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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 11-22-2011, 08:34 PM
Vhl71 Vhl71 is offline
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Drive comparison of 5 series to panamera

I test drove the 2011 panamera 4 twice - for some reason the steering doesn't feel tight at al, for a sports car. It is quite soft like my passat. My cayenne has a much tigher steering compared to this.

My other choice is the 550 which feels quite good - you feel the connection between the steering and the road. I tried the sport mode on the panamera and it didn't make much difference to the steering

Is my observation correct?
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  #2  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:22 PM
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I did a test drive on the Panamera 6 Cyl. and absolutely hated it. Horrible visibility, poor performance (again, this is the plain 6 cyl.) and unconnected feeling. Then I drove the 535 and noticed a huge difference.

Of course, I guess that the S or the Turbo would be a different story, but then they would be in very different price ranges.
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  #3  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:35 PM
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Isn't the panamera merely an Audi in disguise?

For me there is only one Porsche, the 911. But sadly they sell more VW/Porsche Cayennes than anything else.
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  #4  
Old 11-22-2011, 09:44 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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I agree to some extent, the steering is the weakest link in the otherwise very good driving dynamics of the Panamera. A bit like the Audi S4 that is also a very nice car but is let down by the steering ( and cheesy silver painted plastics around the instruments, yuck ). I test drove both the Panamera and the S4 while I was in a plain E60 xi loaner and it's steering blows away both the S4s and the Panamera's. However the F10 is IMO no better, actually slightly worse and the chassi of the Panamera is way more entertaining and planted even more so than the E60s, at least in xi non sports suspension setup.

Last edited by solstice; 11-22-2011 at 09:54 PM.
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  #5  
Old 11-23-2011, 03:49 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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I think when making the comparison of the steering one needs to keep in mind that the F10 has two different types of steering systems. The RWD has electric steering and the xDrive has hydralic steering. So, if one is comparing an AWD Panamera to the F10 one needs to compare the hydralic steering of the F10 xDrive to the steering of the AWD Panamera.
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
Isn't the panamera merely an Audi in disguise?.
Not in the least.
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  #7  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:19 AM
Heartsurg997 Heartsurg997 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
Isn't the panamera merely an Audi in disguise?.
No.
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  #8  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
I think when making the comparison of the steering one needs to keep in mind that the F10 has two different types of steering systems. The RWD has electric steering and the xDrive has hydralic steering. So, if one is comparing an AWD Panamera to the F10 one needs to compare the hydralic steering of the F10 xDrive to the steering of the AWD Panamera.
Drive the 2 F10s, let me know whether you really feel a difference
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  #9  
Old 11-23-2011, 04:43 AM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vhl71 View Post
I test drove the 2011 panamera 4 twice - for some reason the steering doesn't feel tight at al, for a sports car. It is quite soft like my passat. My cayenne has a much tigher steering compared to this.

My other choice is the 550 which feels quite good - you feel the connection between the steering and the road. I tried the sport mode on the panamera and it didn't make much difference to the steering

Is my observation correct?
I have found this to be an issue with big Porsches in general, not just Panamera. Even the Cayenne steering is not as tight as the steering in the Range Rover Sport Supercharged.
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  #10  
Old 11-23-2011, 05:25 AM
richschneid richschneid is offline
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Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
Drive the 2 F10s, let me know whether you really feel a difference
No, the real question is for YOU to drive the two F10s and let us know if you really don't feel a difference between the electric steering on the RWD and the hydralic steering on the xDrive. Many persons on this blog have criticized the electric steering. I have not read any criticisms of the hydralic steering on the xDrive.

I have had five V8 BMWs with hydralic steering and my F10's steering doesn't feel much different. The only BMW steering that I had much critcism of was the worm and gear steering on my E39 M5. The hydralic steering on my F10 xDrive is rack and pinion which in general is more enthusiast oriented. The reason the E39 M5 had to use worm and gear was because, as I read, the rack and pinion steering mechanism would not fit given the larger size of the engine compared to the 540i I had prior to the M5.

But the question at hand is the comparison of the AWD Panamera's steering compared to the steering on the AWD F10. In general, when attempting to compare A with C, first comparing A with B and then B with C and trying to use that information to compare A with C is fraught with multiple analytic difficulties which render the conclusions meaningless.

