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-   -   Consumer Reports BMW 5 Series (F10) falls short of the "Ultimate Driving Machine" (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=492762)

tim330i 10-19-2010 03:47 PM

Consumer Reports BMW 5 Series (F10) falls short of the "Ultimate Driving Machine"
 
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The BMW 5 Series has a luxurious and quiet interior and a very impressive drivetrain. Unfortunately, its handling falls short of BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan.

It seems like BMW has been targeting Mercedes and Lexus with this 5 series and not the "Ultimate Driving Machine".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36W93...layer_embedded

Read more news about the BMW 5 Series

jmsent 10-19-2010 03:57 PM

Interesting. Doesn't seem to agree with other reviewers of the same car that really liked it. I take it this one didn't have SP on it, which would likely have changed the results. And the shuttering part over bumps? Well, welcome to the wonderful world of RFT's

solstice 10-19-2010 04:00 PM

Insideline has this about their F10 528i long term car after testing it on the track

Handling Comments: Skid pad: More difficult to access off-throttle rotation than 535i, but the effect is minimal in both cars. Not nimble or quick to respond, but entirely controllable. Slalom: Feels fairly soft in rapid transitions -- even in Sport Plus. Is well-mannered, however. Chassis isn't snappy like an Infiniti. BMW is showing a change of direction here.

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...ck-tested.html

richschneid 10-19-2010 04:08 PM

I think the handling on my 550i xDrive is superior to that of my '93 740i, my '99 540i sport package, my '00 M5, and my '06 650i sport package. I have almost 200,000 miles on these cars and have driven all the M cars on the track at the BMW facility in South Carolina. I don't think these Consumer's Reports reviewers have any idea what they are talking about. I test drove the 550i RWD very fast and hard on twisty hilly back roads in the hills outside of Pittsburgh. It handled better than my 650i even equipped with only the OE grand touring tires. The xDrive version handles even better than the RWD car.

They also complained about the controls. The controls on the F10 are by far the best of any BMW I have ever owned. They just didn't have the time to actually learn how they work. Once you learn them they are nearly perfect and extremely driver friendly and easy to use.

The same limitations apply to the Car and Driver testers to a lesser extent. Besides, to really understand the type of car BMW makes for enthusiasts one has to test the RWD cars with integral active steering, dynamic handling package, and the sport package. The only thing that might be also needed is to put high performance tires on the car instead of grand touring tires. The xDrive versions like my car are not available with IAS but this is made up for by the instantaneous rear to front torque vectoring that virtually eliminates oversteer in hard driving. This I can tell you from personal experience. :thumbup:

richschneid 10-19-2010 04:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by solstice (Post 5557545)
Insideline has this about their F10 528i long term car after testing it on the track

Handling Comments: Skid pad: More difficult to access off-throttle rotation than 535i, but the effect is minimal in both cars. Not nimble or quick to respond, but entirely controllable. Slalom: Feels fairly soft in rapid transitions -- even in Sport Plus. Is well-mannered, however. Chassis isn't snappy like an Infiniti. BMW is showing a change of direction here.

http://blogs.insideline.com/roadtest...ck-tested.html

The test car did not have integral active steering. This will markedly improve the "nimbleness and quickness" of the car in rapid transient repsonse. This is necessary to get if you are an enthusiast. The IAS is an indication of the direction BMW is going for the traditional enthusiast driver. So it is unfair to criticize the company for not doing what it has actually done. The point is that BMW is simultaineously making cars for both the traditional BMW enthusiast AND the traditional Lexus buyer. You just have to buy the car you want. It makes perfect sense not to try to sell a car to a Lexus buyer by making him pay for the neccessary engineering needed to satisfy the traditional BMW buyer.

Jack Stefano 10-19-2010 04:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tim330i (Post 5557502)
The BMW 5 Series has a luxurious and quiet interior and a very impressive drivetrain. Unfortunately, its handling falls short of BMW's "Ultimate Driving Machine" slogan.

