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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 08-11-2010, 08:08 AM
Babken Babken is offline
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BMW 5 Series (F10) vs the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class

I can't believe what I read in recent comparisons. The E-Class outperforms and outhandles the new 5 Series. Can somebody who owns the new 5 Series tell me whether the situation with the new 5 Series is so hopeless?
Thank you.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:08 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Can you point out where you saw this? This one I missed.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:12 AM
Babken Babken is offline
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One of those reviews is the one made by the autoexpress.co.uk
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:26 AM
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goodchip goodchip is offline
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I drove an E550 a couple of months ago. Boooooring....
Saw on in my parking lot yesterday. Booooring. Can you say Hyundai Sonata?
I also drove a Jag XF. Definitely not boring. But all things considered, the F10 is hands down the better of the three.
I may be a little bit biased, though....
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babken View Post
I can't believe what I read in recent comparisons. The E-Class outperforms and outhandles the new 5 Series. Can somebody who owns the new 5 Series tell me whether the situation with the new 5 Series is so hopeless?
Thank you.
Apparently they were smoking dope when they did the tests and wrote this. I've driven both of them - hard, at an auto-x comparison event with both cars equipped the same. It's hard for me to believe the E Class is a new design. It is a real dog. Both the engine (E350) and the handling. The new 5er beats the E with a stick.
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Old 08-11-2010, 08:31 AM
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It's not even close. The E-Class is awful. The styling, handling,brakes,fit and finish, just horrible for a Mercedes. I am not a Benz hater and my previous car was a CL550. I had my mind made up (so I thought) to buy an E350, till I went to see and test drive it. Mercedes has made a decision to make the top end cars (S-Class,CL,SL,SLS) very nice and very expensive. The middle to low end cars are absolute garbage in terms of MB standards.
E350 sedan is a huge disappointment in my mind. 1st of all the engine is way too small for a 2 ton car. You can't get them with leather here is Southern California, and the ones with leather are optioned so heavily that it makes more sense to just buy an E550. The trunk in the E350 is unfinished and the there are springs poking out. There was a time when something like this on a Mercedes would just be completely unacceptable. Karl Benz, Gottlieb Daimler would be rolling over in their graves if they saw this. Unacceptable in a 60k car, Stuttgart, get your house in order!
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Old 08-11-2010, 09:03 AM
chrischeung chrischeung is offline
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
Apparently they were smoking dope when they did the tests and wrote this.
Why does the 5er perform so poorly when smoking dope? Doesn't bode well for sales to the younger generation. If they legalize pot, BMW will be toast.
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  #8  
Old 08-11-2010, 09:54 AM
solstice solstice is offline
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The E-class might be rubbish but that makes it even more of a concern that anyone can state that it (subjectively) outhandles the F10.
Being outperformed by excellence you can deal with but being outperformed by rubbish is hard.
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  #9  
Old 08-11-2010, 11:39 AM
petee1997 petee1997 is offline
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You need a dissenting voice here for a little balance. My wife and I traded a 335i and a 328ix for two E350 4Matics loaded. The Bimmers were nice cars and we really liked them. My wife traded last year for the 2010 model. I waited to see the F10.
Of course the appearance of the car is subjective but I could not get myself to like the 5er.It was either a big 3 or a small 7 series. Secondly the IX was not available till Sept production. As far as performance the BMW is probably superior but the MB is not that bad with the sport package. Finally I opted for the 2011 MB because I thought it was a good car with a more pleasing appearance. BMW and MB were the only cars I considered.

PS In Canada Mercedes Benz is now number one in premium cars sales. The E class is outselling the 5 series but the new model has been out longer. Maybe they finally got it right.

Last edited by petee1997; 08-11-2010 at 03:52 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:09 PM
wsjoseph wsjoseph is offline
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I did not read the comparison article you mention so this is just my opinion. When I first started looking in the early Spring, I seriously considered the E350. I actually like the looks of it, but decided I would wait until the new F10s came out so I could do my own head-to-head. It did bother me that some things I took for granted, after coming out of two consecutive M35 leases, like leather and a back-up camera that actually gives you guidance lines, were either options or just not available on the MB.

When the F10 became available my local dealer only had a 550i and I made the "mistake" of test driving that after driving the E350. Well, there was no going back. I call it the "grin factor". I came out of that 550i drive with a dumb grin on my face after putting it through some local twisties. In fairness to MB, I went directly back (the dealers are next to each other) and drove the E550. Sorry, NO comparison. The grin factor was just not there. It was more of a "yawn factor" after having just driven the BMW. The most telling to me was when I took an expressway off-ramp in the MB at the same speed I took the BMW and was almost thrown out of my seat. The only thing the rep could say was "Sorry, you didn't have it in Sport Mode". Guess what, I didn't have the Bimmer in Sport mode either.

