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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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  #26  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:24 AM
schnell525 schnell525 is offline
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it's all about the engine. the 550 is just BOOM. it sucks gas, but then again if you're looking to conserve gas this isn't the car for you.

if you want power to move, pass and flat out haul a$$, the 550's your car. i've found it handy on the interstates. it's nice having that extra power--and the car with a sports package can handle it. i would want 19" wheels + dynamic damper.

i have xdrive for my really crappy weather. i have a set of -1 rft Dunlops (OE BMW PN) 18" wheels which makes the car go through anything.

i could live with a 535 again, but the 550 is about as close to a perfect all-around car. you can stiffen it up and it handles great, or you can soften it up enough to transport someone back from a hospital that's just had major surgery in great comfort.
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  #27  
Old 01-15-2013, 06:46 AM
kc1953 kc1953 is offline
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As many posters have already indicated, the choice of 550 vs 535 depends on your priorities. For me, the choice wasn't about $$$ as the extra cost of the V8 vs the inline 6 wasn't the driver of my decision. I balanced the extra power that I would only have rare ocassion to use against the far superior gas mileage which would be an everyday benefit. The 535i is not a slow car by any stretch of the imagination. And the power is effortless. There is no sense the engine is going to hemmorage as one previous poster implied. So, in my opinion, the 535i hits the sweet spot. Drive both, think about it, and then decide. Whatever you decide, you will have no regrets. The f10, 550 or 535 is a great car.
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  #28  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:56 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is online now
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I currently have a 535xi with a tune and I am starting to regret my decision to not get the 550 in the first place. Again the 535 isn't a slow car by any means. Its quick around town but where i find it lacking is on the highway once you've already reached a steady cruising speed. When i punch it in my 535 the car moves but doesn't have that "I am about to blast off rocket" feel that i use to get in my tuned 335 pushing over 400hp/tq. Its much more tame in the 535 where as my 335 made you feel like you were about to take off sucking you into your seat.

Never test drove the 550 but i'm sure it will feel pretty similar to my tuned 335 if not faster.

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  #29  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:18 AM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Originally Posted by yogi799 View Post
NOPE. You're missing the point.... Call me weird, but I love my car starting off in the 1st gear....
Who says it doesn't? LOL

Again, no one has had any complaints about the 2013.


OP - make sure you take notice of the steering feel when you compare the i to the xi. The xi has the traditional steering which is supposedly more true to form to the E60.

As for the floaty feel described above - I can not agree. Mine has been great (although its not an E60) Make sure you understand the differences - for example the M-Sport i comes with passive sport suspension, where the MSport xi does not.

Happy test driving and let us know what you decide.
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  #30  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:51 AM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Appreciate the advice/information. My "test drive matrix" I think will be limited by very low dealer inventory for 550 and difficulty getting straight answer from sales guy on what options are really on cars.

Low inventory brings up question about how long I will need to wait for something very close to what I want---are there regional inventories dealers can draw from and/or dealer swaps or will I need to wait for a car to get built in Germany? Hopefully I will get better feel after driving but now leaning towards 550 xi with just cold weather package. If standard suspension wheel/tire combo is too floaty, my understanding is M Sport for 550 xi does not change suspension (just wheel/tire and appearance) so my only option for more sporty handling would be Dynamic Handling Package?
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  #31  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:55 AM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denniscasey View Post
Appreciate the advice/information. My "test drive matrix" I think will be limited by very low dealer inventory for 550 and difficulty getting straight answer from sales guy on what options are really on cars.

Low inventory brings up question about how long I will need to wait for something very close to what I want---are there regional inventories dealers can draw from and/or dealer swaps or will I need to wait for a car to get built in Germany? Hopefully I will get better feel after driving but now leaning towards 550 xi with just cold weather package. If standard suspension wheel/tire combo is too floaty, my understanding is M Sport for 550 xi does not change suspension (just wheel/tire and appearance) so my only option for more sporty handling would be Dynamic Handling Package?
Correct, you have to add DDC.

Remember you can always order your car and take delivery 6-8 weeks later.
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  #32  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:01 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Who says it doesn't? LOL
Quite a few guys have reported that (check out that thread), not all of them mentioned it as a complaint, though. But enough to know there is a concern. And ... this being probably "as designed", there is a good chance a 2013 does it too. Again, "as designed."
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  #33  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:28 PM
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Depending on the configured options you want, the price difference between a 535 and a 550 is not as much as what you would expect considering you are now getting a V8. Navigation, rear camera, park distance control and multi contour seats are all standard on the 550 as opposed to the 535. If these are all options you want on a 535, it may not be that great of a price difference to look at a 550.
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  #34  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:39 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decboy View Post
Depending on the configured options you want, the price difference between a 535 and a 550 is not as much as what you would expect considering you are now getting a V8. Navigation, rear camera, park distance control and multi contour seats are all standard on the 550 as opposed to the 535. If these are all options you want on a 535, it may not be that great of a price difference to look at a 550.
I agree based on my "build your own" configurations on the BMW website.
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  #35  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:07 PM
HDEddie1 HDEddie1 is offline
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Spend more time with the models!

