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innerloop
04-26-2011, 10:10 AM
I am in the process of placing an order for a 535GT for Euro delivery. I was only able to drive a 550GT at the dealer, and a 535 sedan, so a bit concerned about the weight/power ratio, but honestly a 550 is more of an MPG hit than I'd care to take, and power isn't my primary concern.

I had a few questions about the build of the car. There was a great thread on here regarding option reviews on the F10, most of which I think should apply to the F07, so that's gotten me most of the info I need.

Some questions that were NOT answered by that thread:

1) From what I've read, I want the Sport package for better handling & suspension. However, I really dislike the wheels that come with the 535 Sport package (love the ones that come with the 550 sport package). Is there any way to change the wheels short of ordering the $7000 optional 20" wheels?

2) What is the practical difference between the default Dakota leather and Napa leather? I'm coming off a 335i convertible, which had Dakota, and it seemed fine. Any reason to spring for the upgraded materials? Does it affect both front and back? Does it wear better? (The Dakota leather in my last 2 BMW's always get scuffed from entry/exit on driver seat after 2-3 years).

3) Dynamic Handling package. I'm on the fence about this. The website is a bit vague about what this adds, but it sounds like things I like (less roll when cornerering, etc.). Do other owners recommend this in addition to the Sport package, or is the Sport enough? Is this the option that gives me adjustable controls for the ride? I get confused between the settable "Sport, Sport+, Comfort" settings - are those added by the Sport package or by the Dynamic Handling package?

4) Ceramic controls. The 550i I drove had these, and they seemed cool (different), but wondering what is the practical purpose for them other than "to be different". Something to help justify the cost mentally :)

5) The only aesthetic difference I could see between the 550GT I drove and the 535 (website pics) was the exhaust pipes. I love the way they looked on the 550GT (and even the 550 sedan didn't look as sharp). But of course the 535i doesn't have the same look. Assuming there is no package that will add that to the 535, I guess my question is are there other aesthetic of functional differences between the 550 and the 535 I should be aware of? (I did notice that some mirror dimming/universal garagae door options are different in the base models for the two as well).

Thanks for any advice!

*dima*
04-26-2011, 01:23 PM
Congratulations, I believe the GT is a great choice. I went through numerous test drives recently, and chose the 550ix GT for ED in May.

1. I feel the same way about wheels, and this was just another reason for me to opt for the 550ix. I am not aware of a way to replace the wheels on the 535 order. Perhaps your CA can do something after the delivery.

2. In my opinion, the Nappa suits the GT much more. It just feels more upscale. It does not look like it will wear better, but the look and feel are superior.

3. Sport package is solely cosmetic, it does not improve the suspension or handling, just adds larger wheels. DHP adds anti-roll stabilization, and adaptive drive. I feel that it really changes the GT. The ride becomes better, and more adjustable.
It also adds the Comfort mode (which works great on the Midwestern roads), without it you just have Normal, Sport and Sport +.
For me DHP was a must. Selecting DHP forces you to include the Sport package on the order.

5. As far as the differences between 550 and 535, as you already point out, the 550 adds better wheels and tailpipes. 550 also includes the metallic paint, navigation, integrated garage door opener, autodimming mirror. The opener and mirror are only available in a package on the 535. No other differences I could see.

11gt535
04-26-2011, 02:03 PM
I am in the process of placing an order for a 535GT for Euro delivery. I was only able to drive a 550GT at the dealer, and a 535 sedan, so a bit concerned about the weight/power ratio, but honestly a 550 is more of an MPG hit than I'd care to take, and power isn't my primary concern.

My 535i GT drove around the Nurburgring handily and the car will probably never see a more challenging road. I test drove the 550i GT on city/highway (but not the ring) and it is impressive. You're doing 100 mph at the end of on-ramps easily. To put it into relative terms the 535i GT has straight line performance similar to my old manual 2002 330i which I thought was a rocket, and the 550i GT gets fairly close to M territory at least in acceleration. It's all what you want, both are capable within a set of expectations.

