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innerloop
09-08-2011, 04:38 PM
Just got back from picking up my new GT from Munich and driving it around Europe for a week and a half. Felt obligated to return all the helpful advice here and write up a review of the car after a thorough and scenic test drive!

First, specifics on the car. I ended up ordering a 535GT (2011 still) pretty loaded up with all the usual stuff everyone gets (Convenience package, sports package, etc.). Also added on the Cameras, HUD, and Adaptive Drive (not steering). Deep Ocean Blue ext. with black interior.

My previous car, also Euro Delivered, was a 335 convertible that I picked up 3 years ago, just after they changed over to the new iDrive.

My first impressions of the car compared to my previous car:

* Liked the blue color, just a shade brighter than my previous car which was the dark-blue-almost-black color, I forget the exact name.

* I didn't get the luxury rear seating package, yet the back seats still independently moved forward & back and reclined (non-powered). Wasn't expecting that.

* Car looks big & hulking, a little menacing, on the Welt floor next to (generally) much smaller cars. It towers over the X1 sitting next to it.

* The iDrive display screen is noticable larger than my 3er

* Absolutely love the way the navigation information (next turn, etc.) is integrated into the instrument displays, freeing me from using that in the split screen.

* I really liked the HUD, glad I got it, it was a great way to avoid distractions while driving in Europe, which is already plenty distracting on its own.

* The Comfort setting on the Adaptive Drive really makes a BIG different in terms of the handling of the suspension, I didn't expect such an obvious change for some reason.

* The integration of radio & audio entertainment info in the instrument cluster display is also great.

* Love that I can change the units on the HUD & Instrument panel to KM instead of Miles, much easier when matching speed to Euro speed limits. Only oddity is that the Cruise setting on the instrument panel remains miles, even though it shows KM in the HUD.

* I didn't notice any throttle lag, even though I DID notice quite a bit of it on the test drive, so I suspect some newer programming between the model I test drove and the one I picked up (thank goodness!)

* Took a few tries to remember how to do the power lift gate on the remote, its dangerously close to "panic alarm" controls (oops!)

* Camera package was nice for getting into notoriously tight Euro parking spaces. I was a bit confused about why it sometimes defaults to "Rear camera" and sometimes "top down camera".

* The proximity beeping is a bit too conservative (solid tone with a foot of room left?). Wish I could adjust it and adjust the volume of it (probably I can, but its not obvious)

* On my previous car, if I did a "Random Play" of my iPod, it was easy to just the "next/previous" steering wheel control to skip a track I didn't care for. Now that this steering wheel has a rolling selector instead, its less obvious how to just do "next". Any ideas?

* After 9 days of driving, my average MPG through all variety of terrain was about 23.5MPG - better than my 335. Amazing!

* I expected to see other GTs on the road in Europe, but I saw zero others on the road. I DID see about 3-4 X6s however, which I sometimes mistook for GTs at first glance. And a shocking number of X5s and X3s. I didn't realize so many Europeans would import them back from the US factories. Go figure.

* The GT got lots of stares and looks when we would stop, and confused Valets trying to figure out how to load/unload the trunk until I showed them the "big" opening.

* Had a lot of fun throwing the car through curves in the mountains through Switzerland and Cote d'Azure, in Sport mode it can really behave like a smaller BMW.

* I liked how it projects a small blue dot on the target speed for the cruise, a bit more classy than how it was done in my 3 series.

* Liked the welcome lighting in the door handles, and the fact that all 4 doors had the comfort access ability

* Liked the addition of an audible confirm tone for lock/unlock (toggle-able) on the locking system, wasn't in the 3.

* Wow, the Comfort seats are REALLY comfortable. I love the upper-back separate adjustment and the side bolster adjustments. Most comfortable seat I've sat in for long rides bar none. And the "base" leather in this car felt better/richer than the Dakota in my 3.

* The panorama sunroof was nice. Not QUITE a substitute for my covertible top, but the next best thing. However because of the overall size of that sucker, the open/close sequence feels like it takes forever!

* Much better drink holders than the ones that fight for knee space with the passenger in my 3.


Overall it felt like a great luxury upgrade from my last car, especially in terms of seating comfort (front and back) and electronic systems & displays.

Really excited for it to arrive in 6-8 weeks from where we dropped it in Nice.

Wardman
09-08-2011, 07:44 PM
Nice write up. I just ordered my 2012 535ix GT and cannot wait for it to be completed. I'm hearing 6-8 weeks.

Wardman

jadnashuanh
09-08-2011, 08:01 PM
If you can afford the time, are you aware that you can have the car delivered at the BMW center in SC rather than the dealer's? They'll pay for a night in the hotel and meals for 2, then you get a chance to drive with some instruction on the track, a tour of the factory, and, if you didn't already get the intro in Europe, a familarization with the vehicle. Course, you have to pay to get there then drive home, but it's a neat opportunity. Be aware that vehicles delivered in Europe, then shipped, take a little longer to clear through customs than brand new, never delivered vehicles. It can vary from a day to days.

