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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 06-01-2010, 01:36 PM
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New 5 Series Test Drive - Thoughts...

(reposted from e39 thread)

just wanted to let you know I went and test drove the new 5 series on Sunday. Drove both the 550i and the 535i... my initial thoughts...

The car recaptures the essence of the E39 series... the E39 series was believed to have been the best series of the 5 ever made... that being said, new (F10) series captures the look and feel of the E39 series... IMHO


Weight
The weight of the car feels similar to the e39 - heavy... with a solid German door thud when closing the door. Although heavy, it's nimble, but feels a bit "large" in the turns... not quite as "tight"... I certainly felt more confident in mine zipping around the turns, than in this one... however, that could be attributable to me not being familiar with the car...


Engine
Both engines were responsive, even with the turbo "kick"... although the kick wasn't quite a "throw you backwards in your seat" strong like on the 7 series, it was still enough that you felt it. It didn't feel like you were moving, but you quickly notice how many cars fell behind you as you pulled away from the pack... gas mileage on the 535i was respectable 20 in city. The 550i, in city driving was around 17mpg... BTW...there is no more "oil stick"... you'll have to check your oil level within iDrive - or wait for a service indicator to come on... not a fan of that...


Cabin...
The appointment inside was in typical BMW fashion... which means not a lot of stuff to play with... but you don't buy/drive a BMW to play with electronic gadgets, you buy one to drive (ie like a Porsche)... however, the cabin was quiet, well thought out and pretty spacious for a 5 series with ample room in the backseat... it's not a seven, but there is enough room where a backseat passenger under 6'4 could ride comfortably - anyone taller would probably ask to stop so they could stretch their legs after a few hours...

iDrive...
the reconfigured iDrive was a welcome switch, although it still could be considered a nuisance, but the basic functions were easy to use and get to. The navigation was adjusted to provide a 3D perspective and you - or your passenger preferably could use it while driving... so no need to stop, like in a Lexus, to input addresses and get directions... hard drive based so it's quick...

Quickhits...
The hood sight line - I didn't particularly like. On the e39, the lower angled hood line allows unobstructed visibility. The new 5 with it's carved swooping hood, etc. were noticeable. Not a major issue, but just a preference...

Vented seats - nice seat cooling in hot weather...

Nav Screen - large, clear and can play DVDs when in park...

Park Assist - it has it... but I doubt that would be a major selling point... I would never use it...

Run Flat Tires
it has them, but you don't notice the firmness of the tires because the ride is adjustable... from your choices of comfort, sport and sport plus (sport plus turns off the DSC)... both sport and sport plus adjust various engine presets giving it a more aggressive (and FUN!) way to experience the drive...

Stereo...
The Mercedes, in my opinion, still has the better stereo, however, you don't buy a bimmer for the stereo... just thought I'd add that in - in case someone was wondering...

The 535i I drove was fully loaded. Don't like that a lot of the preferable and desirable things you would want are an option... some are bundled... but some are bundled weirdly... but that the sales part of the manufacturing process... understood... but it jumped the price of the 535i to almost $70k... that puts me in the entry level 7 bracket... I'm just sayin...


Head up display...
Nice crisp orange... you could never say you didn't know how fast you were going in this car because it's very easy to be launching this car down the highway at 90+ and not realizing it... some people like that head up display... not me... I want to be focused on my driving and anything staying within your line of vision, you'll eventually become accustomed to and ignore it.... again, just my opinion....

Lots of other little stuff, but too much to mention here..


Didn't mean for this to be so long winded, but those are my initial thoughts... can't wait for Jeremy on Top Gear to get a hold of one... I'm thinking this is easily going to be Car and Driver and Motor Trends car of the year....
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2010, 07:48 PM
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1. Weight: while the e39 wasn't feather weight, I don't know how you'd compare it to the f10. They're about 600lbs apart (v8 e39 3700+ vs v8 f10 4300+).