I am far from a BMW enthusiast, having years ago only owned one previous BMW, and have never been a MB hater. I just found the 550i more fun to drive...period.
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  #11  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wsjoseph View Post
I am far from a BMW enthusiast, having years ago only owned one previous BMW, and have never been a MB hater. I just found the 550i more fun to drive...period.
Everyone is in agreement that Bimmers are more driver oriented. If you are a driving enthusiast you will probably lean towards BMW's. For a lot of people Benz's are perfect. Not as soft as Lexus but not as stiff as Bimmers. MB are terrific touring cars with great amounts of luxury and refinement. I have owned several in my lifetime, and as all owners will tell you. There is a certain smell that every MB has, I think it has something to do with the leather. You know what, the E350 Premium 2 package I drove didn't have that smell, the cars transmission was harsh, and it was pretty loud when you started pushing it (not good loud like V8 throaty rumble, bad loud like shaking a tin can full of marbles).

Me: How can I get leather in this car?
CA: You can either custom order one from Sindelfingen,step up to a E550 or get the coupe.
Me: I can't get a E350 sedan with leather, even on a Premium 2 package?
CA: No, they don't come that way, but MBTex is very good, you can't even tell.
Me: I don't put ketchup on sushi, and I don't buy Benzos with vinyl seats.

Last edited by TJPark01; 08-11-2010 at 12:43 PM.
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  #12  
Old 08-11-2010, 12:51 PM
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Drove both recently, and while the stock 5 is a bit soft, it's still easy and precise in control. I suppose it's the softness that people are complaining most about. It still does what you tell it to do, and doesn't push back much. I found that the more I pushed the E, the more resistant it was to keep up with me. Under-steer was more prevalent and not as graceful.

Maybe the E's absolute handling was better, but I couldn't push it that much on a test drive. Although that's not something I ever plan to do with the car--that's what my 3 is for.

Although it's not related to handling, I did find the E's interior disappointingly sparse and spartan. Just some overuse of chrome trim on an otherwise too flat and plain interior (especially in black). I find all those shiny bits distracting and tacky; it really did not look like you got your money's worth on amenities as you would expect for a car in this segment. It had more usable space in the trunk and rear seats, but I find it a hard stretch to see it as a equivalent competitor.

I certainly thought that if the Mercedes could be had at a decent price advantage over the 5, I would go for it. But after seeing them both in person, I find that even that would not be enough.

My opinion of course.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:11 PM
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The only plus for a MB to me is the spare tire.

From a quick search it seems that most MB owners don't mind the fact that it's synthetic. I don't know if MB-Tex has better quality than BMW leatherette. Lexus owners probably all laugh at MB owners for this.
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  #14  
Old 08-11-2010, 02:23 PM
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From a quick search it seems that most MB owners don't mind the fact that it's synthetic. I don't know if MB-Tex has better quality than BMW leatherette. Lexus owners probably all laugh at MB owners for this.
It's like this. If you have a black and white TV (cloth). A color TV will seem awesome (vinyl). Until you saw HDTV (leather), then you feel a little cheated. Considering most 20k cars have the leather option, it's INEXCUSABLE that they produce these 55-60k E350's with no leather, or that you have to special order one to get leather. Or that the speakers poke out of the trunk deck, or that the hood alignment is off.

There was a E350 Cabriolet in the showroom. I detail cars, so I tend to look at things with a fine tooth comb. What I saw just made me shake my head. Look at the panel gaps on the passenger side of the hood. The drivers side was fine, but, I could jam my thumb on the passenger side, and worse yet, they were asking 70k for it. Here's a pic at the dealer. Yes, I thought the hood wasn't closed either. Popped it open closed it again, same thing. I saw this on a few E350's on the lot, not all. When I asked the CA, he said he wasn't seeing what I was seeing, and that any defect would and could be taken care of under warranty. WHAT?


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Old 08-11-2010, 02:38 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
Everyone is in agreement that Bimmers are more driver oriented. If you are a driving enthusiast you will probably lean towards BMW's. For a lot of people Benz's are perfect. Not as soft as Lexus but not as stiff as Bimmers. MB are terrific touring cars with great amounts of luxury and refinement. I have owned several in my lifetime, and as all owners will tell you. There is a certain smell that every MB has, I think it has something to do with the leather. You know what, the E350 Premium 2 package I drove didn't have that smell, the cars transmission was harsh, and it was pretty loud when you started pushing it (not good loud like V8 throaty rumble, bad loud like shaking a tin can full of marbles).

