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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 09-02-2011, 11:42 AM
gizmo jean gizmo jean is offline
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Is the F10 Right for Me?

I've read a lot of reviews and most of them, appropriately, talk about the sporting nature of the car. As I get a little older, comfort seems to have taken over my need for sportiness. I'm currently driving an E92 and certainly love the responsiveness, the flat cornering, the straight-as-an-arrow tracking on the highway, etc. However, I'm at the point where I want to stop jiggling. There is nothing harsh about the ride, but I certainly feel all the nuances of the road as was intended by BMW and demanded by 3 series customers. Will the F10 isolate me from normal road bumps and irregularities more than my 3 series or is it still considered a "firm" ride? I neither want nor expect a ride as cushy as say a Lexus LS, but I do want more comfort and I'd like to stay in BMW family. I suspect that setting the active suspension to "comfort" will be just what I want but I would like to hear others' opinions. And yes, I intend to fully test drive various models to form my own opinion.

Last edited by gizmo jean; 09-02-2011 at 11:50 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:53 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo jean View Post
I've read a lot of reviews and most of them, appropriately, talk about the sporting nature of the car. As I get a little older, comfort seems to have taken over my need for sportiness. I'm currently driving an E92 and certainly love the responsiveness, the flat cormering, the straight-as-an-arrow tracking on the highway, etc. However, I'm at the point where I want to stop jiggling. There is nothing harsh about the ride, but I certainly feel all the nuances of the road as was intended by BMW and demanded by 3 series customers. Will the F10 isolate me from normal road bumps and irregularities more than my 3 series or is it still considered a "firm" ride? I neither want nor expect a ride as cushy as say a Lexus LS, but I do want more comfort and I'd like to stay in BMW family. I suspect that setting the active suspension to "comfort" will be just what I want but I would like to hear others' opinions. And yes, I intend to fully test drive various models to form my own opinion.
I have the DHP on my 550i xDrive. In comfort mode the ride will smooth out the "normal road bumps". In sport mode the feel is not as "connected" as a three series but the maximal lateral g forces and overall handling ability is similar to my E39 M5. If you want even better handling I would strongly consider the optional Integral Active Steering on the RWD F10s. If you need AWD the xDrive system actually improves the overall handling over the non IAS RWD F10.

The overall improved ride quality of the F10 over the E60 5 series or the 3 series is a basic rule of geometry. The F10 has a relatively huge wheelbase of 116.9". Now that I'm also "a little older" I appreciate the improved ride in the F10, but the handling is pure BMW even if it does not feel as "connected" as a 3 series.
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  #3  
Old 09-02-2011, 11:54 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Yep. I think this is the right car. I personally can't stand the 3 series for same reasons you describe.
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  #4  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:12 PM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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Gizmo - are you running regular tires on E92? My seat time with the 3 series has been limited to loaners but I was not too thrilled of the ride either. I think the 5 series (especially the F10) is the sweet spot of the BMW sedan line-up. The 7 series is just too big and the 3 series too small for rear passengers. The 5 series is just perfect .
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  #5  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:13 PM
chris530i chris530i is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
If you want even better handling I would strongly consider the optional Integral Active Steering on the RWD F10s.
Hmmm - are you sure about that? I agree that in tight manoeuvres, like in say a multi story car park, IAS makes the steering quicker and probably improves the turning circle but on the open road it just feels inconsistent and dare I say it, artificial and weird. I am sure you would eventually get used to it but I believe, especially given the complexity, you are better off without it - but that's just my opinion. What do others think?
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  #6  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:46 PM
gizmo jean gizmo jean is offline
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Thanks for the responses. A 5er is definitely on my radar now. Munich77...I ditched the run-flats long ago. I also recently replaced the stock shocks with Koni FSDs which helped smooth out the pothole explosion syndrome. IMHO every 3 owner should ditch the worthless runflats.
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  #7  
Old 09-02-2011, 12:54 PM
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I upgraded to 20 inch 311 wheels and Dulop Sport Max run flats on my 535 X drive with the M Package and the car runs smooth. I can only imagine if you had a performance all season instead of summer tire on, it would be even smoother..love the car and the ride, no issues....firm enough to enjoy and smooth enough to act refined
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  #8  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:18 PM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is offline
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It's still a relatively firm ride but it's not as harsh as say an Acura TL which I just came from. For long term cruising I think maybe the E350 has a better ride but as a compromise between comfort and handling I think the stock suspension on the 18" rims can't be beat. Inside, the car is as silent as a bank vault. There's little or no tire or road noise. My car came equipped with Conti tires and I passed on the wheel/tire insurance as none of the RFT problems reported seem to be related to the 18" rims.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:26 PM
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Ride is so subjective and personal. It's similar to "spicy food" it really depends on your palate. There are people who think Tabasco sauce it "hott", but go to Thailand and Tabasco sauce would be considered about as hot as ketchup. People in Louisiana have a different idea of what hot is versus people in Boston. If you're used to a Lexus the F10 with sport package and 19 inch RFT's are gonna feel like a stage coach. For most BMW owners, it's considered soft, but get the DHP or DDC and it can be adjusted to fit almost everyone (except hardcore enthusiasts, see M5).
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2011, 01:50 PM
soulunderdog soulunderdog is offline
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I think you will really enjoy the F10. The ride is very smooth on comfort and not really all that rough on sport. One of the reasons I bought the car is the smoothness for everyday driving and then the sportiness when I want to play. First BMW for me - been driving my wife's GS 300 for six years and the ride may be a bit smoother. I'm drinking the Kool Aid now for sure...
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  #11  
Old 09-02-2011, 02:02 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris530i View Post
Hmmm - are you sure about that? I agree that in tight manoeuvres, like in say a multi story car park, IAS makes the steering quicker and probably improves the turning circle but on the open road it just feels inconsistent and dare I say it, artificial and weird. I am sure you would eventually get used to it but I believe, especially given the complexity, you are better off without it - but that's just my opinion. What do others think?
It also significantly improves the handling when making quick lane changes on the highway. In fact on highway the car is noticeably more stable and tracks straight with IAS because of the higher ratio, and the fact that all 4 wheels move in same direction which is a more stable way of changing lanes.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2011, 03:53 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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gizmo Jean, the F10 is built for you. You will love it.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:12 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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gizmo Jean, the F10 is built for you. You will love it.
Yup, concur.

