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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 01-12-2013, 05:20 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Advice Needed: Compare 2013 535i and 550i

In 2009 bought a 2006 CPO 550i with Sport Package and most options and have enjoyed trouble free use and new found addiction to BMW handling. Now considering configuring a 2013 535i or 550i for purchase. I will try to drive cars confiqured like I want but would appreciate any insight/experiences with these 2013 models including any new problems (i.e. like the high pressure fuel pumps on 335 and 535 turbo engines; problems with early build 2011's; etc) that have surfaced. Specifically:

1. I have read on this forum and in BMWCCA Roundel magazine about problems with low profile (30 series) run flats on 19 inch wheels so I am thinking about just the base 18 wheels with 245/45 tires. Will these be too "squishy" and how "real" are problems with 19 inch wheel/tire combinations--I live in northern tier land of potholes.

2. Basis of comparison for handling is Sport Package package on my 2006 550i with 18 inch 245/40 front and 275/35 rear tires so will I need to order Adaptive Ride or Dynamic Handling options to get comparable handling or is "base" suspension on either car improved to be comparable to my "old" Sport Package" (which had Dynamic Roll Control)? Have problems with Dynamic handling hydraulics on 2011 been cleared up-- I read the sticky on these problems.

3. What packages or options provide best values (I do not need the M look) but wife wants latest Navigation, voice activation, distance warning, technology comparable to what she has on her Lexus IS350.

4. Hard to do comparisons on many features between 535i and 550i since some things standard on 550i and various packages. Would appreciate opinions on special features you get on either car that you would miss on the other car--535i vs 550i.

5. I have had AWD cars of various kinds (Subaru WRX, Lexus IS350 AWD, etc) but think a RWD with ice/snow dedicated snow tires does a good job in winter (snowtires the key of course). Dealers tell me most cars they sell now are AWD so will I make a mistake by staying with RWD?

I am not a "track day" driver but enjoy good handling and snappy acceleration like I get with my "old 550i" and will opt for automatic.

Thank you for experiences/advice.
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  #2  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:43 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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No comparison. One is rolling thunder, the other is a good BMW.

550i>>>>> 535i

As far as the tires, most people here put higher quality tires on their 550i's anyway, so its a non-issue.

Also if you're going to keep the car think down the line when you need more power. 1 can add a little juice box to get it near 400hp... Rolling thunder on the other hand can get near 600b-ft of torque, and around 550hp+.

It should be obvious for anyone not handcuffed by price

Best options by rank:
Dynamic Handling Package
Active steering (*if your doing RWD... Which I wouldn't in Minn + 550ix rules)
Executive Package
Sport automatic transmission with shift paddles
Driver Assistance Plus
Cold Weather Package

Last edited by SuperTerp; 01-12-2013 at 07:46 PM.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2013, 06:46 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is online now
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I test drove them both. The difference is how effortless the power is in the 550. It makes you feel invincible. Even if you don't care about the extra power, it's just so easy to get the power you do want that it puts a grin on your face just to see how well it accelerates at half throttle. Put it in sport mode at about 55 mph, hold the throttle steady for a second or two, then hammer the gas. I'm not kidding when I say that if you have a passenger you'll see their head jerk back into the headrest (I recently did that with my 87 year old father).
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  #4  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:09 PM
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Chuck W. Chuck W. is offline
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There is a reason I never test drove a 550. I would have bought one. As it as, I am very happy with the 535.
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  #5  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:13 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck W. View Post
There is a reason I never test drove a 550. I would have bought one. As it as, I am very happy with the 535.
Took us 1 test drive and it wasn't even with an awd
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  #6  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:28 PM
MWPos MWPos is offline
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Biggest mistake I've ever made is walking away from a 2011 550i CPO (38K miles) to save $4K on a lower mileage (11K) 2011 535i. I do love the 535i, but having test driven them both I will always remember being at 100 mph at the top of the freeway on ramp, and not really having had to press hard on the gas to get there. In most driving I'd probably never notice a difference, but when you want to accelerate, the 550 is so much more fun and doesn't make you worry about an internal hemorrhage somewhere in the moving parts.

IMHO 550i. Definitely.
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  #7  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:33 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MWPos View Post
Biggest mistake I've ever made is walking away from a 2011 550i CPO (38K miles) to save $4K on a lower mileage (11K) 2011 535i. I do love the 535i, but having test driven them both I will always remember being at 100 mph at the top of the freeway on ramp, and not really having had to press hard on the gas to get there. In most driving I'd probably never notice a difference, but when you want to accelerate, the 550 is so much more fun and doesn't make you worry about an internal hemorrhage somewhere in the moving parts.

