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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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  #51  
Old 12-18-2011, 12:29 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I don't know. I think there is a signaling effect. I can comfortably afford it, but to me owning cars like that is sending the wrong message to my community, and especially my clients.

Sometimes winning is not wasting money you have worked hard for. Warren Buffet drives a Lincoln Town Car.
Warren is voting with his wallet. Some folks just aren't into cars. To look at another example, Richard Branson makes a point of always choosing to fly coach. Sure, it sends a message, but at the end of the day you still know that he's the guy who wrote the check to buy the plane he's flying in... Some of these gestures are somewhat hollow when you peel away the onion. As to Warren (and Sir Richard) I am sure they both have and enjoy a number of things that the average person doesn't own and couldn't afford.

For me, life is too short to drive a mediocre car. We all pay our money and we all take our choice. And yes, I can afford a Town Car too!
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Last edited by swajames; 12-18-2011 at 12:31 PM.
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  #52  
Old 12-18-2011, 12:32 PM
sdg1871 sdg1871 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I don't know. I think there is a signaling effect. I can comfortably afford it, but to me owning cars like that is sending the wrong message to my community, and especially my clients.

Sometimes winning is not wasting money you have worked hard for. Warren Buffet drives a Lincoln Town Car.
If I could afford a Panny Turbo S I would buy one. But I live in Manhattan and am apartment poor.
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  #53  
Old 12-18-2011, 02:19 PM
Gruntion Gruntion is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JT 550i SD View Post
UGLY interior...the whole dash looks like a mish-mash of pieces from the parts bin, no design integration

very opposite or F10 fully integrated thoughtful design IMHO..
Agreed!

Look at all those buttons and dials! Where are you going, to Walmart or the Moon???
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  #54  
Old 12-18-2011, 02:41 PM
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mgcyr mgcyr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I would also include the Jaguar XFR. The XFR prices out similar to 550i but it totally eclipses the 550i in terms of performance. It is an amazing car, much faster than E60 M5 and almost as good as the F10 M5.

However it doesn't have all the gadgets - HUD, top view cameras, 10.5" nav screen, etc.
Just read up on the XFR a bit. Sweet car.
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  #55  
Old 12-18-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
No you don't. If you have Turbo money you really don't care what you can get an F10 for. It's not on the list, and would never have made the cut. A BMW may be cheaper, but you're buying a less well engineered car from a less prestigious brand. It's priced accordingly, it's a great car and it's much better value for money, but it's lower down the automotive food chain. Anyone with the wherewithal to buy say a Ferrari 458 couldn't give a **** that a GT-R may be faster for less - it's well worth the premium to them, and they are the ones writing the check. Sometimes you don't even have to leave the garage to win
I do have Turbo money, but I don't waste my Turbo money on a Turbo unless it provides something that that makes it worth Turbo money. I cross-shoped a myriad of performance sedans and my final three were the Panny T, Alpina B7x, and a modded 550xi. Even before my upcoming Dinan suspension mod, my car already handles heads and shoulders above stock. So YES, the stock 550xi wasn't good enough to compete with the other two, but I bought it with modding in mind. And YES the 550xi was seen by my peers as a step down from my previous car. Who cares? I bought the car that gives me the performance and tech that I want (i.e. NightVision & HUD) and the $68k I saved will help trim another two years off my 15yr mortgage. This makes Mrs. Dunderhi very happy.

I do agree on the 458 vs GT-R, but the 458 is worth the premium, while the Panny isn't in my book. The 911 has a certain "Porsche-ness" that the Panny and the Cayenne just don't seem to possess. I guess they haven't reached icon status to merit the Porsche premium.

I also agree that the CTS-V is a very good competitor and does have a nice cost advantage in this category. Unfortunately, the Caddy's interior and seating position just don't synch well with my body. So yes, someone has cross-shopped the CTS-V and the Panny T. Oh, the Caddy's exterior styling makes the Panny look good.

