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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 09-05-2011, 04:43 PM
mrich1353 mrich1353 is offline
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535I vs 535I X drive

The differences between the E60 RWD and AWD were significant affecting drive feel, drive height, wheel offset and even suspension availability.
My 2010 535I RWD for Sport Package (including offset front & rear wheels is what I think best delivers the true BMW experience in the E60's. My 2006 530XI was a tank in the snow, but not the sports sedan (sorry XI fans) feel I was looking for most of the time.
As my dealers searches for a suitable M-Sport in a 535I, they tell me the X-Drive changes in the F10 should deliver the same feel. What is the real world experience of everyone? This is my daily driver which I'll put close to 25,000 miles a year, so the X-Drive helps for my winter driving in PA. Should I consider the X-Drive or will I be disappointed? Are the wheel offset, ride height and feel the same?
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  #2  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:06 PM
tdepetra tdepetra is offline
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Lots of debate here and other forums. Height of both cars is the same; x-drive adds 140 lbs.; handling is very subjective, but for some of us, x-drive actually is our preference. A big variable is Sport vs. Non-sport. There are two schools of thought on acceleration times between the two cars. X-drive car's may be quicker from 0-60 - RWD cars quicker 0-100 if tires are equal.

For me, both cars are a blast to drive. I put heavy miles with snow and ice. Individual tastes are different, and I would take both cars out on a really rainy day and decide what works best for you.
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  #3  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:08 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrich1353 View Post
Are the wheel offset, ride height and feel the same?
Wheel offset: Fronts are identical at 33mm. The rears are 44 vs 33, but the i's rear rim is 12mm wider, so the outer edge is basically in the same spot.

Ride height: Identical

Feel: Not sure. The F10's xDrive is rear biased and BMW claims it offers superior dry handling, but I haven't driven both back to back so I can't judge.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrich1353 View Post
Should I consider the X-Drive or will I be disappointed?
The winter driving need for xDrive really depends on the terrain that you drive. RWD and snow tires are just fine in flatter locales, but IMHO, xDrive is only needed if you climb hills in the white stuff. There's a lot of debate about A/S vs snows on xDrives, but after a quick search you will find numerous opinions. Personally, I went with xDrive and performance snow tires.
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  #4  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:28 PM
alex md alex md is offline
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+1,last post summary is right on the money
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  #5  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:28 PM
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nesterk nesterk is offline
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I've tried 550i before 550xi (for me xi was not a question, since don't want to struggle at winter here in Toronto..).

550i steering felt light and slightly kind of strange.. After that I've discovered that it was electric - so it explains.
550xi steering felt light and may be there is a hint of torque-feedback under heavy acceleration - but not sure if it is there or I just imagined that

Both steerings felt quite a mile behind (and wife noticed that as well - she told me that first) the 2001 Lexus GS430 where steering is heavy, connected to the road, absolutely uniform on different speed/angle.
But well, this is where the progress goes - you cannot go back in time...

In any case - once I get used - have absolutely no problems with how the steering feels, and more important: how car "sticks" to the road in turns - above all compliments.
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  #6  
Old 09-05-2011, 05:39 PM
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nesterk nesterk is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
The winter driving need for xDrive really depends on the terrain that you drive. RWD and snow tires are just fine in flatter locales, but IMHO, xDrive is only needed if you climb hills in the white stuff. There's a lot of debate about A/S vs snows on xDrives, but after a quick search you will find numerous opinions. Personally, I went with xDrive and performance snow tires.
For me XI was for another reason - in my rear-wheel drive Lexus there are some issues with accelerating out of the turn - basically I cannot really push the pedal until the steering wheel is straight - otherwise traction control would kill my acceleration, or (if TC is Off) the rear would spin off (there is no LSD, only open diff). Not good.
Especially in the wet - I felt that rear cannot handle 300 hp.
Tires are not the issue - Michelin Pilot Sport PS2.
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  #7  
Old 09-05-2011, 06:42 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by nesterk View Post
For me XI was for another reason - in my rear-wheel drive Lexus there are some issues with accelerating out of the turn - basically I cannot really push the pedal until the steering wheel is straight - otherwise traction control would kill my acceleration, or (if TC is Off) the rear would spin off (there is no LSD, only open diff). Not good.
Especially in the wet - I felt that rear cannot handle 300 hp.
Tires are not the issue - Michelin Pilot Sport PS2.
I basically agree here.

Even with the 535i and "only" 300 HP, I feel that the car does occasionally lose traction out of the corners. Of course, I am running All Season tires, albeit high performance ones, so I am sure summers would help. However, I'd definitely do the xi next time, for the dry traction and the hydraulic steering.
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  #8  
Old 09-05-2011, 06:49 PM
mrich1353 mrich1353 is offline
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Thanks for everyone's feedback
Sounds like considering an X-Drive will be a good choice!
I am running Michelin Pilot's as my summer set up now and with 12,000 miles on them, I am feeling the rear slip out. I am used to running a winter set up on an extra set of wheels.
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  #9  
Old 09-05-2011, 06:52 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrich1353 View Post
Thanks for everyone's feedback
Sounds like considering an X-Drive will be a good choice!
I am running Michelin Pilot's as my summer set up now and with 12,000 miles on them, I am feeling the rear slip out. I am used to running a winter set up on an extra set of wheels.
Just immediately get rid of the Goodyear LS-A's.
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  #10  
Old 09-05-2011, 07:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
I am running All Season tires, albeit high performance ones,
Curious - Did you change out your stock tires for these? Sitting here scratching my head; I thought non-X ZSP cars came with summer performance tires.
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  #11  
Old 09-05-2011, 10:35 PM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrich1353 View Post
The differences between the E60 RWD and AWD were significant affecting drive feel, drive height, wheel offset and even suspension availability.
My 2010 535I RWD for Sport Package (including offset front & rear wheels is what I think best delivers the true BMW experience in the E60's. My 2006 530XI was a tank in the snow, but not the sports sedan (sorry XI fans) feel I was looking for most of the time.
As my dealers searches for a suitable M-Sport in a 535I, they tell me the X-Drive changes in the F10 should deliver the same feel. What is the real world experience of everyone? This is my daily driver which I'll put close to 25,000 miles a year, so the X-Drive helps for my winter driving in PA. Should I consider the X-Drive or will I be disappointed? Are the wheel offset, ride height and feel the same?
There is a dilemma here..