OP, depending on how important the car is to you, you might very well benefit from an extended test drive of the cars in question. I wouldn't rely much on the sales rep for questions beyond the basics. Unless you meet one who is a died in the wool enthusiast, they'll basically tell you something (or avoid the right answer) just to get the car sold. Find out all you need technically from enthusiast or forums like this. After you found the car you want, then spend the sweat with the sales rep when it comes to ordering/trading/selling you a car.

If you're area has limited inventory, it might well pay you to do a day trip some weekend to a city that has a lot of cars to see/drive/compare. Where I live (LA) there are over a dozen BMW dealers with 100's of F10's and even a few M5's on the lot (not too many 550xi's). I'm not suggesting you have to come to LA but I would think a city within a couple hours drive away, or even a cheap commuter flight to some big city, would serve good purpose if you really want to compare models. You might even check BMWNA website for model search and it'll point the way to where certain cars are and the related equipment.

And yes....the 550i will cost more. Everything being equal option wise, there will be about a $5000 difference.

And the gas milage will be better with the 535i but simple math might bear on this a little light on this subject. Assume a 535i ad 550i both drive 10K/year. Assume the 535i averaged 25 mpg and the 550i 20 mpg. Then the 535i uses 400 gallons/year and the 550i uses 500 gal/yr. At $4.00 gal, that's $1600 vs $2000 annual fuel cost. This is a rough guide, not scientific or proven, but a reasonable comparison....your actual milage will vary.

Other posters don't kill me on this gas thing (I do about 80% interstate and see 27MPG regularly) but I'm sure if it were reversed for city driving, I'd be in the teen (lol).

So, a 535i or 550i? There's no wrong choice...only choices depending on you!
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  #36  
Old 01-15-2013, 02:19 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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+1 with the above lol its not like your going from a 25mpg 535i to an Aventador that gets 13mpgs.. 5mpgs doesn't really matter.
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  #37  
Old 01-16-2013, 08:23 AM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Decboy View Post
Depending on the configured options you want, the price difference between a 535 and a 550 is not as much as what you would expect considering you are now getting a V8. Navigation, rear camera, park distance control and multi contour seats are all standard on the 550 as opposed to the 535. If these are all options you want on a 535, it may not be that great of a price difference to look at a 550.
I agree to a certain extent as I considered this as well. But the difference is not just price, its gas, and insurance. Its always going to cost you more. Now if you can afford it, is the extra 100HP worth it?

Your damn right it is!
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  #38  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:18 AM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by miamiboyca View Post
I agree to a certain extent as I considered this as well. But the difference is not just price, its gas, and insurance. Its always going to cost you more. Now if you can afford it, is the extra 100HP worth it?

Your damn right it is!
Just looking at responsiveness, don't forget Torque: 295 at 1500-5000rpm for 535 and 442 at 1750 to 4500 for 550.
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  #39  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:20 AM
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miamiboyca miamiboyca is offline
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Originally Posted by denniscasey View Post
Just looking at responsiveness, don't forget Torque: 295 at 1500-5000rpm for 535 and 442 at 1750 to 4500 for 550.
Well the 535 is very responsive. I am pretty happy with mine, have you driven the 535i yet? If you do and you like it, then don't even bother driving the 550.
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  #40  
Old 01-18-2013, 12:58 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Today test drove 2013 535 ix with base suspension but 18 way comfort seats ( a requirement I have) and a very loaded 550 ix with Dynamic Handling Package among many other options. Both cars had two buttons on console marked Sport and Comfort and I tried both settings in both cars, but didn't see a huge difference. The main point of this post is I have to say I like my 2006 550i with sport package better than either of the 2013's.

When I drove my CPO in 2009 it gave me that "wow" factor and I still get that feeling when I drive the car. When I stepped out of my 2006 550 i and then drove the 2013's I felt the cars were smoother and maybe quieter but neither one felt as responsive or as connected to the road as my 550 i. The sales person actually agreed with me, but blamed it on the 8 speed transmissions vs my 6 speed auto-- the 8 speed giving a smoother but not as "snappy" a feel to acceleration. It could even have to do with the fact that both the 2013's were AWD vs my RWD.