1) From what I've read, I want the Sport package for better handling & suspension. However, I really dislike the wheels that come with the 535 Sport package (love the ones that come with the 550 sport package). Is there any way to change the wheels short of ordering the $7000 optional 20" wheels?

There are no suspension hardware changes... it's a different steering wheel, black trim on the windows, premium seats (very nice if they fit you well), and the upgraded tires/wheels. The upgrade tires make a difference once they wear in, you might not notice any difference in a test drive. If you want different wheels it might make sense just to do that on your own, not use run-flats, and be ahead on nearly all fronts. The steering wheel and the seating are nice touches.

3) Dynamic Handling package. I'm on the fence about this. The website is a bit vague about what this adds, but it sounds like things I like (less roll when cornerering, etc.). Do other owners recommend this in addition to the Sport package, or is the Sport enough? Is this the option that gives me adjustable controls for the ride? I get confused between the settable "Sport, Sport+, Comfort" settings - are those added by the Sport package or by the Dynamic Handling package?

The Sport/+/Normal button is available on all GT's regardless of package I believe. Without DHP... the changes in transmission behavior and engine performance are noticable, suspension and steering... it says it is changing something but that's a tough call. "Comfort" mode is added by Dynamic Handling. I only did a short test drive in a DHP car (the 550i GT) and didn't see it do much other than make the steering mushy. I'm sure someone with more experience in both could answer better.

innerloop
04-26-2011, 06:24 PM
My 535i GT drove around the Nurburgring handily and the car will probably never see a more challenging road. To put it into relative terms the 535i GT has straight line performance similar to my old manual 2002 330i which I thought was a rocket, and the 550i GT gets fairly close to M territory at least in acceleration. It's all what you want, both are capable within a set of expectations.

How was your car configured for the 'ring and how did it perform for you?

11gt535
04-28-2011, 02:53 PM
How was your car configured for the 'ring and how did it perform for you?

It's a 535i GT w/Sport Package. I had it in "Sport" mode but not Sport+. I was very pleased with how it handled and how the computer shifted. In Normal the engine is pretty reserved but in Sport it wants to go. We were generally not on the racing line but outside of the speed controlled areas we were in the 50-80's and comfortably making turns... I had planned to stay closer to 40-60's but the car performed better than my expectations. Body roll wasn't as pronounced as I expected for a big tall car and it really had that confidence in the corners. The sport-package seats with the adjusting side bolsters were very snug for what otherwise have almost nothing in common with racing seats. I took it up to where the tires just started making noise so there was plenty of room to be more aggresive. The final turn to the straight we accelerated in the turn and came out at around 110 comfortably.

I'm sure a 550i would have gotten us around quicker. But the 535i is no slouch.

Capobranco
05-06-2011, 12:13 PM
The 5 GT is an adaptive platform that can be outfitted as a very comfortable family cruiser or a vehicle that not only offers luxury cruising capability but also a sporting edge and driver satisfaction. Personally I am thrilled by the effortless power and performance of the twin turbo V8, but I understand the 6 works very nicely. Optional equipment is crucial, regardless if you are ordering the 6 or V8.

I consider the following equipment essential;
1- Sport pack - fantastic adjustable seats - blacked out trim looks purposeful
2- Adapt. Handling - transformational - GT goes from relaxed comfy cruiser to sports sedan with touch of button
3- Optional wheels - I think the 20s on my 550i GT give the car a serious look - I like the
look of the optional 19s on the 535 GT - elegant but sports oriented. The standard 18s are lost on the car.

Obviously there are many desirable options that enhance the driving experience - a few that I consider very desirable include;
1- Satellite radio
2- Upgraded stereo
3- Comfort access
4 -Napa leather
5-heated seats front and rear

Options I do not like;
1 active cruise

I am on the fence about active steering and X drive.

