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MERTON 10-22-2012 08:57 PM

535GT or 535xiT
Hello. It's been over a year since I've been on this forum. Briefly, I've owned 7 BMWs, from 2002s to a 635 to a couple of 540s. Nearly 2 years ago I got rid of my company's 23k GVRW UD diesel box van and my 99 540iT and bought a cargo trailer and VW Touareg V8. I occasionally haul laser display equipment, and we upgraded our heavy old water-cooled lasers to new diode lasers. The Touareg made sense, as it and a 12 foot trailer could haul the equivalent of 15k lbs. of the old equipment.

The Touareg is a pretty nice ride but it gets dismal fuel mileage: ~14 on the road unloaded, and 9.5 hauling a trailer that is 2k lbs. loaded. It has been fairly reliable, but now has 88k miles and is not under warranty. I'm now frequently working on a music tour based in Nashville and commute there from Atlanta ~ 3 times per month. I rarely haul the laser equipment as it travels on a semi, but occasionally I haul it between Atlanta and Nashville. We also tow a 3500 lb. ski boat & trailer. Every time I veer from driving a BMW I wind up going back. I try to buy a 2-3-year old CPO vehicle. I prefer wagons. Frankly, I just don't care for SUVs. I loved my 540iT and I loved my Audi Allroad until it needed $ 10k worth of repairs at 80k miles. My wife drives an A6 Avant.

At this point, I'd like something a little newer and more efficient for my Nashville commute. BTW, we also haul around an aging Golden Muttreiver, and I sometimes haul sails for our sailboat that won't fit in a sedan. My ideal ride would be an '09 or 10 535xiT. Unfortunately its towing capacity is Class I at best. I guess my choices are a 535GT or keep the Touareg and also get an '09 or 10 wagon. The cost of either decision would be roughly the same. To me, the GT may be too close to an SUV. The X5 diesel would make sense, but it's a full-blown SUV. I would prefer the 8-speed xmission in the newer models. too bad BMW only puts the diesel into 3 Series sedans, X3s and X5s.

Any advise regarding the GT X-Drive vs. the wagon? Either way, I want basic options such as premium audio, premium and sport packages. Navigation is also desired, as long as BMW's nav is good. The Touareg's CD-based nav truly sucks. It is usually lost (offroad) and takes 3 CDs for the drive from Atlanta to 30 miles west of Nashville. Any other suggested options? From what I've read, the 19" wheels may be prone to cracking, so I'm ok with 18"

Many Thanks!

SimiClyde 10-23-2012 04:40 PM

Having posted in the F07 forum, you're likely to get quite a number of responses that are focused on the GT.

Styling wise, you either love it or hate it.

Driving wise, it definitely drives like a large sedan, not an SUV. I'd say that it feels bigger than my E60. I think the xDrive is something you'd have to see for yourself. I ordered mine with xDrive, but that was directly related to a packaging decision made by BMW, rather than a "true need". Stating the obvious, by buying used, you'll have less control over vehicle content, as compared to ordering it to suit your specific needs.

Can't really speak to the ability to tow -- I have an old Expedition for that purpose, so no intention to do so with the F07.

Quite a few people have had less than satisfactory experiences with the earlier F07's, so be selective if you go that route. Also, the hard drive based navigation in the 2010 and newer cars (E60 and F07) is more than a little wacky at times.

Over the last few years, my E60's have not been trouble free:
- '07 525 -- replaced virtually all of the electronics in the console over the first three years
- '10 535 -- replaced Turbo and HPFP at ~ 20k miles; runs OK, but is starting to act like it needs a new hard drive

The 535 wagons have been know to have drainage problems with the sunroof modules, leading to a water-soaked tragedy in the electronics bay, and as many people swear at the N54 engine as swear by it.

So, with all that said, I obviously made the decision to move to the GT. Ultimately that decision was based on "content" or my perception of "value" if you wish. The current GT packs a tremendous amount of technology and comfort at it's price point. Although we've only driven it a few hundred miles, the boss (she who must be made happy) is quite enamored of the GT as a replacement for the E60....

Personally, I'd keep the Touareg for towing duty and explore one of the recent 5-Series (Touring or GT) to use as a daily driver.

MERTON 10-27-2012 11:12 AM

Thanks, SimiClyde,
I'm starting to think we should keep the Touareg for towing. It makes a damned nice tow vehicle for having a resale value of only $14k. It's rated towing cap is 8,700#, though it only has a 6k# hitch.

I got a response from Dean at Invisihitch. Their hitch for the GT is only 2500# cap. Even though we only tow the ski boat a few times a year, I think its 3500 lbs. would be too much strain on the GT when pulling the boat out of the water.

So, if I take towing out of the requirement list, maybe a loaded 2010 Touring would be the answer. CPO, of course. Owning an out-of-warranty car like this is not for the faint-of-heart.

FWIW, I've felt like our BMW dealer and BMWNA treated me much better than VW/Audi regarding warranty items. The BMW dealer would voluntarily repair or replace parts without me having to make a federal case out of it. Audi? At 48k the CPO Allroad had cracked CV joint boots. They called it normal wear & wanted $ 900. And don't get me started on VW. We had to replace the tranny in our daughter's '06 Jetta at 66k. Despite VW's announced warranty extension for the Jetta trannys, they refused to provide any assistance.

I've read about most of the E60 problems you mention. Without me restarting this thread on a new forum, do you thing buying a dealer buyback/lemon is safe. Did they actually fix the HPFP problem?


SimiClyde 10-28-2012 04:29 PM


Originally Posted by MERTON (Post 7161045)
I've read about most of the E60 problems you mention. Without me restarting this thread on a new forum, do you thing buying a dealer buyback/lemon is safe. Did they actually fix the HPFP problem?

My view is that any of these cars with a CPO is a safe bet.

The HPFP problem with the N54 engines has been addressed with the recall/replacement program, accompanied by a 10 year warranty, and plenty of people have had no issues whatsoever with the fuel pump.

So, I'd say :thumbup:

MERTON 04-30-2013 06:57 PM

I hope it's OK that I resurrected this thread, but it makes it easier to refer to its previous points.

I looked at a 2011 535GT on Saturday at a local Toyota dealer & I'm considering making an offer.

Here's the link:

40k miles, dark graphite metallic, Nav, Sat. radio, heated seats F&R, backup & surround camera, soft-close doors, ipod & usb

The good: Asking price is $ 33k. It's pretty well-optioned. 18" wheels vs. crack-prone 19"

The bad: doesn't have sport seats & doesn't show to have premium audio, but did they all come with prem. sound? Not X-Drive. Not CPO.

The worst: Carfax lists a previous accident:
"Accident reported
Vehicle involved in a side impact collision
Involving right side impact
With another motor vehicle
Vehicle damaged in multiple places
Damage reported to:
Right side
Right rear
Major damage reported
Airbags did not deploy"

Of course it looks good in the parking lot. I could drive it tomorrow and would have it checked out by an indy shop that I've used frequently before, Bavarian Imports, the next day. A problem is that I leave town in 3 days on a 12-day trip.

I'm trying not to be too tempted by the price & would definitely try to haggle. Given its accident history, I would want to get more details regarding prior damage. Or, I could forget about it and spend an extra $10-15k on an X-Drive without a negative history.

I'd welcome any comments or advise.



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