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Needsdecaf 11-28-2012 07:33 PM

Thoughts from a 528 loaner
 
So I have had a 2013 528i loaner since Tuesday, although I have only driven it one day (long story). In that time, I've put about 60 to 70 miles on it. Thoughts are as follows:
  • Throttle is VERY smooth. I have not experienced one bit of lag, delay, lurch, whatever. I'm very jealous. I wish my 2011 535 drove like this.
  • Throttle / transmission response is decidedly better than my car. You give it some gas, it downshifts and goes. None of that "think about it" that hampers my car.
  • Eco pro is fun to play with, but definitely a hinderance when you need to move through traffic.
  • Stop start is much improved over the F30 loaners I've driven, but still noticeable compared to, say, an M35 hybrid. Still needs work, ut it doesn't annoy me too much. Driving my MDX today I kept waiting for the engine to cut out and I was sad that I was wasting gas.
  • The 240 HP N20 is definitely more than enough engine for the base car. The sound is much, much better than in the F30. It's pretty peppy, not fast, but certainly not slow. And in decidedly stop and go driving, I am averaging about 26 MPG. Again, more than enough for the base model 5er, does not let down the side for BMW.
  • Definitely do not care for the standard seats.
  • Can really feel the reduced weight over the nose and the lighter 17" wheels. The car feels very nimble.

Overall, I have to say I'm ver impressed with the baby funfer. Good job to BMW making the 4 pot really work in this car.

Ralph1201 11-28-2012 07:56 PM

Thank you.. Thank you... Thank you!! :bawling: (tears of joy)

:D

yogi799 11-28-2012 08:14 PM

Why am I not convinced whatsoever? Maybe because of two pointless solutions: ASS + 4 cyl engine... in a car that for its price tag should make absolutely no difference on anyone's wallet based on $100/year savings in gas (if that). Not to mention that a lot of BMW owners could simply save gas by driving less aggressively, which is not something we want to worry about when, once again, purchasing a 240HP+ SPORT sedan for a price twice of another sedan.

I'll pass....

SamS 11-28-2012 08:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yogi799 (Post 7220287)
Why am I not convinced whatsoever? Maybe because of two pointless solutions: ASS + 4 cyl engine... in a car that for its price tag should make absolutely no difference on anyone's wallet based on $100/year savings in gas (if that). Not to mention that a lot of BMW owners could simply save gas by driving less aggressively, which is not something we want to worry about when, once again, purchasing a 240HP+ SPORT sedan for a price twice of another sedan.

I'll pass....

BMW ain't doing it for you, it's for CAFE.

Needsdecaf 11-28-2012 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by yogi799 (Post 7220287)
Why am I not convinced whatsoever? Maybe because of two pointless solutions: ASS + 4 cyl engine... in a car that for its price tag should make absolutely no difference on anyone's wallet based on $100/year savings in gas (if that). Not to mention that a lot of BMW owners could simply save gas by driving less aggressively, which is not something we want to worry about when, once again, purchasing a 240HP+ SPORT sedan for a price twice of another sedan.

I'll pass....

Sometimes it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. I'd rather drive this than an E350.

Comparably equipped, the 528 is about $8k less than the 535. Plus, I'm not sure where you get $100 a year in gas savings from. I've put on 15k per year in my 535 and averaged 19. Down here I'm averaging 22 MPG. In the 528, I've no doubt I'd average 27 - 28 MPG. Doing the math, call it 5 MPG difference, in today's prices that's $500 / year.

If it's not for you, so be it. That's why there's a 535 and a 550. However, my point was that it feels like a BMW. It goes, it stops and starts, it turns and feels like a BMW. You are not driving a poor excuse for a 5 series, you're driving something that still has the soul of BMW baked into it. You can definitely feel the reduced mass, turn in is very crisp. It has none of the boaty feelings I remember from the base 535's I drove back in 2011.

Now, onto driving a 535 MSport for comparison....

PeterC4 11-28-2012 08:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamS (Post 7220293)
BMW ain't doing it for you, it's for CAFE.