2. Engine: both the f01 (750i/li) and the f10 (550i) share the same v8TT. Unless are comparing the 550i to the 760li (v12TT), I wonder where the difference could be that made you feel the acceleration difference. By the way, the electronic oil stick has been around for sometime.

3. RFTs: did you seriously not notice them in the Sport or Sport+ setting? I absolutely hate that BMW decided to go RFT only in the US. BMW should, at the very least, offer up an option to go with non-RFTs and a spare.
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  #3  
Old 06-01-2010, 08:42 PM
MikeTerp MikeTerp is offline
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[QUOTE=Walksbimmer;5227707](reposted from e39 thread)

just wanted to let you know I went and test drove the new 5 series on Sunday. Drove both the 550i and the 535i... my initial thoughts...

The car recaptures the essence of the E39 series... the E39 series was believed to have been the best series of the 5 ever made... that being said, new (F10) series captures the look and feel of the E39 series... IMHO
----------------------------

Good summary. I would only quibble with your comparison of the weights of the F10 and the E39. I found the F10 (535) I drove feeling notably heavier than my old E39. While the F10 is nimble, it is clearly bigger (longer, wider, heavier) than the E39 and it feels like it.

I just hope that BMW does NOT pork out the forthcoming F30. We are hearing 4 bangers for this car and the last thing it needs is more weight.

Last edited by MikeTerp; 06-01-2010 at 08:50 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-01-2010, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma View Post
1. Weight: while the e39 wasn't feather weight, I don't know how you'd compare it to the f10. They're about 600lbs apart (v8 e39 3700+ vs v8 f10 4300+).

2. Engine: both the f01 (750i/li) and the f10 (550i) share the same v8TT. Unless are comparing the 550i to the 760li (v12TT), I wonder where the difference could be that made you feel the acceleration difference. By the way, the electronic oil stick has been around for sometime.

3. RFTs: did you seriously not notice them in the Sport or Sport+ setting? I absolutely hate that BMW decided to go RFT only in the US. BMW should, at the very least, offer up an option to go with non-RFTs and a spare.
I never said the weight was exactly the same. I said they were comparable - heavy. Lol. Certainly "felt" a lot heavier than the e60. I'm not a tech guy, so I could care less about diving into the deep end of the tech spec ocean...

The 550 MAY have the same engine but the engine in the 7 felt like it had more kick than the 550. Again, I'll leave it up to you and others to toss around those numbers...

No I "seriously" did not "notice" the rigid ride of the run flats. I've been in several cars that have had them (Lexus, Mini, etc) and I noticed them then. But not as much in the bimmer... Also I never said I liked RFTs either. I'm not a fan of those tires.

At the end of the day, I wrote it as a layman. I didn't drop techno speak into what I wrote because that's not what I'm into. I'm into the drive. Period. So that was written fro
my perspective.

Once you've driven it, if you haven't - or if you have, feel free to post your thoughts. Get as deep into the gear ratio, torque, valve thrusts, etc. as you feel you need to. Just keep in mind some drivers enjoy the joy of driving the ultimate driving machine without needing to know every single performance ratio.

Last thought. My 2000 528i has a oil stick. So did my 5.0 and my Honda Civic. I happen to like having that non electronic access to my cars lifeblood.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-2010, 09:07 PM
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[QUOTE=MikeTerp;5229094]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Walksbimmer View Post
(reposted from e39 thread)

just wanted to let you know I went and test drove the new 5 series on Sunday. Drove both the 550i and the 535i... my initial thoughts...

The car recaptures the essence of the E39 series... the E39 series was believed to have been the best series of the 5 ever made... that being said, new (F10) series captures the look and feel of the E39 series... IMHO
----------------------------

Good summary. I would only quibble with your comparison of the weights of the F10 and the E39. I found the F10 (535) I drove feeling notably heavier than my old E39. While the F10 is nimble, it is clearly bigger (longer, wider, heavier) than the E39 and it feels like it.

