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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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Old 02-03-2013, 03:27 PM
Elmanzah Elmanzah is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 550i 6MT m sport
In honor of my e39

E39:
Intro:
In anticipation of my soon to arrive 550, I thought it a good idea to write about my impressions of my e39. I have a 540i 6sp (short shifter, rear sway bars all sitting on Potenza S04). The car has 175K and is in top shape because I fix it every time something needs to be fixed. I wanted to write about this car now before my 550i arrives so I can capture my impressions of the 550 as soon as it arrives and contrast it to these notes here. So when I pickup my 550, I will be writing about my driving impressions using the same dimensions I use here.

How I drive:
I don't drive fast to be reckless or show off. I drive fast (within safety limits) because I am wired that way. I even find myself walking fast whenever it is I walk. It is for that reason I always needed a car that can respond. I want great acceleration, phenomenal grip and of-course superior stopping power should the need to stop quickly ever arise. I want all those qualities in a car without sacrificing comfort and without being flamboyant. I bought a corvette z06 and sold it after a few weeks. I hated the car. It was too raw despite excelling on all the other categories. Perhaps it was too much car for me, I don't know. I just didn't like it.

Still I need a car that can help me accelerate around a slow poke who insists on hogging the left lane and speeds up to deny me entry when he or she sees me going around them. I need to have the power to do that because inconsiderate people really annoy me. I don't want to give the impression I go around cutting people off but there are people who really are inconsiderate. I am sure we all ran into those people.

So how do I feel about my e39? The short answer is I love it. I find it to provide a great combination of performance, comfort, good looks and just doesn't scream "look at me". It truly embodies the saying "wolf in sheep's clothing." I will rate it below on the following dimensions:

Performance
The 540 is now 12 years old and I still find her to be amongst the fastest cars on the road. The acceleration on the car is great and with the 6-speed manual, I am really in control of the car. I know what acceleration dose I am getting 100% of the time and in any combination of throttle input for a given gear. The grip on the car (thanks to those tires is phenomenal) and on ramps, I can take its car to within the limits of adhesion and back off because the indications are there for me to pick up on. I would never do that with the Z06. Perhaps its too much car for me or it isn't as communicative as a BMW.. I don't know. I just didn't feel confident in it.

The steering on my car is great! I know I have a recirculating ball setup but honestly, I like it. It unwinds with the right amount of load. In a turn, it feels really correctly loaded. Body lean is not that pronounced and my seats do a wonderful job keeping me in place. It's a joy to take a turn on a nice summer hot day with this car. I still do it with a 12 year old car and I still smile ***9786;

Duality
Now on what I call "duality", I would rate my e39 very good. I can drive my wife and another couple on Saturday night for an outing smoothly and in comfort yet go for a Sunday spirited drive the next day on a windy road. The car can do both. Perhaps it is more sporty than comfy because it is slightly harsh on some NY roads. That and there are the body creaks that have been showing up that are annoying me.

Comfort
As for comfort, I would rate it as good. I like the combination of a stiffer suspension and softer yet supportive seats. In contrast, I have found Mercedes E class to have stiffer seats yet softer suspension. I definitely prefer the BMW setup. When I take friends out though, I could always appreciate better absorption of bumps.

I love my e39. It fits me like a glove and I know what she can do and she has never let me down. I'll leave it here and will write again about how the f10 compares to my e39.

Thanks.
(Go Ravens!)


************ 3/15/ update. I had my 550i for a week. Here are my ramblings 400 miles later **********************************************

Let me get this out of the way. The more perfect a car is, the more a single flaw becomes more irritating. It's like being with a gorgeous girl that has over sized hands. Its just weird and you end up fixating on it (Seinfeld anyone?). At first I was irritated with the throttle and thought it to be an issue with the car. I now know that the delay I in the throttle response has to do with the drive by wire. I come from an e39 which I believe is cable and not throttle by wire. I am a bit unhappy with the responsiveness of the throttle but that is being swept away by the sheer awesomeness of this car. BTW.. I am keeping my 540. I've started to adjust for that delay. Read below for my thoughts:

Wow.. Organizing my thoughts isn't easy. I LOVE this car. The level of luxury in this car is amazing. When I got back into my 540i, it saddens me to look at it in a totally different way. It feels so basic. I've driven 400 miles on the 550 and have the new michelen pss on the car.

