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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 07-09-2013, 11:37 PM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Understanding the 5-series, E-class, Audi A6 Technology Differences

I wrote this in a post on another forum in a long thread. I am posting it here to find errors and nuances I may have missed. I will probably also do that on the MB and Audi forums.

BMW probably has the best current night vision system, although it is unclear if it is coming to the US. In addition to displaying on the screen, it displays a warning on the dash and in the heads-up display. For 2014, it recognizes people and large animals; lack of animal recognition is something many complained about. It seems deer are far more likely to jaywalk on a dark windy suburban road. Finally, it converts the foglights to motorized spot lights. When the system recognizes a person or animal in or near the vehicle path, it shines a light on them. The new S-class has a similar system, and an infrared light. The infrared light makes things brighter than just the object's heat.The S-class docs say the light doesn't work on animals (because they don't know how the animal will react). It is unclear from the info online if the BMW dynamic light also avoid animals. I would like it to light animals (mostly deer here); I know what they will do, just stare at the light. However, at least I will see them.

There are other systems that vary between makes. MB has 130 cameras front and rear. Audi has side cameras front and rear. BMW only has side cameras in the front. BMW is the only one of the three that doesn't have a front camera on their surround view. They also don't display the rear camera and surround view concurrently.

MB land departure and blind spot systems are active. BMW and Audi are passive, at least in the US. Audi and for 2014 BMW have touch pads to enter nav/radio/phone info (similar to Google Gesture). Missing on MB. MB has the telephone pad, but having used both, the touchpad is more functional when driving. All three have active cruise control but it is unclear what stop and go means. For example, BMW is adding Traffic Jam Assistant in November that handles stop and go traffic. Does MB have this already?

BMW also has a problem with features on the xDrive units, apparently because it has hydraulic power steering. The Traffic Jam Assistant, the Park Assistant (which MB but no Audi has in the US), and Integral Active Steering (which the magazines pan but most owners rave about) are not available on the a xDrive models.

MB has specifically stated it has steering assist in the US; an active lane departure that keeps the car centered in the lane. BMW's Traffic Assist does that (up to 20mph) and Audi has something similar in Europe.

Audi and BMW have heads-up displays. BMW and MB have a hold feature on the brakes, Audi doesn't, at least in the US. It works better on the BMW. The MB requires the driver to actively engage it each time; the BMW system automatically activates if it is switched on with a console button. In stop and go traffic, I don't want to and will undoubtedly forget at times to apply it with the MB type setup.

All have LED headlights. The MB has the adaptive high beams. The BMW may have the adaptive highbeams, very unclear. The US car has the same option codes as the European cars with it, but it isn't mentioned anywhere in the documentation we have.

The MB diesel and all the BMWs have runflats; Audi is the only company offering a diesel with a spare (at least I think so, I'll have to see it to be sure).

BMW is the only one offering dynamic shocks on a diesel in this class. It also offers dynamic anti-roll bars (PDCC on a Porsche). However, the calibrations are for their runflat setups. A change to a spare and regular high performance tires probably means the calibrations would be too soft. We would probably use Bridgestone RE760 'ultra high performance' summer tires and Michelin Pilot Alpine PA4 winter tires on any of these cars. A inflation kit would be in the trunk and a loose space saver spare and tools in bag for longer trips (about $350-400).

The Euro fuel economy rating on the 245hp BMW diesel is about the same as the MB 195hp diesel. That is partially because MB is only selling the diesel with 4Matic, which has a major impact on its fuel efficiency. But then, here in NJ, AWD is nearly mandatory if you want any sort of resale value.

MB appears to have Nappa in all interior colors. BMW is only offering Nappa in ivory white (!!!, are they nuts?) and Mocha. Then only as part of a $2100 package. And they don't offer a grey interior in either their standard or Nappa leathers (new for 2014).

MB offers Drive Dynamic seats for the driver, BMW has a 20 way seat (bolster adjustment added for 2014) on both side but no dynamic adjustment. We have and I like the dynamic adjustment. Audi has just a regular seat; not even a power headrest. All three offer ventilation, but MB has the massage feature on the Drive Dynamic driver's seat. BMW has it as an option in Europe, not in the US. Not cheap either, it is 595 in the UK.