LowerEast
09-09-2011, 04:51 AM
* The proximity beeping is a bit too conservative (solid tone with a foot of room left?). Wish I could adjust it and adjust the volume of it (probably I can, but its not obvious)

You can adjust the volume through iDrive. I lasted about 3 days before I went looking for a way to turn it down. Trying to get into a tight space with a crying baby, my wife talking to me and a very loud proximity sensor was not a lot of fun!

Congratulations on the car. Enjoy!

Wardman
09-09-2011, 05:35 AM
Yes - I don't have the time for that with kids etc... My local dealer sales rep was VERY good at the i-drive stuff too, so I want to leverage her to help :-)

Capobranco
09-09-2011, 07:37 AM
Congrats! :thumbup:

Very nice GT!

PICS in Europe??????

*dima*
09-09-2011, 12:23 PM
Congratulations! European Delivery is supposed to be a Grand Tour of Europe, and there is no better way to go about it than in a Gran Turismo :D

I also went with the European Delivery for my 550 GT in May, and it was an excellent experience. I enjoyed reliving it while reading this review. I also drove from Munich to Nice.


* Liked the blue color, just a shade brighter than my previous car which was the dark-blue-almost-black color, I forget the exact name.

I feel that blue shades fit BMWs in general, and GTs in particular. My car is Imperial Blue, that's the darker color. A photo appears in my signature.


* Camera package was nice for getting into notoriously tight Euro parking spaces. I was a bit confused about why it sometimes defaults to "Rear camera" and sometimes "top down camera".


Agreed! The top item in the iDrive menu toggles between rear camera and top view. Since this menu is usually selected by default, all it takes to toggle the camera views is pressing the iDrive button.


* I really liked the HUD, glad I got it, it was a great way to avoid distractions while driving in Europe, which is already plenty distracting on its own.


Somehow, I did not like the HUD. It caused plenty of glare on the windscreen, and I still looked right through it without it registering. I looked at the navigation screen or the speedo for information. I guess it is just force of habit :dunno:



* The Comfort setting on the Adaptive Drive really makes a BIG different in terms of the handling of the suspension, I didn't expect such an obvious change for some reason.

+1! I found it especially useful for slow driving on the broken-up city streets back here in the Midwest. Still prefer Sport for country roads...



* On my previous car, if I did a "Random Play" of my iPod, it was easy to just the "next/previous" steering wheel control to skip a track I didn't care for. Now that this steering wheel has a rolling selector instead, its less obvious how to just do "next". Any ideas?


I also struggled with this (although not with iPod, but with the music on the hard drive). The only solution I found was to use the < > buttons on the radio. Any action with the scroll selector somehow cancels the Random for me.


* After 9 days of driving, my average MPG through all variety of terrain was about 23.5MPG - better than my 335. Amazing!


Even more amazing, I got 22 mpg average on the 550ix GT over 2600 miles in Europe!



* I expected to see other GTs on the road in Europe, but I saw zero others on the road. I DID see about 3-4 X6s however, which I sometimes mistook for GTs at first glance. And a shocking number of X5s and X3s. I didn't realize so many Europeans would import them back from the US factories. Go figure.


I saw several GTs is Bavaria, but none in France or Spain. When I went to Moscow, Russia after the ED trip, I hit the GT motherload. Must have seen 25 GTs in a week!


Overall it felt like a great luxury upgrade from my last car, especially in terms of seating comfort (front and back) and electronic systems & displays.

Really excited for it to arrive in 6-8 weeks from where we dropped it in Nice.

Wish you a quick re-delivery. I waited 9 weeks. I also went for the Performance Center Delivery in SC. So this was probably longer than what you will see. I highly recommend the PCD as well. It is a completely different experience with track driving, and a better factory tour than in Munich.

Capobranco
09-09-2011, 02:32 PM
... When I went to Moscow, Russia after the ED trip, I hit the GT motherload. Must have seen 25 GTs in a week!....


Same experience in St. Petersburg this past summer.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=285166&d=1310733415

kashrahman
09-11-2011, 03:13 PM
wow, we're like long lost twins!! I did ED on my 335 vert in 09, and last July the family and I did ED for the wife's 535 GT. Agree with many of you observations -- comfortable cruiser that is surprisingly agile. We dropped off in mid-July and will soon go to South Carolina to get our new baby!

GTfan
09-12-2011, 06:57 AM
Picked my imperial blue, ivory and black dakota interior up on 8/11/11. Agree with you on the comfort of the front seats and color. Only drawback is that I'm going out of my mind waiting. Car arrived in Newark last friday and the folks at special sales say it takes 7-10 days to clear FDA/Customs, Aghhhh. Saw a ton of X-6's on the road, but only one other GT, although 3-4 were being picked up on the day I got mine at the Welt. We went Munich, Salzburg, Italian Dolomites and the Alpi Di Suissi, Lake Como (i.e., bellagio) and Interlaken Switzerland.