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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 12-17-2009, 09:57 AM
jsimon7777 jsimon7777 is offline
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Location: Fremont, CA
 
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Mein Auto: Scion FR-S
Test Drove a 550i GT and more

I test drove the 550i GT yesterday. It was fully kitted out with adjustable suspension, sport seats, and all the bells and whistles. In black, it looked a lot better than the photos, no uglier than an X5, but not pretty by any stretch.

With a little bit higher step in, getting in and out is even easier than the E60. There's a bit more room in the front, though the E60 already had plenty of room up there. The controls are familiar, though updated. I prefer the old iDrive's fewer buttons. The new one feels busy.

Now that engine. It's a torque monster. It's not about screaming in joy as you floor it through the mountain pass; it's about merging and saying, "Oh, I'm going 80. Oops!" Just effortless, but not thrilling like an I6 on the boil.

And you can definitely feel the size and weight. It's a highway cruiser. Turn the suspension to sport and it tightens up as the ride turns to crap. It provides less confidence than the low-slung E60, but with a worse ride.

Oh, and the extended sunroof is pretty, but completely useless.

Yesterday, I drove the 550i GT, 535i w/sport package, Jag XF Premium, Lexus HS250, Lexus IS-F, VW Jetta TDI Wagon, and VW CC 2.0T. The 5GT would be great if I had to do tons of long distance driving, but I don't. The 535i is great, but I'd skip the sports suspension. The Jag XF was underwhelming in every respect; the suspension and steering can't touch the E60's. The HS250 is a turd of a car; imagine paying 40k for a Corolla with leather. The IS-F is a scream with a delightful engine and great steering, though the suspension was bouncy and the interior tight.

The Jetta TDI and VW CC were the most impressive, giving a tight feel, nice though not luxurious interiors, enough acceleration, and better-balanced suspension than all but the BMWs. Too bad they don't offer ventilated seats.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2009, 04:02 PM
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gokartmozart gokartmozart is offline
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Location: Sugar Land, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 2008 Z4 M Coupe - LM08697
I agree completely with jsimon7777 on the 550i GT driving experience. The satnav and iControl are very impressive. The Google Earth stuff is cool when you scroll outwards, but I can't see using it much at all. I do think they have gotten the latest iControl perfect for my tastes. The owner's manual (condensed) in the iControl screen is cool, even if it is rarely used.

The wife and I are scheduled to take out a 550i GT next weekend, so she can get a more extended impression. She has only sat in a showroom model and she is the 5 Series demographic personified (although a 6 cyl. is more her speed).
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