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F10 / F11 (2011 - Current)
The new chapter in the highly successful story of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) and wagon (F11)

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  #1  
Old 07-03-2010, 03:35 PM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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Just Joined the 535i Club.. Observations and Questions.

So I just bought a new 535i.. Black on Black, auto with Nav, Sport, Premium, Comfort, Convenience.. Very cool car. I came from a 335i, and there definitely is a power difference.. I got them down to $57,000 which I thought was a pretty good deal with all the goodies it has.

-The car is hot, however, sometimes I feel like I'm driving a lexus.. Does anyone else feel that way? I don't know if it's the suspension, or just a bigger car, or just the contrast between driving my 335i with it's tight suspension, compared to the 535i.

-I can definitely feel the roll that it produces in turns as well..

Maybe it just takes some getting used to.

-I also feel as though some of the materials are cheaper in this model, than even in my 335i. It seems like BMW cut back on some costs for the F10..

-The exterior takes some getting used to, sometimes I think of that new volkswagen that came out, when I look at it.. *engage angry replies*..

-I'm also wondering, and excuse my laziness for not properly researching before asking this but.. The dynamic driving package, is that different from the "normal, sport, sport+" modes that I have on my car? I notice that I don't have the "Comfort" option.. Does this mean my car doesn't have that? Or does it come standard when you elect the sport package?

-The electronics/iDrive is top notch in this one.

-The interior is stunning and perfect.

-8 speeds is very cool.

-Do the seats feel a little cheaper to anyone?

Maybe I have a little buyers remorse, which I always tend to get.. I even had it with my 335i at first, and then got used to it, and loved it.

I think the 335i is definitely a sports car, but lacked some creature comforts.. However the steering was tiiiight, and I could feel the road much better.

The 535i, has all the creature comforts, but lacks in the "driving experience" department for sure.. Again, maybe this is just me adjusting to the new ride, and not being in the 335i, which fit like a glove to my body, and driving style.

Let me know your thoughts..

Thanks,

Jeff
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  #2  
Old 07-03-2010, 04:47 PM
5er 5er is offline
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Without the dynamic handling package, the sport package on the F10 is largely cosmetic. As you noted the effect of switching between the Sport and Normal modes is different without the ZDH, because without the ZDH there is not alteration of the suspension. I believe the only effect of switching in the Sport only car is altering the throttle response/

Unfortunately, at present adding the ZDH doesn't correct the muted feel of the electrically-assisted steering that is responsible for your Lexus like vibe.

I have a car on order for ED delivery on September 4th ... I was hoping that by some miracle BMW would implement a steering fix by then, but I doubt it's going to happen.
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  #3  
Old 07-03-2010, 06:05 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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1. The ZDH comes with active roll stabilization. I have that on my 650i. It almost eliminates body roll in corners.

2. I have active steering in my car. The feel is very different from the 3 series I get as a loaner. I actually like the steering in my car better than the 3 series or the steering I had on my E39 540i and M5. The steering on the 550i I drove two days ago hard and fast on the twisties was very similar to the steering on my 6. I liked it just fine, better than the conventional steering on the 3.

3. If you want the BMW handling and feel you really do have to spring for the ARS, EDC, and adaptive drive. BMW just gives you the choice. Those people who like a Lexus type car then don't have to pay for a BMW type car and can still buy a BMW and not pay for the handling characteristics they have no interest in.
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  #4  
Old 07-03-2010, 09:11 PM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5er View Post
Without the dynamic handling package, the sport package on the F10 is largely cosmetic. As you noted the effect of switching between the Sport and Normal modes is different without the ZDH, because without the ZDH there is not alteration of the suspension. I believe the only effect of switching in the Sport only car is altering the throttle response/

Unfortunately, at present adding the ZDH doesn't correct the muted feel of the electrically-assisted steering that is responsible for your Lexus like vibe.

I have a car on order for ED delivery on September 4th ... I was hoping that by some miracle BMW would implement a steering fix by then, but I doubt it's going to happen.
Are you sure it doesn't alter the suspension? I wonder if that's incorrect, as it the graphic display on iDrive when I switch modes, states that the chasis is also altered in Sport mode.. I could be wrong. Hmmm.. Can anyone else confirm this?

Is ZDH, ARS, and active drive something that can be added after production? I know it's doubtful, but thought I'd ask.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2010, 06:19 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyJames View Post
Are you sure it doesn't alter the suspension? I wonder if that's incorrect, as it the graphic display on iDrive when I switch modes, states that the chasis is also altered in Sport mode.. I could be wrong. Hmmm.. Can anyone else confirm this?

Is ZDH, ARS, and active drive something that can be added after production? I know it's doubtful, but thought I'd ask.
Suspension stiffness is altered by the EDC or electronic damper control. This is part of the ZDH. I had the EDC on my '93 740i, but it only had two settings, Comfort and Sport. The 850i that year had three settings, Comfort, Normal, and Sport.