As a side note, MBUSA puts th E550 4matic at 0-60 in 5.3 secs, while BMWUSA puts the 550xi at 0-60 in 4.7secs. The MB looks to be geared toward fuel efficiency, but it sounds like we need to set up a track day anyway.
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  #56  
Old 12-18-2011, 04:59 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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I think that pretty much sums it up. We all pay our money and we all make our choices. Whether these represent value is, as always, a personal and subjective assessment. That said, I think that we can all agree that the level of performance from any of these cars is astonishing. It wasn't all that long ago that anything much under 5 seconds from the stoplight was considered to be the preserve of the exotica. As I've posted before, this is a very good time to be in the market for an über sedan.
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  #57  
Old 12-18-2011, 05:04 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
I think that pretty much sums it up. We all pay our money and we all make our choices. Whether these represent value is, as always, a personal and subjective assessment. That said, I think that we can all agree that the level of performance from any of these cars is astonishing. It wasn't all that long ago that anything much under 5 seconds from the stoplight was considered to be the preserve of the exotica. As I've posted before, this is a very good time to be in the market for an über sedan.
Yep. We can all agree on that.
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  #58  
Old 12-18-2011, 05:33 PM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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The Panamera

I drove a Panamera S recently. It's a good car and the handling is outstanding. It's really not about the power. It's fast enough, but marginally faster with launch control enabled than a 535 to 60. And the 550i I drove would certainly leave it behind at 60 mph. Moreover, launch control feels like a brutal strain on the drivetrain for anyone who's used it. Basically, mash the pedal, get to 6,000 rpm and let go of the brake and hope it hangs together.

I just can't get into driving that big a car in a very spirited way - even a BMW for that matter. So to me the Panamera is just not worth it. Brand cache, sure. Take it out to the track and have fun? No thanks. Do I want to experience good handling and road feel? For sure. And this is where the 5 series really shines. At highway speeds all of the basic 5 series models have that wonderful autobahn ready feel and with the sport packages you can get to 155 mph or so if you can find a road to drive on. As noted, value for money is a personal assessment, but sometimes the overall value proposition just doesn't make sense. I think BMW has a decent value for money proposition and that's what wins them customers.
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  #59  
Old 12-18-2011, 06:17 PM
bm323 bm323 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sdg1871 View Post
Swajames is right on about discouraging talk of street races in these forums. I don't know why you think he is bashing the F10. The E550 in its latest iteration is a competitor to the BMW 550i as is the Audi A6 and the Infiniti M56.
Read my post, my point was not whether he is right or wrong about discouraging talk of street races. Dig it?

The issue is not who the competitors are, it's the pot shots. So if you think he is right on the performance of the cars, you shouldn't have bought the 550 i X. Big mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
To answer the question in the OP, the 550 broadly compares with:
  • MB E550 (which for 2012 has much more power and torque, and will likely be quicker)
  • A6 3.0T (something of an enigma in that it competes with both the 535 and 550, it sits between in terms of speed and power but has both beat in handling and for me interior quality)
  • M56 - great engine, both the chassis and the brand need work
  • CTS-V - great engine, great chassis, but the brand needs work
ps missed out the other competitor Lexus GS 350 F Sport; and for a few on the board, Porsche Carrera and M3s are also competitors.

pps in case you think the GS 350 is not a competitor, even the 535i is a competitor as there are some who do ponder over which to buy

Last edited by bm323; 12-18-2011 at 06:38 PM.
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  #60  
Old 12-18-2011, 06:40 PM
sdg1871 sdg1871 is offline
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Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
Read my post, my point was not whether he is right or wrong about discouraging talk of street races. Dig it?

The issue is not who the competitors are, it's the pot shots. So if you think he is right on the performance of the cars, you shouldn't have bought the 550 i X. Big mistake.
Thanks for the car buying advice. I really needed it. I am a loyal BMW buyer and the looks of the M Sport 550i xDrive combined with the killer acceleration of the Dinan Stage 2 tune were more than enough to get me to buy the car.