The cool thing about the 5 GT is the flexibility of the platform.
As I said in prior posts I consider my 550i GT to be the love child of my former
5 series touring and my 911 turbo.

innerloop
05-08-2011, 10:12 AM
I consider the following equipment essential;
1- Sport pack - fantastic adjustable seats - blacked out trim looks purposeful
2- Adapt. Handling - transformational - GT goes from relaxed comfy cruiser to sports sedan with touch of button
3- Optional wheels - I think the 20s on my 550i GT give the car a serious look - I like the
look of the optional 19s on the 535 GT - elegant but sports oriented. The standard 18s are lost on the car.

Obviously there are many desirable options that enhance the driving experience - a few that I consider very desirable include;
1- Satellite radio
2- Upgraded stereo
3- Comfort access
4 -Napa leather
5-heated seats front and rear

Options I do not like;
1 active cruise


Thanks for the reply. I read a very detailed thread about options pros/cons on the F10, but very little on how the F07 differs (or doesn't differ). A placed an order for ED initially without the Adaptive Handling, just because it was so unclear what the benefit was and I was not able to drive cars with/without it to compare. The one car I did drive was WITH Adaptive Handling (but was also a 550).

So I think I will adjust the order to add AH, given that you feel it adds a lot to the driving experience. Otherwise my config is pretty much the same, except with 1 kid and 1 on the way, I felt Napa was probably not a good investment for, and I'm pretty used to the Dakota on my current 335.

I loved adaptive cruise on an M45 I had for a while, but it was more or less a 'standard' feature there, and given the ala carte price on the BMW, it doesn't seem worth it. They must not sell a lot at that price. Even in the M45 I used it maybe twice a year...

I also added the Camera package because it seems like cool tech and I am a bit concerned about parking this size car in a city like SF.

Still on the fence about the package that includes the "Blind Spot Monitor" or whatever the exact name it. It has a few things that sound not-so-useful (Auto high-beams and lane departure), but the blind spot thing sounds smart and useful to me. Anyone used it in practice?

The HUD is something I am tempted to get for pure "geek" factor, but hard to justify the price just for that, so will pass on that.

Most everyone seems to agree NO on active steering, and x-drive doesn't give enough benefit around here unless you're an avid skiier.

I REALLY wish I would pay a bit extra and get the 550 19" wheels on the 535, but guess I'll have to suck it up and live with it. The price to go to 20" wheels seems insane to me esp. on a 3-year lease.

Thanks again!

Capobranco
05-08-2011, 11:39 AM
Thanks for the reply. I read a very detailed thread about options pros/cons on the F10, but very little on how the F07 differs (or doesn't differ). A placed an order for ED initially without the Adaptive Handling, just because it was so unclear what the benefit was and I was not able to drive cars with/without it to compare. The one car I did drive was WITH Adaptive Handling (but was also a 550).

So I think I will adjust the order to add AH, given that you feel it adds a lot to the driving experience. Otherwise my config is pretty much the same, except with 1 kid and 1 on the way, I felt Napa was probably not a good investment for, and I'm pretty used to the Dakota on my current 335.

GOOD MOVE! - YOU WILL NEVER REGRET IT! :thumbup:

As to the Napa - it is nice but I could take it or leave it - BTW I have a large German shepherd and I have not had any wear issues.

I loved adaptive cruise on an M45 I had for a while, but it was more or less a 'standard' feature there, and given the ala carte price on the BMW, it doesn't seem worth it. They must not sell a lot at that price. Even in the M45 I used it maybe twice a year...

...my experience exactly...I had adaptive cruise on my 335i vert but rarely used it...nice entertainment value - I should note some on this forum swear by it!

I also added the Camera package because it seems like cool tech and I am a bit concerned about parking this size car in a city like SF.

Still on the fence about the package that includes the "Blind Spot Monitor" or whatever the exact name it. It has a few things that sound not-so-useful (Auto high-beams and lane departure), but the blind spot thing sounds smart and useful to me. Anyone used it in practice?

