535i already ordered, took a 2nd test drive today
OK, after reading all the threads regarding the "faults" of the new F10 series, I decided I had to take another test drive before my own 535i arrives in about 3 weeks. My current car is an '08 335i 6MT, and I had only driven a 535i once. I had driven a '10 MB E350 a week or so before, thinking it may have been a viable alternative. When I drove the 535i the first time, the power of the updated N55 with the 8-spd Steptronic made me grin quite a bit. I was driving a base vehicle, no sport or handling packages.
Then I started reading all the negative comments, which led me to my drive today. Here's what I found.
1. Yes, the steering effort is a bit lighter than one might expect of a BMW. However, for me, it did not exhibit any sloppiness that people have reported. I would agree that the overall feel was a bit more isolated feeling than my 335i, but I found nothing drastic, such as on-center sloppiness. The steering responded quickly to slight "twitches" off center.
2. I'm not sure the electric steering is the actual culprit for the slightly reduced feel. I'm guessing it's more a product of the superbly balanced and quiet ride. To me the car did not feel heavy, but was nimble in turns. In fact, I took a couple of on-ramps faster than I thought because of the ride quality. It took the turns in stride (I won't say I was near any limit, just faster than my average on the same ramps in my 335i).
3. There was a very slight tendency for the car to head toward the right, not a strong "pull". I spoke with the sales manager when I got back, who I know fairly well, and he told me that BMW knew about this and had a fix. He said they had received "some parts" and had already fixed at least one customer's F10. He thought mine would have already been corrected, either in production or at the port, before delivery. We'll see.
As with any new car, my new 535i will take some time for me to get adjusted. I don't think it's fair to compare it with a 3-series, it's a bigger car with a slightly different purpose in life. I still feel good about my choice. YMMV.
Bimmerfest Supporting Member
2011 535i AT | Black Sapphire/Cinnamon | Premium | Heated Sts | Nav | Sirius | Anthracite Hdr & Trim
Prior: 2008 335i 6MT Sedan | Black Sapphire/Terra Leather | Premium | Cold | CA | OEM Alarm
Prior: 2005 330i 6MT | Black Sapphire/Sand Leather | Premium | Cold | UGO | OEM Alarm
Last edited by markl53; 08-28-2010 at 08:41 PM.