Performance:
This car has more than enough oomph to satisfy my driving style. I don't even need to down shift. The power is phenomenal!! I can get to insane speeds easily and with such little drama that if I get pulled over by a screaming cop, I truly would wonder why he is so offended that I was doing 150mph weaving between traffic. It feels that solid and refined. So much so that I can't even hear wind noise at speed. No wind noise, no tire noise no engine noise nothing! I am so relaxed and enchanted by this interior that I find myself not minding the commute home. If anything, I am bummed out when I arrive at my destination. Isn't that called the honey moon period? On performance this car is by FAR superior to the e39. As if that surprises any one. Whereas the 540 will pull more g's on a ramp so I can nail the apex and come out from the turn with a smile, the F10 is so composed being pushed to its limit that I come out the other end of the turn forgetting I WAS in a turn. And with the abundance of power, I can make up for any advantage the 540 had. The F10 engine likes to rev though when compared with the 540. I could be at very low rpm speeds on my 540 and still pull away comfortable. Not so in the F10. Also, the steering doesn't bother me at all. The throttle does like I said above.

Duality and comfort:
The F10 is unrivaled in its duality. The ability to switch from the Cadillac Broughm (spelling) levels of comfort to moderate levels of sport are just 3 button clicks away. I now know I can drive my sleeping family home at the end of a long weekend for long periods of time with them him hitting REM sleep easily. No, I am not going to go on a spirited Sunday drive to touch all the apexes like I do in a 540 though the F10 certainly is capable. Instead I see myself going on a Sunday drive to enjoy the scenery and I am perfectly happy doing so.
The F10 is a new answer to the question of mobility. If I had to sum it up in a sentence, I would say this: The F10 550i is a marvel of engineering that provides SUPERIOR performance in such a luxurious numbing (in the good sense of the word) way that you are left questioning where all the sportiness went. Something those on the outside of the vehicle have no doubt of its existence. Something a quick glance at the speedo will alert you to the duality of this car. If you like linkages and mechanical parts talking to you, you will be disappointed. Or if you are like me and you want a fast snobby sports sedan then get the 550. Ok.. let me leave it here so I can go sit in my new car!
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Last edited by Elmanzah; 03-15-2013 at 02:31 PM.
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  #2  
Old 02-03-2013, 04:47 PM
Bruce917's Avatar
Bruce917 Bruce917 is offline
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Location: Cary, NC
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 109
Mein Auto: F10 535i ///M-Sport6spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmanzah View Post
E39:
Intro:
In anticipation of my soon to arrive 550, I thought it a good idea to write about my impressions of my e39. I have a 540i 6sp (short shifter, rear sway bars all sitting on Potenza S04). The car has 175K and is in top shape because I fix it every time something needs to be fixed. I wanted to write about this car now before my 550i arrives so I can capture my impressions of the 550 as soon as it arrives and contrast it to these notes here. So when I pickup my 550, I will be writing about my driving impressions using the same dimensions I use here.

How I drive:
I don’t drive fast to be reckless or show off. I drive fast (within safety limits) because I am wired that way. I even find myself walking fast whenever it is I walk. It is for that reason I always needed a car that can respond. I want great acceleration, phenomenal grip and of-course superior stopping power should the need to stop quickly ever arise. I want all those qualities in a car without sacrificing comfort and without being flamboyant. I bought a corvette z06 and sold it after a few weeks. I hated the car. It was too raw despite excelling on all the other categories. Perhaps it was too much car for me, I don’t know. I just didn’t like it.

Still I need a car that can help me accelerate around a slow poke who insists on hogging the left lane and speeds up to deny me entry when he or she sees me going around them. I need to have the power to do that because inconsiderate people really annoy me. I don’t want to give the impression I go around cutting people off but there are people who really are inconsiderate. I am sure we all ran into those people.