IMHO 550i. Definitely.
I feel for you buddy.
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  #8  
Old 01-13-2013, 10:46 AM
The Eleven The Eleven is offline
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I had decided to buy a 535i with no intention of looking at 550i primarily because of the added $$$. As I was negotiating on an end of the year deal for a 535i, on a whim I decided to ask about a 550i because the 535i wasn't equipped exactly like I wanted. Close, but missing a few features. They just happened to have a 550i on the lot that was almost exactly what I was looking for. After a test drive it was game over. The $$$ still bothered me but they were very eager to move the 2012's off the lot and made me a deal I would have never thought possible. So I ended up with 550i and have zero regrets. While I'm sure I would have been very happy with a 535i the effortless acceleration of the 550i puts a smile on my face every time I drive. Just don't expect to be smiling quite as much when you go the gas station
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  #9  
Old 01-13-2013, 12:49 PM
Yellow Jacket Yellow Jacket is offline
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I'll add another vote for the 550i. The effortless power is simply amazing - what a feeling! As to your tire questions, I got the standard 18" wheels and have had no handling, or more importantly, no tire malfunction issues. The handling is superb. I have rear wheel drive and got a set of winter tires on their own rims from Tire Rack and am totally impressed with their performance in a recent 12" snow fall. They just work great.

Enjoy your new toy!

John S.
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  #10  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:42 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Thank you for all the helpful input. The "smile on the face every time you accelerate" is one of the joys I have with the current 550i--and the greater torque of the twin turbo 550i (442 coming in at 1750) I expect is bound to be felt. The comment about the standard 18 inch wheels with less problematical 45 series run flats is encouraging and I will be sure to include that in my test driving.

As I toy with the "build your own" on BMW website I see things that come standard on some models are add ons with other models so can be quite complex. On website the RWD of both 535 and 550i show as standard with manual transmission and if you want automatic you are forced to get M Sport package so the $500 auto ends up costing $3400. I will ask sales guy about this on Monday but in meantime does anyone know if that is right??

I have two BMW dealers within 15 miles of each other so what would you suggest for negotiating: I present my expectations based on Blue Book or Black Book values to each dealer and ask for best bid and then show the best bid to the other guy and see if he betters it? Also, I have been generally pleased with service at one BMW dealer, and I understand even if I buy at other dealer there is no stigma or problem with getting service at my preferred dealer's service department?
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  #11  
Old 01-13-2013, 03:56 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denniscasey View Post
Thank you for all the helpful input. The "smile on the face every time you accelerate" is one of the joys I have with the current 550i--and the greater torque of the twin turbo 550i (442 coming in at 1750) I expect is bound to be felt. The comment about the standard 18 inch wheels with less problematical 45 series run flats is encouraging and I will be sure to include that in my test driving.

As I toy with the "build your own" on BMW website I see things that come standard on some models are add ons with other models so can be quite complex. On website the RWD of both 535 and 550i show as standard with manual transmission and if you want automatic you are forced to get M Sport package so the $500 auto ends up costing $3400. I will ask sales guy about this on Monday but in meantime does anyone know if that is right??

I have two BMW dealers within 15 miles of each other so what would you suggest for negotiating: I present my expectations based on Blue Book or Black Book values to each dealer and ask for best bid and then show the best bid to the other guy and see if he betters it? Also, I have been generally pleased with service at one BMW dealer, and I understand even if I buy at other dealer there is no stigma or problem with getting service at my preferred dealer's service department?
Totally incorrect about the auto. You can get it regardless of package. It is a zero cost option.

The Sport Auto Transmission, which has different programming and adds the paddles, is what you are referring to.
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  #12  
Old 01-13-2013, 04:40 PM
PittX52011 PittX52011 is offline
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  #13  
Old 01-13-2013, 04:56 PM
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1985mb 1985mb is offline
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I wouldn't worry about #5. Dealers sell lots of awd vehicles in snow states because those get a lot of marketing support. And it's a much easier 'safety' message than explaining to people why they need to change tires twice a year.

It's not like drivers in Germany or Scandinavia (with much stricter driving standards) were getting stranded every winter before Audi popularized awd (and competitors like BMW followed suit).
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  #14  
Old 01-13-2013, 05:34 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
Totally incorrect about the auto. You can get it regardless of package. It is a zero cost option.

The Sport Auto Transmission, which has different programming and adds the paddles, is what you are referring to.
Yeah I forgot that they attached sport auto to the M package cause it wasn't like that when we did it
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  #15  
Old 01-13-2013, 07:03 PM
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AggieKnight AggieKnight is offline
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It's difficult to answer some of your questions because the two cars are optioned so very differently (as in packages).

My advice to potential buyers is always the same - drive both, pick the one you like most.

Options will take care of themselves.