The M6 has EDC but no ARS. My 6 has ARS but no EDC. The Sport button on my 6 increases steering effort and throttle response and shift points, but has no effect on the suspension. The F10 with ZDH has both ARS and EDC and has four settings. I think these settings adjust the steering effort and possibly also steering ratio, the damper stiffness, and the throttle response. The ARS is always operative as it is built into the anti roll bars front and rear.
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  #6  
Old 07-04-2010, 06:40 AM
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mjsbmw mjsbmw is offline
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I have my 2010 535xi in for service and was given a 2011 535 loaner. Great way for me to compare the two.

I drove about 100 miles on the 2011. Great car. But I hate the runflats. The rougher MetroNY roads are a problem. Hard sidewall and less cushioning. It feels like my 2008 328. The 2010 has 17 inch non runflats and it makes a big difference. More Lexus like (ride wise).

The car is really beautiful. Great interior. Great exterior. Hard to really tell the difference between the twin turbo vs single turbo.

You made a great choice. Enjoy it.

Mark
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  #7  
Old 07-04-2010, 07:05 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by mjsbmw View Post
I have my 2010 535xi in for service and was given a 2011 535 loaner. Great way for me to compare the two.

I drove about 100 miles on the 2011. Great car. But I hate the runflats. The rougher MetroNY roads are a problem. Hard sidewall and less cushioning. It feels like my 2008 328. The 2010 has 17 inch non runflats and it makes a big difference. More Lexus like (ride wise).

The car is really beautiful. Great interior. Great exterior. Hard to really tell the difference between the twin turbo vs single turbo.

You made a great choice. Enjoy it.

Mark
Did you drive the car in "comfort" setting? Or didn't this car have that available? I drove the 550i in three different modes. In the Comfort setting the ride was great. I drive in New York City frquently. The roads and streets in Pittsburgh are even "rougher".
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Last edited by richschneid; 07-04-2010 at 07:07 AM.
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  #8  
Old 07-04-2010, 09:35 AM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
Did you drive the car in "comfort" setting? Or didn't this car have that available? I drove the 550i in three different modes. In the Comfort setting the ride was great. I drive in New York City frquently. The roads and streets in Pittsburgh are even "rougher".
I assume that any F10 car without the dynamic handling package is set up for "comfort". Does anyone know for sure whether this is the case?
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  #9  
Old 07-04-2010, 11:12 AM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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Can you guys define EDC, ARC AND ZHP and clarify, which ones are not standard on the F10?
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  #10  
Old 07-04-2010, 11:20 AM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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I think I screwed up in not ordering the DHP.. I'm pretty bummed about it, since I purchased the car. I know I don't have an excuse, because I didn't research it properly, and naively ordered the sport package, thinking that would do the trick with handling. I wish there was a solution to this, but obviously there isn't.. I would pay the difference now if I could add it, but I don't think that's an option either. I still love the car, but I keep obsessively thinking, "damn, you should've ordered the DHP" and getting upset when the ride is too cushy.. I think coming from a sport package 335i, it's just a bit of an adjustment, and I am a slightly agressive driver. Sh*t..
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  #11  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:44 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
I assume that any F10 car without the dynamic handling package is set up for "comfort". Does anyone know for sure whether this is the case?
It is definitely NOT set up for "comfort". It's probably closer to normal. But the absence of adaptive drive will make the ride worse in the none ZDH car.
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  #12  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:47 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyJames View Post
I think I screwed up in not ordering the DHP.. I'm pretty bummed about it, since I purchased the car. I know I don't have an excuse, because I didn't research it properly, and naively ordered the sport package, thinking that would do the trick with handling. I wish there was a solution to this, but obviously there isn't.. I would pay the difference now if I could add it, but I don't think that's an option either. I still love the car, but I keep obsessively thinking, "damn, you should've ordered the DHP" and getting upset when the ride is too cushy.. I think coming from a sport package 335i, it's just a bit of an adjustment, and I am a slightly agressive driver. Sh*t..
I think a lot of the fault lies with salespersons. Too many of them don't know the complexities of a modern BMW. I know I always seem to have to educate my dealer. But don't fret too much you still have a great car and will enjoy it until you get your next 5, which will be even better than the current one with the ZDH.
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Last edited by richschneid; 07-04-2010 at 02:43 PM.
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  #13  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:48 PM
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Wingboot Wingboot is offline
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There may be some good aftermarket suspension solutions to your problem, AC Schnitzer, Hartge, Bilstein, H&R, etc, etc...
It's a new model so it may take some time for items to hit the market though.
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  #14  
Old 07-04-2010, 12:50 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffreyJames View Post
Can you guys define EDC, ARC AND ZHP and clarify, which ones are not standard on the F10?
EDC = electronic damper control. It controls the ride firmness.
ARS = Active roll stabilization. It activates the anti roll bars on the curves to prevent body lean.
Adaptive Drive = amazing things. Check it out on the BMW website.

