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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 08-12-2010, 06:06 AM
Autosavant Autosavant is offline
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Review: 2011 BMW 535i 6MT

Hi there. We just posted this review of the 535i 6MT on Autosavant. Please let me know what you think.

Here's the link: Review: 2011 BMW 535i 6MT

Here's the bottom line:

Quote:
The 535i is not the canyon-carving, technical-track-loving “ultimate driving machine” I had expected. It is more of a Q-ship, personal luxury express that brings an amount of satisfaction or “joy” to the drive. The car is thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled, and features an amazing number of innovative features. I spent a week with a 2010 Jaguar XF several months ago - also a rear-wheel drive sport sedan, but with 385 HP and an as-tested sticker price $3300 less expensive than the 535i. While the Jaguar’s in-car technology might be a half-step behind the seamless systems in the BMW, I described the XF as “phenomenal fun to drive”; I didn’t feel the same way about driving the more-expensive 535i.
I hope you like our review, but please share your thoughts.
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  #2  
Old 08-12-2010, 02:07 PM
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golforcars325i golforcars325i is offline
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F-10 review from Autosavant

They were not impressed..........

Quote:
The 535i is not the canyon-carving, technical-track-loving "ultimate driving machine" I had expected. It is more of a Q-ship, personal luxury express that brings an amount of satisfaction or "joy" to the drive. The car is thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled, and features an amazing number of innovative features. I spent a week with a 2010 Jaguar XF several months ago – also a rear-wheel drive sport sedan, but with 385 HP and an as-tested sticker price $3300 less expensive than the 535i. While the Jaguar's in-car technology might be a half-step behind the seamless systems in the BMW, I described the XF as "phenomenal fun to drive"; I didn't feel the same way about driving the more-expensive 535i.
http://www.autosavant.com/2010/08/12...-bmw-535i-6mt/
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  #3  
Old 08-12-2010, 02:16 PM
cvb cvb is offline
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Pretty much dead on with my evaluation.
The only thing he didnt mention is how the steering feel has been dialed out and the steering effort is now cadillac-light.
Bummer.
I really wanted this car when my E60 lease came up. Getting the M3 instead
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  #4  
Old 08-12-2010, 02:26 PM
ssj ssj is offline
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A postive review!

"The 535i is not the canyon-carving, technical-track-loving “ultimate driving machine” I had expected. It is more of a Q-ship, personal luxury express that brings an amount of satisfaction or “joy” to the drive. The car is thoughtfully designed and beautifully assembled, and features an amazing number of innovative features."

For folks migrating from Lexus/MB, who drive to work and back and will never see a racetrack, this might be the perfect car!
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  #5  
Old 08-12-2010, 03:46 PM
fuz fuz is offline
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It's pretty ironic, I find myself saying that the new 5 is the E class I've always wanted.
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  #6  
Old 08-12-2010, 04:14 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Here's the comment I left -

The 535i, with no techno gizmos at all, at the BMW Ultimate Driving Event I attended was a blast to drive – 12 times around their course. Yes, I've driven the E60 many times. Maybe it's better without so much tech. Knowing how to adjust your outside mirrors correctly eliminates blind spots. I don't need my doors to close themselves. I know how to parallel park, though I would appreciate the PDC as an aid for that. I would want DHP, because I really like active roll stabilization and I'd like to be able to adjust the suspension to the situation. I don't need super-duper butt massaging seats. But I do want the Comfort seats with the articulating back rest. Since the Sport package doesn't seem to affect the suspension anymore and I don't care to have 19 inch wheels I don't guess I'd go for that now.


Sounds like your car had too much dang stuff on it. And one more thing – you're an auto journalist doing an auto review and you "didn't have the opportunity" to try out Sport+ in the WEEK you had the car?! What's up with that?


btw – the F10 SPANKED the similarly equipped (maybe I should say un-equipped) Merc E350. Spanked it with a stick.


btw 2 – I drive a 2006 E90 330i Sport.
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Last edited by tturedraider; 08-13-2010 at 08:34 AM.
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  #7  
Old 08-13-2010, 06:23 AM
Autosavant Autosavant is offline
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Thanks for the link and the comments, guys! I'm pleased that my writer's assessment by and large agreed with yours.
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  #8  
Old 08-13-2010, 08:29 AM
carnuts3 carnuts3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by golforcars325i View Post
More like disappointed.....as many are - and rightly so. The BMW is slowly being bleed out of the BMW.
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  #9  
Old 08-13-2010, 08:51 AM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnuts3 View Post
More like disappointed.....as many are - and rightly so. The BMW is slowly being bleed out of the BMW.
I don't think they're really bleeding out the BMW. They are adding refinement. All these comments that are flying right now remind me of when the E90 first came out. Everyone was screaming "oh my God, BMW is going to hell in a hand basket". And, of course, the hardcore E46 and E36 guys still think this. I owned a ZHP for three years and I LOVED it. Now I own an 2006 E90 3er and I LOVE it. It's not as flashy as my ZHP and I miss that, but the fact of the matter is it out handles my ZHP. It has a lower and wider stance and it sticks to the payment even better than my ZHP did. And it has more power that comes on in a more linear fashion and sooner that my ZHP, and I love my ZHP's engine.

