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F07 Gran Turismo (2010 - Current)
The 5 Series Gran Turismo -- now available in the USA as a 535i, 550i and 550i xDrive model.

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  #1  
Old 09-22-2012, 09:29 PM
Chargogg Chargogg is offline
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2008 328 xi Coupe
Thinking about a GT... but have a few qualms

Hello all,
This is my first post but I've definitely used the forum to research questions over the past 4 years. I currently have a 2008 328xi coupe... the first car I ever bought brand new. I love the car but with a new addition to the family due in the next few months, it's time to upgrade to a bigger, 4-door vehicle.

I went to the dealer a few fews ago to check out CPO 5-series. We walked by a new GT and pointed out the styling to my wife. I had never even considered the GT before but I really liked how it looked in person compared to online. We ended up taking a new 535xi GT out for a test drive. First off, I loved the interior space and gadgets. However, once I started the drive, I felt a little underwelmed. I don't know if I'm just used to driving a smaller, lighter car but it felt a little sluggish from a dead stop (or maybe I was driving a little more cautiously with my pregnant wife in the back seat of a car I was unfamilar with). The dealer just had me take a main route to the highway and back... no real winding curves or backroads.

I guess my concern is that I'll be a little disappointed with the agility compared to the handling I'm used to. A 550 is out of the question due to the price and the MPG. I'm also concerned about having luck searching out a CPO GT (which are few and far between compared to standard 5-series).

Did anyone else feel this way when they first drove a GT after driving a smaller car? Since I'm looking at a CPO, are there any major differences between the model years?

Maybe I just need to go back for a more aggressive test drive.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2012, 01:01 AM
SimiClyde SimiClyde is offline
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Location: Simi Valley, CA
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 115
Mein Auto: 2013 535iX GT
Took delivery a few weeks ago (European Delivery) of a 535 xi GT. No remorse here -- I thought it handled very nicely, especially for such a big car. To be fair, I'm going from an E60 535, though, so the size and weight difference aren't as much as moving up from a 3 series.

With that said, I do have to say that when I've driven a 3 series loaner, I've had the opinion that they are too skittish / not firmly planted on the road. So, for me, a 3 series would be a hard sell.

Maybe in the final analysis, it really boils down to the size and weight of the car you are used to driving. I'd encourage you to go back for a much more aggressive test drive, and see if you can get comfortable with the 5 GT.
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2010 535i: Deep Sea Blue | Natural Brown | ED: 6-Aug-2009 | 2013 535iX GT: Neptune Blue | Venetian Beige | ED: 31-Aug-2012
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2012, 09:57 AM
tonyscv tonyscv is offline
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Location: Los Angeles, CA USA
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 73
Mein Auto: 2014 M5
I drove both and ultimately decided that the engine in the 535GT was laboring too much for this car. I wound up going with the 550 instead and I've been completely satisfied. There's nothing quite like driving a heavy car that hauls ass. The GT weighs almost 2 tons and to me felt "built" for the V8 vs the 6, but there are a lot of folks who find the 6 perfectly adequate. Just individual preference.

I know you said the 550 is out of your price range, but if you can find a 2012 550GT in stock somewhere, they are offering some pretty terrific deals. I wound up getting $9k off the sticker for my 2012 which made the price almost identical to a comparably equipped 2013 535 and the discount helped offset the additional fuel premium the V8 requires.
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2012, 03:51 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Location: NH
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 802
Mein Auto: 535ix-drive GT
The car is quiet, gets decent highway mileage (my 535x-drive has seen over 30mpg on an extended drive over several tanks of gas - over 500 miles per tank). It's faster than many cars out there, but isn't as fast by any means as the 8-cylinder. For me, it's more than fast enough - it cruises easily at over 100mph as experienced in Germany after pickup there and still was getting over 20-mpg. It'll merge easily. Mash the peddle, and the 8-speed transmission is decent. I'm happy with mine. ED got me a decent price and a pleasant vacation...well worth it.

A new one will be a little tight, and the transmission logic takes a bit to learn your driving style. It gets faster after a few thousand miles, but it's not a huge difference. It is a heavy car, but for interior size and the flexibility of the trunk/hatch and rear-seat room, you'd be hard pressed to find a better cruiser. Took three adult women on a 700-mile trip and their luggage...it was tight in the trunk, but we made it with no complaints.
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  #5  
Old 09-24-2012, 08:04 AM
lexhair lexhair is offline
figuring out my iDrive
Location: Wykagyl
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 260
Mein Auto: '11 535 GT xDrive
My 535 is a different car in Sport mode. I came out of an E46. My test drive felt similar but my perspective changed drastically when I threw it in Sport mode.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2012, 01:28 PM
Loganradio Loganradio is offline
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Location: PA & NV
 
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Posts: 139
Mein Auto: 2010 Sportwagon
Picked up my brand new 535GT in Munich on 9/12, and I LOVE IT. Returned home to my 328 sportwagon...which certainly lacks the comfort of the larger GT. Not as smooth a drive (but I'm keeping it anyway).