But I am not so much of a blinded fanboy not to see the car's flaws. The huge weight gain from E60 to F10 was a huge error by BMW and has led to car mags reporting that some of its competitors (such as the M56 that numerous posters here malign) handle better. Gents, it is always been handling prowess that's separated BMW from its competitors. Now, no more with the 5 Series.
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  #61  
Old 12-18-2011, 06:47 PM
bm323 bm323 is offline
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Originally Posted by sdg1871 View Post
Thanks for the car buying advice. I really needed it. I am a loyal BMW buyer and the looks of the M Sport 550i xDrive combined with the killer acceleration of the Dinan Stage 2 tune were more than enough to get me to buy the car.

But I am not so much of a blinded fanboy not to see the car's flaws. The huge weight gain from E60 to F10 was a huge error by BMW and has led to car mags reporting that some of its competitors (such as the M56 that numerous posters here malign) handle better. Gents, it is always been handling prowess that's separated BMW from its competitors. Now, no more with the 5 Series.
One more advice (yes, I know you were being satirical) if you persist in purchasing the 550i X despite it being the worst of the cars in terms of handling Change the springs to ACS or tighter ones, and let us know how it handles

Last edited by bm323; 12-18-2011 at 06:52 PM.
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  #62  
Old 12-18-2011, 07:07 PM
sdg1871 sdg1871 is offline
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Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
One more advice (yes, I know you were being satirical) if you persist in purchasing the 550i X despite it being the worst of the cars in terms of handling Change the springs to ACS or tighter ones, and let us know how it handles
Thanks for the advice on the springs. I was also thinking about the Dinan suspension but I think the $3.5k on the Dinan Stage 2 tune is enough spending on mods for a leased car.
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  #63  
Old 12-19-2011, 07:47 PM
2patron 2patron is offline
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Come on, we all know from our many discussions in this forum that the Panamera S is the only worthy competitor.
I agree 100%
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  #64  
Old 12-21-2011, 06:59 PM
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mgcyr mgcyr is offline
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Just checked out an XFR. I didn't get to drive it because we had freezing rain here today. It is a beautiful car though. Really, really nice.
Infotainment really lags though. Very slow. Almost painful.
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  #65  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:06 PM
smashhell smashhell is offline
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Originally Posted by mgcyr View Post
Just checked out an XFR. I didn't get to drive it because we had freezing rain here today. It is a beautiful car though. Really, really nice.
Infotainment really lags though. Very slow. Almost painful.
Yeah I thought about the Jag too.

The problem with them though is that they have horrible reliability. Them and range Rover are about the worst companies in terms of reliability.
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  #66  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:10 PM
sdg1871 sdg1871 is offline
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Yeah I thought about the Jag too.

The problem with them though is that they have horrible reliability. Them and range Rover are about the worst companies in terms of reliability.
Ditto.
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  #67  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:14 PM
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Yeah I thought about the Jag too.

The problem with them though is that they have horrible reliability. Them and range Rover are about the worst companies in terms of reliability.
Yeah. I've read that. All things considered, it's not a likely choice for me. Really nice to look at though.
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  #68  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:33 PM
bobblehead bobblehead is offline
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^ Are you considering the Porsche Panamera S or S4 ?
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  #69  
Old 12-21-2011, 07:35 PM
swajames swajames is offline
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Jaguar's reliability is much improved. It's only one data point but the brand placed third on the 2011 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study. This is not the 90-day IQS which is more prone to fluke results, this is the primary JD Power survey which reports on the reliability over three full years (so the 2011 results will be for 2008/2009 cars). Jaguar placed third, with very few faults per 100 vehicles compared to most of its competitors.

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  #70  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:03 PM
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^ Are you considering the Porsche Panamera S or S4 ?
Not really. I drove the S4 and found it kind of small inside. I'm not sure I'm a Porsche guy. Pans era is funny looking to me.
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  #71  
Old 12-24-2011, 09:51 PM
Wdgreene Wdgreene is offline
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The jag xf line really does compete well in some ways. Believe it or not though, you have to go xfr to compare to a stock 550i. The base or supercharged don't compare favorably. Pre 12 the electronics had other issues, the nav and screen is even worse than a Porsche, and you need to like the turn switch for the transmission. But.. It's beautiful outside. Not bigger inside, and that should say something .... The back seat was tighter.

