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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 06-29-2010, 09:39 PM
whitby whitby is offline
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Car and Driver August 2010 give new 5er 3rd place

I am intrigued since I have not seen a single mention of this on the BMW blogs I frequent (I am assuming I must have missed something). It appears that C & D place the new 535i third in a comparison test between the Audi A6 3T, Infiniti M 37 and the BMW 535i. The Audi was placed first.

The problem they highlight is the steering. I am a long time BMW owner (12 BMWs) and have always believed the one thing BMW got right is the steering. Apparently the electrically assisted power steering (as opposed to hydraulic which they have used in the majority of their vehicles with the exception, for example, of the Z 4 3.0 Si coupe) is dead and gives little feedback.

To paraphrase the C & D report it looks as if the new F10 5er is more of a executive luxury sedan than the sports sedan I was certainly expecting. Given the fact that the new 5 series appears to be a sell out, I must be in a minority but this sounds like a step backwards for BMW. In the past the 5 series has always been the new king of the castle and here we are looking at a reasonably well respected car magazine giving the new 5 series the thumbs down.

Truly a first for BMW??
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  #2  
Old 06-29-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whitby View Post
I am intrigued since I have not seen a single mention of this on the BMW blogs I frequent (I am assuming I must have missed something). It appears that C & D place the new 535i third in a comparison test between the Audi A6 3T, Infiniti M 37 and the BMW 535i. The Audi was placed first.

The problem they highlight is the steering. I am a long time BMW owner (12 BMWs) and have always believed the one thing BMW got right is the steering. Apparently the electrically assisted power steering (as opposed to hydraulic which they have used in the majority of their vehicles with the exception, for example, of the Z 4 3.0 Si coupe) is dead and gives little feedback.

To paraphrase the C & D report it looks as if the new F10 5er is more of a executive luxury sedan than the sports sedan I was certainly expecting. Given the fact that the new 5 series appears to be a sell out, I must be in a minority but this sounds like a step backwards for BMW. In the past the 5 series has always been the new king of the castle and here we are looking at a reasonably well respected car magazine giving the new 5 series the thumbs down.

Truly a first for BMW??
Everyone's opinion is dog$h*t, except your own. Drive the car and see how YOU, like it.
People are reading into this way too much. This thread goes into the article in detail.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=465152
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  #3  
Old 06-29-2010, 09:53 PM
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  #4  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:19 AM
nowake01 nowake01 is offline
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Are you sure this is the 2011 535 (F10)? I did see an article but it had the prior model 535. Either way I think that one drive and you will see that they defiantely got this one wrong! Just my opinion!
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  #5  
Old 06-30-2010, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by nowake01 View Post
Are you sure this is the 2011 535 (F10)? I did see an article but it had the prior model 535. Either way I think that one drive and you will see that they defiantely got this one wrong! Just my opinion!
yes, the article is only out in print form for now. Should be online shortly. Either way, the Audi is due for a total redesign next year, and I live in LA, AWD is pretty useless for me. M37 was OK, but it's still pretty expensive, for that kinda money I'd rather not drive a Datsun. I drove all the cars in this price range and category. I liked the Bimmer the best. I have a vague interest about what the press says, but ultimately It's my choice.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:16 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
for that kinda money I'd rather not drive a Datsun.
So what, you prefer driving a Goggomobil? BMW purchased Glas in the 60s, and Dingolfing where the 5/6/7 series are made used to be a Glas factory.

Both Datsun and Goggomobil were relatively successful in their own times and markets I believe. I see as much relevance between Nissan and Datsun as BMW and the Goggomobil.

If you want to stretch things out, you may even say that the M37 platform is based on the platform used in the Nissan GTR, which is extremely successful in saloon car racing. The F01/F10 platform doesn't have that racing pedigree.

Not to say that the BMW chassis is not good at its intent, but sometimes the badge on a car and a company's heritage belies the true ability of a car (or vice versa).
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  #7  
Old 06-30-2010, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
So what, you prefer driving a Goggomobil? BMW purchased Glas in the 60s, and Dingolfing where the 5/6/7 series are made used to be a Glas factory.

Both Datsun and Goggomobil were relatively successful in their own times and markets I believe. I see as much relevance between Nissan and Datsun as BMW and the Goggomobil.

If you want to stretch things out, you may even say that the M37 platform is based on the platform used in the Nissan GTR, which is extremely successful in saloon car racing. The F01/F10 platform doesn't have that racing pedigree.