It seems like BMW has been targeting Mercedes and Lexus with this 5 series and not the "Ultimate Driving Machine".

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36W93...layer_embedded

I've got an '06 550, and the wife drives a '07 Mercedes CLS 550. Huge difference in the cars. They're both exactly what you would expect. We're about to trade the Merc for a 535 and what sold the wife is the updated interior and improved ride (she hates my 550). I guess it's all about what you want. I won't be buying an F10 for myself, but can appreciate the changes made for the wider audience. I'll probably go with a 335 or M3 next time around just for the BMW experience.

kocsis 10-19-2010 05:12 PM

Rich, you're truly an apologist for BMW. Every single expert reviewer and amateur enthusiast says the same thing - the car drives like a Lexus, abandoning its enthusiast heritage. I am two weeks away from my own 550ix, so I will see for myself. But you can't just rationalize every reviewer's criticisms, which are consistent and unanimous.

sambb 10-19-2010 05:40 PM

Have driven several new F10s and one for a few hundred miles. COnsumer reports AND car and driver both find it disappointing for the enthusiast. But for the buick crowd, it is a great car. I guess it depends what one wants. Check out the steering thread for one look at this car. My family member who owns the f10 calls it the "ultimate lexus". That isn't a bad thing, it is just different than the historical sports sedan the car once was. I bet it will sell in throngs --- to the new target audience. If you are an enthusiast, I hope you have a short lease.

Financeman 10-19-2010 05:40 PM

Having enjoyed a long test drive in a base model 535i....I would describe the overall driving experience as unexpectedly similiar to my company's 09 ES 350.... The model I drove felt less connected than earlier model 5 series I've driven. Nice car...but more "Lexus" like than I expected. I tend to agree with others on the board...the reviewer's difficulty using the various controls would be quickly overcome with familiarity.

trekman 10-19-2010 05:49 PM

Unfortunately it seems to me all the reviewers read the first review and just parroted the good and bad. Consumer reports has lost their way in the modern world, post Nixon era. I would say they should just stick to taking surveys, but I don't really trust those either. Numb on center steering? Mine goes straight, follows the slant of the road like it should, turns the car with the smallest input possible.

bm323 10-19-2010 05:53 PM

This is a fine example of parroting and knowing nuts about what's in the bandwagon. I've pointed this review out previously, his views are unique, not consistent with even the critics when the details are examined.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...7&postcount=80

wessew 10-19-2010 05:55 PM

Well, I tend to agree with Rich, and I am not an apologist for BMW. I used to drive BMW's, including a 2000 M-5 and several 5 series before that. Then, I drifted away for a few years to Lexus and Acura, due primarily to reliability issues specific to my vehicles. I still own an X3, and I have on order a 550i with all of the performance upgrades. The 550i is replacing a Lexus GS460 and I have to tell you, that after very extensive driving tests (four in all), we found the 550i to be a far better sports machine than the Lexus while at least equaling it in terms of highway cruise comfort. We tried the Infiniti, Mercedes, Lexus and Jaguar cars before deciding. Each competitor car had fairly significant issues which I could go into but won't here. The bottom line is that I think the 550i properly optioned really is the best of all worlds in terms of sport handling and performance combined with technology, comfort, and all around flexibility. This is true until the next M-5 shows up. Perhaps the only criticism I would level would be that it used to be that BMW set up the cars so that they had that near magical balance without needing to order all of the available options packages. Now, it seems that to get the car you really want, you have to option it up to the hilt. That, in turn, costs a mint. You get there in the end, but at a cost much higher than the base price.

bulwinkl24 10-19-2010 06:15 PM

I've seen a couple of unflattering reviews of the new F10 so far. Not that those articles should be taken as gospel but I think it's ridiculous to discount those by saying that they "parrot" one another. Where is the dismissing of the critics when BMW comes out of top in virtually every other comparo article in R&T, C&D, and MT?