CAFE coming at us BIG time...BMW is ahead of the curve because the CAFE regulations are significantly different, (i.e. higher MPG/gal) than before.

yogi799 11-28-2012 08:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamS (Post 7220293)
BMW ain't doing it for you, it's for CAFE.

That I don't dispute and if that's their explanation, then so be it - fair game.

tturedraider 11-28-2012 09:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SamS (Post 7220293)
BMW ain't doing it for you, it's for CAFE.

It's not for CAFE. They could easily meet CAFE with a lower displacement turbo inline six. It's to save R&D $$$ and because there's no competitive pressure. Merc doesn't have a offering below the E350 and Audi's base A6 is also a turbo four.

jagu 11-28-2012 09:42 PM

I totally agree with all of Needsdecaf's points. I rented one from Budget for 4 days at thanksgiving and that engine is phenomenal for any 4 cylinder car and it is noticeably better in every way than the 6 cyl that it replaced. I think the pairing of the 8 speed transmission also has a lot to do with it because it shifts very fast.

Alan L. 11-29-2012 06:20 AM

Now all you need to do is get a 2013 535 loaner so you can do a direct comparison to your car. Really curious to hear how the car both feel since your description of how the 528 drives sounds like how my 2013 535 drives. I wonder if it was possible for the dealer to load in the 2013 engine and transmission software into a 2011 car to solve all the delay problems.

Alan

bighungry618 11-29-2012 07:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Alan L. (Post 7220731)
Now all you need to do is get a 2013 535 loaner so you can do a direct comparison to your car. Really curious to hear how the car both feel since your description of how the 528 drives sounds like how my 2013 535 drives. I wonder if it was possible for the dealer to load in the 2013 engine and transmission software into a 2011 car to solve all the delay problems.

Alan

Did That:

Nearly a 100% point by point agreement with Need's 528 findings, as they apply to a 2013(or 12) 535i....especially his point about the standard seats...just horrendous.

Side note: I found the A-s/s quite unnerving and quite difficult to get used to.

But the point of his post was about the 528 and his impressions of it. Frankly now from reading them, I’d like to go drive one….there’s no autobahn for my 6 mile commute.

bimmerific 11-29-2012 07:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Needsdecaf (Post 7220188)
So I have had a 2013 528i loaner since Tuesday, although I have only driven it one day (long story). In that time, I've put about 60 to 70 miles on it. Thoughts are as follows:
  • Throttle is VERY smooth. I have not experienced one bit of lag, delay, lurch, whatever. I'm very jealous. I wish my 2011 535 drove like this.
  • Throttle / transmission response is decidedly better than my car. You give it some gas, it downshifts and goes. None of that "think about it" that hampers my car.
  • Eco pro is fun to play with, but definitely a hinderance when you need to move through traffic.
  • Stop start is much improved over the F30 loaners I've driven, but still noticeable compared to, say, an M35 hybrid. Still needs work, ut it doesn't annoy me too much. Driving my MDX today I kept waiting for the engine to cut out and I was sad that I was wasting gas.
  • The 240 HP N20 is definitely more than enough engine for the base car. The sound is much, much better than in the F30. It's pretty peppy, not fast, but certainly not slow. And in decidedly stop and go driving, I am averaging about 26 MPG. Again, more than enough for the base model 5er, does not let down the side for BMW.
  • Definitely do not care for the standard seats.
  • Can really feel the reduced weight over the nose and the lighter 17" wheels. The car feels very nimble.

Overall, I have to say I'm ver impressed with the baby funfer. Good job to BMW making the 4 pot really work in this car.

Thank you for the informative and valuable write-up, Needsdecaf. It is regrettable that you continue to experience "lag, delay [and] lurch"in your '11 535xi. After ~800 to 1k miles in my '11 535xi, these issues seemingly worked themselves out within the "break-in" period (and I have not requested or received a software update)--though it is clear from several threads on this forum that many of our fellow festers still contend with them.

I cannot speak to the auto start/stop feature that is now included in many of the vehicles in BMW's line-up; I have not tested a vehicle with this feature. Your experience and impression is helpful. I am concerned about auto start/stop's long-term reliability and possible wear on the ignition system, for the modest trade-off in mpg's. Without auto start/stop, I try to find a few other ways to compensate for the "lost" mileage such as not "gunning" the vehicle from a stop.

