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Old 01-26-2013, 02:30 PM
pelorus pelorus is offline
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Location: NY
Join Date: Jan 2013
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MPackage 535 vs 550 Steering & Other Questions

Hey guys-

I was hoping for a little help from fellow car enthusiasts on making sure I order the right car, and I give my sincerest thanks in advance.

The dealer today couldn't give me answers to the questions I have.

I'm ordering either a 535i or 550i (Titanium Silver / Oyster Nappa) with the M-Package.

I test drove a 535Xi and 550Xi back to back today. Both cars had the M-Package. No pure rear wheel drive 5's were in the lot to test. The 535Xi I drove also had a performance exhaust system which the dealer said was installed at the port.

In terms of driving impressions, mind you I'm really shocked to say this, but even with cost being no object, the 535Xi was more fun to drive. The 550Xi had tremendous thrust, but the 535Xi had MUCH heavier steering at all speeds - and this sport exhaust warbling behind your head was the icing on the cake. The 550Xi engine sounded like a mute compared to the 535Xi, and the steering felt feather light. Both cars were in Sport+ mode per the button on the center console, and both had the auto trans in Sport mode as well.

Does anyone know why a 535Xi M-Package and a 550Xi M-Package would feel so different in terms of steering? NONE of these cars had Adaptive Drive or Dynamic Damper control.

I mean I was blown away by the sense of occasion you felt driving this 535Xi. I didn't expect the car to mesmerize as it did. I know this is reaching, but the steering tightness and feel and sound of the sport exhaust kind of felt like a Porsche 993. Its the only way I can describe it. I mean for a V6 sports sedan, this car truly had that sense of occasion with the sound and steering feel. The V8 model did not have this sense of occasion - it felt like your average mass produced luxury car even with its raw power.

Also, does anyone know if steering feel changes when you go with rear wheel drive versions on these cars?

I really want the steering to feel nice and heavy as it did on this test drive with the 535Xi. The dealer said "probably the heavier engine block leads to lighter steering in the 550Xi".

Thank you again for any help with this.
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