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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 11-16-2005, 09:11 AM
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Good point.

CR should provide the number of responses received for each model of car and maybe some demographics.

The article refers to approx 1 million surveys were received. Although it sounds like a lot, I would like to know the breakdown of respondents. i.e.

10,000 - 2005 BWW 530
25,000 - 2005 Honda Accord, etc.

These reports are just to general to draw any conclusive statement.






Quote:
Originally Posted by hpowders
In the December 2005 issue of CR, the 5 series 6 cylinder vehicles have been upgraded to "average or better" in reliability.
This implies that the 545 is still below average in reliability.
It could also be that they don't have enough of a representative sampling of 545 owners to make a prediction this time around.
I somehow don't think 545 owners make up a large part of CR's subscription base.
They probably appeal more to the Honda/Toyota crowd.

Last edited by chuck92103; 11-16-2005 at 09:16 AM.
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  #27  
Old 11-16-2005, 09:19 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaro
all good points here again...I think BMW continues to take advantage of their brand and the appeal associated with it. They are cutting costs in order to stay competetive and we the consumers put up with the issues becasue we want to drive BMW's. Labor costs are high in Germany and so where they cut corners is quality. If you look at today's BMW's and compare then even with the 01-04 models you can tell that the 05's and 06's are just of lower quality. That applies to the finish of the interior, exterior, trim etc. Company like BMW should be able to do better testing before they release their cars. Like Honda and Toyota BMW is mass produced. BMW is no longer a car like Porsche still seems to be where the cars are produced in lower quantities and QA and testing is important. ike it or not BMW is no longer the luxury and butique brand it once was. Anyone can afford to dive a BMW.
I remember reading that BMW was in the midst of hiring hundreds of engineers whose job it would be to help reduce costs (i'll try and find the article again) That should lead to some frightening consequences...
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  #28  
Old 11-16-2005, 09:20 AM
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chuck92103 chuck92103 is offline
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I am not sure that I agree that the new bimmers are built with any less or more quality than previous models. Time will tell as the mileage gets added on.

I do think my 98 540i is a few notches below my 05 645ci. I think the interior quality is roughly the same athough I like the looks of the 6 better.

After I get more miles on the car I can judge to see of the same problems plague the 6 as it did the e39 540. i.e., Steering rattles, doors seals, door handles, electronics, etc.

Again time will tell. I know some folks have issues with the new 5/6/7, but I also hear stories of those who have no issues or very few. I am not sure what to attribute this to other than inconsistent manufacturing processes and quality control.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaro
all good points here again...I think BMW continues to take advantage of their brand and the appeal associated with it. They are cutting costs in order to stay competetive and we the consumers put up with the issues becasue we want to drive BMW's. Labor costs are high in Germany and so where they cut corners is quality. If you look at today's BMW's and compare then even with the 01-04 models you can tell that the 05's and 06's are just of lower quality. That applies to the finish of the interior, exterior, trim etc. Company like BMW should be able to do better testing before they release their cars. Like Honda and Toyota BMW is mass produced. BMW is no longer a car like Porsche still seems to be where the cars are produced in lower quantities and QA and testing is important. ike it or not BMW is no longer the luxury and butique brand it once was. Anyone can afford to dive a BMW.

Last edited by chuck92103; 11-16-2005 at 10:26 AM.
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  #29  
Old 11-16-2005, 09:24 AM
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In the high end segment, I'm sure there were fewer respondents. I would like to see the # of respondents, then...the percentage of those who had problems. Say 3500 5 series owners responded and 87% of those had multiple issues. Than a manufacturer can look at that and make changes ASAP.
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  #30  
Old 11-16-2005, 09:41 AM
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everything is mass produced except for few brands these days: Rollce Royce, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborgini, Maserati, Aston Martin and one or two more I can't think of... BMW is a mass produced car that has the brand appeal to its advantage but also needs to be competetive and reduce costs. That means reduced quality control or quality of materials or building components in S. Africa. I see as many BMW's on the road as I see Honda's. Average family can afford a 3 or 5 series these days...let's not be kidding ourselves here.
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  #31  
Old 11-16-2005, 10:14 AM
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Let's put this in the proper perspective - and Jaro you should definitely get that 550!

Consumer reports rates reliability by average number of trips to the dealer within a certain period of owning the vehicle. Further - these statistics are obtained by sending questionnaires to car owners. We should understand that someone who buys a Honda Accord will have different maintenance habits than someone who buys a BMW.

Additionally, BMW offers a full warranty. Is it any surprise that we bring our cars to the shop more often than most. Of course we do. Does this mean our cars are less reliable - or do we hold BMW to a higher standard and in turn take them up on the full benefits of our warranty program.