BMW (Audi and other automakers) are showing us that "less can be more." With the N20, while it makes good business sense--developmentally and in economies-of-scale--for BMW to promote it with the new ZF eight-speed transmission, it is effectively addressing the new "reality" (consensus) in promoting environmental responsibility while still retaining the BMW DNA in their fleet. This bit of "magic" is a "win/win" IMO.

Ralph1201 11-29-2012 09:11 AM

to each his own, i have coded my car and condemned the ASS away from it.

dominoaz 11-29-2012 09:23 AM

A Four!
 
Maybe I'm just too enamored with the BMW six and it's long and glorius history, but I just can't get past a $60K BMW 5-series with four cylinders. On top of that, the horsepower is miserly. Little Korean crossovers offer 280 turbo HP. My gearhead friends would laugh me out of the group if I showed up with a I-four Fiver. While there is no accounting for what the public will accept, I personally feel that BMW is killing off a significant portion of its buyers. When combined with continued threats in build quality and performance from other, far less expensive competitors, BMW really needs to watch its back. I'm on my sixth BMW, but my eyes are starting to stray...

wildvlad 11-29-2012 10:33 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominoaz (Post 7221074)
Maybe I'm just too enamored with the BMW six and it's long and glorius history, but I just can't get past a $60K BMW 5-series with four cylinders. On top of that, the horsepower is miserly. Little Korean crossovers offer 280 turbo HP..

Korean horses tend to be smaller, much smaller (due to lower torque and narrow range on high RPMs where it achieved).

wildcardz 11-29-2012 10:35 AM

Glad you liked the 528. I test drove all 3: 528, 535, 550 back to back. The 535 hit the sweet spot for me.

tturedraider 11-29-2012 10:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominoaz (Post 7221074)
Maybe I'm just too enamored with the BMW six and it's long and glorius history, but I just can't get past a $60K BMW 5-series with four cylinders. On top of that, the horsepower is miserly. Little Korean crossovers offer 280 turbo HP. My gearhead friends would laugh me out of the group if I showed up with a I-four Fiver. While there is no accounting for what the public will accept, I personally feel that BMW is killing off a significant portion of its buyers. When combined with continued threats in build quality and performance from other, far less expensive competitors, BMW really needs to watch its back. I'm on my sixth BMW, but my eyes are starting to stray...

I agree. But, where are you're eyes straying? Jag? Merc? Infiniti? Lexus? RWD Hyundai? Something not RWD?

Quote:

Originally Posted by wildvlad (Post 7221239)
Korean horses tend to be smaller, much smaller (due to lower torque and narrow range on high RPMs where it achieved).

There's an "old" saying, "BMW horses are stronger than others' horses."

Needsdecaf 11-29-2012 12:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dominoaz (Post 7221074)
Maybe I'm just too enamored with the BMW six and it's long and glorius history, but I just can't get past a $60K BMW 5-series with four cylinders. On top of that, the horsepower is miserly. Little Korean crossovers offer 280 turbo HP. My gearhead friends would laugh me out of the group if I showed up with a I-four Fiver. While there is no accounting for what the public will accept, I personally feel that BMW is killing off a significant portion of its buyers. When combined with continued threats in build quality and performance from other, far less expensive competitors, BMW really needs to watch its back. I'm on my sixth BMW, but my eyes are starting to stray...

I don't think they've eliminated a large portion of their buying population at all. The majority of 528 buyers tend to be non-gearheads who couldn't tell you what was under the hood (not all, no offense to those 528 owners here but you know for every one of you there's 20 grandmas out there). The car improves economy while maintaining equal or better performance, and since it is a 4, it can be shared across more cars as BMW expands their lower tier lineup.

Overall, good job by BMW.

There are still 2 other engines to buy. Only Audi can say that in this segment, and to get the V8 you need to step up to an "S".

RambleJ 11-29-2012 01:25 PM

Its really hard to judge the tranny response in a loaner. People drive loaners to the ground. So obviously the tranny is going to be more responsive its used to drivers that lay the pedal down.

syrhee81 11-29-2012 01:30 PM

I remember from a post a while ago of an upcoming update to address this throttle issue in the December time frame- I wonder if anyone has any latest news on this...