So how do I feel about my e39? The short answer is I love it. I find it to provide a great combination of performance, comfort, good looks and just doesn’t scream “look at me”. It truly embodies the saying “wolf in sheep’s clothing.” I will rate it below on the following dimensions:

Performance
The 540 is now 12 years old and I still find her to be amongst the fastest cars on the road. The acceleration on the car is great and with the 6-speed manual, I am really in control of the car. I know what acceleration dose I am getting 100% of the time and in any combination of throttle input for a given gear. The grip on the car (thanks to those tires is phenomenal) and on ramps, I can take its car to within the limits of adhesion and back off because the indications are there for me to pick up on. I would never do that with the Z06. Perhaps its too much car for me or it isn’t as communicative as a BMW.. I don’t know. I just didn’t feel confident in it.

The steering on my car is great! I know I have a recirculating ball setup but honestly, I like it. It unwinds with the right amount of load. In a turn, it feels really correctly loaded. Body lean is not that pronounced and my seats do a wonderful job keeping me in place. It’s a joy to take a turn on a nice summer hot day with this car. I still do it with a 12 year old car and I still smile ***9786;

Duality
Now on what I call “duality”, I would rate my e39 very good. I can drive my wife and another couple on Saturday night for an outing smoothly and in comfort yet go for a Sunday spirited drive the next day on a windy road. The car can do both. Perhaps it is more sporty than comfy because it is slightly harsh on some NY roads. That and there are the body creaks that have been showing up that are annoying me.

Comfort
As for comfort, I would rate it as good. I like the combination of a stiffer suspension and softer yet supportive seats. In contrast, I have found Mercedes E class to have stiffer seats yet softer suspension. I definitely prefer the BMW setup. When I take friends out though, I could always appreciate better absorption of bumps.

I love my e39. It fits me like a glove and I know what she can do and she has never let me down. I’ll leave it here and will write again about how the f10 compares to my e39.

Thanks.
(Go Ravens!)
Nice, and here is what I wrote a few years back about my E39 wagon.
I'll be sad to see her go.

http://www.windingroad.com/articles/...on-wanderings/
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'13 535i, Santorini Blue, Black Nappa, Leather Dash, M-Sport, Tech, Heated Seats, Luxury Seating, PDC, 6MT, M Performance Exhaust, ED May 8.
'06 Carrera, Maritime Blue
'02 525i Sport Wagon, Sport, Premium, Comfort, 94xxx miles - gone to a good home.
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  #3  
Old 02-03-2013, 05:12 PM
Elmanzah Elmanzah is offline
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Mein Auto: 2013 550i 6MT m sport
Great write up Bruce and congratulations on your - also soon to arrive f10. It will great to hear how you transition from the wonderful e39 to the new 535. Keep us posted.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:09 PM
namelessman namelessman is offline
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Many of the OP's impressions also applied to my recently-parted 12-year old 530i 5-speed. I would have loved to get into a F10 535i, however it takes quite a bit(ZDH, IAS, etc, etc) to fight the extra 700-800 pounds and the long wheelbase, so I opted for a F30 instead to replace the E39. Having said that, I would still agree that F10 is the best-in-class among the competition.
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Old 02-04-2013, 08:12 AM
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Bruce917 Bruce917 is offline
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Mein Auto: F10 535i ///M-Sport6spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elmanzah View Post
Great write up Bruce and congratulations on your - also soon to arrive f10. It will great to hear how you transition from the wonderful e39 to the new 535. Keep us posted.
I'll miss the E39 but at a certain point you need to move on, I'll miss it's analog controls and creamy six. I won't miss the lack of connectivety, or always being mindfull of what preventative maintaince comes next. My F10 will address these issues but I suspect I may miss the simplicity of the E39 all the same.

