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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 09-28-2010, 11:29 PM
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gregb10 gregb10 is offline
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Second thoughts on 535i

I have a nicely loaded 535i on order, it goes into production on Monday.

Im coming from an 08 535XI and im having seconds thoughts on giving up X drive. Living on Long Island, only need it a few times a year but when you do need it, its great to have.

Also have a house upstate that gets a lot of snow, but maybe go there 3 times a season.

Are good snow tires really good ad X drive?

Also, since the steering is hydralic, does it have a better feel. Has anyone driven one yet?

Or, do I just keep the 08 XI for 34k, drive it a two more years, then uptrade to an f10 when they works the kinks out. I have until Friday morning to decide.

What to do, what to do!!!!
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  #2  
Old 09-28-2010, 11:44 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Here in Seattle we normally also have just a few days if any with snow. I never felt it worth the extra weight and added complexity with more potential fault sources to get the X-drive. I lock the car in the garage and carpool in our SUV when it's snow in the forecast and/or on the ground. I drove rwd bmws and other cars for years in heavy snow several months a year, I had no problems with good snow tires. That said awd does definately provide more traction when it's slippery but are no help when braking.

The steering is the big question mark. I would wait to see the verdict on the X-drive steering if I were you.
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  #3  
Old 09-29-2010, 02:26 AM
attila316 attila316 is offline
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I heard xdrive really helps uphill slippery start etc. If it's relatively flat, then snow tires rwd is good enough. Of course this is all heresay and I live in California.
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  #4  
Old 09-29-2010, 06:33 AM
FPNY FPNY is offline
um, i dunno
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I live in Westchester County and always get the x drive, like you say, it's nice to have when you need it....the x drive goes better in the snow than my 4 WD Explorer....get the x.
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  #5  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:14 AM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregb10 View Post
Or, do I just keep the 08 XI for 34k, drive it a two more years, then uptrade to an f10 when they works the kinks out. I have until Friday morning to decide.
After having driven my new 535i, non sport, for two weeks, I don't really think there are any "kinks" to be worked out. The steering topic has been beaten to death I think, and now people are just parroting other reports. The steering feel in my 535i is a bit lighter than my previous 330i and 335i, but after driving for only a couple of days, the steering feel is very natural. If the steering feel is less communicative, I don't think many of us drive at "the limit" where, even if this is true, it really amounts to anything. The steering effort becomes somewhat heavier at speed (60 mph+) and I have found no substantiation of the report of "sloppy" on-center feel. In fact, I think the steering may be even more responsive than my '08 335i was on center. As for suspension feel, even my non sport 535i takes curves and bumps in a traditional BMW way, IMO, very similar to my non sport 335i, even though it is a larger car. In fact when I'm driving, I almost forget how much larger it is than the 335i. It feels neither clumsy nor heavy.

I think your main question is whether AWD is needed where you are, not when and if supposed "kinks" will be worked out.
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Last edited by markl53; 09-29-2010 at 08:15 AM.
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  #6  
Old 09-29-2010, 09:43 AM
HPIA4v2 HPIA4v2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregb10 View Post
I have a nicely loaded 535i on order, it goes into production on Monday.

Im coming from an 08 535XI and im having seconds thoughts on giving up X drive. Living on Long Island, only need it a few times a year but when you do need it, its great to have.

Also have a house upstate that gets a lot of snow, but maybe go there 3 times a season.

Are good snow tires really good ad X drive?

Also, since the steering is hydralic, does it have a better feel. Has anyone driven one yet?

Or, do I just keep the 08 XI for 34k, drive it a two more years, then uptrade to an f10 when they works the kinks out. I have until Friday morning to decide.

What to do, what to do!!!!
have not driven the F10 so I won;t say anything about the steeering.
But the problem with XI is way to soft of suspension compare to RWD, no ARS, no staggered set-up even with sport-package.
BMW got to change this practice or Audi again will eat their lunch.

I need to spend $2k on aftermarket setup on my 335XI (even with M-sport) that is not acceptable. Hope Santa is nice enough to drop a set of KW1 under the tree this Xmas.

As far as XI vs RWD in snow, I always tell people how they do with the current car if you can get away with RWD+snow tires then no need for XI but if you have so many white knuckle experiences going up-hill/around the corner in the snow then go get XI you won't regret it.
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  #7  
Old 09-29-2010, 05:07 PM
edspider edspider is offline
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I've had AWD options from many cars and xDrive topped them all. I know its a moving target. Everyone keeps getting better. I have to have it in Chicago because BMW has pretty wide tires and I don't want to fuss with winter tires. I have had several white knuckle experiences with my LS, E350 and M35 RWD. But with xDrive, I feel as confident as a snow plow.
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  #8  
Old 09-29-2010, 06:18 PM
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Elias Elias is offline
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I live out in the country and my neighborhood is one of the last to get plowed, x-drive won't cut it in a foot of snow or higher. I opted to get a 4X4 and the 535i rwd doesn't go out on those bad snow days. There's no way I'm going to drive an x-drive 10 months out of the year when I don't need it. The driving dynamics aren't the same between the x-drive and the rwd you just lose to much in the handling dept.
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  #9  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:20 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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I don't drive the 535 when it is white out, I drive the 4wd beater. Just because an XI could go in snow, it doesn't mean I can turn or stop, or worse, not get hit by some other fool.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:33 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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My RWD 540 and RWD 550 were both fine in snow (with 4 wheel snow tires on dedicated winter wheels). I never felt the X-Drive trade-off was worth it, as the E60 did not get a proper sport suspension when you went the X-Drive route.