And lastly, BMW is one of the most technically innovative vehicles currently in production. From the computerized performance of our SMG trannies - to the active steering (which I've come to love) and much much more. And as is common with any advanced software architecture, refinements and improvements are discovered based on driver feedback and innovation. Updates to the system require a service visit, do they not?

I'd argue that Consumer Reports assessment of the 5ers reliability is off the mark by a wide margin. Frequency of service visits have more to do with owner's maintenance habits than anything else.
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  #32  
Old 11-16-2005, 10:19 AM
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still on the fence with the 550i...not so sure anymore....what is the JD POwer rating? anyone? I'd put a bit more value in what they say then consumer reports....
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  #33  
Old 11-16-2005, 10:33 AM
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mtavel mtavel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaro
everything is mass produced except for few brands these days: Rollce Royce, Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborgini, Maserati, Aston Martin and one or two more I can't think of... BMW is a mass produced car that has the brand appeal to its advantage but also needs to be competetive and reduce costs. That means reduced quality control or quality of materials or building components in S. Africa. I see as many BMW's on the road as I see Honda's. Average family can afford a 3 or 5 series these days...let's not be kidding ourselves here.
I don't think a BMW is necessarily the car a person should buy if exclusivity is important to you. I bought my car because it is a premium product (quality can in fact be independent of quantity, don't confuse the two) that has a sporting nature and has many luxury features.

You say you see as many Hondas on the road as you see BMW's, well Honda outsells BMW by 3 to 1 from the cursory internet check I performed. Toyota is 6 to 1. I can't blame you for wanting to focus on the outnumbered BMW's in the sea of Hondas and Toyotas . Or maybe it's just that Honda drivers in Chicago can't figure out how to start their cars?

If you look back into BMW's history, it has been the cars that balance performance and cost that have made the company, not the elite hand built show cars. Maybe you have a different vision of what a BMW should be as compared to someone thats looking at it as an Ultimate Driving Machine, nothing in that statement about The Ultimate Status Symbol.

The quality concerns are legitimate, and I have seen BMW make strides to resolve them, but probably not quite enough. We have to live in the real world and balance cost to produce, value of the vehicle in the market, and revenue. I don't think anyone would blame BMW for doing that.

I don't think that the arguements that:

1) BMW has quality issues
2) BMW sells too many cars at too low a price

are really related. Look at Infinity, Lexus, and other asian brands, they represent great value for money (more people can afford those brands than a BMW with the same features) and very reliable.

Reliability and build quality can be improved, and BMW can still sell enough cars to compete. It isn't one or the other.
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Last edited by mtavel; 11-16-2005 at 11:05 AM.
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  #34  
Old 11-16-2005, 10:43 AM
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One more point I would like to make on this subject...

If any of you have ever worked in a customer service role you will know what I am talking about.

There is a signifcant range and severity of issues in which people in general will complain about anything.

With surveys of any kind, when people read the questions, they interpret what the survey means and respond accordingly which makes the surveys very inaccurate.

i.e. Have you taken your car in to the shop for any issues?

Some may say yes because they needed the oil changed, some may say no even they went in for an oil change and had idrive upgraded at the same time since it was there.

There is definately a bell curve to be applied and the most negative and positive respondents need to be thrown out to get a more average opinion of a product.

I doubt Consumer Reports, JD Power or anyone else takes this into account. However, the way they do the surveys is the most cost effective.

I can accept that BMW's have quality issues, but by the same token, so does Consumer Report surveys.

I think a more appropriate way to survey someone's experience with an automobile is to look at their overall satisfaction with the vehicle on a regular basis over an extended period of time.

It would be nice if there was a web site that allowed anyone to sign up, provide their vin as proof of ownership, and do online surveys in which they can update as necessary to reflect their true feeling about the car overall. The site could sell the data collected back to auto manufacturers.

The current system polls customers at a particular point in time which is really misleading. For example, if you bought a new chevy, and the transmission went out at 1,000 miles, you would most likely be upset and give a bad survey score. However if you drove the same car for an additional 80,000 miles without issue, your experience would be averaged out to be more positive.
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  #35  
Old 11-16-2005, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92103
You bring up a good point.

However, do you think BMW suffers a bit in quality in order to keep ahead with cutting edge technology?
I think that may absolutely be true for both BMW and M-B. I suspect they feel that their buyers are willing to put up with some "minor" initial quality issues in order to have the latest & greatest technology in their cars.
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  #36  
Old 11-16-2005, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
And, dont' forget Consumer Reports rated the 2001 530i as the "best car ever tested". So, its not like they have a hatred of BMws.

The 530 WAS the best car they ever tested.