I just hope that BMW does NOT pork out the forthcoming F30. We are hearing 4 bangers for this car and the last thing it needs is more weight.
You're right. I should have clarified it better with comparing it to the e60. I thought I did that in talking about the drive part and how it handled in the turns. I could've done a better job. I was just trying to capture my initial thoughts. I've been waiting on this model because I didn't like the e60 and passed on ditching my e39 because of it. Either way I liked it and will be getting one...
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  #6  
Old 06-01-2010, 10:25 PM
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I appreciate your perspective. I was questioning a few points to get clarifications.

By the way, I am going to the BMW drive event in San Diego this Saturday, and I'll be testing one pretty hard

My biggest concern on the 550i is the weight (almost approaching the SUV territory). If this thing doesn't convince me to buy it, then I am back to square one.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Walksbimmer View Post
I never said the weight was exactly the same. I said they were comparable - heavy. Lol. Certainly "felt" a lot heavier than the e60. I'm not a tech guy, so I could care less about diving into the deep end of the tech spec ocean...

The 550 MAY have the same engine but the engine in the 7 felt like it had more kick than the 550. Again, I'll leave it up to you and others to toss around those numbers...

No I "seriously" did not "notice" the rigid ride of the run flats. I've been in several cars that have had them (Lexus, Mini, etc) and I noticed them then. But not as much in the bimmer... Also I never said I liked RFTs either. I'm not a fan of those tires.

At the end of the day, I wrote it as a layman. I didn't drop techno speak into what I wrote because that's not what I'm into. I'm into the drive. Period. So that was written fro
my perspective.

Once you've driven it, if you haven't - or if you have, feel free to post your thoughts. Get as deep into the gear ratio, torque, valve thrusts, etc. as you feel you need to. Just keep in mind some drivers enjoy the joy of driving the ultimate driving machine without needing to know every single performance ratio.

Last thought. My 2000 528i has a oil stick. So did my 5.0 and my Honda Civic. I happen to like having that non electronic access to my cars lifeblood.
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  #7  
Old 06-02-2010, 02:56 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma View Post
1. Weight: while the e39 wasn't feather weight, I don't know how you'd compare it to the f10. They're about 600lbs apart (v8 e39 3700+ vs v8 f10 4300+).

2. Engine: both the f01 (750i/li) and the f10 (550i) share the same v8TT. Unless are comparing the 550i to the 760li (v12TT), I wonder where the difference could be that made you feel the acceleration difference. By the way, the electronic oil stick has been around for sometime.

3. RFTs: did you seriously not notice them in the Sport or Sport+ setting? I absolutely hate that BMW decided to go RFT only in the US. BMW should, at the very least, offer up an option to go with non-RFTs and a spare.
My E39 540i with sport package and steptronic weighed 4000 lbs. My E39 M5 weighed 4000lbs.
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:09 AM
rtanov rtanov is offline
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I am curious about the event itself. I got an email and registered to test a 550, and the BMW rep said I can also drive anything that will be around there (no M cars, no sticks as far as he knew). He told me this was a street test drive, I assume similar to the Ultimate Drives from previous years. But he initially offered the option to compare a 535 vs. a Merc. From what I've read around here the comparison events were held on closed courses; he said this was the same event and the comparison was also held on regular streets. He did not sound very convincing to me. Are those two separate events or are they the same?
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enigma View Post
I appreciate your perspective. I was questioning a few points to get clarifications.

By the way, I am going to the BMW drive event in San Diego this Saturday, and I'll be testing one pretty hard

My biggest concern on the 550i is the weight (almost approaching the SUV territory). If this thing doesn't convince me to buy it, then I am back to square one.
oh you'll notice how heavy it is in one of those turns... LOL... I agree with you on that issue... the weight... but lemme know what you think afterwards... I'm curious if that's gonna be a point they need to consider in the next version (scaling back on the weight a bit)...