Let's call a spade a spade. Some here who claim to be driving enthusiasts don't know how to drive with a third pedal and couldn't change a flat tire if their lives depended on it. So am I supposed to take your word over journalists who drive for a living? Ya right.....:rolleyes:

richschneid 10-19-2010 06:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kocsis (Post 5557794)
Rich, you're truly an apologist for BMW. Every single expert reviewer and amateur enthusiast says the same thing - the car drives like a Lexus, abandoning its enthusiast heritage. I am two weeks away from my own 550ix, so I will see for myself. But you can't just rationalize every reviewer's criticisms, which are consistent and unanimous.

Look, that is not a logical argument. If you have a disagreement with my opinion that is fine. Just state your reasoning and I will either agree with you or tell you why I disagree with you. I have every right to disagree with any reviewer so long as I have reason to. None of these reviewers in C&D or Consumer's Reports or Winding Road have made any sense becaust they are not testing the proper car.

Did you get DHP, sport package, and the sport transmission? If so, then we have the same car and you and I can compare our opinions. If not, then we are talking about apples and oranges. These reviewers are making generalizations about BMW based upon one car that is not fully equipped for the enthusiast. The reviewers are severely limited in their opinions because in the case of C&D and Winding Road they are stuck with the one car given to them to review. In the case of Consumer's Reports they buy the car from a dealer. They do not buy a fully equipped enthusiast's car and then make generalizations which by their very nature cannot be accurate.

I am not making a "rationalization" I am making a logical analysis based upon the information at hand. Of course, the base car drives "like a Lexus", that's what it's supposed to do. But to say that BMW does not also make a car that drives like a BMW is completely and totally dishonest and misleading. These guys have to write something so rather than admit their limitations they make absurd generalizations which are based on extremely limited information at best, and downright dishonesty at worst. So, someone has to stand up and give some counterbalance to their nonsense. Sorry, if you don't agree with me. But no one here has driven these cars fully equipped, not the magazine reviewers or anyone on this website. Period. :thumbup:

sambb 10-19-2010 06:23 PM

Actually, I HAVE driven the car fully equipped and I think it definitely drives like a Buick more than a lexus. If you've driven the Lucerne or Regal, it is fairly similar. Not exact, but I think closer. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you like. To each his/her own.
I am disappointed with the departure from BMW's core feel, which Car and Driver and Consumer Reports have stated many times.

REad these reviews:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test

AND

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test

When car and driver calls a BMW "spooky" you really have to think twice, unless you are looking for a different target.

Now, importantly I am not saying that the current BMW is a worse car - it is just different. Some people want a lexus/buick/F10 and others like a "sports" feel. I dont know why that causes angst on either side.

richschneid 10-19-2010 06:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wessew (Post 5557994)
Well, I tend to agree with Rich, and I am not an apologist for BMW. I used to drive BMW's, including a 2000 M-5 and several 5 series before that. Then, I drifted away for a few years to Lexus and Acura, due primarily to reliability issues specific to my vehicles. I still own an X3, and I have on order a 550i with all of the performance upgrades. The 550i is replacing a Lexus GS460 and I have to tell you, that after very extensive driving tests (four in all), we found the 550i to be a far better sports machine than the Lexus while at least equaling it in terms of highway cruise comfort. We tried the Infiniti, Mercedes, Lexus and Jaguar cars before deciding. Each competitor car had fairly significant issues which I could go into but won't here. The bottom line is that I think the 550i properly optioned really is the best of all worlds in terms of sport handling and performance combined with technology, comfort, and all around flexibility. This is true until the next M-5 shows up. Perhaps the only criticism I would level would be that it used to be that BMW set up the cars so that they had that near magical balance without needing to order all of the available options packages. Now, it seems that to get the car you really want, you have to option it up to the hilt. That, in turn, costs a mint. You get there in the end, but at a cost much higher than the base price.