MB used to have a great fold down rear seat. The lower cushion folded forward, the seat back flat. Now it is a simple fold forward back like Audi and BMW. Sad...very sad. In Europe the front passenger seat back used to fold forward and flat. My QX56 has that.

On a individual note, I like the styling inside and out on the BMW best, but could live with any of them. I think the styling on our W211 is better than any of them...by a bit.

Net, there is a lot of technology. It varies between makes. None are perfect. I think most of it is quite useful.
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  #2  
Old 07-10-2013, 04:33 AM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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MB E class does not have Nappa standard on all interiors - try MB Tex. Leather is a special order option and you will very rarely find one on the lot that has leather. Leather is only standard on the E550 which is being phased out after 2014.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:33 AM
swajames swajames is offline
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The poster was talking about the available color choices, not what was available as standard. With that said, I'd personally prefer MB Tex over the Dakota leather that was in my 545 and my 550...
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
The poster was talking about the available color choices, not what was available as standard. With that said, I'd personally prefer MB Tex over the Dakota leather that was in my 545 and my 550...
The OP has complained in several threads that a $2100 package is required on the BMW for Nappa leather. He fails to mention that even "standard" leather on an E350 is a $1620 option.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:55 AM
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The optional leather in the E Class is rough and grainy enough to me to not feel much different than MB Tex. I think Dakota feels more premium to the E Class optional leather. Nappa is on a different level from the E's available leather option, so the extra cost of it is valid IMO.
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  #6  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:47 AM
Kar Don Kar Don is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
The optional leather in the E Class is rough and grainy enough to me to not feel much different than MB Tex. I think Dakota feels more premium to the E Class optional leather. Nappa is on a different level from the E's available leather option, so the extra cost of it is valid IMO.
Dakota IS better than MB leather; however, MB leather that is perforated with ventilated seats is BETTER than Dakota.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:13 AM
JG50 JG50 is offline
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Originally Posted by Kar Don View Post
Dakota IS better than MB leather; however, MB leather that is perforated with ventilated seats is BETTER than Dakota.
100% agreed.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:40 AM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Not standard, but $1370 option. BMW only has it the Luxury, Modern, and M-sport packages, and then only in Mocha (brown), ivory/black dash, or ivory/oyster dash depending on model line. Last year they had it as a $1000 standalone option in oyster or black. Audi doesn't offer it on the A6.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:33 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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I like Audi's "I-Drive" interface better than BMW, and the Audi (at least the A8 that my friend has) you can disable Rain-Sense and have a true intermittent windshield wiper that the DRIVER actually controls. Also, the Audi (and I think M-B, but not sure) will stay in whatever drive mode (Sport) you put it in - you don't have to set it every time you get in the car.
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Old 07-10-2013, 06:34 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
The OP has complained in several threads that a $2100 package is required on the BMW for Nappa leather. He fails to mention that even "standard" leather on an E350 is a $1620 option.
May be, but how do the prices compare when equipped the same? You failed to mention that BMW is probably the only $70,000 car that heated seats are an option?
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  #11  
Old 07-10-2013, 07:45 PM
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Heated seats are an option on the E Class as well. Also it always reverts back to "Economy" mode when you turn it on (and M-B's Sport Mode is a joke anyway, barely does anything and not nearly as comprehensive and truly sport-inspired like BMW's in multitudes of ways).
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:00 PM
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Originally Posted by DavidNJ View Post
Not standard, but $1370 option. BMW only has it the Luxury, Modern, and M-sport packages, and then only in Mocha (brown), ivory/black dash, or ivory/oyster dash depending on model line. Last year they had it as a $1000 standalone option in oyster or black. Audi doesn't offer it on the A6.