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  #14  
Old 09-02-2011, 06:18 PM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris530i View Post
Hmmm - are you sure about that? I agree that in tight manoeuvres, like in say a multi story car park, IAS makes the steering quicker and probably improves the turning circle but on the open road it just feels inconsistent and dare I say it, artificial and weird. I am sure you would eventually get used to it but I believe, especially given the complexity, you are better off without it - but that's just my opinion. What do others think?
I had the two wheel active steering on my 650i. It was extremely stable at high speeds on the open road and didn't feel "artificial" at all. I would definitely have gotten the IAS on my F10, but it is not available on the xDrive versions, only the RWD. I was sorely disappointed but I needed AWD in Pittsburgh. Not needed in Florida however. For 2012 the ARS is separate from the DHP, but the handling with ARS is great. I had it on my 650i and loved it in conjunction with the active steering. The combination or DHP, ARS, and IAS is really the way to go for RWD F10. Go for it. You won't be sorry, even with the firmer 19" wheels and tires.
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2011, 06:34 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo jean View Post
I've read a lot of reviews and most of them, appropriately, talk about the sporting nature of the car. As I get a little older, comfort seems to have taken over my need for sportiness. I'm currently driving an E92 and certainly love the responsiveness, the flat cornering, the straight-as-an-arrow tracking on the highway, etc. However, I'm at the point where I want to stop jiggling. There is nothing harsh about the ride, but I certainly feel all the nuances of the road as was intended by BMW and demanded by 3 series customers. Will the F10 isolate me from normal road bumps and irregularities more than my 3 series or is it still considered a "firm" ride? I neither want nor expect a ride as cushy as say a Lexus LS, but I do want more comfort and I'd like to stay in BMW family. I suspect that setting the active suspension to "comfort" will be just what I want but I would like to hear others' opinions. And yes, I intend to fully test drive various models to form my own opinion.
its like driving a cadillac. or Lexus LS yes.
The usual bumps I used to hit with the 3 I can't feel anything with the 550i
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  #16  
Old 09-03-2011, 12:08 PM
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jc_///m3 jc_///m3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
Ride is so subjective and personal. It's similar to "spicy food" it really depends on your palate. There are people who think Tabasco sauce it "hott", but go to Thailand and Tabasco sauce would be considered about as hot as ketchup. People in Louisiana have a different idea of what hot is versus people in Boston. If you're used to a Lexus the F10 with sport package and 19 inch RFT's are gonna feel like a stage coach. For most BMW owners, it's considered soft, but get the DHP or DDC and it can be adjusted to fit almost everyone (except hardcore enthusiasts, see M5).
As always, TJ offers some of the best wisdom on this forum. And, for that reason, you need to do some test driving. We all have some passionate opinions on the forum, so the best advice I can offer is to visit the dealership and take a thorough test drive.
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  #17  
Old 09-04-2011, 12:17 PM
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Only one way to find out for sure...

Go drive it.

For me, the abilty to easily select between comfort, normal, sport, and sport+ is a must and far more noticeable than the change between sport and comfort mode in my MB E350 (the change in handling, engine responsivness, etc. is much more pronouned on the 5er).

When my wife is in the car or I have other passengers who aren't enthusiasts, normal mode fits the bill just fine. But when it's just me, Sport/Sport+ plus Dinan S1 in my 550i is just what I'm looking for!

You really get the best of both with the F10.
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  #18  
Old 09-06-2011, 07:17 AM
gizmo jean gizmo jean is offline
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Thanks for all the feedback. Definitely sounds like the F10 deserves testing. I like th idea of bank vault-like silence and the ability to dial out normal road irregularities.
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