RDZumbaugh 11-29-2012 01:38 PM

Love this thread - I've owned a 550 and 535 and then downsized to a 328 convertible. I hated the 328 "6" cylinder engine. When I got over my convertible stage, I wanted to go back to a sedan and the new 328 fit the "size" I needed but I was really hesitant to buy a 4 cylinder turbo. When I drove it I was SHOCKED to say the least. That 4 cylinder turbo could out run my old 6 cylinder any day. When you turn "sports" mode on, it is on steroids!!! Unfortunately, my 2013 328 is going back to BMW and I'm replacing it with a 528. WHAT??? I was concerned that the 4 cylinder couldn't handle the added 500lbs that the 528 has over the 328. I was WRONG!!! I test drove a 525 and 535. I like power but I'm not a gear head and I admit, it took me some time to get over the fact that I'd have a 4 cylinder on my 528 but it still drives better than the 6 cylinder it replaces. We all have our WANTS and NEEDS - the Premium, Technology Pkgs, Heated Multi-contour seats and Premium hi-fi system are NEEDS of mine. A car that has good get up and go is another NEED and the 528 fulfills that need for me AND it saves me thousands of dollars over the 535. Yes, the 535 would be great to have again BUT I certainly didn't NEED the engine. The other need is the beauty of the vehicle and color combos. I'll be very happy in two weeks when I get my 528. Thanks for starting this thread Needsdecaf - I really debated whether to get the 528 over the 535 really hard and the drive of the 528 won out.

SwamiV 11-29-2012 01:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Needsdecaf (Post 7220326)
If it's not for you, so be it. That's why there's a 535 and a 550. However, my point was that it feels like a BMW. It goes, it stops and starts, it turns and feels like a BMW. You are not driving a poor excuse for a 5 series, you're driving something that still has the soul of BMW baked into it. You can definitely feel the reduced mass, turn in is very crisp. It has none of the boaty feelings I remember from the base 535's I drove back in 2011.

Amen - I absolutely loved the 528i. About the only thing I hated was the single exhaust at the back. To belittle this due to a 4 cylinder under the hood is not doing this car justice.

Just my thoughts :D

ProRail 11-29-2012 01:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Needsdecaf;7220326[B
]Sometimes it is more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow. I'd rather drive this than an E350[/B].

Comparably equipped, the 528 is about $8k less than the 535. Plus, I'm not sure where you get $100 a year in gas savings from. I've put on 15k per year in my 535 and averaged 19. Down here I'm averaging 22 MPG. In the 528, I've no doubt I'd average 27 - 28 MPG. Doing the math, call it 5 MPG difference, in today's prices that's $500 / year.

If it's not for you, so be it. That's why there's a 535 and a 550. However, my point was that it feels like a BMW. It goes, it stops and starts, it turns and feels like a BMW. You are not driving a poor excuse for a 5 series, you're driving something that still has the soul of BMW baked into it. You can definitely feel the reduced mass, turn in is very crisp. It has none of the boaty feelings I remember from the base 535's I drove back in 2011.

Now, onto driving a 535 MSport for comparison....

Note bolded text. Yes. Yes. Yes. 528s rule.

jjsC6 11-29-2012 01:46 PM

I'm in the camp of not liking the idea of a four cylinder in a hi-line car. What makes it even more irritating to me is that BMW has offered a DI six cylinder in Europe that would likely come close to the fuel economy of the turbo four, while offering more peak power (not sure about torque, but I think hp was around 270 or so). I think it would have been a better option for the base car, then bump the hp of the 535 to around 330.

The X Men 11-29-2012 04:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Needsdecaf (Post 7220326)

Comparably equipped, the 528 is about $8k less than the 535. ...

The 528's premium package cost more than the 535's due to the fact that some standard options on the 535 is optional on the 528's premium package. Also, the 528 does not have standard heated front seats. Couple that with the current holiday incentive of $2000 for the 535 and only $1000 for the 528, the cost difference is merely $3000, hardly worth it in my opinion.


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