It's a no cost option when you order a line.
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Old 07-10-2013, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by jjsC6 View Post
May be, but how do the prices compare when equipped the same? You failed to mention that BMW is probably the only $70,000 car that heated seats are an option?
People in Florida, or other hot climates, may be glad they don't have to pay for heated seats they'll never use. There's always a compromise between making every single item "standard", and having the ability to pay for only what you want or need. I like things the way they are. If the feature is available, what difference does it make whether you add it as an option? I would venture to say that most on-lot vehicles are equipped for that climate, meaning, if I should want an in-stock car from my Maryland dealer, I'll bet you 99.9% of their inventory has heated seats. Then again, I don't buy $60K cars, or even $40K, from a dealer's lot. I order the car how I want it, colors, options, etc. I couldn't care less if a feature is standard or optional -- except where I would be forced to pay for a standard feature I don't want. YMMV.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:34 PM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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Heated seats are an option on the E Class as well. Also it always reverts back to "Economy" mode when you turn it on (and M-B's Sport Mode is a joke anyway, barely does anything and not nearly as comprehensive and truly sport-inspired like BMW's in multitudes of ways).
+1

I'm very unimpressed with MB's Sport Mode too. Test drove an E-350 and felt no difference. Test drove a C-300 felt no difference. I will say the C at least drove a bit sportier, but not when compared to the 3 or 5 Series.
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Old 07-10-2013, 09:44 PM
Bmwlvr60 Bmwlvr60 is offline
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
People in Florida, or other hot climates, may be glad they don't have to pay for heated seats they'll never use. There's always a compromise between making every single item "standard", and having the ability to pay for only what you want or need. I like things the way they are. If the feature is available, what difference does it make whether you add it as an option? I would venture to say that most on-lot vehicles are equipped for that climate, meaning, if I should want an in-stock car from my Maryland dealer, I'll bet you 99.9% of their inventory has heated seats. Then again, I don't buy $60K cars, or even $40K, from a dealer's lot. I order the car how I want it, colors, options, etc. I couldn't care less if a feature is standard or optional -- except where I would be forced to pay for a standard feature I don't want. YMMV.
The Audi dealer locally receives nearly 100% of their cars with Quattro (AWD) drive. In Florida that's not the case.

I like things the way they are also. This does drive the price of German cars up, having most options standard keeps the cost of Japanese cars down. However, this does allow for much more flexibility with the German cars.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:13 PM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
People in Florida, or other hot climates, may be glad they don't have to pay for heated seats they'll never use. There's always a compromise between making every single item "standard", and having the ability to pay for only what you want or need. I like things the way they are. If the feature is available, what difference does it make whether you add it as an option? I would venture to say that most on-lot vehicles are equipped for that climate, meaning, if I should want an in-stock car from my Maryland dealer, I'll bet you 99.9% of their inventory has heated seats. Then again, I don't buy $60K cars, or even $40K, from a dealer's lot. I order the car how I want it, colors, options, etc. I couldn't care less if a feature is standard or optional -- except where I would be forced to pay for a standard feature I don't want. YMMV.
Options generally have a very small impact on resale; in most cases 20% or less. Exceptions are a few core options (e.g. navigation). Modifications often have a negative impact on resale. All the BMWs are more expensive their their competitors, but the subvented leases pull them even.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
+1

I'm very unimpressed with MB's Sport Mode too. Test drove an E-350 and felt no difference. Test drove a C-300 felt no difference. I will say the C at least drove a bit sportier, but not when compared to the 3 or 5 Series.
I think the E-class (other than the AMG and Airmatic option) only affects the transmission. Audi does the steering. You need electrically adjusted dynamic dampers, dynamic anti-roll bars, or active suspension to do more.

Quote:
Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
The OP has complained in several threads that a $2100 package is required on the BMW for Nappa leather. He fails to mention that even "standard" leather on an E350 is a $1620 option.
He certainly does complain about it; very perceptive of him!

On the E-class the Nappa is $1370, so yes, Nappa leather is nearly $3000 more than vinyl.

Dakota leather is $1450 on a 528i. Nappa used to add $1000. $2450, in the same range. However now it is $3550, big difference! Also, it requires the multicontour seats, $1300. For us, that isn't an issue, we would get them anyway. For others it might be.
All of the packages now required for Nappa include exterior trim and 19" wheels, two things we don't want. In 2013 adding Oyster (a better color than Ivory) Nappa would have been $1000 and avoided the other stuff.