Quote:
Originally Posted by denniscasey View Post
4. Hard to do comparisons on many features between 535i and 550i since some things standard on 550i and various packages. Would appreciate opinions on special features you get on either car that you would miss on the other car--535i vs 550i.
The prime difference between the two cars is power delivery vs gas milage. I think you can get most of the options on one as in the other. I wouldn't encourage you to test drive a 550 unless your pocketbook can bear it. That car is exhilarating to drive.

Quote:
5. I have had AWD cars of various kinds (Subaru WRX, Lexus IS350 AWD, etc) but think a RWD with ice/snow dedicated snow tires does a good job in winter (snowtires the key of course). Dealers tell me most cars they sell now are AWD so will I make a mistake by staying with RWD?
Well...you do live in Minnasota.

I drove my 550 in Germany for a week in snowstorms and freezing rain, and with snow tires she never once felt out of control. If you don't mind in investing in two sets of tires (the summer that come on it and a set of snowshoes for the other 6 months of the year), you are potentially fine.

My 2 cents.
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Old 01-13-2013, 08:55 PM
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We've had several snow storms in Utah over the past few months and I have enjoyed AWD on hills that RWD vehicles were completely unable to ascend. I suppose if you live in a flat area AWD is probably not necessary but I have really been happy to have it this winter.

-Corey
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  #17  
Old 01-13-2013, 09:01 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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I am astounded how nobody here mentioned this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=649120

2012 550 throttle "tip in" question
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  #18  
Old 01-14-2013, 09:12 AM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
I am astounded how nobody here mentioned this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=649120

2012 550 throttle "tip in" question
Moot point 535 had it too.
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Old 01-14-2013, 12:05 PM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
I am astounded how nobody here mentioned this:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=649120

2012 550 throttle "tip in" question
And it hasn't been reported on the 2013s.
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  #20  
Old 01-14-2013, 12:08 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Will post my impressions after test drives but leaning strongly towards pretty basic 550i with just the Cold Weather Package (so many things that were options are now standard on 2013 like 18 way seats). Here is my "test matrix" depending on what dealers have available:

1. Drive base 550 RWD with 18 inch 245/45 run flats (see how much it floats)

2. Drive base 550 RWD with M Sport Package (19 inch staggered low profile tires)

3. Drive either 1 or 2 above with Dynamic Handling Package or just Dynamic Damper

4. Drive 550 AWD with one of above configurations just to see how AWD affects handling and feel vs RWD. I think a RWD with dedicated Snow and Ice (ie. Blizzaks ) and NOT performance "snow tires" will actually do better stopping and starting on icy roads (strictly due to real snow tires vs all weather tires) vs AWD with just all weathers, but come trade in time the AWD may be the more popular choice.

Based on what I have read in this forum I will be watching for:

(1) Jerky tip in response

(2) Pulling to right or other handling quirks

(3) Smooth stopping (my 2006 550i stops quickly but not smoothly--dealer always said that is normal behavior)

Comments/suggestions?

Question: My wife loves feature on her Lexus where she can call a Lexus service on phone while driving, get them to look up a business place by name, and Lexus service then downloads into her navigation system--does BMW have that service?
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  #21  
Old 01-14-2013, 01:02 PM
HDEddie1 HDEddie1 is offline
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Considering your interest and the area you live, here's my 2 cents:

Nothing will come close to your E60 550i in terms of handling UNLESS you go the full route with the full Dynamic Handing Package (ARS plus DDC). Otherwise, the car will float and sway like a boat, even with DDC full on. Test drive the the dynamic handling package in Sport+ mode and you'll feel a definite difference.

Regarding tires...remove all doubt. Take the 18" RFT and immediately replace them with good non-run flat all weather tires for your region. Note...you'll have to carry a temp spare in the trunk but the ride trade off benefit is so much greater for you if you drive on bad roads and inclement weather.
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Old 01-14-2013, 01:07 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SuperTerp View Post
Moot point 535 had it too.
Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiboyca View Post
And it hasn't been reported on the 2013s.
NOPE. You're missing the point.... Call me weird, but I love my car starting off in the 1st gear....
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  #23  
Old 01-14-2013, 01:08 PM
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Interesting Thread....

I too am considering a F10 550. But am leaning to a F01 for the extra space.
Either one will be getting tuned for more power! :beer:

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  #24  
Old 01-14-2013, 02:32 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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NOPE. You're missing the point.... Call me weird, but I love my car starting off in the 1st gear....
lol if it helps you sleep at night.
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  #25  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:04 AM
wildvlad wildvlad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsC6 View Post
Put it in sport mode at about 55 mph, hold the throttle steady for a second or two, then hammer the gas. I'm not kidding when I say that if you have a passenger you'll see their head jerk back into the headrest .
Easy reproduced on ah5 (yeah, it's not pure 535 due to electric helper), but from 65 mph (sorry, nobody drives 55 in California on freeways). And actually if manually drop gear first the effect would be even more dramatic.
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