Thanks for the agreement. I think I agree with you that to get a properly set up F10 you must option it out for about an additional $10,000 to get the IAS, the DHP, the sport transmission, and maybe 2 grand for proper tires. So if you want a Lexus you pay less. If you want a BMW you have to pay more. Go get what you pay for. What's so irrational about that. That's all I have been saying here for about two months.

As one guy said, his wife wants the base car because she like the Lexus type car. So her car costs around $55,000 with the turbo 6 cylinder. His BMW with the 6 is around $65,000. If he wants the 8 cylinder is around $75,000 or 80. Why is everybody complaining about this? My car listed for $85,000 and I think it's an absolute steal at that price. Nothing Lexus, MB, or Audi makes even comes close at that price. I think the performance is just a tad below the Panamera 4S at around $110,000, the Maser QP at $130,000 and the Aston Martin.

A BMW cost more than a Lexus. Period. All these critics seem to want is to get a BMW for the price of a Lexus. That's what I consider to be truly absurd. :)

richschneid 10-19-2010 06:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sambb (Post 5558074)
Actually, I HAVE driven the car fully equipped and I think it definitely drives like a Buick more than a lexus. If you've driven the Lucerne or Regal, it is fairly similar. Not exact, but I think closer. There is nothing wrong with that if that is what you like. To each his/her own.
I am disappointed with the departure from BMW's core feel, which Car and Driver and Consumer Reports have stated many times.

REad these reviews:

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test

AND

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test

When car and driver calls a BMW "spooky" you really have to think twice, unless you are looking for a different target.

Now, importantly I am not saying that the current BMW is a worse car - it is just different. Some people want a lexus/buick/F10 and others like a "sports" feel. I dont know why that causes angst on either side.

You have driven a car with IAS, really. You are the only one here or in any of the magazines. C&D test car did NOT have IAS. So, why should I believe anything else you say. Once you get the car and own it then you will have a basis of comparison. My car is definitely not "Spooky". It is amazing.

sambb 10-19-2010 06:48 PM

I am glad it is amazing! You are clearly the type that likes the lexus/buick feel! I have no problem with it! I find the car lacking in enthusiast feel. But your opinion is valuable t you. But I would never buy that type of car at this point, I am more of an enthusiast. Best of luck with your car however!

Newmanium 10-19-2010 06:48 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by richschneid (Post 5558056)
Look, that is not a logical argument. If you have a disagreement with my opinion that is fine. Just state your reasoning and I will either agree with you or tell you why I disagree with you. I have every right to disagree with any reviewer so long as I have reason to. None of these reviewers in C&D or Consumer's Reports or Winding Road have made any sense becaust they are not testing the proper car.

Did you get DHP, sport package, and the sport transmission? If so, then we have the same car and you and I can compare our opinions. If not, then we are talking about apples and oranges. These reviewers are making generalizations about BMW based upon one car that is not fully equipped for the enthusiast. The reviewers are severely limited in their opinions because in the case of C&D and Winding Road they are stuck with the one car given to them to review. In the case of Consumer's Reports they buy the car from a dealer. They do not buy a fully equipped enthusiast's car and then make generalizations which by their very nature cannot be accurate.

I am not making a "rationalization" I am making a logical analysis based upon the information at hand. Of course, the base car drives "like a Lexus", that's what it's supposed to do. But to say that BMW does not also make a car that drives like a BMW is completely and totally dishonest and misleading. These guys have to write something so rather than admit their limitations they make absurd generalizations which are based on extremely limited information at best, and downright dishonesty at worst. So, someone has to stand up and give some counterbalance to their nonsense. Sorry, if you don't agree with me. But no one here has driven these cars fully equipped, not the magazine reviewers or anyone on this website. Period. :thumbup:

That's a convenient excuse - they're reviewing a car with the options most people will end up buying. In the past, this never moved a BMW into Lexus-land, no base BMW has ever driven like a Lexus (or been supposed to!). And the numb steering feel hasn't been fixed by any add-on package according to any independent reviewer (or anybody unbiased on these boards). I test drove the 550i with IAS and full suspension packages, and the steering was extremely numb compared to my base, non-sport, 530i.