So, if we want to compare the steering on the Porsche AWD to the steering on the F10 AWD, just do that and leave the RWD F10 steering out of it. It makes no sense to do otherwise.
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Last edited by richschneid; 11-23-2011 at 05:38 AM.
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  #11  
Old 11-23-2011, 07:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
But the question at hand is the comparison of the AWD Panamera's steering compared to the steering on the AWD F10. In general, when attempting to compare A with C, first comparing A with B and then B with C and trying to use that information to compare A with C is fraught with multiple analytic difficulties which render the conclusions meaningless.
Not sure if the OP drove the 550i or 550xi as he didn't actually post that little detail and he didn't mention whether he drove a 2011 or 2012. So Vhl71 could help us out with these points.

I have driven A (550i), B (550xi), and C (Panamera 4). I found steering in A to be somewhat disappointing, it worked mind you, but coming from a 335d, A's steering reminded of my old Lincoln LS - a bit light and a bit vague at times. When I drove B, I found the steering to be nicely weighted, but still a bit numb compared to my 335d. I also drove C, which I found to have precise steering, but bit too light to give you that visceral feeling useless you were thrashing it (which the Porsche salesman did his best to prevent from doing). So my expereince and opinion is B > C > A. In the big picture, these differences are minor enough that they wouldn't have prevented from buying A, B, or C.

BTW, to those who mod their cars, my adding lightweight wheels and lighter non-RFT's has improved the responsiveness and made my steering feel more like C. BTW, it works very well while being thrashed. I've done the same mod to my 335d and it made the Gold standard even higher.
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  #12  
Old 11-23-2011, 09:01 AM
Vhl71 Vhl71 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Not sure if the OP drove the 550i or 550xi as he didn't actually post that little detail and he didn't mention whether he drove a 2011 or 2012. So Vhl71 could help us out with these points.

I have driven A (550i), B (550xi), and C (Panamera 4). I found steering in A to be somewhat disappointing, it worked mind you, but coming from a 335d, A's steering reminded of my old Lincoln LS - a bit light and a bit vague at times. When I drove B, I found the steering to be nicely weighted, but still a bit numb compared to my 335d. I also drove C, which I found to have precise steering, but bit too light to give you that visceral feeling useless you were thrashing it (which the Porsche salesman did his best to prevent from doing). So my expereince and opinion is B > C > A. In the big picture, these differences are minor enough that they wouldn't have prevented from buying A, B, or C.

BTW, to those who mod their cars, my adding lightweight wheels and lighter non-RFT's has improved the responsiveness and made my steering feel more like C. BTW, it works very well while being thrashed. I've done the same mod to my 335d and it made the Gold standard even higher.
I've test driven 2011 550 x drive and also the 2011 and 2012 535 x drive
Obviously I can feel the 550's power compared to the 535 while the steering is the same

I've driven the same panamera 4 again to reconfirm. I think the Porsche 's steering feels too light and doesn't feel like you're driving a sports car at all.

I liked both the 535 and 550 x drive.
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  #13  
Old 11-23-2011, 10:46 AM
Stealth8 Stealth8 is offline
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I thought that with the F10, the only model which has hydraulic steering is the M5. Does the 550xi also have HS? To me it makes no difference since I am in SoCal and have no need for the extra weight and other trade offs of xdrive.
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  #14  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:08 AM
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I thought that with the F10, the only model which has hydraulic steering is the M5. Does the 550xi also have HS? To me it makes no difference since I am in SoCal and have no need for the extra weight and other trade offs of xdrive.
All the xDrive models have hydraulic steering.

