wheel move up when I turn the ignition off to get out of the car - it's in the way! Maybe it cannot be set to move up and out of the way while getting in and out of the car? . . I don't know.

My steering wheel always moves up when I shut off the car and back down to the stored position when I start it up. However, if you manually move the wheel, even just a small amount, before you shut down, it will not move up. I don't think I set this via iDrive, but I'll check my "settings" screen.

Sometimes the lock button does not lock the car the first time around, even when all the doors are closed properly.

I found early on that there is a slight delay of some sort once you close the last door. You cannot lock the car until you wait about 1.5 seconds after closing the door. I kept presing the fob lock button and had to press it a 2nd time -- now I just pause and it works fine every time.

My files on my USB thumb drive are not always recognized as music files and I get the "File cannot be played" message but most of the time it plays just fine.

I had a problem where I moved some files that were digitally protected (DRM) from another, old computer. They would "get stuck" when Music Collection tried to play them. I had to convert them to MP3 on my old computer first to remove the digital protection and then upload them again. If the same tracks are consistently not playing, is it possible they are protected? Can you play them on your computer?

GHOST PROTOCOL
01-01-2011, 08:06 AM
+1 on the small mirrors. I have a 550xi on order without the side cameras. Can you expand on how you think they might help? Did you drive the auto tranny model before deciding on the stick? If so, what sold you on the 6 speed? Many on the forum have commented on preferring the auto, even though they come from stick trannys. I drove the 550i, but liked the feel of the steering on the xi better. Don't know if it the i had the IAS though. Wondering if I should revisit this, but hard to believe the xi won't pay off in upstate ny winters. Nice writeup. Any further thoughts appreciated.

IMO, side and top view cameras are a must particularly if you live in an urban or crowded area. When using this feature, your navigation screen displays your vehicle as if you were looking down on it from a satellite. You are able to maneuver your vehicle as if playing a video game (only way I know how to describe it). You simply drive your vehicle through tight or obstacle filled areas while watching the screen. Of course, you can not completely disregard looking out your windows or into your mirrors, but nevertheless this feature is extremely helpful. I was first exposed to this feature on our X5 and felt that it was a must for our F10.

bmwarchitect
01-01-2011, 08:50 AM
IMO, side and top view cameras are a must particularly if you live in an urban or crowded area. When using this feature, your navigation screen displays your vehicle as if you were looking down on it from a satellite. You are able to maneuver your vehicle as if playing a video game (only way I know how to describe it). You simply drive your vehicle through tight or obstacle filled areas while watching the screen. Of course, you can not completely disregard looking out your windows or into your mirrors, but nevertheless this feature is extremely helpful. I was first exposed to this feature on our X5 and felt that it was a must for our F10.

Thanks for the info. I suspect then, that these would help in an underground parking garage when manuevering between concrete columns. Maybe worth the $800 to avoid a ding.

Rafa
01-01-2011, 09:13 AM
I find myself using the top and side view cameras in most parking situations. They are extremely helpful! With top view, I can align the vehicle with the lines on the pavement that define the parking space so that the car is perfectly pararell and equidistant (unless I need to be farther to one side, and the top view also helps with this). The side view allows me to avoid hitting the curb with the front underside of the car. The paint on the lower part of my front bumper and the rubber spoilers under it are pristine, which cannot be said of previous cars I owned. The camera package is just great, incredibly useful, and the wow factor of the top view is outside of the scale, as most people cannot figure out how it works and believe that it is a real time satellite shot!

bmwarchitect
01-01-2011, 09:39 AM
I find myself using the top and side view cameras in most parking situations. They are extremely helpful! With top view, I can align the vehicle with the lines on the pavement that define the parking space so that the car is perfectly pararell and equidistant (unless I need to be farther to one side, and the top view also helps with this). The side view allows me to avoid hitting the curb with the front underside of the car. The paint on the lower part of my front bumper and the rubber spoilers under it are pristine, which cannot be said of previous cars I owned. The camera package is just great, incredibly useful, and the wow factor of the top view is outside of the scale, as most people cannot figure out how it works and believe that it is a real time satellite shot!

Thanks for the detailed report. Will consider.

tdepetra
01-01-2011, 10:04 AM
I find myself using the top and side view cameras in most parking situations. They are extremely helpful! With top view, I can align the vehicle with the lines on the pavement that define the parking space so that the car is perfectly pararell and equidistant (unless I need to be farther to one side, and the top view also helps with this). The side view allows me to avoid hitting the curb with the front underside of the car. The paint on the lower part of my front bumper and the rubber spoilers under it are pristine, which cannot be said of previous cars I owned. The camera package is just great, incredibly useful, and the wow factor of the top view is outside of the scale, as most people cannot figure out how it works and believe that it is a real time satellite shot!

Great review. BTW, when I'm 100 years old, I will be demanding the camera package on my car. Please be sure to not be on the road when I am.

Rafa
01-01-2011, 11:45 AM
Great review. BTW, when I'm 100 years old, I will be demanding the camera package on my car. Please be sure to not be on the road when I am.

I don't think I'll last that long. When you are 100, drive your 2060 BMW with the holographic interactive camera pachage to your heart's content.

1HOT BMR
01-01-2011, 11:26 PM
Glad you like it! Never driven North of the Point Reyes Peninsula but I bet that was a spectacular "test track" for the new F10.