Nitpick the review all you want, they're echoing what a lot of enthusiasts on here have been saying.

sambb 10-19-2010 06:51 PM

In my experience of driving the f10 is that it is a cruiser. Nice for the back seat. It is comfortable, and feels large. Maybe that is the 7 influence. It is nice to ride in and read a book from the back, or just relax. I think that it will be popular for that type of job.

As someone who enjoys driving the car,I would hope that BMW takes these reviews seriously. They have changed cars in the past for feedback. I bet that they will change this one. When consumer reports even calls them out, then it will be hard for them to respond. Here's to the 2012 version!

sambb 10-19-2010 06:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Newmanium (Post 5558158)
That's a convenient excuse - they're reviewing a car with the options most people will end up buying. In the past, this never moved a BMW into Lexus-land, no base BMW has ever driven like a Lexus (or been supposed to!). And the numb steering feel hasn't been fixed by any add-on package according to any independent reviewer (or anybody unbiased on these boards). I test drove the 550i with IAS and full suspension packages, and the steering was extremely numb compared to my base, non-sport, 530i.

Nitpick the review all you want, they're echoing what a lot of enthusiasts on here have been saying.

VERY well said. Bravo.

Kamdog 10-19-2010 07:03 PM

My only experience with the F10 was the comparo invitation. I drove the new 535 done up minimally, and the 550 with all the goodies. I felt the 535 was pretty Lexus-like, with better power and an interior more to my taste, but not particularly fun to drive. The loaded 550 was head and shoulders above that, and had more seat-of-the-pants power, true, but it also handled like a completely different car.

When I got back in my E60, I ran the exact same course. My E60 is not sport packaged at all, yet it felt that it had much more power than F10 535, and the difference in handling was like the difference between my 535 and a 335; it was just a different natured car altogether.

kocsis 10-19-2010 07:10 PM

I have not yet driven the same car that Rich has....a 550 ix with all the performance/sport options. I have one coming with the Msport package, sport transmission, etc. That's the same as Rich's, I believe. As soon as I have a chance to drive it properly (once the brake-in period is over), I will post a review. But no one can dismiss the experts (C&D, etc) who are normally total BMW fans. They are truly capable of reviewing cars objectively, and while they may not "get" the controls, as those take some time to learn, they can certainly "get" the driveability - they do that day in and day out, and they do it with all the new cars they drive.

When I considered selling my 993 and buying the 997, I heard all of the criticisms of the "cushy" new Porsche 997 vs. 993. But I started to drive the 997 with an open mind. The 997 drives entirely differently, but it's still a driver's car. Fantastic engine and suspension, amazing steering, like you're on a rail. More comfortable and larger than the 993, little more planted, less "squirrely". A true improvement (though some consider me a traitor, abandoning the last air cooled Porsche). If the F10 is a comparable improvement/ compromise over the M5 (yes, I am aware of the apple-to-apple comparison flaw), or maybe the "straight" E39, I will be thrilled, even if the performance is enhanced by electronic gismos.

pharding 10-19-2010 07:28 PM

BMW did a great job with the F10 except for the lack of SPORTS. Over than that gross oversight it is a fine car. Unfortunately it has always been a SPORTS Sedan. Therefore when BMW dumbs down the SPORTS Sedan character of the F10, it is rather unexpected and disappointing to the BMW faithful and auto journalists. Even if BMW made some missteps on a prior model, you could always count on the car as being fun to drive. That is why you buy a BMW. They are fun to drive. Hopefully BMW is busily working at damage control and will make the necessary adjustments sooner rather than later on the F10.

AzNMpower32 10-19-2010 07:38 PM

If you want a sporty sedan, BMW has your answer: the 3er.

Every generation of BMWs tends to morph into the role of the larger model range. To say the current 3er is light, agile, and pure driving joy like E36 or E30 would be silly. Similarly, to expect the F10 to react like an E39 would be aiming at the wrong target.


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