I believe the Infiniti M now holds that title.
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  #37  
Old 11-17-2005, 06:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoz
I think that may absolutely be true for both BMW and M-B. I suspect they feel that their buyers are willing to put up with some "minor" initial quality issues in order to have the latest & greatest technology in their cars.
You think current BMW and MB cars have significantly more technology than a new Acura RL? Not so sure about that. Lexus has some pretty darn good technology also. While I prefer the styling and driving characterisitcs of a BMW over an Acura or Lexus, I am not convinced that BMW and MB lower reliability ratings can be excused because of higher technology.
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  #38  
Old 11-17-2005, 06:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSIRM3
You think current BMW and MB cars have significantly more technology than a new Acura RL? Not so sure about that. Lexus has some pretty darn good technology also. While I prefer the styling and driving characterisitcs of a BMW over an Acura or Lexus, I am not convinced that BMW and MB lower reliability ratings can be excused because of higher technology.
Agreed. ANd, cars like the RL and LS have more technology in some cases.
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  #39  
Old 11-17-2005, 07:00 AM
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Depends what kind of technology you're talking about. Lexus, Infiniti and Acura certainly have the better NAV, Bluetooth and other bells and whistles the BMW and frankly most German cars are weak at implementing. Where the Germans excel on the technological front is things like Active Stering, Active Roll Stabalization and Adaptive headlights. Yes, Lexus and other are now using adaptive headlights, but that was a BMW invention.
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  #40  
Old 11-17-2005, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscarrol
Depends what kind of technology you're talking about. Lexus, Infiniti and Acura certainly have the better NAV, Bluetooth and other bells and whistles the BMW and frankly most German cars are weak at implementing. Where the Germans excel on the technological front is things like Active Stering, Active Roll Stabalization and Adaptive headlights. Yes, Lexus and other are now using adaptive headlights, but that was a BMW invention.
WIth the exception of Valvetronic, most of BMWs "inventions" are actually developed by outside suppliers; including the headlights. Besides, it doesn't seem like BMW actually has problems w/ the technologies you listed; its the other "bells and whistles" and some basic stuff that gets them in trouble.
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  #41  
Old 11-17-2005, 07:13 AM
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Thumbs down

soooo true robg....it is the basic stuff that fails....and what a great technological invention was the iDRIVE.....
The only thing bimmers are good at is the excellent driving dynamics and great weight distribution...they suck in terms of the recent interior design...the Bangle design I'm starting to slowly accept on the outside..
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  #42  
Old 11-17-2005, 08:18 AM
kscarrol kscarrol is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robg
WIth the exception of Valvetronic, most of BMWs "inventions" are actually developed by outside suppliers; including the headlights. Besides, it doesn't seem like BMW actually has problems w/ the technologies you listed; its the other "bells and whistles" and some basic stuff that gets them in trouble.
Clealry you didn't buy buy one of the early E60's. Bluetooth was a well known technology by the fall of 2003, yet BMW couldn't get it integrated into the car until mid-to-late 2004 and even then there were problems. As for the NAV, it worked fine as a navigation tool, but again BMW simply couldn't get it to integrate with other features. It is that sort inept implementation that I was talking about. The Japanese have done a far better job at implementing the interior electronics that many drivers favor over handling and driving dynamics.

And as for the suppliers inventing all these features, I guess BMW just plainly lied in their most recent BMW magazine where they highlight how they invented these features. I'm afraid I took them at their word... And even if they didn't truly invent these features, they are certainly the first to adopt them into their designs.

Last edited by kscarrol; 11-17-2005 at 08:21 AM.
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  #43  
Old 11-17-2005, 08:50 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kscarrol
Clealry you didn't buy buy one of the early E60's. Bluetooth was a well known technology by the fall of 2003, yet BMW couldn't get it integrated into the car until mid-to-late 2004 and even then there were problems. As for the NAV, it worked fine as a navigation tool, but again BMW simply couldn't get it to integrate with other features. It is that sort inept implementation that I was talking about. The Japanese have done a far better job at implementing the interior electronics that many drivers favor over handling and driving dynamics.

And as for the suppliers inventing all these features, I guess BMW just plainly lied in their most recent BMW magazine where they highlight how they invented these features. I'm afraid I took them at their word... And even if they didn't truly invent these features, they are certainly the first to adopt them into their designs.
I think we agree... I should've been more speciifc when I said "bells and whistles"-- in that I was including bluetooht, nav, the whole idrive system, etc. I wasn't including active steering (although it did have glitches), headlights, or roll stabilization; those were technologies where BMW was an early adopter but seemd to cause relatively few problems. My point was just that some defend BMW's problmes by saying that its because they're so high-tech. I'm saying that in the cases we're theyre using technology no one else is they seem to do ok; but they seem to have trouble w/ commodity technolgy like bluetooth, nav etc as well as basic components like door seals, water pumps or window regulators. Personally, i'd probably be more tolerant of them ahving glitches w/ "early adopter" technologies-- but when they have problems w/ these other things-- its just sort of ridiculous. Mercedes uses the same excuses; and in reality, a lot of their problems seem to be caused by more mundane quality issues.