I imagine the steering issue will end up as a non-issue. As I said in my previous post, I had a blast driving the new 5er without all the gizmos.

BMW is walking a really, really fine line with this new 5er. The E60 lacked the refinement to woo new Merc customers. BMW is trying really hard to balance the level of refinement they put in the car without losing the driver oriented soul of the car. But they also realize that the reality is most 5er buyers are not as driver oriented as 3er buyers. I think they've done a pretty good job of that.

This new 5er will pretty much wow most Merc E Class drivers and have the level of refinement they desire (and probably can't figure out what happened to with the new E Class). Audi's new A6 will bring added refinement, too. This 5er has to compete head to head with those two cars and BMW wants to come out on top. They are a business and they're in business to make money. Like they say if you're not growing, you're dying. And none of us wants BMW to be dying. I predict over its life this new 5er will be a home run hit out of the ballpark. Mercedes should be extremely nervous.

btw a second thought - Look at how much driving orientation BMW put back into the new 7er. Now half that crowd has been whining that they took too much of the luxury out. They don't want so much driver feel and contact with the road. I'd take that as a big example that BMW has not forgotten its driver oriented roots.
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Last edited by tturedraider; 08-13-2010 at 08:58 AM.
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  #10  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:07 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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That review is one writer's opinion. Based upon my experience with the F10 for 2 1/2 weeks in Germany I did not find his review to be particularly accurate or objective. He has that corny photograph of the driver's pushed all the way back and the child pushing on the rear of of the front seat. That image is very exaggerated and does reflect the typical seat position. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and the rear seat seating was fine for four adults on a 200 mile drive. rear leg room and shoulder room is better than my current E60. As far as engine throttle being over responsive in sport mode, if the author read the manual he would have realize that the engine responsiveness can be dumbed down to a normal level while the chassis stays in a sport setting. As far as the the gas mileage goes I have no idea how he arrived at that claimed mileage 21.8 mpg. For two and a half weeks of driving in Germany and the Czech Republic, most of which was on the Autobahn at 85 to 95 mph I got 21.4 mpg and I was hot ridding around pushing the car as much as I could within the limitations of the break in period. The mileage will improve when the engine is fully broken in and I drive in a more restrained manner on US highways. In summary I take exception to much of his opinion that he expressed in the article. The F10 has a few things that could be improved with software changes or a very minimal expense, but what new from the ground up innovative car is perfect from day one? Overall it is very fine automobile and is much better than competing products from MB and Audi.
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Last edited by pharding; 08-13-2010 at 09:09 AM.
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  #11  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:19 AM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnuts3 View Post
More like disappointed.....as many are - and rightly so. The BMW is slowly being bleed out of the BMW.
Go back and read some of the other reviews at the same place, the reviewer was quite taken with the Jag XF, and if you compare driving experience to the 535i he's probably not far off the mark. On another forum they tried to justify this by price, and while that's one element, when you get to cars in this range, and drivers looking for specific feels, then I think they need to broaden their view just a bit.

Now go out and drive both of the XF's, supercharged and not, and then drive the 550i as well as the 535i. With respect to the F10's, that's the review that needs to be done to compare to the Jags.