The HUD is something I am tempted to get for pure "geek" factor, but hard to justify the price just for that, so will pass on that.

I do not have the camera package so I do not know what I am missing...having said that, I
have no problem with blind spots...perhaps because I am 6'3". BTW, I find the parking sensors to be effective.

Most everyone seems to agree NO on active steering, and x-drive doesn't give enough benefit around here unless you're an avid skiier.

I really debate with myself these two points. I had active steering on my 335i vert and it
was spooky - super quick at low speeds and artificial feeling at higher speeds - I grew used to it but I it really was an inappropriate application of technology - the standard setup was not broke. Seems like it would be perfect for the 5 GT given its 7 series architecture. Given my experience of my 335i - I avoided it on my 550i GT. I love the standard BMW steering especially in tandem with adaptive handling - a lot of feel and very precise feedback - just a joy to drive either in laid-back cruiser mode or on more spirited sport+ roads. The GT drives much smaller than its size. I agree with your decision. IMHO

I find X drive tempting but I got through last winter in DC with no problems (up to 2/3 inches) - to be honest when it snowed really bad - the GT stayed at home and the SUV came out of the garage. Next winter I will probably bite the bullet and switch to winter tires. I find the rear wheel drive of my GT to be magical. :D

I REALLY wish I would pay a bit extra and get the 550 19" wheels on the 535, but guess I'll have to suck it up and live with it. The price to go to 20" wheels seems insane to me esp. on a 3-year lease.

Thanks again!

I agree totally - the 20s are nice but an insane price. That being said, I disagree with your assessment of the 535 GT's 19s - I like them - I think they are elegant but they also impart a serious sports sedan feel to the GT. They look quintessentially BMW.

Congrats on your GT - I have 8000 miles on mine now and it has been great car -
Fast - luxurious - and surprisingly utilitarian. BTW be prepared for many unsolicited compliments - most people on the street think the 5 GT is some kind of BMW exotic - I just smile.:)

CC Brown
05-08-2011, 01:41 PM
Different strokes for different folks.

I saw no reason to get the Sports handling package. It only adds Comfort and when I drove one with SH I really couldn't see paying for it.

I will not own a car without the added safety of Adaptive cruise control and Blind side warning.

I do not race my car nor do I ever plan to- it is a luxury sedan- not a race car. If you want a race car buy an M.

People buy cars for different reasons. That's why asking someone on here what you should order assumes everyone has the same requirements-They don't.

Capobranco
05-08-2011, 04:36 PM
Different strokes for different folks.

I saw no reason to get the Sports handling package. It only adds Comfort and when I drove one with SH I really couldn't see paying for it.

I will not own a car without the added safety of Adaptive cruise control and Blind side warning.

I do not race my car nor do I ever plan to- it is a luxury sedan- not a race car. If you want a race car buy an M.

People buy cars for different reasons. That's why asking someone on here what you should order assumes everyone has the same requirements-They don't.

B M W...g r a n.. t u r i s m o

My 550i GT endowed with BMW DNA and equipped with sport pack - adaptive handling - 20-inch wheels with staggered performance tires offers a true gran turismo experience - fast - luxurious - spacious - robust BMW athletic styling. I look forward with anticipation every opportunity I have to explore its limits.

The 5 GT is a very flexible platform - it can be a very comfy cruiser or properly outfitted
has the potential of offering real driver satisfaction to enthusiasts who require luxury and utility.

...different stokes for different folks...:smokin:

jdubbs
05-08-2011, 05:12 PM
A few replies to some of the comments above, based on a few month's experience with my 550i GT:

1) I would not be so quick to dismiss Active Steering. It does take some getting used to, but having driven two cars with it, it's rather difficult going back to a car without it... akin to stepping down from a car with power steering to one without. And the new all-wheel version benefits turning radius tremendously. I can make a complete U-turn at every intersection I've tried with the GT, whereas many of those I tried with my previous (and shorter) 650i, required multi-point or extremely wide turns.