As far as BMW lying about "inventing" some of these things...I'd say its stretching the truth. I'm sure their engineers work closely w/ the supplier's engineers during development. But, like all car companies, BMW is more of a "systems integrator" than an inventor. Even the much talked baout i-drive was developed by an outside company:
http://www.immersion.com/automotive/...case_study.php

Since most components are sourced from suppliers, I would guess that most problems could be avoided if they worked more constructively w/ their suppliers to avoid and track down issues when they occur. As I undersand it, this is one of the keys to the Toyota Production System.
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  #44  
Old 11-17-2005, 10:02 AM
kscarrol kscarrol is offline
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Yes Robg, we basically are in agreement...
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  #45  
Old 11-17-2005, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaro
soooo true robg....it is the basic stuff that fails....and what a great technological invention was the iDRIVE.....
The only thing bimmers are good at is the excellent driving dynamics and great weight distribution...they suck in terms of the recent interior design...the Bangle design I'm starting to slowly accept on the outside..
I still haven't been able to figure out what the big issue is with iDrive. I found it easy to use from day one and it only requires a quick glance at the screen for some of the functions. I'd much rather use it than look around for the right pea sized button among a control panel full of them Most of the time I don't even have to look and it really isn't something that I'm fidgeting with all of the time anyway.
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  #46  
Old 11-17-2005, 03:55 PM
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Excellent Warranty + Free Service vs. Paid Service = # of Incidents Reported

Excellent Warranty + Free Service vs. Paid Service = # of Incidents Reported

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

If memory serves me correct, part of the CR scoring is based on # of incidents reported.

Since we have Excellent Warranties and Free Service, unlike the Japanese.....We probably tend to take our cars in more often to complain as we do not feel afraid to complain...........

After all I think I can BITCH and SCREAM about my 545's Turn Signals and Seat Belt alarms!!!!!!!!!!!! after dishing out $65K of course.....

vs.

Your Honda / Toyota owner that are just happy to have cheap reliable transportation, who may live with some issues, we BMW Drivers take more seriouly.... hense the more frequent number of incidences reported...... maybe we want better products more than your average joe...

Ignore the penny pinching tightwads at CR and get on with our real lives.

8 years 3rd BMW and not one issue!!!!!! (other than accidental)
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  #47  
Old 11-17-2005, 03:56 PM
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Most of the people who complain about idrive used it for a minute a drew there own conclusion or are spewing out what they read elsewhere.

If people do not understand something, or are not inclined to try something knew, their impression will always be negative. BMW will continue to advance despite these folks.

Although some folks may have had issues, there are issues with virtually every part of every BMW model on this board, or so it seems.



Quote:
Originally Posted by tcoz
I still haven't been able to figure out what the big issue is with iDrive. I found it easy to use from day one and it only requires a quick glance at the screen for some of the functions. I'd much rather use it than look around for the right pea sized button among a control panel full of them Most of the time I don't even have to look and it really isn't something that I'm fidgeting with all of the time anyway.
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  #48  
Old 11-17-2005, 04:08 PM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92103
Most of the people who complain about idrive used it for a minute a drew there own conclusion or are spewing out what they read elsewhere.

If people do not understand something, or are not inclined to try something knew, their impression will always be negative. BMW will continue to advance despite these folks.

Although some folks may have had issues, there are issues with virtually every part of every BMW model on this board, or so it seems.

I dont' own an idrive equipped car, but I do think that BMW could save themselves and their customers some grief by just adding a few more hard buttons (just a few). They added hard air direction buttons on the e90, so they're moving in the right direction. They just need to add a few more dedicated radio buttons and they'll be able to largely stop the complaining. then the i-drive can truly be saved for more advanced tasks where it makes sense.
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  #49  
Old 11-17-2005, 04:08 PM
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Most of the vehicles on the left column are boring as...

hell to drive..... My conclusion, the more reliable the car the more boring it is to drive....
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  #50  
Old 11-17-2005, 04:31 PM
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My only bitch with iDrive is it takes a long time to do anything.

I need to tweak the Bass... Press Menu, Turn, push, press up, turn, press down, turn, press, press down, turn treble, press right, turn bass.

Now to get back to radio, menu, press down, press down, press down, push, and push.

I just pissed myself off typing all that in from memory... I'm sure I missed a turn/press/slide/whatever...

:angry:

Last edited by sdriver; 11-17-2005 at 04:33 PM.
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