although, not sure about 2012 528xi.
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  #15  
Old 11-23-2011, 11:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Stealth8 View Post
I thought that with the F10, the only model which has hydraulic steering is the M5. Does the 550xi also have HS? To me it makes no difference since I am in SoCal and have no need for the extra weight and other trade offs of xdrive.
2011 xDrives had hydraulic steering. I'm not sure what the final word was on the 2012s.
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  #16  
Old 11-23-2011, 12:13 PM
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i am with dunderhi on steering feel
test drove A,B,C, and D/Panamera 4s/
D>B>C>A
Could not convince myself to get P4s/ with options i liked wasnorth of 100K/
Love steering feel on 550xi M
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by alex md View Post
i am with dunderhi on steering feel
test drove A,B,C, and D/Panamera 4s/
D>B>C>A
Could not convince myself to get P4s/ with options i liked wasnorth of 100K/
Love steering feel on 550xi M
Alex
+2

generally in terms of steering feel, I agree with dunderhi, however, if we consider handling - I might suggest - D>C>A>B, however, if we consider testing in less than ideal conditions - the wet - D>B>C>A - but if we consider overall performance - D>B>A>C than again if we were to think in terms of subjective driver satisfaction - D>A>B>C - which might be modified by wet conditions - D>B>C>A. Of course, if we were to evaluate performance in the context of higher elevations I suggest we might find A>B>D>C but in the wet in higher elevations B>D=A>C. Functionality - D>C>B>A. Comfort - A=B>D=C.
Luxury - D>B=A>C unless C is fully optioned and A and B are equipped with Extended Nappa and other "luxury choices" than C=B=A>D. Subjectively - "presence" from a non enthusiast perspective - D=C>B=A, but from an enthusiast's perspective - D>A=B>C. In terms of overall value B=A>D>C. In conclusion, overall price independent - D>A=B>C, price dependent A=B>D>C
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Old 11-23-2011, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Capobranco View Post
+2

generally in terms of steering feel, I agree with dunderhi, however, if we consider handling - I might suggest - D>C>A>B, however, if we consider testing in less than ideal conditions - the wet - D>B>C>A - but if we consider overall performance - D>B>A>C than again if we were to think in terms of subjective driver satisfaction - D>A>B>C - which might be modified by wet conditions - D>B>C>A. Of course, if we were to evaluate performance in the context of higher elevations I suggest we might find A>B>D>C but in the wet in higher elevations B>D=A>C. Functionality - D>C>B>A. Comfort - A=B>D=C.
Luxury - D>B=A>C unless C is fully optioned and A and B are equipped with Extended Nappa and other "luxury choices" than C=B=A>D. Subjectively - "presence" from a non enthusiast perspective - D=C>B=A, but from an enthusiast's perspective - D>A=B>C. In terms of overall value B=A>D>C. In conclusion, overall price independent - D>A=B>C, price dependent A=B>D>C
A^2+b^2 =c^2
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:01 PM
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A^2+b^2 =c^2
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Old 11-23-2011, 04:06 PM
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Judging from these posts it seems that the consensus is that the 550i xDrive has better steering than the Panamera 4, but not the 4S. I like the steering on my 550i xDrive. Given that the Panamera 4 and the 550i xDrive are about the same price and the 550 is a lot more performance it seems that the Bimmer is a lot more value for the money than the Porsche.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:50 PM
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A CA I've been talking to assures me that the 2012 F10 has electric steering in both the x and RWD versions.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:56 PM
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^^ That's true for 2012.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:59 PM
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If I'd realized how bad the electric assist steering the RWD 550 was I'd never have purchased it. I've driven both the F10 535 (AWD) and the (AWD) F10 550 and the comparison is night & day *with the RWD 550*. Driving the RWD 550 at speed feels unnatural at best, with zero feedback. Definitely not the way a BMW should feel
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Old 11-23-2011, 07:00 PM
bm323 bm323 is offline
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Originally Posted by richschneid View Post
No, the real question is for YOU to drive the two F10s and let us know if you really don't feel a difference between the electric steering on the RWD and the hydralic steering on the xDrive.
Unfortunately, I can't cos they don't do the F10X/no F10X test car here as far as I know. I know of some who have tested and they frankly said it is difficult to feel the difference. Possibly psychological

ps I take it that YOU have not test driven the 2

Last edited by bm323; 11-24-2011 at 01:44 AM.
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Old 11-23-2011, 08:06 PM
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A^2+b^2 =c^2

Ah, Pythagoras gets up my juice

..... .When I venture to put him to use

..... .For he's lauded, ---we cheer him

The dude made the theorem

That has legalized hy-pot-en-use.
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Last edited by Capobranco; 11-23-2011 at 08:25 PM.
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