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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 10-21-2010, 08:09 AM
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B-1 Pilot B-1 Pilot is offline
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Is the F10 really the new 7 in disguise

I've been trying to resolve in my mind a lot of the conflict about the new model that is being expressed here. Put briefly, it appears most roundly agree that in luxury, power, and appointments, the new 5 is superior to all prior iterations, but there is a perceived lack by some of an expected sport 'feel.'

Yesterday, by chance I happened to walk past a 1-series convertible. Seeing it, the first thing I thought of was my first BMW -- a 1990 BMW 325 convertible. And then it dawned on me -- what if the traditional series lines no longer match up like they used to, and we have shifted and are not perfectly aligned, such that no model seems to fit just right. I stated comparing all the series cars from 20 years ago, and performance and size-wise it seems like this:

1990___________________2010
3 series ________________1 series
5 series ________________3 series
7 series________________ 5 series
8 series________________ 6 series
?? _____________________7 series

The fact that my wife's 335 has just as much horsepower as a 7 or 8 series of 20 years ago blows my mind when I think about it. Add in the 6 series, Z cars, SAVs and Ms, and it seems that the BMW line is so large that to hope that each new iteration of a line fits so perfectly into what used to be seems impossible. Look at the bottom of this page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_3_Series and you will see that BMW was only making the 3/5/7/8/m3/m5 in 1990. Today options abound.

I know my example of the 20 year difference doesn't quite match up... a 3 today is not quite a 5 of yesteryear, etc. But I do think this might be at least some of the source of consternation.

i guess it just comes down to what each person wants. For me I want the sporty feel of the 3, but the luxury of the 7. I need a car that is nimble, not just fast, but can seat four adults comfortably. I own a 3 and my best friend has a current model 7... to me from my multiple test drives, the F10 5 strikes that best balance.

Thoughts?

B-1
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2010, 08:26 AM
jimefam jimefam is offline
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Your absolutely right. As each successive model evolves it gets progressively closer to the next step up so to speak. However I will say this and many on here will think I'm crazy but when I first went to the dealer to look for a new car the first thing I looked at was the 750i. After a few test drives I decided the car was to big and soft for me. The suspension was very cushy even in the sportiest setup so I decided on the 550i even though I didn't have on to test drive then. One thing I don't recall is the 7 having the steering issue I feel the 5 has, I wasn't looking for it in either car but I drove the 7'and didn't like the ride but thought nothing of the steering it was as I expected it. On the 5 the suspension is also a bit soft but less pronounced than the 7 and more easily fixed I think. But on the 5 I noticed the steering on the very first test drive. So maybe the issues we've raised on here about the sportiness of the car have to do with it's increase in size but maybe it's just poorly calibrated. I would love to hear from any of the other people who don't like the steering of the new five and have test driven the new 7 to see what they thought.
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  #3  
Old 10-21-2010, 09:42 AM
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markl53 markl53 is online now
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Car models in general tend to get "nicer" as generations move forward. Look how Toyota has "had to" fill in the lower end with additional cars as models such as Camry and Corolla moved forward. Now there is the Echo and Versa model which is the entry level models that Corolla used to be.
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  #4  
Old 10-21-2010, 11:00 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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I think one factor that the maufacturers look at is the way the needs and desires of people change as they age. As people buy a new car periodically they tend to want something just a little bit bigger and more luxurious. The companies want to maintain brand loyality from most of their customers, so they want to offer that customer the same car model in a slightly larger and more comfortable version.

Then they introduce a new smaller model for the entry level young buyer. For BMW the 1 series is similar to a 3 series from years ago. For Honda, the Fit is like the old Civic. Of course the 1 series can be had with 300hp and a 1980 320i had 110 hp. The 320i sold for about 10 grand and the 135 is about 30 grand. Adjusted for inflation this is about the same price.

My 1993 740i was 4000 lbs and 194 inches. My new 5 series is 4500 pounds and 193". My seven had 282 hp, my 5 has 400hp. But adjusted for inflation the price is around the same, 67k for my 7, 83k for my 5. But the new 5 is much, much more car than my old 7. I cannot think of a single manufacturer that has not followed the same pattern.

The new 3 series will be very close in size and weight to an E39 five series but likely much more luxurious and powerful.
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Last edited by richschneid; 10-21-2010 at 03:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-21-2010, 11:24 AM
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It doesn't have air suspension. I wish that was an option. An air-suspension dynamic handling package would be awesome.
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