Not to say that the BMW chassis is not good at its intent, but sometimes the badge on a car and a company's heritage belies the true ability of a car (or vice versa).
You don't need to go into the whole badge thing with me I own a Hyundai Genesis. I've owned 2 Nissans before. I had a Maxima for 10 years and it was a great car. It was a off the cuff remark, you shouldn't take things so literally.
My point really is that Lexus/Acura/Infiniti, once was a great value for money compared to the Germans. That gap has shrunk to the point where it's not the huge value proposition it once was. For a little more money I'd rather just buy the Bimmer or the Benz.
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Old 06-30-2010, 12:36 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
My point really is that Lexus/Acura/Infiniti, once was a great value for money compared to the Germans. That gap has shrunk to the point where it's not the huge value proposition it once was.
Value for those brands is passe. When was the last time you saw any of those companies tout their cars as being comparably cheaper? They are more likely now to tout safety (Acura), quality (Lexus), performance (Infiniti).

The fact that they are able to successfully sell many cars when cost of ownership is comparable to the estabilshment really bodes will for a healthy industry and more choice for consumers.
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  #9  
Old 06-30-2010, 12:44 PM
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
Value for those brands is passe. When was the last time you saw any of those companies tout their cars as being comparably cheaper? They are more likely now to tout safety (Acura), quality (Lexus), performance (Infiniti).

The fact that they are able to successfully sell many cars when cost of ownership is comparable to the estabilshment really bodes will for a healthy industry and more choice for consumers.
The big 3 Japanese brands have gotten way too aggressive on their pricing. Lexus is flat out on par with BMW/Audi/Merc in terms of pricing. I own a 15 year old Lexus, it's been a great car, but something about the brand just doesn't inspire the cache as the German brands. Something about , hey I just bot a brand new 2010 GS350, isn't getting me hot and bothered at all.
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Old 06-30-2010, 01:42 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
Something about , hey I just bot a brand new 2010 GS350, isn't getting me hot and bothered at all.
I'm not sure why you would get hot and bothered. I've been getting a new BMW every 1-2 years. It's just a car. You basically go to a dealership and plonk down some money, and drive away. When you tire of it, you sell it, then get another one. The factories churn out not thousands, but hundreds of thousands of these things - not really that exclusive (or special). If anything, I enjoy the process of the change more than the specific car itself.
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  #11  
Old 06-30-2010, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
I'm not sure why you would get hot and bothered. I've been getting a new BMW every 1-2 years. It's just a car. You basically go to a dealership and plonk down some money, and drive away. When you tire of it, you sell it, then get another one. The factories churn out not thousands, but hundreds of thousands of these things - not really that exclusive (or special). If anything, I enjoy the process of the change more than the specific car itself.
I guess it's not as transactional for me as it is for you. I tend to keep cars 10+ years. At the end of the day yes, it's just a car, but as an auto enthusiast, the car feels special to me in a way that the air-conditioner or stove does not.
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Old 06-30-2010, 02:14 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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As an auto enthusiast, I think you would enjoy cars more if you changed them more frequently than less. Each car, be it a BMW, Lexus, or Datsun, has it's own appeal. They were each developed by engineers in different ways to meet differing criteria. I personally find interest in seeing this - one of the reasons I like to change cars so often. I thoroughly recommend it.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2010, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by chrischeung View Post
As an auto enthusiast, I think you would enjoy cars more if you changed them more frequently than less. Each car, be it a BMW, Lexus, or Datsun, has it's own appeal. They were each developed by engineers in different ways to meet differing criteria. I personally find interest in seeing this - one of the reasons I like to change cars so often. I thoroughly recommend it.
In my mind I would love to do this. It doesn't make a whole lot of financial sense unless you are leasing it through a company where you can either expense the cost or write it off if you own your own business. I guess I'm more of a keeper/saver. The novelty of driving a new car every few years does seem pretty compelling though.
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Old 06-30-2010, 04:25 PM
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This can't be right. 5-6 year old A6 beating out the F10?? Is the steering really that bad? I'm still waiting to attending BMW Ultimate Drive event to see for myself.
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Old 06-30-2010, 08:38 PM
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I got my C&D and read the article. The A6 is winning because it has a phenomenal engine, a 3.0L supercharged beast putting down about 350/350 to the wheels in real life. It's the same engine in my S4, and the A6 comes with the same 19" wheels if you get the sport package. Both cars have the same servotronic steering from the current BMW M3. I thought it was crap on paper, but after driving it for just a day I love it. It's way firmer at speed than my e90 325i was - she would get twitchy over 100 on the track.
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Old 06-30-2010, 09:57 PM
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You don't need to go into the whole badge thing with me I own a Hyundai Genesis. I've owned 2 Nissans before. I had a Maxima for 10 years and it was a great car. It was a off the cuff remark, you shouldn't take things so literally.
My point really is that Lexus/Acura/Infiniti, once was a great value for money compared to the Germans. That gap has shrunk to the point where it's not the huge value proposition it once was. For a little more money I'd rather just buy the Bimmer or the Benz.
So, what you are saying is that these Japanese/Korean cars are good just because they represent a good value? Hmm... Let me see. I can't think of a single BMW in production that can touch "Datsun" GT-R at any price point. Can you?