With more time spent in the 2013's I don't doubt that I would see and feel the differences between the 535 and 550 (just based on horsepower and torque published data) and I would agree that both cars are more "refined" and "smoother" than my old 550, but maybe not as fun? Driving home in my old car I actually began thinking I would just keep it and drive it into the ground (money I save on depreciation will more than pay for repairs I think) and just don't take it on long trips where a breakdown would be a problem. And I won't have issues with run flats (my old car has conventional tires on it and the doughnut spare in the trunk).

Apologies for not giving a comparison between the 2013's I drove, but in the time I had to do some freeway driving and some twisty rough back road driving neither car was as fun as my old 550i. And not fair to compare the two 2013's in the limited drive I did.
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  #41  
Old 01-18-2013, 01:57 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denniscasey View Post
Today test drove 2013 535 ix with base suspension but 18 way comfort seats ( a requirement I have) and a very loaded 550 ix with Dynamic Handling Package among many other options. Both cars had two buttons on console marked Sport and Comfort and I tried both settings in both cars, but didn't see a huge difference. The main point of this post is I have to say I like my 2006 550i with sport package better than either of the 2013's.

When I drove my CPO in 2009 it gave me that "wow" factor and I still get that feeling when I drive the car. When I stepped out of my 2006 550 i and then drove the 2013's I felt the cars were smoother and maybe quieter but neither one felt as responsive or as connected to the road as my 550 i. The sales person actually agreed with me, but blamed it on the 8 speed transmissions vs my 6 speed auto-- the 8 speed giving a smoother but not as "snappy" a feel to acceleration. It could even have to do with the fact that both the 2013's were AWD vs my RWD.

With more time spent in the 2013's I don't doubt that I would see and feel the differences between the 535 and 550 (just based on horsepower and torque published data) and I would agree that both cars are more "refined" and "smoother" than my old 550, but maybe not as fun? Driving home in my old car I actually began thinking I would just keep it and drive it into the ground (money I save on depreciation will more than pay for repairs I think) and just don't take it on long trips where a breakdown would be a problem. And I won't have issues with run flats (my old car has conventional tires on it and the doughnut spare in the trunk).

Apologies for not giving a comparison between the 2013's I drove, but in the time I had to do some freeway driving and some twisty rough back road driving neither car was as fun as my old 550i. And not fair to compare the two 2013's in the limited drive I did.
You are not the first to say that. My advice, keep your car for a while. The F10 LCI is around the corner and somewhere around 2016 we should see Porsche's five series which is rumoured to be built on a new platform to be shared with the new Lambo Gallardo and new Audi R8. This should be a fun car.
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  #42  
Old 01-18-2013, 02:26 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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OP: Your sentiments after your test drive mirror those of many of us long-time BMW owners: The F10 is not as much of a driver's car as the E60.

And you missed one very important variable. You originally said you were considering RWD, as a modern RWD vehicle with dedicated winter tires will handle as well (and safely) as an AWD with A/S tires in almost all situations. I completely agree, plus the staggered wheels on the RWD's look great. We almost got a RWD, but... The absolute deal killer for us is the RWD 535 / 550 has electric power steering, while the xDrives have hydraulic steering. The vague numbness of the EPS was enough to push us into the xDrive camp.

I am guessing that 90% of all F10's sold in MN have xDrive, so it will be very difficult for you to test drive one to compare. But it is a critical data point - find a CPO RWD F10 somewhere and make sure you drive it before placing an order.

PS Your salesman is clueless. The 8 speed transmission is fantastic, and not at all responsible for the F10's feel. The steering feel and floaty suspension are to blame, not the tranny.
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  #43  
Old 01-18-2013, 03:34 PM
HDEddie1 HDEddie1 is offline
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Cpo e60?

After all done and said, I can agree with you that the last generation 5 (E60) has its plus points that only an owner can love.

Regarding you current ride...Rather than "drive it into the ground", which would entail incurring maintenance cost and losing resale value, perhaps you might consider finding a the last e60, like a 2010 M Sport, CPO. You'd get an updated Nav system, but best of all a generous CPO BMW warranty.
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  #44  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:58 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
OP: Your sentiments after your test drive mirror those of many of us long-time BMW owners: The F10 is not as much of a driver's car as the E60.

And you missed one very important variable. You originally said you were considering RWD, as a modern RWD vehicle with dedicated winter tires will handle as well (and safely) as an AWD with A/S tires in almost all situations. I completely agree, plus the staggered wheels on the RWD's look great. We almost got a RWD, but... The absolute deal killer for us is the RWD 535 / 550 has electric power steering, while the xDrives have hydraulic steering. The vague numbness of the EPS was enough to push us into the xDrive camp.

I am guessing that 90% of all F10's sold in MN have xDrive, so it will be very difficult for you to test drive one to compare. But it is a critical data point - find a CPO RWD F10 somewhere and make sure you drive it before placing an order.