This. Exactly how I felt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fuz View Post
Drove both recently, and while the stock 5 is a bit soft, it's still easy and precise in control. I suppose it's the softness that people are complaining most about. It still does what you tell it to do, and doesn't push back much. I found that the more I pushed the E, the more resistant it was to keep up with me. Under-steer was more prevalent and not as graceful.
And this. Exactly the way I felt.
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Old 08-11-2010, 02:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
It's like this. If you have a black and white TV (cloth). A color TV will seem awesome (vinyl). Until you saw HDTV (leather), then you feel a little cheated. Considering most 20k cars have the leather option, it's INEXCUSABLE that they produce these 55-60k E350's with no leather, or that you have to special order one to get leather. Or that the speakers poke out of the trunk deck, or that the hood alignment is off.

There was a E350 Cabriolet in the showroom. I detail cars, so I tend to look at things with a fine tooth comb. What I saw just made me shake my head. Look at the panel gaps on the passenger side of the hood. The drivers side was fine, but, I could jam my thumb on the passenger side, and worse yet, they were asking 70k for it. Here's a pic at the dealer. Yes, I thought the hood wasn't closed either. Popped it open closed it again, same thing. I saw this on a few E350's on the lot, not all. When I asked the CA, he said he wasn't seeing what I was seeing, and that any defect would and could be taken care of under warranty. WHAT?

TJ, how funny to find your post here... When I was deciding if to buy the 535 or the E350, I read some posts at benzworld.org and found the picture and comments you made above. That helped me look at the Benz with more detail, and noticed a couple more things like the one you mention. For example, the acres or black hard plastic on the passenger side dashboard. Not too nice. But definitely the worst thing for me was the leather.

A few months ago my wife was looking for a smaller SUV. We discarded the X3 due to the end of cycle being very near. It came down to the GLK or the Audi Q5. The Audi was a little bit more expensive, but WAAAAAY better. There was no way to get the GLK with leather and AWD unless custom ordering it.

What's up with Benz and leather???

Remember, the 5 series comes with leatherette by default, but I would bet that 90% of dealer's inventory is leather, not leatherette.
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Old 08-11-2010, 03:31 PM
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Originally Posted by alex_c View Post
TJ, how funny to find your post here... When I was deciding if to buy the 535 or the E350, I read some posts at benzworld.org and found the picture and comments you made above. That helped me look at the Benz with more detail, and noticed a couple more things like the one you mention. For example, the acres or black hard plastic on the passenger side dashboard. Not too nice. But definitely the worst thing for me was the leather.

What's up with Benz and leather???

Remember, the 5 series comes with leatherette by default, but I would bet that 90% of dealer's inventory is leather, not leatherette.
I wasn't even really considering a 5 series. I had pretty much made up my mind to buy the Benz, but became increasingly annoyed and disappointed at the leather situation as well as the poor quality. I understand that BMW default is also leatherette, but getting leather is not a huge leap, and it exists without having to buy a 550i. I came really close to just getting an E550, but the thing gets HORRIBLE gas mileage. I'm far from being a tree hugger, but my memory is not so short that I have forgotten about 5 dollar gasoline.
Also the current crop of V6 engines have been in use since model year 2004/5. Sure they're MB reliable, but they are way behind in power and technology and not very efficient either. Let me put it this way, the Accord/Camry/Maxima, all have more BHP than the benz. ( a new DI engine will be out for next year to replace the current V6, thank god).

I guess my point is that, I have come to expect a certain level of product out of Stuttgart. As a repeat buyer and fan of their cars, the E ia a massive disappointment. Fine, you want to be cheap do it on the C class, but not on the E. I can't point to the exact point but it's around the Chrysler marriage that their cars started going downhill. In my opinion, they have totally diluted their brand. I think the only true Mercedes left are the ones costing 100k+. SLS,CL, SL. Their more pedestrian cars are just that, best used for Taxi service, Chelsea housewives, and Boca retirees.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:18 PM
petee1997 petee1997 is offline
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It's nice to see the loyalty of BMW owners. I must be the exception. By the way leather is a 1500.00 option on the E350. MBTex can't be compared to BMW vinyl. MB has a far superior product. If it wasn't a good product,dealers would do like BMW and bring in all their cars with leather.
I'm sure I will own another BMW in the future but it won't be this generation 5er....I'll just have to rough it out wth the MB for now.

Last edited by petee1997; 08-11-2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old 08-11-2010, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by petee1997 View Post
It's nice to see the loyalty of BMW owners. I must be the exception. By the way leather is a 1500.00 option on the E350. MBTex can't be compared to BMW vinyl. MB has a far superior product. If it wasn't a good product,dealers would do like BMW and bring in all their cars with leather.
I'm sure I will own another BMW in the future but it won't be this generation 5er....I'll just have to rough it out wth the MB for now.
MB-Tex (Mercedes-Benz Texturized Punctured Vinyl) It's plastic. You're telling me it's better plastic then the plastic in the BMW? MB must have used the free range plastic cows to make it.