Quote:
Originally Posted by namelessman View Post
Many of the OP's impressions also applied to my recently-parted 12-year old 530i 5-speed. I would have loved to get into a F10 535i, however it takes quite a bit(ZDH, IAS, etc, etc) to fight the extra 700-800 pounds and the long wheelbase, so I opted for a F30 instead to replace the E39. Having said that, I would still agree that F10 is the best-in-class among the competition.
I to thought of waiting for the F31, it's essentially the same size as a E39 wagon. But the lack of luxury, compared to a 5, and the fact that my 4 kids keep getting bigger (duh) meant I decided on the 5. I'll miss having a wagon however.
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'13 535i, Santorini Blue, Black Nappa, Leather Dash, M-Sport, Tech, Heated Seats, Luxury Seating, PDC, 6MT, M Performance Exhaust, ED May 8.
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Old 02-09-2013, 01:47 AM
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demas demas is offline
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Mein Auto: F10 550i M-Sport
Excellent thread and looking forward to the comparison once you get to know the 550.

I've had two I6's and now with the 540 M-sport awaiting the F10 550 and agree with your review. From a total package, very little beats the E39 - took me over a year to convince myself to move on.

While my current M62TU is the perfect road weapon (especially with that DME remap) just seems to be in the garage 4 mo. out of the year with major repairs one after the other and that get's old after several years.


Not wanting to jump to conclusions, but in general I don't think we will be as satisfied with the handling and size of the F10 but everything else would be a win.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:17 AM
Elmanzah Elmanzah is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by demas View Post
Not wanting to jump to conclusions, but in general I don't think we will be as satisfied with the handling and size of the F10 but everything else would be a win.
I sincerely hope I am NOT unsatisfied with the handling of the f10 relative to my 540i6spd. I am leasing an 82k (MSRP) car and hope that the 550i not only outhandles the 540, but destroys it in every category! This is why I got the IAS, DHP etc. I am keeping my fingers crossed.

The Don Juan (the vessel carrying my car) has dissapeared from tracking websites. It arrives to NY Feb 28th so I am hoping I have the car the first week of March. I will take pictures and post detail impressions then.

By the way I am keeping my 540
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Last edited by Elmanzah; 02-19-2013 at 10:19 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:41 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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do not hold your breath

I think the e39 v-8 six speed MT is the greatest car BMW ever made. You made agood decision to keep your e-39.in case the f10 is not what you expect.

Last edited by jygesq; 02-19-2013 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:08 AM
Sophisto Sophisto is offline
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Although my F11 is better than my former E39, I never should have traded that very nice car...
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Old 03-14-2013, 08:08 AM
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demas demas is offline
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Originally Posted by Elmanzah View Post
I’ll leave it here and will write again about how the f10 compares to my e39.
so, what's the verdict?
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Old 03-14-2013, 09:38 AM
HDEddie1 HDEddie1 is offline
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Keep both?

If at all possible, keep your E39 for fun and giggles if not nostalgia.
I had 3 E39s, loved them and now long gone unfortunately.
I enjoy my F10 550i immensely but also have to admit I long for the free spirited e-39s I had. They were still a different car, toss able and visceral in a mechanical way. NOthing in my F10 reminds me of the e39. But that's good and bad. Just like I'm older now and not so much charging into turns as much.

Enjoy your F10...a nice, proper, civil luxury sedan with a touch of sport. But if at all possible, consider keeping your e39 bad boy for all the times you don't have to behave
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:18 AM
jygesq jygesq is offline
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well said

Quote:
Originally Posted by HDEddie1 View Post
If at all possible, keep your E39 for fun and giggles if not nostalgia.
I had 3 E39s, loved them and now long gone unfortunately.
I enjoy my F10 550i immensely but also have to admit I long for the free spirited e-39s I had. They were still a different car, toss able and visceral in a mechanical way. NOthing in my F10 reminds me of the e39. But that's good and bad. Just like I'm older now and not so much charging into turns as much.

Enjoy your F10...a nice, proper, civil luxury sedan with a touch of sport. But if at all possible, consider keeping your e39 bad boy for all the times you don't have to behave
I whole heartily agree with you.
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Old 03-14-2013, 10:36 AM
highyo highyo is offline
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you're not going to like your f10 v the e39. especially because of what you are looking for it to outperform the e39 on. remember, guys thought that the e60 was a softie compared to the e39.
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Old 03-15-2013, 02:14 PM
Elmanzah Elmanzah is offline
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see original post for 3/15/2013 update
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Happiness isn't about getting what you want, it is wanting what you got.

Last edited by Elmanzah; 03-15-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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