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kashrahman
02-26-2011, 09:29 AM
looking at a 535xi GT for the wife. (sorry, can't bring myself to write 535 Xdrive GT; just doesn't sound right). questions:

1) is the dynamic handling package worth it? she likes large and floaty; I prefer small and nimble. I would be in favor of this package. and the adjustable suspension -- is that standard or only comes with the dynamic handling package?

2) what's the difference between the rear seating package and the standard rear seat? besides the obvious 2 versus 3 passenger? I see I can get both heated, and the rear package adds 20 way (or is it 10 or 18? either way it's more) power seats in the rear.
but will the rear seats also massage like the front? also, with the front seats, do both massage or just the driver?

3) is there any option you wish you had gotten in retrospect, or not gotten? for example, I found that I never use the smartphone connection in my convertible, but do wish I had gotten park distance control.

thanks!! Kash

Capobranco
02-26-2011, 07:28 PM
looking at a 535xi GT for the wife. (sorry, can't bring myself to write 535 Xdrive GT; just doesn't sound right). questions:

1) is the dynamic handling package worth it? she likes large and floaty; I prefer small and nimble. I would be in favor of this package. and the adjustable suspension -- is that standard or only comes with the dynamic handling package?

In a word – YES – I would not buy a 5 GT unless it was equipped with the sport package and dynamic handling. The difference between settings is dramatic. “Comfort” and “Normal” provide a very compliant ride. “Sport” and “Sport+” allow a large car to drive small. I would not characterize the 5 GT as a canyon carver but the handling is fun, capable if not engaging. I have to make a frequent road trip that takes me from DC, to the cobblestones of Baltimore, to the mountains of Western Maryland and West Virginia. The driving dynamics of my 550i GT makes a trip that was exhausting in my 335i Vert effortless.

2) what's the difference between the rear-seating package and the standard rear seat? besides the obvious 2 versus 3 passenger? I see I can get both heated, and the rear package adds 20 way (or is it 10 or 18? either way it's more) power seats in the rear.
but will the rear seats also massage like the front? also, with the front seats, do both massage or just the driver?

If I had the choice I would purchase the upgraded rear seating – truly a first class experience and a real wow factor in the 5 GT. However, I needed the utility that the standard seats offered for work. Moreover, my constant traveling companion is a 100 lb German shepherd dog who takes up ¾ of the back seat. If the up graded seating is First Class – the standard rear seats are Business+. Business associates remark on the comfort and luxury of the back seat experience. Indeed, when my family joins me – the rear seats go first.

3) is there any option you wish you had gotten in retrospect, or not gotten? for example, I found that I never use the smartphone connection in my convertible, but do wish I had gotten park distance control.

thanks!! Kash

I wanted a luxury car that was dynamically engaging to drive but offered enhanced utility and premium accommodations. Moreover, I considered charisma – road presence – to be desirable, but not critical. I placed an emphasis on options I considered mandatory like Sport-Pack, dynamic handling, and 20 in. wheels. I had active cruise and active steering on my 335i vert – I have neither on my 550i GT. I do not miss the active cruise at all. As to active steering, reviewers almost universally recommended to eschew this option. On the 335i, it was very spooky but I grew to tolerate it. However, the size of the 5 GT makes active steering a more intriguing if not desirable option.

Overall, I regard the 5 GT to be a true BMW gran turismo – which is a very good thing. I made a rather extensive post on the F/10 forum in response to your wife’s inquiry. I think you will find it interesting.

car-fan
02-26-2011, 09:40 PM
To expand on svanil points - The rear luxury seating is indeed a very opulent option if you only need 4-place seating. It features a leather wrapped center console with 20-way comfort seats that are heated and ventilated, also includes 4 zone climate (which I say is a desirable option and rear shades. You can add to this configuration the rear entertainment system - which I, and everyone who sits in the back of my car enjoys. Although, I have the rear climate/entertainment on my car, I opted for the 5 place seating to allow for extra space.

The feedback on the active front (massaging) seats seems to be medicore. In essence it doesn't appear to meet the expectations of those who selected the option.

HUD is also a worthwhile option, in addition to vehicle speed, and select alerts, the navigation arrows also appear on the windshield.

I also have night vision - which is a novelty, however if you are on a dark highway, in addtion to animals and pedestrians, the system also highlights idling automobiles on the side of the road ;)

Drivers assistance package with side assist is worthwhile - IMO- blind spot detection alerts you to vehicles in and/or approaching your blind spot. This package also includes lane departure warning (shakes the steering wheel) and auto high beams which actually works pretty well.