My dealer mentioned on Friday that BMW will begin production of a 3-series GT. You might want to inquire about it before making a decision.
Carol
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  #7  
Old 09-25-2012, 09:01 AM
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Fish23 Fish23 is offline
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Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 575
Mein Auto: BMW 535xi GT
Some More Food for Thought

Further to the other fine responses to your post, I have had my 2011 535xi GT for 6 months and about 7,000 miles (which includes 3 long trips). I just love the car and do not understand the detractors (amateur or media) that have chimed in in various ways since the model’s introduction for 2010. You probably notice if you peruse the F07 forum that those who have them like them a lot. Once you actually have one you appreciate, with time, how much the vehicle has to offer.

The powertrain is excellent and the vehicle is surprisingly good on gas. The wheelbase makes the ride perfect for me and I too like to have fun with the Sport or Sport+ modes. (Yes, you should return for a more aggressive test drive if you did not get a chance the last time to test either mode with both engine and suspension selected as configuration). I agree it makes it a totally different car from the Normal setting and the apparent ‘power lag’ when proceeding from stopped. See if you can get on a highway and feel the power available from 1500-5000 RPM which is nearly a flat torque curve. You should also see how smooth it runs at just 1800-1900 RPM at about 70-75MPH. It will run all day like that but when you need more power (in the Normal, Sport or Sport+modes) it is effortlessly there.

As for your fear about availability near you, I live in Canada and if you see a BMW from another BMW dealer anywhere in Canada (except the other BMW dealer in town), my dealer will bring that car in without charge if you buy it. This applies to CPO vehicles as well. I see that you are in CT so you may wish to inquire from your dealer if the same principle applies in the US should you spot on in the national inventory list available through www.bmw.com. A quick check of the inventory shows only 5 of the CPO x-drive models (all 2011) but if you are familiar enough with the vehicle and the types of packages you would like, you may see one that you like and the dealer should get it for you. That and the fact that it is a CPO should lessen any risk that you may feel.

As for the suggestion about a 3- series GT, there is some information about it here:

http://www.bmwblog.com/2009/07/21/sp...w-3-series-gt/

but since you were in the 5-series market to begin with for ‘roominess’ purposes, the room provided by the GT’s 7-series short wheelbase plus the dual hatch/trunk provides a great ride with versatility, which was a large part of the design intent in the first place and made the vehicle (for me as an ex-SUV owner) such a neat idea.

I hope you are able to find the right GT for you and think that you are wise to consider x-drive only as you get a lot of the same winter ‘fun’ that I get ( I am due west of you in Ottawa, Ontario).

Good luck and keep us posted on your outcome.
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2012, 10:29 AM
Firstgt Firstgt is offline
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Location: Barrie, Ontario
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 10
Mein Auto: 2011 535i GT XDrive
I echo the comments of fish23. I also have a 2011 535 gt xdrive and though i have only owned it two weeks i am more than happy. It drives smaller than it is esp after you get used to the backup camera. Blindspots have not been an issue as i expected they might be. Friends of mine have driven it and had the same kinds of comments. They all love it. Sport mode is a blast. Loking forward to trying it out during the ontario winter.
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  #9  
Old 09-25-2012, 01:41 PM
jadnashuanh jadnashuanh is offline
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Location: NH
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 802
Mein Auto: 535ix-drive GT
FWIW, I opted to get some Michelin PA2 RFT winter tires/wheels for mine (complete with TPMS) from Tirerack.com. I've liked the Michelins better than the factory choice of Dunlops. We didn't have all that much snow last winter, so they didn't get a real workout to test their capability. I will say that on dry roads, they appear to be quieter than the stock Goodyears! The softer rubber compound does diminish the peak handling, but not by much. I also fitted the mudflaps both f/r, and that does help keep the sides cleaner when the going gets messy. They aren't hard to install, but you need to get them painted first - they only come in primer which is not a great long-term top coat. It was a little tricky figuring out how to attach the inner and outer pieces together, though!

The only other major add-on I made was an Invisihitch so I could carry a recumbent trike (it would fit inside, but it was close and chain lube on the ceiling is not easy to clean off!). Hassle is, the PDC can only be turned off when you have the trailer wiring harness and either an emulator or lights hooked up, which is a pain. Haven't solved that yet.