Suspect most of the electronic glitches will smooth out as you become familiar with the car. The steering wheel should definitely move up out of the way when you shut the engine down.

Door locks have some iDrive settable options.

Re the outside mirrors, maybe I am the only one that didn't know this but at the PDC delivery driving experience they showed us how to set them so as to eliminate the blind spot on either side of the car.

Sitting in your normal driving position, lean to the left and set the left mirror out to just see the left rear of the car. Lean right and do the same with the right mirror. Now in the normal sitting position you will see into the blind spot on each side. The center mirror looks directly behind.

Took a little getting used to for me but I love it now.

It is a great road to test the handling and driving enjoyment of any car and my 550i was really fun to drive on it. I agree with you that the position of the mirrors is crucial to eliminate the blind spot. I learned to adjust them properly many years ago and I don't have that problem anymore. I think the side mirrors are just too small and they don't cover enough of the area around the car, this together with the high backs makes it really difficult for me to see enough of what is around me. The rearview camera is helpful but not enough.

+1 on the small mirrors. I have a 550xi on order without the side cameras. Can you expand on how you think they might help? Did you drive the auto tranny model before deciding on the stick? If so, what sold you on the 6 speed? Many on the forum have commented on preferring the auto, even though they come from stick trannys. I drove the 550i, but liked the feel of the steering on the xi better. Don't know if it the i had the IAS though. Wondering if I should revisit this, but hard to believe the xi won't pay off in upstate ny winters. Nice writeup. Any further thoughts appreciated.

The side cameras would be helpful in helping me see the scene around me just to make sure I'm not missing anything when backing up, etc. I also have to enter my garage at an angle and it would be great to know exactly when my right fender is close to the wall - the proximity warning is a real help but a camera would be better.

I didn't drive the automatic because I was only looking at four door cars with a powerful engine and a manual transmission. My last four door was an automatic with paddles and I realized my mistake of thinking that it would be as much fun to drive as a stick or at least a good substitute - it is not. Only cars with a manual and a powerful engine were considered and that is the sole reason I looked at and drove the 550i. If a manual was not offered I did not test the brand. My recommendation is for you to get the cameras and the IAS. They are not that much more money and surely worth it to me - especially the IAS.

Thanks for the review. I have to pick my 550i up on Jan 6 and will also be looking for the different things discussed on the forum. It's nice to hear the more comprehensive reviews.

You're welcome. I read everything I could on this forum and it was a tremendous help in my decision to purchase this car. I'm hoping others will benefit from my experience with and my comments about the car.

Just some helpful thoughts here...
Are you setting your mirrors "correctly"? I learned how to after reading a couple of articles many years ago. Need to set them much further outward than most of us are taught -- should not see the side of your car in the side mirrors. I have zero blind spots the way mine are positioned.

My steering wheel always moves up when I shut off the car and back down to the stored position when I start it up. However, if you manually move the wheel, even just a small amount, before you shut down, it will not move up. I don't think I set this via iDrive, but I'll check my "settings" screen.

I found early on that there is a slight delay of some sort once you close the last door. You cannot lock the car until you wait about 1.5 seconds after closing the door. I kept presing the fob lock button and had to press it a 2nd time -- now I just pause and it works fine every time.

I had a problem where I moved some files that were digitally protected (DRM) from another, old computer. They would "get stuck" when Music Collection tried to play them. I had to convert them to MP3 on my old computer first to remove the digital protection and then upload them again. If the same tracks are consistently not playing, is it possible they are protected? Can you play them on your computer?

Thanks for all your suggestions, very helpful. I'm trying all of them and will report back if and when I resolve these issues. I have a feeling the one about the steering wheel is right on because that is exactly what I did - move it after the memory settings were saved.

bmwarchitect
01-02-2011, 05:13 AM
Thank you all for the great feedback!

ssj
01-02-2011, 06:51 AM
I find myself using the top and side view cameras in most parking situations. They are extremely helpful! With top view, I can align the vehicle with the lines on the pavement that define the parking space so that the car is perfectly pararell and equidistant (unless I need to be farther to one side, and the top view also helps with this). The side view allows me to avoid hitting the curb with the front underside of the car. The paint on the lower part of my front bumper and the rubber spoilers under it are pristine, which cannot be said of previous cars I owned. The camera package is just great, incredibly useful, and the wow factor of the top view is outside of the scale, as most people cannot figure out how it works and believe that it is a real time satellite shot!

One difficulty I have experienced with the side/top view cameras, is that while the car can now be positioned square in tight spots, I still have difficulty visualizing the front end of the car - i.e. with a low level kerb that can scrape the front underside, because the system does not give any info about what is in front of the car and the PDC does not work for low level obstructions. I wish there was a camera in the front grille too!

Rafa
01-02-2011, 10:25 AM
One difficulty I have experienced with the side/top view cameras, is that while the car can now be positioned square in tight spots, I still have difficulty visualizing the front end of the car - i.e. with a low level kerb that can scrape the front underside, because the system does not give any info about what is in front of the car and the PDC does not work for low level obstructions. I wish there was a camera in the front grille too!

When you are centered and close to the curb, switch to the side view cameras. There will be a yellow line superimposed which indicates where the front end of the car is. You cannot see the curb in front of you but you can see the curb on both sides. Just align the yellow lines to the curb you can see. Hope this helps.

whoever
01-02-2011, 08:54 PM
1,800 miles without a problem on a new car is worth celebrating, BMW trained us well, haven't they?