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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 09-27-2010, 02:26 PM
TMQ TMQ is offline
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Car and Driver reviews F10 550i

http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/...take_road_test

Maybe the criticism of "not much fun" starts with Dan Neil, now at WSJ.
http://articles.latimes.com/2010/jan...il29-2010jan29
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  #2  
Old 09-27-2010, 03:22 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Good review. It's also worth checking the comments, there is among other one from a C/D staff member that I agree with.
But then again, if they just had IAS on the car it would have aced all categories and even cured cancer wherever it passed by.

Last edited by solstice; 09-27-2010 at 03:25 PM.
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  #3  
Old 09-27-2010, 04:05 PM
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I don't get it: they complain that it's not too sporty and then advise to skip ARS?? How credible is that? E60 sport had it, it's the same thing, how come it was fine when they reviewed it there?
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Old 09-27-2010, 04:22 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is online now
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Were both reviews done by the same reviewer? That's one reason why they list ther reviewer, and not just "by staff". Individual preferences would differ.

Plus ARS on the E60 is not packaged with DHC (which they don't like) on the F10. It's like saying you like sugar, but that doesn't necessarily mean you like sugar on ice cream. Just one possible explanation.

Long story short - these reviewers would strongly prefer a basic, well sorted and linear suspension, which is not what the F10 has. I bet they would love a Ferrari, that has the electro mechanical thingamijig suspension, and driving modes - go figure. Then again, I've never driven a Ferrari.
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  #5  
Old 09-27-2010, 04:33 PM
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so according to this reviewer, eliminating ARS will create better driving dynamics and therefore will make it feel sportier? I mean it's kind of going beyond having an opinion and in the realm of denying the law of physics.
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  #6  
Old 09-27-2010, 04:39 PM
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They also claim the steering is too heavy. I had read an earlier review before the full-fledged review and they said too light. In actuality, the steering is lighter than that in my previous 335i and 330i, not sure how they are saying it's too heavy. They've latched onto the steering thing and won't let it go, now everyone is parroting these reviews. My new 535i is a pleasure to drive, much more inspiring than the E60 528i loaners I had driven previously. The steering seems so natural after a day or two, my wife's Acura TL now feels like a truck in comparison. C&D just has it in for BMW now, after years of pushing them. I think the car fits into its category very nicely, much more drivable than an MB E350, IMO. The 5 is not at all sedate and the sales numbers will tell the true story.
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  #7  
Old 09-27-2010, 04:53 PM
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Reading a profile of the author JUSTIN BERKOWITZ who started at C&D in July of this year on LinkedIn, some things become clear
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  #8  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:05 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXK View Post
so according to this reviewer, eliminating ARS will create better driving dynamics and therefore will make it feel sportier?
The reviewer equates connection to sportiness - not physics. ie. the better a driver feels connected to what the car is doing the sportier it feels. Feel has nothing to do with the outright potential performance or grip of the car. Feel inspires driving confidence.

You can imagine that a lot of racing cars will be very fast theoretically, but since they are not linear, are difficult to drive and ultimately slower. If you follow Formula 1, one example is Monza recently, where Lewis Hamilton had theoretically a faster car, but was slower than his teammate Jenson Button since the car was so difficult to drive. Another example is how in a recent C&D test, I think a technically basic Lotus was rated a better handling car than a Nissan GTR (I haven't read the full review) - which was likely faster in many respects.

I don't think ARS is particularly linear as well. It will tighten the roll up to 70% (from what I've read), and then will gradually allow roll into the suspension as a safety measure. They can technically have 100% anti-roll. So for those who drive near or at the limit (like on a track), it will not be easy - you'll feel the suspension tightening, then unnaturally easing. I've felt it happen in power on oversteer situation in my E60, as the suspension rolls and bounces during correction. You never lose control, but it feels strange to be stiff, then roll left and right seemingly with increased roll. My 335i is much more linear - you correct, it goes the other way, then immediately settles - at the expense of a noticeably harder ride. These experiences from a freeway on ramp that I take almost every day, so I know it like the back of my hand.
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Last edited by chrischeung; 09-27-2010 at 05:19 PM.
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  #9  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:13 PM
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How is absence of ARS connect driver better to a road when cornering?
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  #10  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:24 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is online now
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The roll is much more linear. You can be very quick in an ARS car, but you need to drive it on the same road, and know the speed that it will drive quickly at - basically you need to practice.

In a regularly suspended car, you can approach a new corner, and more easily know what speed you can enter and exit at - since there is no computer adjusting the roll. For example, if you turn the wheel a little more tightly in an ARS car the second time around, ARS may compensate by putting in more anti-roll. It's a guess as to what the computer will do with different inputs. Without ARS, you know what the suspension will do. ARS will allow a very comforatble freeway ride, with reduced roll, at the expense of linearity and some feedback in the suspension.