I did get an OEM BMW trailer harness given to me, but it is a version designed for an F07 that has the factory prep for it installed...those sold in the USA don't have a factory trailer hitch option, so those plugs needed are not in the harness, and there's no wiring diagram to make your own easily available (I'm still looking).

I also opted to get the windows tinted with 3M's top of the line ceramic coated material. It stops nearly all UV, and as much or more IR that the competators darker tints, and still lets 70% of the visible light through. It hardly looks tinted, but the interior is significantly cooler when parked in the sun. That tint is the only one certified by the American Cancer Society for skin cancer protection, and is often the one chosen for things like ambulances, etc. Really hi-tech stuff - over 200-layers of coatings in the film. It's a little harder to find a certified installer than some others, but was worth it IMHO.
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  #10  
Old 09-26-2012, 07:50 PM
BimmerVSR BimmerVSR is offline
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Location: CT, USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 167
Mein Auto: 2012 535 xi GT
Happy to help...

I can't agree more with what's already been said. As for 6 v 8, there are only a few times where I wished I had the 8. Normally those times involve a young kid driving a GTI or WRX and they want to race off the line. However, to me I value the 28 MPG that I get when I drive my GT from CT to NC. Once you are off the line, you will not lack for power.

Feel free to send me a PM. I am in central CT and would be happy to let you take a closer look at my GT.

As someone mentioned, driving in SPORT mode does make a pretty big difference with respect to power delivery.

When I switched to the GT, it was in part due to the endless positive comments in this forum. You have to look hard to find someone that isn't completely satisfied.
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2012, 08:14 AM
Loganradio Loganradio is offline
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Location: PA & NV
 
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 139
Mein Auto: 2010 Sportwagon
I took my 535i xDrive GT to car wash near Munich airport last week, and I thought it was going to have a heart attack as we drove through the washer. What a hoot! Rear camera worked great in the tight parking lots in Germany.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2012, 09:32 AM
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Bemo Bemo is online now
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,084
Mein Auto: 2011 328xi
I hope you end up getting one, you'll love it!
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2011 328xi
2011 535xi GT
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  #13  
Old 09-30-2012, 05:59 PM
Chargogg Chargogg is offline
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Location: CT
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 2008 328 xi Coupe
Update... with some highs and lows.

So I have an update to my original post. I got an email from my local dealer on Thrs touting a dealer invoice sale on everything in stock before end of the fiscal year. I went after work to re-test drive the 535xi GT. Told the dealer I wanted to drive some back roads with some twists and turns. We ended up driving the same vehicle as the last time. Turns out the car was actually a 2011 but was still new, not CPO, with only 200 miles, dark graphite exterior w/ black interior. After a better test drive, I had some particular numbers in mind for my trade, financing etc. Dealer came back with $3K less than dealer invoice (saw the actual invoice) and we had a deal.

Picked up the car on Saturday AM. I was a little sad to trade in the coupe, but seeing the detailed gleeming GT made it much easier. Took the car home (blowing by cars before noticing the speedometer over 95... this could be dangerous) before driving about 30 minutes to watch the UConn football game. After the game a few hours later, I was leaving the parking lot and it felt like the car was idling a little rough, but was acting fine at the low speeds leaving the lot. However, when I tried to accelerate to the highway onramp, the car just wouldn't respond. The check engine light came on and the idrive flashed "Drivetrain Malfunction: Full drivetrain output not available - Drive Moderately". I was barely able to accelerate and the transmission felt like it was slipping/shaking the whole time. I was barely able to crack 2000 rpm and 60mph. I drove right to the dealership and asked for a manager immediately.

The manager and salesman were not happy to see me back 5 hours after driving out the door as you can imagine. The manager jumped in the car and took it for a spin with the same results. He said that Service would look at on Monday AM and gave me a loaner X3. He speculated that it may have something to the fact that the car was a 2011 and may have had some battery drain that messed w/ the on board computer from sitting so long. Another manager did not seem as optimistic. I checked the Bimmerfest boards and seems like others have had this problem and it ended up being a transmission. I'm not jumping to conclusions but I'm also not optimistic. I really did like the car in the brief time it was working, but this is not the way I wanted 3 different BMWs in my garage in 1 day. Now I'm just sitting in limbo until tomorrow. Has anyone ever experienced this malfunction?
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  #14  
Old 10-01-2012, 02:06 PM
BimmerVSR BimmerVSR is offline
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Location: CT, USA
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 167
Mein Auto: 2012 535 xi GT
Mechatronics?

Do a search in this forum on "Mechatronics". You will find my "Deja Vu" thread. This seems very similar to what happened to my GT at the 500th mile mark. The good news it has been trouble free since then! Now at 7500 miles.
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