PS Your salesman is clueless. The 8 speed transmission is fantastic, and not at all responsible for the F10's feel. The steering feel and floaty suspension are to blame, not the tranny.
I did think part of the "different" feel with the 2013's was due to AWD vs RWD, and although some of us know RWD with snow and ice rated snow tires stop and turn better than AWD with all weather tires, RWD cars are getting rare in MN as you note.

Now I have driven AWD with dedicated snow tires (the Subaru WRX I once had and others) and they are great in snow.
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  #45  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:59 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HDEddie1 View Post
After all done and said, I can agree with you that the last generation 5 (E60) has its plus points that only an owner can love.

Regarding you current ride...Rather than "drive it into the ground", which would entail incurring maintenance cost and losing resale value, perhaps you might consider finding a the last e60, like a 2010 M Sport, CPO. You'd get an updated Nav system, but best of all a generous CPO BMW warranty.
Good thought, and I will look into that--one more option on the option tree.
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  #46  
Old 01-18-2013, 08:29 PM
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Had a 535 and loved it. Great balance of performance and fuel economy. Made the mistake of test driving a 13 550 ix and the rest is history. Took delivery on Christmas eve.......
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  #47  
Old 01-19-2013, 06:12 AM
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K-A K-A is offline
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My take is this:

The 535i feels pretty damn beastly to me, so I purposefully don't want to drive a 550i as the Herculean effect of my car will wane.

I actually didn't consider a 550i, and I found some pretty good deals on CPO ones. Reason being further than just budget. I've been fawning over the N55 ever since it made its initiation as the N54. IMO there's something about the BMW I6 experience that you just can't match elsewhere. The sound, the unique feel, I just wanted my BMW with the infamous buttery smooth and BMW-blooded I6. Now, that said, this I6 isn't like the wind-it-up I6's of yore, so to purists it might feel too altered anyway, but to me, it brings a torquey V8 feel that now gave me the best of two worlds: Characteristically BMW I6 with a V8 feel around town.

On top of that, of course the F10 is a heavy beast on its own that isn't exactly a "drivers car" in that purist sense, but numerous Reviews state how the 550i feels less balanced than the 535i, more noticeably front heavy (if I'm not mistaken, it doesn't uphold the "BMW Perfect 50/50 weight distribution"?), less nimble, not as dialed in on the handling side, etc.

To top it off, as one of the Rags said in a review, the N55 is like the perfect child, it does everything right. Smooth, small but feels big, sounds great and unique, gets GREAT MPG WHILE having an exceptionally low and flat torque band, and can clock a 1/4 mile in just under or around 14 seconds at around or over 100 MPH. All things considered, the way it puts that power to the ground (low end heavy and geared so well so IMO it feels faster than it is around town), this heavy car its in, the MPG, the balanced weight distribution, it's quite impressive.

Now, all that said, as much a rush as I get from the effortless power, instantaneous torque, very eager throttle-and-go in Sport mode with my SAT in this 535i, I know if I drove a 550i it'd just blow my socks off, and I'm sure I'd be clamoring for more.

Another note: The 535i puts about 280 HP to the wheels before being well broken in, which would put it realistically at about 335-340 HP at the crank with about 343-345 TQ (283-285 RWTQ). The 550i seems to clock a 1/4 mile at about .8-1 second and 8-10 MPH faster than the 535i, and considering it weighs considerably more, it would be safe to assume it is equally underrated.
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Last edited by K-A; 01-19-2013 at 06:18 AM.
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  #48  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:17 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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Yeah... I just put 5 people in my 535 and the power was gone

Seriously, it felt like a 528 or even worse, 520 or smthg?

When I drive by myself, it feels powerful enough, though. But I also have not driven the 550...
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  #49  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:30 PM
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I test drove both multiple times before going with the 550. The $4500 difference was a comfortable one for me to go with the 550. When cruising, you can't really tell the difference in terms of power between the N55 and N63 engines. It's really in the acceleration that you feel the punch with the N63 engine. I have to say the N55 does have that sportier feel especially while cruising while the N63 seems too smooth. That's just my observation.
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  #50  
Old 01-19-2013, 09:42 PM
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Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
OP: The absolute deal killer for us is the RWD 535 / 550 has electric power steering, while the xDrives have hydraulic steering.
Is there a reason why the AWD still has the hydraulic steering? SoCal is opposite, xi's are hard to come by here. I would have loved to test drive an xi just to see how closely that would make the F10 resemble an E60. I still miss our '08 E60's handling.
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2013 BMW 550i
Titanium Silver | Black | M Sport

Last edited by Decboy; 01-19-2013 at 09:44 PM.
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