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Originally Posted by 1bad350z View Post
This can't be right. 5-6 year old A6 beating out the F10?? Is the steering really that bad? I'm still waiting to attending BMW Ultimate Drive event to see for myself.
The A6 had many revisions (e.g. new super-charged engine) with the same old chassis. So, we are not really comparing the latest BMW vs. 6-year-old Audi. To be fair though, Audi is fairing remarkably well in the recent comparos.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:10 PM
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So, what you are saying is that these Japanese/Korean cars are good just because they represent a good value? Hmm... Let me see. I can't think of a single BMW in production that can touch "Datsun" GT-R at any price point. Can you?
Money and value is a major component, if not THE major component but it's not the only deciding factor. If you're talking pure track numbers then no obviously an M3 can't touch a GT-R. If you followed the Edmunds long term blog on the GT-R, the thing was a beast to live with and spent way too much time in the shop. I think I'd rather have an M3. Obviously looks are subjective. It's the same reason there are so many 911's out there, instead of Ferrari's/Lambo's. You can actually live with the 911 day to day.
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Old 06-30-2010, 10:12 PM
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F10 Steering

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Originally Posted by 1bad350z View Post
This can't be right. 5-6 year old A6 beating out the F10?? Is the steering really that bad? I'm still waiting to attending BMW Ultimate Drive event to see for myself.
Yes, it really is that bad. I've test driven several F10s (535, 550) over the past several weeks. The ZDH option helps somewhat, but not enough. Maybe the new MSport package will make the steering acceptable for the BMW faithful. Hopefully BMW will get the hint since it is being slammed about the steering by many auto mags, including AUTOCAR from the UK.

I feel very sad about this, having driven every generation 5 series since the E28. My 550i MSport may be the last for me. It seems just a slightly smaller 7 now, not the tight, dynamic sport sedan it was. Just look at BMW's US TV ads:, it is called a "luxury sport sedan." It used to be a sport luxury sedan. I don't tihnk I am alone in my feelings.
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:33 AM
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I've logged 700 miles on my F10 of which 400 on a crappy Polish highway at speeds between 90 and 100 mph. I had an E60 530d with active steering and dynamic damper control before. Now I only have the variable dampers. There is a minimal lack of feel when you move the wheel by about 1mm, then the assistance kicks in and yes it does feel different than the hydraulic set up in the E60. Different does not mean worse in my eyes. The assistance strength varies depending on the damper setting and the steering is much meatier in sport than in comfort.