ZDH is the code for the Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) which includes all three of the above.
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  #15  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:32 PM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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True. I just went for a drive and even with out it, is still pretty sweet. I guess there could be bigger problems in life.
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  #16  
Old 07-04-2010, 02:45 PM
5er 5er is offline
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There's a lot to enjoy about the car ... don't have any regrets!

As others have said, your salesperson should have given you better input and you shouldn't beat yourself up. Even my CA who usually knows what he's talking about didn't understand all the differences/complexities yet.

This is still a great car ZDH or not. I think the switch from the 335i sport is making this seem like a bigger deal. And even with the ZDH this car still won't give the same feel as the 335 unless they do something about the current set-up/calibration of the electic-assist steering.
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:20 PM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
It is definitely NOT set up for "comfort". It's probably closer to normal. But the absence of adaptive drive will make the ride worse in the none ZDH car.
So that must mean the car equipped with the dynamic handling package is more softly sprung and damped than the car without that option, no? Hard to see how the option could "soften" the ride. Also, what makes you so certain about this? Is it documented somewhere?
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Old 07-04-2010, 04:42 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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So that must mean the car equipped with the dynamic handling package is more softly sprung and damped than the car without that option, no? Hard to see how the option could "soften" the ride. Also, what makes you so certain about this? Is it documented somewhere?
No, the ride with the ZDH is not softened. The ZDH allows you to choose the damper settings to Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport Plus. What I read about the adaptive drive is that within milliseconds it can change the damper settings. I read that if a front wheel hits a pothole the adaptive drive can change the damper setting on the rear wheel on that side before that wheel hits the pothole even at highway speeds. It then goes back to its original setting. This smooths out the road instantaeously, it does not soften the ride overall. I find this truly amazing. I can't remember where I read this, but I think is was about two months ago on some official BMW information piece. Why don't you try checking it out on their website.

What is your understanding of what "Adaptive Drive" is?

Here's the definiton from the BMW website, I just found.

"Adaptive Drive"

"Combines performance-elevating Active Roll Stabilization (ARS) and ride-enhancing Dynamic Damping Control (DDC). With ARS, active stabilizers at the front and rear axles significantly reduce body roll. You experience greater contact with the road when cornering, and your passengers enjoy a more level ride."

What I am referring to is the "Dynamic Damping Control (DDC)" which enhances the ride.
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Last edited by richschneid; 07-04-2010 at 04:58 PM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:21 PM
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raleedy raleedy is offline
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That's helpful. I think the DDC part is the bit that is even available on the 528i in the US. What I understood is that these options take stock springs (or roll bars) and shocks, and make them stiffer. Or not, depending on the setting. But that would mean that the "comfort" setting is the one with the least intervention. If so, unless the car without these options has different shocks and springs/stabilizer bars, the unoptioned car would be permanently in "comfort" mode. You are suggesting that, with respect to the dampers (what we older guys call shock absorbers) the opposite happens. That's interesting, but I wonder how it works on the first wheel to hit the bump. Got to drive one, I guess.

Last edited by raleedy; 07-04-2010 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:21 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by raleedy View Post
That's helpful. I think the DDC part is the bit that is even available on the 528i in the US. What I understood is that these options take stock springs (or roll bars) and shocks, and make them stiffer. Or not, depending on the setting. But that would mean that the "comfort" setting is the one with the least intervention. If so, unless the car without these options has different shocks and springs/stabilizer bars, the unoptioned car would be permanently in "comfort" mode. You are suggesting that, with respect to the dampers (what we older guys call shock absorbers) the opposite happens. That's interesting, but I wonder how it works on the first wheel to hit the bump. Got to drive one, I guess.
I may actually be older than you. These shocks are electronically controlled by computers. That's why it's called "electronic damper control" EDC.
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Last edited by richschneid; 07-04-2010 at 07:32 PM.
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  #21  
Old 07-07-2010, 01:56 PM
JeffreyJames JeffreyJames is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 5er View Post

Unfortunately, at present adding the ZDH doesn't correct the muted feel of the electrically-assisted steering that is responsible for your Lexus like vibe.

I have a car on order for ED delivery on September 4th ... I was hoping that by some miracle BMW would implement a steering fix by then, but I doubt it's going to happen.
So if I get the DHP/ZDH package, your saying it's not going to change the muted steering that I'm experiencing? I'm surprised.
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:32 PM
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XZLR8 XZLR8 is offline
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Originally Posted by JeffreyJames View Post
So if I get the DHP/ZDH package, your saying it's not going to change the muted steering that I'm experiencing? I'm surprised.
Personally, I think each new generation of these cars (certainly true for the 5 and 7) has more "muted" steering than the previous generation. Having owned four E65s before the F01, I know that's the case. However, I think IAS makes the situation even worse.

I drove a fully equipped 550i (with Sport Auto and ZDH, but no IAS) at the dealership and while the steering was a bit more muted than what I remember from previous generations (and more muted than my X6 w/ the Sport Package certainly), it was nothing compared to my 7 with IAS.
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