OK, the $1500 leather option on the E350 is ONLY if you order it from the factory or find one that was special ordered, that no one took delivery of. 99.9% of E350's in the United States, do not have leather, I have already gone through with this issue with basically every dealer in Southern California, and there are a lot of them.
For BMW people it's like trying to get Night Vision with pedestrian detection. Sure in principal it exists but in practice, we all know it's very very rare to find a 528/535i with one, unless you custom ORDER it from Dingolfing.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:04 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petee1997 View Post
It's nice to see the loyalty of BMW owners. I must be the exception. By the way leather is a 1500.00 option on the E350. MBTex can't be compared to BMW vinyl. MB has a far superior product. If it wasn't a good product,dealers would do like BMW and bring in all their cars with leather.
I'm sure I will own another BMW in the future but it won't be this generation 5er....I'll just have to rough it out wth the MB for now.
It's not just BMW fanboy loyalty. The new 5er just out does the new E in every way.

btw - I'd have to disagree about the difference between MB-Tex and BMW's leatherette. I'd say they're pretty much in the same league. They're both very good, but in the end they're both vinyl.
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Old 08-11-2010, 05:28 PM
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To petee1997:
Sorry to be a little abrasive, I'm just venting my frustration with MB. Like I said, I'm not a MB hater, this was my last car, I just expect a lot from Daimler, and it's clear to me they have bifurcated their product lines into, entry luxury and exclusive luxury with nothing in between. The E350 is not a bad car by any means, I'm sure they'll sell tons of them. But to me it aint worth 60k.


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Old 08-11-2010, 05:52 PM
petee1997 petee1997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TJPark01 View Post
MB-Tex (Mercedes-Benz Texturized Punctured Vinyl) It's plastic. You're telling me it's better plastic then the plastic in the BMW? MB must have used the free range plastic cows to make it.

OK, the $1500 leather option on the E350 is ONLY if you order it from the factory or find one that was special ordered, that no one took delivery of. 99.9% of E350's in the United States, do not have leather, I have already gone through with this issue with basically every dealer in Southern California, and there are a lot of them.
For BMW people it's like trying to get Night Vision with pedestrian detection. Sure in principal it exists but in practice, we all know it's very very rare to find a 528/535i with one, unless you custom ORDER it from Dingolfing.
You have just answered your question. People seem to be satisfied with MBTex and pass on the leather option. The BMW 5er with vinyl is unsaleable. There must be a reason,inferior product.
Both my Bimmers were ordered with leather and sport seats. Both my MB's were ordered with MBTex(Artico Leather in Canada)
The question remains: Why do they sell more E class than 5 series? Is it because a Benz is Benz is a Benz. There is simply NOTHING like it.....
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:02 PM
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I would bet that a great number of MB buyers don't know that MB-Tex is not leather. I've heard the sneaky explanations from dealers saying that MB-Tex is a different kind of leather. Since no dealers have leather in stock, most people are not willng to wait for a custom ordered vehicle just for the leather, so they have to settle for MB-Tex. Maybe BMW buyers are more demanding? Just a thought.
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:13 PM
jimefam jimefam is offline
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I'm 26 and new to this luxury sedan segment. When I first decided to get a new car I was sure it was gonna be the E550 all the way, never even thought about BMW as I really didn't like the look of the E60. I went for a test drive and although not disappointed I wasn't thrilled by the car it was ok but no more than that for me. Actually it was the MB salesman that told me not to even consider the BMW as the new redesign was coming out in a year and I would lose tons of value(this was October of last year) I looked up the new f10 test drove the E60 550i LOVED the ride of that car and decided to wait. It will have been over a year by the time I get my 550i that's on order now and you know what? For me it is worth the wait. Although the f10 doesn't handle like the E60 it still is IMHO way better then the Benz.

Also couldn't find the article mentioned above. This was all I found and it seems pretty ok
http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/carrevi...w_5series.html
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Old 08-11-2010, 06:23 PM
alex md alex md is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 X5 50 M sport
mb -tex

My wife drives glk3504matic with mb-tex and i have to admit that quality of vinyl seats is pretty good, if not for the smell u can hardly distinquish between two.
With regard to ride very different story, she got glk bx we did not want x3/end of the cycle/ or q5. X3 ride is soooooo much better and precise, brakes on glk sooo soft and cornering is far from bimmer.
Before my X5 4.8 i test drove Gl 450 and 550 i really liked look of MB 550 version, but again what a difference in driving.
thanks Alex
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