I have one coming up here in Ontario (Savage BMW)... I'm gonna go and give it a much more serious drive... test drives are cool, but you can't "reeaaaaalllly" drive it the way you would normally...
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Old 06-02-2010, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtanov View Post
I am curious about the event itself. I got an email and registered to test a 550, and the BMW rep said I can also drive anything that will be around there (no M cars, no sticks as far as he knew). He told me this was a street test drive, I assume similar to the Ultimate Drives from previous years. But he initially offered the option to compare a 535 vs. a Merc. From what I've read around here the comparison events were held on closed courses; he said this was the same event and the comparison was also held on regular streets. He did not sound very convincing to me. Are those two separate events or are they the same?
not sure, but most of the drive events they'll have the competitors out there... the comparison's usually are on a closed course... but some may do it a little different if they are "spacially" challenged... LOL...

post your thoughts afterwards...
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"Speeding is a matter of perception. If you're behind me then to you I'm speeding."
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2010, 10:51 AM
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The one here in San Antonio is going to be on highly patrolled city streets. Since I've already driven it I cancelled out. I think I like my 08 for a couple more years.
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Old 06-03-2010, 11:42 AM
rmichae9 rmichae9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rtanov View Post
I am curious about the event itself. I got an email and registered to test a 550, and the BMW rep said I can also drive anything that will be around there (no M cars, no sticks as far as he knew). He told me this was a street test drive, I assume similar to the Ultimate Drives from previous years. But he initially offered the option to compare a 535 vs. a Merc. From what I've read around here the comparison events were held on closed courses; he said this was the same event and the comparison was also held on regular streets. He did not sound very convincing to me. Are those two separate events or are they the same?
They are the same, only different...

BMW announced that they would start with larger events (closed courses, more cars to compare at once, smaller number of big city venues, etc). Now they are trying to get to most of the dealers. Therefore, open road comparisons, only one other car to compare to, but at almost every BMW dealer.
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  #13  
Old 06-03-2010, 04:40 PM
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Thanks for your review. I absolutely loved my E39. I have grown to accept my E60. I can't wait for my F10!
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Old 06-03-2010, 05:18 PM
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The one here in San Antonio is going to be on highly patrolled city streets. Since I've already driven it I cancelled out. I think I like my 08 for a couple more years.
what is a 353i????
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Old 06-04-2010, 12:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Walksbimmer View Post
oh you'll notice how heavy it is in one of those turns... LOL... I agree with you on that issue... the weight... but lemme know what you think afterwards... I'm curious if that's gonna be a point they need to consider in the next version (scaling back on the weight a bit)...

I have one coming up here in Ontario (Savage BMW)... I'm gonna go and give it a much more serious drive... test drives are cool, but you can't "reeaaaaalllly" drive it the way you would normally...
I test drove a fully loaded 550i yesterday. Yes, I felt the weight around the corners, and the engine was very much muted. If this was a blind test (well not literally), I wouldn't have guessed it was a BMW that I was driving.

The CA didn't help the experience either. He asked me what I currently drive, and when I told him it was an M Coupe, he looked a little lost and said "you mean M3"? Ugh...
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Old 06-04-2010, 06:23 AM
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enigma and Walksbimmer, I have to ask: are you two Trojans in cahoots?

Go Irish!
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Old 06-04-2010, 02:06 PM
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enigma and Walksbimmer, I have to ask: are you two Trojans in cahoots?

Go Irish!
I'll just let the record in the last decade speak for itself.
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Old 06-05-2010, 08:01 AM
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I'll just let the record in the last decade speak for itself.
Aaahh, long-term memory deficit; so sad.

I hope we can join our Bruin brethren in mourning the loss of an all-time great yesterday.