2) Lane departure warning is a complete waste of money, but in the US at least, it's impossible to get the blind spot detection without it. My steering wheel was vibrating almost constantly with lane departure warning on, and I could never figure out what the > and < arrows were supposed to mean (on the freeways especially they are always on, and therefore serve no warning purpose at all). Overall it's just too sensitive and not forgiving enough of real-world driving; I turned it off after a few weeks. Blind Spot Detection, on the other hand, is a valid safety feature, one that frankly should be standard equipment in all cars.

3) If you're going for luxury, spring for Nappa leather. It pushes the interior experience away from its 5 namesake and up to its 7 roots.

4) I did not order active cruise control because I do very little freeway driving where even regular cruise control would be appropriate. But if I had a long commute, I might have sprung for it. Depends a lot on your driving routine...

5) HUD is one of those features that you get addicted to. I hate driving cars without it now.

Capobranco
05-08-2011, 05:59 PM
A few replies to some of the comments above, based on a few month's experience with my 550i GT:

1) I would not be so quick to dismiss Active Steering. It does take some getting used to, but having driven two cars with it, it's rather difficult going back to a car without it... akin to stepping down from a car with power steering to one without. And the new all-wheel version benefits turning radius tremendously. I can make a complete U-turn at every intersection I've tried with the GT, whereas many of those I tried with my previous (and shorter) 650i, required multi-point or extremely wide turns.....


You make a really good point about active steering. Given the size of the GT, if any car would benefit from active steering, it would have to be the GT. I got used to active steering on my previous BMW but never really liked it. The feel at higher speeds felt contrived - drive by computer. I found myself constantly having to make small corrections because I was unable to "feel" what the front tires were really doing - obviously, this did not inspire confidence or encourage spirited driving. I was pleasantly surprised that the turning radius on my 550i GT was more than acceptable - I had expected horrid - while the overall feel and responsiveness of my car's steering is superb - pure BMW. Based on my experience with active steering, I made the choice to sacrifice low speed maneuverability for high-speed feed back and control by forgoing the active steering option. Perhaps the system has evolved to a point where that compromise is moot.
I'm game.

magnumforc
05-12-2011, 11:15 PM
Different strokes for different folks.

I saw no reason to get the Sports handling package. It only adds Comfort and when I drove one with SH I really couldn't see paying for it.

I will not own a car without the added safety of Adaptive cruise control and Blind side warning.

I do not race my car nor do I ever plan to- it is a luxury sedan- not a race car. If you want a race car buy an M.

People buy cars for different reasons. That's why asking someone on here what you should order assumes everyone has the same requirements-They don't.

Sport Package at $2200 does not include Comfort Mode. You still get only the "Normal, Sport and Sport+" modes.

For the $2200 you do get 19" Alloy Multi-spoke wheels, Sports Leather steering wheel, Multi-contour seats and Shadowline Exterior trim. The seats alone are worth the admission price in my book, with the adjustable thigh, shoulder and back supports as well as the multiple position lumbar support.

If you order the Sport Package on the xDrive you get all season tires, which gives good versatility for rain and even light snow. No Alpine runs, but okay for the mountains when 4 wheel drive OR chains are required. Here in CA it makes a good utilitarian choice.

innerloop
05-13-2011, 02:30 PM
I agree, the Sports Package is a win, especially since (as far as I understand it) on the GT cars, you are getting the 7-series Contour seats, which are a notch above the typical 5er contour seats. Also they seem to always make the sport package a pre-req for everything else that sounds cool.

I ended up going with the Sport & Dynamic Handling, based on the comments here.

My current frustration is trying to make sense of all the different Phone options I read about here. 6NR, ComBox, BMW Apps, Mobile Office. Its a total mess and I can't figure out what is the best move. For now, I've just checked on every option that seems related to smart phone connectivity and hope for the best! BMW really needs to simplify or standardize this a bit more.