Camera Package - must have (includes rear, front sides, and now most recently - top view

Premium sound - worthy option IMHO - some of the F10/F01 folks complain about the sound quality. The irony of this is a reviewer at the 2010 NAIAS stated the GT topped all competitors including Lexus - Mark Levision and the Jaguar B&W system http://news.cnet.com/8301-13645_3-10472263-47.html Its likely due to the different speaker placements in the GT.

Bottom line you can configure a GT to your specific needs. Get your hands on the physical 68 page 5 Series Gran Turismo product brochure and acclimate yourself on whats available the photos are top notch. The PDF version is online but I am old school I like flipping through the pages;)

kashrahman
02-26-2011, 10:14 PM
wow, thanks!! Svanil -- excellent points! as my current ride is an E93 335i, I can relate to a lot of what you said -- it's a fun car, but not a long distance cruiser. car-fan -- it's funny, but I was considering all of those options!! the more I read about them, the more sense they make! thanks!! Kash

magnumforc
02-27-2011, 10:37 PM
Another point is looking at the Sports Package on the 535iGT Xdrive gives you all season tires on 19 inch rims, a great package that combines excellent all weather handling with the multi-contour front seats, sports suspension upgrade, steering wheel and the shadowline exterior trim that replaces the chrome trim. Really upgrades the look of the car greatly. We have two GT's, one Xdrive and one standard and the handling is quite different, even though each has the ability to accept the various chassis and suspension settings. I'd also add the navigation system and full camera package. In tight quarters, the cameras are almost a must. The parking control sensors are nice but the cameras are a lot nicer!

csmooth79
02-28-2011, 09:31 AM
Must have(s) that I didnt get:

-- upgraded wheels, 20+ (I am a fan of wheels, obviously) but mine came with 18" wheels that were particularly too small, and made the car look off (even the wife saw 1 with 20's on it and thought it was a different car)
-- comfort seats -- coming from my 745li I really miss my seats and think that I would love my car and cruising in it that much more if I had that

Must have(s):

-- camera pkg -- not sure why this isnt standard (at least rear), but it is needed for a vehicle of this size
-- premium sound -- as the other poster stated, you need it and will really enjoy it, my biggest issue with my prior 7 was the sound system and electronics, I think BMW really nailed this one

magnumforc
02-28-2011, 10:44 AM
Question, or perhaps a personal observation, and yes I do have excellent hearing. My wife's vehicle has the premium sound, iPod adapter package along with satellite radio and nav; mine simply has the iPod adapter, along with satellite radio and the Nav system.. Strangely enough we simply cannot tell the difference in the two. Volume turned up, they seem comparable in output, tone, etc. Last 3 series I did have the premium sound for the $1400 bucks and I just can't seem to find the differences. I do know that the Cadillac had the Bose 5.1 system with centerPoint and that was true surrouns, so am I missing something here?

jdubbs
02-28-2011, 03:37 PM
My only regret is that the GT is not available with paddle shifters, because I've enjoyed them on my last two BMWs. But that said, the 550i engine is so powerful and the automatic shifting is so smooth that I now question whether I ever would have had occasion to use them.

I chose the standard rear seating configuration, and added heated rear seats, 4-zone climate control, and rear window automated shades to get more of the luxury feel back there. If the luxury rear seating package had not sacrificed the center seat, I would have ordered it instead, but after three years with a four seater (my previous car was a 650i) I knew I needed space for a fifth from time to time.

The "massage" function of the front comfort seats is not really a massaging sensation at all... it's more subtle and intermittent, basically the same effect you get from shifting your weight from one butt cheek to the other every so often. It is present in both front seats, though the button is fairly hard to see/find, being roughly at your knee. Frankly I would not want it to be more pronounced; the seats in my E60 M5 had active side bolsters to "grip" you in your seat when you took turns at high speeds, but over time it just felt like someone was jabbing me in the sides of my abdomen. I don't need that again.

magnumforc
02-28-2011, 04:09 PM
Amen to the paddle shifters. It made the little 328i fun through the mountains and the Pacific Coast Highway for sure. I'm still getting used to the eight speed transmission. Two more gears than the last BMW and it seems to shift so fast that I think the paddles would be a hindrance. I have put it in sport mode and it simply takes longer to go through the gears. BMW just gets the transmissions so well, right on point. Unlike so many others who never seem to get the automatic right, that you kick yourself that a. they don't offer a manual and b. you didn't buy a manual if they did, even though you knew you would hate it in the freeway traffic! But, that's why we buy BMW, correct?

kashrahman
03-01-2011, 04:12 PM
thanks everyone!! followup questions:

1) rear seat upgrade. do the rear seats still recline fold down? I would assume they do.