If you think this might be an issue for you just test drive it and make your own opinion. i'm loving it overall. It's a much more mature car than an E60 - closer to the 7 series than the 3 series. It's not quieter than the E60 though. I would even say that at 100 mph + there's more wind noise. That blunt front end might be the culprit.
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Old 07-01-2010, 05:05 AM
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Originally Posted by 1bad350z View Post
This can't be right. 5-6 year old A6 beating out the F10?? Is the steering really that bad? I'm still waiting to attending BMW Ultimate Drive event to see for myself.
At the ultimate driving event, I found the A6 to be quite nimble, a bit more nimble in the steering than the 5er. But that was about all. The A6 was louder, slower, and rougher in ride, and did not take the high speed curves as well as the 5er. Overall, I thought the 5er was much more refined. IMO, the CD people feel the need to find a way to criticize a BMW to rebut the 'BMW fanboi' rep they have. After all, what is steering for? For directing the car exactly where you want it to go, and the 5ers steering does exactly that.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:23 AM
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We can go back and forth on this steering issue all day long. I am proudly a BMW fan boy, and have been for a long time. But after test driving both the F10 535 and 550, I have to honestly say that the steering felt numb and both cars felt massive, just like the C&D article described. Just a fact. We just have to accept this until if/when BMW decides to fix this problem. I hope they do, but if not there are suitable alternatives out there, I hope. But so far I haven't found any that I would buy.
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Old 07-01-2010, 09:35 AM
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We can go back and forth on this steering issue all day long. I am proudly a BMW fan boy, and have been for a long time. But after test driving both the F10 535 and 550, I have to honestly say that the steering felt numb and both cars felt massive, just like the C&D article described. Just a fact. We just have to accept this until if/when BMW decides to fix this problem. I hope they do, but if not there are suitable alternatives out there, I hope. But so far I haven't found any that I would buy.
I wouldn't characterize the steering as a "problem". Sometimes the Bimmer enthusiast crowd looks at the world through rose colored glasses. Most owners aren't going to change the rims, suspension, blackout the headlights, chip the car, or make mods. They don't know what HPFP or N54 means. Or the difference between a E39/E60 or F10. I think BMW took the direction of this car towards the 7 because that is what the majority of buyers are going to like. It really just depends on your tastes. Clearly for you it's too soft of a car. The last few cars I have owned have been a Merc and Lexus and it seems pretty hard in comparison. It really depends on your point of view.
Same magazine different spin:
2011 BMW 5-series / 535i - First Drive Review
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Old 07-01-2010, 01:55 PM
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Sport is always relative, so it seems that others have passed BMW - or that BMW has lowered its sports quotient, relatively.

I'd be interested in a E60 vs. F10 driving comparison.
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Old 07-02-2010, 10:44 AM
MooseF10 MooseF10 is offline
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I just received my C&D and read the article. It was obvious that they had to reach hard in some areas to score the 5 low enough to get it to finish 3rd. If you really look at what they scored it low on, it really is in areas that are very subjective. I recently ordered my 550 after driving everything close including the S5, A6 and S6. The biggest dissapointment of those 3 was the S6. It has a detuned V10 that was a lot slower than the 550i. Not only does the S6 usually come in last when up against the M5 and E63, in my comparison, it did not come close to the F10 550 either. The A6 and S6 both have really great steering feel but the gap between the Audi and the 5er are not as far apart as C&D wants the mkt to believe. I've owned 7 BMW's including M3's and M5's and was seriously considering going with the Audi. I had to wait for an S6 to arrive at the dealer to test drive it. After the drive, I thought it was so much softer than my last M5. That was not good. I left very un-excited about the V10 S6. I've driven that engine in the lambo and loved it. It is a dog in the S6. After driving the S6, I went back and drove the 550 and quickly noticed how much nicer the materials, fit and finish of the BMW were. Audi still does not feel like a luxury car. It feels like a nice VW. On top of that, the dealer said the S6 was so exclusive that people were lined up to buy them and there would be no discount from sticker. I asked why the car mags were not as proud of the S6 as they were and they were shocked and offended. I think C&D has left the door open to have the 550i spank the E550 and S6 (or M45) when they run that test. They will still complain about the steering but they will love the numbers that the 4.4 puts out. I also think the 535 engine is great too but, by the time I load it up with options, it was so close in price to the 550 that it was an easy decision to go with the V8. For 2mpg less, I get a ton more power and torque. I think the real results will bear themselves in the sales numbers. The 5 will outsell the Audi hands down. For 8K less, my decision to go with a loaded 550 over the S6 was easy.

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Old 07-02-2010, 11:45 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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I read the C&D report today as well. The main areas they didn't like were amenities and steering feel. They said the steering had the best feel on the highway. The amenities can be ordered per your own taste and there are far more available on the 550i than the A6 or S6. Besides, I drove the 550i with sport package and sport transmission really hard and fast on a back country winding hilly road yesterday and the steering feel in sport mode was just fine. I'm more concerned with highway stability anyway because I do a lot more driving on the highway than on the twisties.

Where I agree with C&D is that the F10 is very luxurious. In comfort mode it feels like a Limo.

Ordered my 550i xDrive yesterday for delivery in October. I got every available option except the ski bag and rear entertainment.
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