I would go with ARS in a 5 series (personally), but not in a sports car. Ferrari uses something that is very highly rated/reviewed, but I don't think it's ARS (or similar) - I think it acts just on the shock rates. If you're a fan of Top Gear, you'll likely remember Clarkson liking the F40 over the Enzo due to the computers.
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Last edited by chrischeung; 09-27-2010 at 05:28 PM.
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  #11  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:32 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXK View Post
How is absence of ARS connect driver better to a road when cornering?
The ARS comment is confusing since I think any roll stabilization I've experienced beats no roll stabilization especially on this kind of big heavy car. Perhaps the ZDH review is directed more at the adaptive suspension and dynamic modes than ARS?
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  #12  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:38 PM
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but the car would lean another way, away from the curve when cornering, which will reduce the ability to control the car and even if you do know what the car will do, it doesn't mean you can go as fast with the same level of control regardless of your familiarity with the road. But I guess you sort of disagree.
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Last edited by DXK; 09-27-2010 at 05:40 PM.
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  #13  
Old 09-27-2010, 05:53 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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I do agree with chrischeung though that for a track car or pure sports car I'd prefer a really stiff suspension combined with passive anti roll bars to ARS due to the predictable behaviour.
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  #14  
Old 09-27-2010, 06:22 PM
chrischeung chrischeung is online now
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The E60 M5 did not have ARS and active steering. I don't think the reason is cost.

If not cost, then either it's because it made the car slower, or less fulfilling to drive.
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  #15  
Old 09-27-2010, 06:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solstice View Post
I do agree with chrischeung though that for a track car or pure sports car I'd prefer a really stiff suspension combined with passive anti roll bars to ARS due to the predictable behaviour.
This is true, the car won't lean away like Chris said M5 or M3 have stiff suspension which is in effect all the time unlike ARS, but in this case, the author advocated deleting Dynamic drive package which means the car will be at default setting, which is probably = comfort, so I am not sure how it will help.
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Old 09-27-2010, 07:49 PM
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also, the car tested does not have the sport auto tranny with faster shift points
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:04 PM
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The steering in the 550i is by far its greatest downfall. The electrically assisted system is linear, but it feels artificially heavy and is devoid of feedback, even when it's supposedly been livened in the sport or sport-plus settings. Coming from BMW, this is a huge disappointment, and the steering of the 550i can't hold a candle to the fine feel provided by the tiller in the Audi A6. At legal speeds, the steering in the 550i isn't so lifeless as to be unforgivable, but it takes time to get used to. When pushing the car, though, we find that the lack of feedback leaves one guessing the precise amount of input needed to control the vehicle.
Man it feels nice when a reputable mag shares my opinion - seems like we're starting to get a consensus going that the new steering is a disappointment.
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Old 09-27-2010, 08:41 PM
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It has nothing to do with how fast or capable the car actually is. 99% of owners will not push this car to it's limits, it's about the sporty feel. For someone who's driven performance cars or very sporty cars before the new f10 is a step backwards compared to the E60. The suspension and steering feel less connected to the road. In otherwords they took the "soul" out of the car, it may be a more advanced piece of technology but it doesn't bring a smile to your face as easily as a sportier car would. For all those who are disappointed in the f10 I would suggest waiting for the 2012 A6 as I'm fairly confident it will take up the mantle of the sportiest mid-sized luxury sedan.
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Old 09-27-2010, 09:44 PM
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Europeans have an option, number 704 - M Sportfahrwerk. Not compatible with Adaptive Drive and Dynamic Damper Control. The car is lowered 10mm, sport springs, sport dampers. EUR420 including taxes.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:01 PM
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You can get the RD sport springs for the same price get the same result.
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Old 09-27-2010, 10:06 PM
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It's a depressing review.

What happens to these cars as they age? Who's going to fix all the electronic crap that will be obsolete in 10 to 15 years?

Oh well.
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Old 09-27-2010, 11:51 PM
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The C&D guy keeps comparing the 550i to an M. It is not an M and isn't meant to be. If one wants all the things an M provides, then buy an M.
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Old 09-28-2010, 12:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DXK View Post
This is true, the car won't lean away like Chris said M5 or M3 have stiff suspension which is in effect all the time unlike ARS, but in this case, the author advocated deleting Dynamic drive package which means the car will be at default setting, which is probably = comfort, so I am not sure how it will help.
My guess is that the car without DHP may have suspension in the normal setting. Steering would be light but may be more predictable.

C&D complained about electronically adjustable suspension before, I think on an Audi. I'd be interested in seeing a comparison article between the new Cayenne and X5. Cayenne has some of these electronics available also, but maybe they are set up a little better.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:00 AM
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Originally Posted by jimefam View Post
You can get the RD sport springs for the same price get the same result.
Correct.
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Old 09-28-2010, 06:41 AM
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Last night I did a back to back comparison of my 08 550i with the M-Sport package and my new new 2011 550i. I could be wrong, but I believe that BMW did a software modification that changed the steering feel slightly since I did European Delivery in July. Last night the steering difference was extremely negligible. It was close to tie with the 08, a smaller car possibly being ever so slightly better. The sloppiness that I felt when driving straight with the 11 550i was gone. All things considered the 550i is a great car.
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