535i 300hp
XF NA 385hp
550i 407hp
XF SC 470hp
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  #12  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:30 AM
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hmr hmr is offline
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It seems to me the author of that review did not really know how to drive a stick, and I'd bet he was lugging the engine and expecting miracles.
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  #13  
Old 08-13-2010, 09:30 AM
SRB7787 SRB7787 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pharding View Post
that review is one writer's opinion. Based upon my experience with the f10 for 2 1/2 weeks in germany i did not find his review to be particularly accurate or objective. He has that corny photograph of the driver's pushed all the way back and the child pushing on the rear of of the front seat. That image is very exaggerated and does reflect the typical seat position. I found the seats to be quite comfortable and the rear seat seating was fine for four adults on a 200 mile drive. Rear leg room and shoulder room is better than my current e60. As far as engine throttle being over responsive in sport mode, if the author read the manual he would have realize that the engine responsiveness can be dumbed down to a normal level while the chassis stays in a sport setting. As far as the the gas mileage goes i have no idea how he arrived at that claimed mileage 21.8 mpg. For two and a half weeks of driving in germany and the czech republic, most of which was on the autobahn at 85 to 95 mph i got 21.4 mpg and i was hot ridding around pushing the car as much as i could within the limitations of the break in period. The mileage will improve when the engine is fully broken in and i drive in a more restrained manner on us highways. In summary i take exception to much of his opinion that he expressed in the article. The f10 has a few things that could be improved with software changes or a very minimal expense, but what new from the ground up innovative car is perfect from day one? Overall it is very fine automobile and is much better than competing products from mb and audi.
+10
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  #14  
Old 08-13-2010, 11:47 AM
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I actually find this review to be very thorough - full of details that you normally don't get from other reviews. The writer seems generally favorable of the vehicle, just with some minor complaints.

Also, Interesting bit about the cup holders in the 6MT models. I haven't seen another review of the 6MT vehicle - this is the first one I have seen.

Regarding rear seat room, at least according to the specs (see my post: http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=476477) F10 is the same as E60, which is not big. Also writer points out the obvious - it is a damn heavy car, compared to the previous generation, 400 pounds more.
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  #15  
Old 08-13-2010, 12:15 PM
fuz fuz is offline
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It's a bigger and heavier car--I didn't expect miracles, and there aren't any in terms of driving. But really, if I mainly wanted a car for driving, I wouldn't bother with this class of vehicle. It's a mid-size luxury car through and through, and there are things that have to be compromised, balanced, and kept in check for its target audience.

Really, if there was another car that could do that balancing act as well as BMW I wouldn't be so focused on the 5, but instead, constantly comparing between them. But I'm not, which to me shows that the 5 is a clear step ahead of its competition for now. There are things I find iffy on the 5, but there are no major flaws that I have found issues with on other cars.
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Old 08-13-2010, 03:44 PM
carnuts3 carnuts3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tadtaggert View Post
Go back and read some of the other reviews at the same place, the reviewer was quite taken with the Jag XF, and if you compare driving experience to the 535i he's probably not far off the mark. On another forum they tried to justify this by price, and while that's one element, when you get to cars in this range, and drivers looking for specific feels, then I think they need to broaden their view just a bit.

Now go out and drive both of the XF's, supercharged and not, and then drive the 550i as well as the 535i. With respect to the F10's, that's the review that needs to be done to compare to the Jags.

535i 300hp
XF NA 385hp
550i 407hp
XF SC 470hp
Everyone has their own opinion..and that's fair. But to your points, I did in fact test drive the XF (Premium) and F10 550i and 535i. Of these, I enjoyed driving the XF the most, not because it was as quiet or as refined as the F10's, etc, but because it had the driving feel, handling and responsiveness that was the closest to my E60, which I love. Both F10's drove "large". The 550 was very quick but felt front heavy....the 535 had decent speed but felt slower and less responsive than my E60. Just my opinion. The F10's are wonderful cars but are more main-stream than I was hoping for. Are there better cars in this category available today? Probably not. But that doesn't excuse the fact that in my mind BMW might have gone too far. To move away from the characteristics that distinguished the BMW 5's from its competitors and made them such a standout is a big gamble - I hope it pays off.
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2010, 04:23 PM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carnuts3 View Post
not because it was as quiet or as refined as the F10's, etc, but because it had the driving feel, handling and responsiveness that was the closest to my E60, which I love.
I believe you missing my point.

Obviously in your case if you were choosing between the two, then the Jag would be a better fit for 'you'.

Good journalism is putting enough, and the right, information in the hands of the reader so that they can make an informed decision. A good auto journalist would understand the different segments, different perspectives of buyers/enthusiasts, and present their observations without bias.

You did a better job explaining the 'feel' you're looking for in the quoted text above than the writer did in the entire review. And then what we get here, on a forum dedicated to BMW's, is the crossfire from those who like and dislike certain 'feels', not to mention the reviewer getting a few more 'hits' on their website.
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  #18  
Old 08-13-2010, 04:37 PM
Hoss NY Hoss NY is offline
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The comments about rear room are not consistent with my experience. I recently completed a 1000-mile family vacation trip in my F10. I'm 6'2", my wife is 5'8", son is 6'4", daughter is 6'0". Everyone was very comfortable with plenty of room the entire time my son sat in the back most of time. We added my dad for a couple of short trips -- he's 6'5". It was tight but feasible in the back seat for a couple of hours. As pharding mentioned, the front seat in the picture is much further back than my normal driving position. (What's the rear room like in the XF?)
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