2) I've seen people mention the 6NR option on the F10 board for their ipod -- is that available also for the GT?

thanks! Kash

jdubbs
03-01-2011, 04:20 PM
1) yes.
2) presumably so, as it appears to be added across all the vehicles in the lineup concurrently. Note that 6NR is only available on cars produced after a certain date (this month) and apparently is not available as an upgrade or retrofit by your local dealer. Frankly it looks pretty useless so I'm not at all sorry my GT doesn't have it.

kashrahman
03-04-2011, 05:40 AM
thanks!! more questions:

1) 6NR option -- if I did want it, how do I order it? I don't see it on the website (or is it included in the ipod/usb cable option)?
2) rear seat upgrade -- do these seats power fold flat (as opposed to manually fold)? We looked at a 535xi GT on the dealer lot, but did not have the seat upgrade, and we had to manually fold these seats.
3) Also, we have soft touch on our 7 -- sensors had to be replaced last year (apparently there is a TSB or something about them); has anyone noticed issues with their soft touch?

This is what we're planning on:
535xi GT (sorry, I can't write xdrive, it just doesn't seem right!)
Black/Black/Ash Grain wood
Camera Package
Cold Weather Package
Driver Assistance Package
Convenience Package
Dynamic Handling Package
Sport Package
Luxury Rear Seating Package
Active ventilated seat package
Premium Sound Package
Head-up Display
Navigation system
Rear-seat entertainment
Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection

seems like a lot!! but
- no active cruise control (wife doesn't use cruise that much, too much city driving),
- no active steering (we've never tried it, and I suspect I would like it, but it would take several parking lot dings for the wife to get used to it).
- no smartphone integration (I have it and don't use it; just use the ipod cable instead) UNLESS do we need this for 6NR? (and let me guess -- smartphone is 6NR, isn't it? i thought it was 6FL)

thanks!! Kash

car-fan
03-04-2011, 07:44 AM
thanks!! more questions:

1) 6NR option -- if I did want it, how do I order it? I don't see it on the website (or is it included in the ipod/usb cable option)?
2) rear seat upgrade -- do these seats power fold flat (as opposed to manually fold)? We looked at a 535xi GT on the dealer lot, but did not have the seat upgrade, and we had to manually fold these seats.
3) Also, we have soft touch on our 7 -- sensors had to be replaced last year (apparently there is a TSB or something about them); has anyone noticed issues with their soft touch?

This is what we're planning on:
535xi GT (sorry, I can't write xdrive, it just doesn't seem right!)
Black/Black/Ash Grain wood
Camera Package
Cold Weather Package
Driver Assistance Package
Convenience Package
Dynamic Handling Package
Sport Package
Luxury Rear Seating Package
Active ventilated seat package
Premium Sound Package
Head-up Display
Navigation system
Rear-seat entertainment
Night Vision with Pedestrian Detection

seems like a lot!! but
- no active cruise control (wife doesn't use cruise that much, too much city driving),
- no active steering (we've never tried it, and I suspect I would like it, but it would take several parking lot dings for the wife to get used to it).
- no smartphone integration (I have it and don't use it; just use the ipod cable instead) UNLESS do we need this for 6NR? (and let me guess -- smartphone is 6NR, isn't it? i thought it was 6FL)

thanks!! Kash

Very nice:thumbup:

1) not sure about 6NR - but since its going to take time to build your car, it might be worth your while to order it. - Explain your desire to include it to your CA, this option is dependent on build/production date.

2) Yes the Luxury Rear Seat Package features a power folding mechanisim as well. There is a control panel with an array of switches in the hatch area.

3) No problems whatsoever with the self closing doors/hatch on my vehicle.

Remember you have to spec Navigation on the 535 GT, as it is not a standard item, also if you haven't ordered the Nappa seating you may want to do so, as it really enhances the overall luxury of the interior ;)

kashrahman
03-05-2011, 08:52 PM
thanks for everyone's help! order placed this afternoon -- everything as above, along with 6NF smartphone. 6NR was also listed on our build sheet; I'll keep my fingers crossed. (realistically, if she comes with it, great! if not, I probably won't even miss it.)
now starts the wait -- get euro delivery date, go to Munich, redeliver in South Carolina and then finally drive home! woohoo!