Fight On!
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Old 06-07-2010, 12:33 PM
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OK I changed my mind. I was in picking my car up from service on Friday and I looked at it a little closer and the Sales Manager who is a friend of mine from church talked me into it. So tomorrow I get a chance to form a better opinion of it. I like my 08 a lot so driving them both on the day should be a good test.
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by enigma View Post
I test drove a fully loaded 550i yesterday. Yes, I felt the weight around the corners, and the engine was very much muted. If this was a blind test (well not literally), I wouldn't have guessed it was a BMW that I was driving.

The CA didn't help the experience either. He asked me what I currently drive, and when I told him it was an M Coupe, he looked a little lost and said "you mean M3"? Ugh...
ROFL - LMAO!!!!

I'm glad it wasn't just me that felt that weight... to me, as much as I liked it, I didn't want to use the word "lumbered" around the corners, but it didn't feel as athletic as my 2000 528i...

I'm still cracking up at the "he looked a little lost and said "you mean M3"?"... that was funny...
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:27 PM
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enigma and Walksbimmer, I have to ask: are you two Trojans in cahoots?

Go Irish!
I second E's comment time a hundred... however, I do think you guys have finally got a coach that "get's it" in Brian Kelly... BUT I don't think he has the players he needs to run that spread.... so I'll give him a season and half to wash out Charlie's kids, then we'll see... until then I expect that Trojan boot up the Irish you know what... LOL

If you were yelling for that school in westwood, the fighting teddy bears, I wouldn't have acknowledged your post... LOL...

However, my dislike of that campus stops at Football and I give them a pass on their Basketball team for this upcoming season.. .only because I have the utmost respect for John Wooden in life - and in death...
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Old 06-07-2010, 01:28 PM
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Aaahh, long-term memory deficit; so sad.

I hope we can join our Bruin brethren in mourning the loss of an all-time great yesterday.

Fight On!
No doubt... John Wooden was an exceptional man
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  #23  
Old 06-07-2010, 01:55 PM
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OK I changed my mind. I was in picking my car up from service on Friday and I looked at it a little closer and the Sales Manager who is a friend of mine from church talked me into it. So tomorrow I get a chance to form a better opinion of it. I like my 08 a lot so driving them both on the day should be a good test.
post your thoughts afterward...
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:49 PM
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Ok I drove it again today. This time it was BMWNAs 550 because thats the only one they had with Dynamic Handling and thats definitely an option I want. BMW made a nice presentation and they made it a fun event or what they call Joy.

The looks are definitely growing on me. Its big but I have to say I like the lines and the way everything flows. I think they nailed the back end perfectly but the front end will have to grow on me a little more.

It actually felt a little familiar this being the second time to drive one and all the switches were easily dealt with. Like everyone else has said it feels heavy but agile as can be with the new 8 speed transmission. I felt comfortably in complete control almost immediately. I finally got a chance to get on it from a traffic light and it was absolutely incredible. Ive flown jet aircraft that were less of a thrill on the takeoff roll. This car pushes you back in the seat so firmly that you cant help but smile from ear to ear. One thing that surprised me was that I got on it full throttle at about 5 MPH and it barely broke the rear wheels loose at all. My 535 breaks them loose almost everytime I get on it and thats with new tires.
They had an E350 and a couple of Lexus there but I had no desire to drive either. Ive never liked MB and I had a Lexus once and I took the cure, quickly.

Im sure Ill be buying one if not now within the next couple of years. The thing that struck me most favorably was the solidness of the car and the overall handling. Like so many have said it felt as solid as my 2002 E39 and that was one of my all time favorite BMWs. This car can be an elegant dinner and theater car at night and a heart pounding, back winding road thriller in the morning. It really does have it all.

One thing that totally surprised me was how dated my 08 535 Premium/Sport felt going back to the office. It only has 34,000 and is in showroom condition but is felt kind of .old.:
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Old 06-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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Walksbimmer Walksbimmer is offline
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You pretty much have the same opinion and thoughts that I have about it. I'm not a fan of the front end, but like you it'll have to grow on me... I still want one though!!!
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