on the one side, the xi will give you a hydraulic steering which will certainly feel and handle better than my 550i's electric one...
on the other hand,
when I test-drive the 535xi, it was a complete 'tank' experience like you mention with the old E60.
Especially at start. It didn't feel like a car but more like a truck.
This doesn't mean its a bad ride.
But it is completely different than the RWD

and the old dealer trick:
"The F10's xDrive is rear biased and BMW claims it offers superior dry handling, ."

the first part of this sentence is total BS...the second part is true that handling is great.

But it is so annoying when they say this to you and you drive both cars in front of them and they keep on BS you...

I have no problem with the Xi and I would consider it especially because of the hydraulic steering. But BMW....please...don't tell me that the car drives the same with the regular i version; it just doesn't its as different as day and night.
I like both, two different fruits though.
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  #12  
Old 09-05-2011, 11:15 PM
FastMarkA FastMarkA is online now
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I agree with the OP regarding the E60 -- I had X-Drive in mine, and really didn't like it much. In fact, of all the cars I've ever owned/leased (8 in total since MY 1997), it was my least favorite car.

And it was largely because of the X-Drive.

When that lease was ending, I was hellbent on getting a regular old 535i until I drove it enough that the electric steering annoyed me.

I had to do some major convincing to myself to get another Xdrive because I had a horrible taste in my mouth.

Overall, I'm happy with my choice. I can still effortlessly list 10 things I hate about this car, but I can probably do that with any car I'd ever buy/lease.

XDrive in the F10 is better than XDrive in the E60, that's a fact.
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  #13  
Old 09-05-2011, 11:43 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw_enthusiasm View Post

and the old dealer trick:
"The F10's xDrive is rear biased and BMW claims it offers superior dry handling, ."

the first part of this sentence is total BS...the second part is true that handling is great.

But it is so annoying when they say this to you and you drive both cars in front of them and they keep on BS you...
What old dealer trick or BS are you talking about?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW.com
xDrive: the intelligent all-wheel drive system from BMW.
With xDrive a BMW takes full advantage of the benefits of rear-wheel drive: precise handling, optimum cornering and a clear separation between the engine and steering. Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) is only activated if it is necessary to redistribute engine power when conditions deteriorate: the system effectively counters over- or understeering by engaging the electronically controlled multiple-plate clutch, which reacts within a tenth of a second, to distribute up to 100% of the engine power to the front or rear axle and then back to the normal 40:60 ratio. With the BMW xDrive all-wheel drive system each axle optimally uses its traction to provide stabile acceleration out of every bend.

http://www.bmw.com/com/en/insights/t...echnology.html
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  #14  
Old 09-06-2011, 09:24 AM
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TJPark01 TJPark01 is offline
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This test car demonstrates what a vast improvement the new generation of BMW’s xDrive hardware represents over the last. The new version employs similar hardware to last year’s, but the car now sends more torque to the rear wheels during cornering and has adopted a much-faster-acting computer system. Like the old system, the 2011 535i xDrive’s has a default front-to-rear torque split of 40/60 percent. During cornering, the old all-wheel-drive 535xi maintained that split, but the new system moves to a 20/80-percent split to counter the understeer that plagued the old all-wheel-drive 5. Also aiding the 5’s ability to rotate fluidly is a torque-vectoring system that applies the brake to the inside rear wheel while feeding a bit more power to the rear end—and therefore to the unbraked outside wheel—to compensate for the drag. Together with the quicker computer, these two features make for a very agile sedan
2011 BMW 535i xDrive - Car & Driver
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  #15  
Old 09-06-2011, 10:34 AM
bmw_enthusiasm bmw_enthusiasm is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
What old dealer trick or BS are you talking about?




while the Xi is great improvement and rear biased and a great ride

it will NEVER EVER reach the feeling of RWD

currently it cannot be even compared.

I have no opinion on which one is better. They are just different.

So the dealer or at least a couple of sca_bags dealers i visit,

will actually try to convince you that its the same ride and they do that

with 3 series and 5 series as well.

a back to back test drive will convince you otherwise.

I am just stating the facts. Not my personal opinion.

go ride them back to back.
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  #16  
Old 09-06-2011, 11:14 AM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Longtime HPDE instructor here. I have driven them back to back, and prefer the xDrive F10 for 95% of all real world driving situations.

RWD gives you the ability to dirt track the rear end, and would be more fun drifting in a snow covered parking lot. Plus the staggered wheels on the ZSP or ZMP are sweet. But other than those VERY minor quibbles, the xDrive is fine.

I'm glad my M3 is RWD. But my incoming 535 will be driven in all types of weather, and xDrive is the way to go.

Sent from my HTC Inspire using BimmerApp
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