Last edited by DavidNJ; 07-10-2013 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 07-10-2013, 10:22 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmwlvr60 View Post
+1

I'm very unimpressed with MB's Sport Mode too. Test drove an E-350 and felt no difference. Test drove a C-300 felt no difference. I will say the C at least drove a bit sportier, but not when compared to the 3 or 5 Series.
Agreed. I find them practically interchangeable with a slight added "sharpness" in Sport. My Bimmer feels like night and day between the modes. Even Eco Pro and Comfort have a bigger difference than M-B's "Economy" and "Sport". In Sport Mode I describe my car feeling like a growling feline with its claws out and fur puffed out. The Merc's simply feel like you got 1st gear added and that's that. I won't even get into the paddles and how BMW's shifts feel almost like an instantaneous F1 shifter to me, while M-B's paddles take a day and a half to shift, and make it impossible to actually manually shift while driving without getting interrupted (BMW's will let you hit the rev limiter and sit on it if you wanted to, full control). Not to mention M-B's paddles are a cheapy feeling little plastic duo while BMW's SAT's get these high quality matte black/aluminum substantial pieces.

DavidNJ: The F10's also get steering affected when in Sport. At higher speeds around turns you'll notice a more weighted and direct steering feel.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:48 AM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Isn't the active seat in the Luxury Seating package the massage function? If so, that was an error in my list.
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Old 07-11-2013, 12:50 AM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Agreed. I find them practically interchangeable with a slight added "sharpness" in Sport. My Bimmer feels like night and day between the modes. Even Eco Pro and Comfort have a bigger difference than M-B's "Economy" and "Sport". In Sport Mode I describe my car feeling like a growling feline with its claws out and fur puffed out. The Merc's simply feel like you got 1st gear added and that's that. I won't even get into the paddles and how BMW's shifts feel almost like an instantaneous F1 shifter to me, while M-B's paddles take a day and a half to shift, and make it impossible to actually manually shift while driving without getting interrupted (BMW's will let you hit the rev limiter and sit on it if you wanted to, full control). Not to mention M-B's paddles are a cheapy feeling little plastic duo while BMW's SAT's get these high quality matte black/aluminum substantial pieces.

DavidNJ: The F10's also get steering affected when in Sport. At higher speeds around turns you'll notice a more weighted and direct steering feel.
It does seem BMW does more with the different options. Audi lets you make a custom configuration, but there are few things to customize. And, BMW is the only one that can add dynamic shocks to the package.

Do the different settings affect ARS?
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Old 07-11-2013, 05:03 AM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
People in Florida, or other hot climates, may be glad they don't have to pay for heated seats they'll never use. There's always a compromise between making every single item "standard", and having the ability to pay for only what you want or need. I like things the way they are. If the feature is available, what difference does it make whether you add it as an option? I would venture to say that most on-lot vehicles are equipped for that climate, meaning, if I should want an in-stock car from my Maryland dealer, I'll bet you 99.9% of their inventory has heated seats. Then again, I don't buy $60K cars, or even $40K, from a dealer's lot. I order the car how I want it, colors, options, etc. I couldn't care less if a feature is standard or optional -- except where I would be forced to pay for a standard feature I don't want. YMMV.
Maybe you didn't get my point correctly (my bad). My response about heated seats being an option was in response to the comment that M-B leather seats are an option. I was simply making a point.
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Last edited by jjsC6; 07-12-2013 at 06:08 AM.
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Old 07-11-2013, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidNJ View Post
He certainly does complain about it; very perceptive of him!

On the E-class the Nappa is $1370, so yes, Nappa leather is nearly $3000 more than vinyl.

Dakota leather is $1450 on a 528i. Nappa used to add $1000. $2450, in the same range. However now it is $3550, big difference! Also, it requires the multicontour seats, $1300.
Multi-contour seats are no longer required for the Nappa in the "Lines". Check again.
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Old 07-11-2013, 10:14 PM
DavidNJ DavidNJ is offline
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Originally Posted by markl53 View Post
Multi-contour seats are no longer required for the Nappa in the "Lines". Check again.
Thanks! I'll correct that. However, not a savings since I would get the Luxury Seating package (multi-contour seats, ventilation, active seats) anyway.
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