That's less true with the F10, as you can have a sport suspension with the AWD. Does it handle as well as a RWD? Is it worth the added cost, weight and complexity? I have my doubts on both scores, but that's an uninformed prejudice, nothing more.

But I have trouble with folks who buy the x-Drive and leave the all season tires on year-round. The all seasons will NOT brake or corner as well as dedicated snows., and if you leave them on 12 months of the year, you are going to burn through them that much faster. It's so much cheaper and safer to buy a set of snows and mount them on dedicated winter wheels than pony up for x-Drive and keep replacing the RF all seasons.

Like Kamdog, I go a different route - the M3 sits in the garage all winter and I drive the X5.
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2010, 07:38 PM
Ian_C Ian_C is offline
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I live in Westchester, NY and spend a lot of time in Washington DC, so I will be driving the 95 corridor quite often. I choose the rwd 535i with a set of dedicated winter tires over the x drive for several reasons: x drive/ awd doesn't help you stop any faster, nor does it make a car handle any better. It is true that the x drive may help you get going faster when there is a significant accumulation, but that's it. The only way to improve handling during the winter is to get a set of snow/ winter tires. All seasons tires will only marginal perform during cold months. They are the "jack of all trades, and master of none." Check out the videos on Tirerack.com: "Winter tires vs all seasons"

I can speak from experience I used to own a honda accord with all seasons and I could barely get the car up a hill in packed snow. Would awd made a difference? probably, but snow/winter tires would definitely gotten me up the hill with front wheel drive. The point I am making is if you are concerned about driving in the snow then get a set of snow/winter tires. Having x drive/ awd is not a license to disregard the laws of physics. Just look at all the awd SUV's that are stuck along the road after the first snow storm.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:10 PM
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Kamdog Kamdog is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian_C View Post
I live in Westchester, NY and spend a lot of time in Washington DC, so I will be driving the 95 corridor quite often. I choose the rwd 535i with a set of dedicated winter tires over the x drive for several reasons: x drive/ awd doesn't help you stop any faster, nor does it make a car handle any better. It is true that the x drive may help you get going faster when there is a significant accumulation, but that's it. The only way to improve handling during the winter is to get a set of snow/ winter tires. All seasons tires will only marginal perform during cold months. They are the "jack of all trades, and master of none." Check out the videos on Tirerack.com: "Winter tires vs all seasons"

I can speak from experience I used to own a honda accord with all seasons and I could barely get the car up a hill in packed snow. Would awd made a difference? probably, but snow/winter tires would definitely gotten me up the hill with front wheel drive. The point I am making is if you are concerned about driving in the snow then get a set of snow/winter tires. Having x drive/ awd is not a license to disregard the laws of physics. Just look at all the awd SUV's that are stuck along the road after the first snow storm.
My condolences on being stuck on that trip. It is one of the worst stretches of road around.
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:15 PM
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TJPark01 TJPark01 is offline
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Originally Posted by quackbury View Post
But I have trouble with folks who buy the x-Drive and leave the all season tires on year-round. The all seasons will NOT brake or corner as well as dedicated snows., and if you leave them on 12 months of the year, you are going to burn through them that much faster. It's so much cheaper and safer to buy a set of snows and mount them on dedicated winter wheels than pony up for x-Drive and keep replacing the RF all seasons.
This is a very important point. I would suspect that most X-Drive owners never change to dedicated snow tires unless they live in Canada or Minnesota. Also, no matter what you drive, AWD does not help you stop better.
2009 Winter Tire Test - Comparison Tests
Quote:
Often cited as the transportation cure for winter climates, all-wheel drive is far from a silver bullet. In previous tests, we’ve discovered that an all-wheel-drive vehicle with all-season tires can outaccelerate either a front- or rear-driver on winter rubber, but that’s where the advantage ends. The additional traction of winter tires allows a two-wheel-drive car to outbrake, outturn, and generally outmaneuver its all-wheel-drive brethren. Of course, the unstoppable winter option that can impart visions of rally-driving heroism is the combination of all-wheel drive and winter tires, but possessing all-wheel drive generally sacrifices a rear-drive car’s handling balance in the dry, adds a couple hundred pounds, and comes with a fuel-economy penalty. That’s why our preferred choice is to buy a second set of tires to get through the winter—almost always cheaper than the price of all-wheel drive—while relishing the superior dynamics of rear-wheel drive the rest of the year.
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  #14  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:29 PM
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quackbury quackbury is offline
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Originally Posted by Kamdog View Post
My condolences on being stuck on that trip. It is one of the worst stretches of road around.
True dat. Isn't that why God invented Accela?
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Prior BMW's
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2010, 08:47 PM
Ian_C Ian_C is offline
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Accela is one option, but I like to spend as much time with my son as possible. Plus leaving off peek I can do it in 4hrs and that's with my Explorer. I'll let you know how long it takes in my new dark graphite bullet.
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