The panamera was actually really nice, fully loaded. But, well, for me the only turbo is the 911. I'll say this though ... It feels faster in the s than a stock 550. The backseat is bigger. The interior is personal preference, but I was actually amazed how much sedan Porsche had. And the v8s Porsche has sound a LOT better.... Can't compare driving experiences though. Porsche is a driving experience and the BMW is a luxury experience to me. I've never driven a BMW that made me say "wow this thing feels more sporty than my 997tt"...

I cross shopped the 3 series vs the 5 too ... Interiors aren't that much different in size. I looked at the m3 sedan, but again, same as the panamera. It really wasn't interesting to me and I didn't feel great about the drive..

The MB was interesting actually and IMO probably, right now, a superior car. I veered away due to brand believe it or not. The e550 has a great and spacious interior and the engine is excellent, it handles better, etc. for what I wanted (I'll be brutal, a luxury sedan with a sporty edge) it would have worked nicely. It certainly worked better as a sedan space wise.

If I was patient, the tesla would have ripped the doors off the 550i in my shopping. I know, not on the list yet, but it has more space, the range is adequate, the price is ok, and the performance is going to compare to the fastest modified 550i straight line. I guess I should mention that none of the cars I tested are bested by BMW in handling or driving "fun"...

The infinity m56 ... I'll dodge personal statements and just say it handles and it's got an engine. I just didn't like the car. Plus, it's hard to find an m56 around me, and the other m cars are crap vs BMW in any way.

The Audi line ... I looked at them. Small cars until you hit the 7, and pre 12, personally ... I hate the interior. I don't dig the nav rising up on the dash look they have. The engines in the non s line are too flimsy to compare to the 550 and this isn't a good match. They did all drive "better.."

I tried a 7 series, but when I sat inside and looked out I felt my testicals shrinking and the feel of a stake going through my heart. Beautiful drive, great car, but too much for me to handle.

At the end my search narrowed to three cars: 550, xfr, and e550. I'm happy with what I chose, it's a wonderful drive, I still have fun, and I can fit my family without being insanely creative. My wife can actually ride in the car when I have a car seat in the back....

Last edited by Wdgreene; 12-24-2011 at 09:52 PM.
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  #72  
Old 12-25-2011, 10:49 AM
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I think if you are into driving and don't care for the gadgets, the Jaguar XFR is the best car you can get for loaded 550i money. I thought about buying the XFR, but at the end of the day, the gadgets were also very important to me. Also I couldn't figure out any clean way to mount laser jammers on that massive Jaguar grille.
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  #73  
Old 12-25-2011, 11:53 AM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I think if you are into driving and don't care for the gadgets, the Jaguar XFR is the best car you can get for loaded 550i money. I thought about buying the XFR, but at the end of the day, the gadgets were also very important to me. Also I couldn't figure out any clean way to mount laser jammers on that massive Jaguar grille.
I'd have to add a qualifier for that, size. If you're willing to go a bit smaller then the M3 and while people don't like the brand, the CTS-V are clearly superior driving cars. And for the same cost of a loaded 550 you can get a tuned CTS-V at 700HP.

Size was one of my top priorities, and that puts the 550/XFR in the lead.
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  #74  
Old 12-25-2011, 11:54 AM
MikeTz MikeTz is offline
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Thoughts on My Next Car

I have been a BMW 540/550 guy for over a decade and have just driven the new 550i. I loved my E39, my E60 I loved less because of its terrible automatic transmission personality, and the new 550 didn't really excite me too much (turbo throttle lag, more isolation from the road?).

I tried the Infinity M56 and it left me wanting. Needlessly stiff ride, plasticky controls, and overly agressive driver "helper" controls. The Jaguar was nice but I would like to see at least a couple years of good reliability data.

Another frustration point with BMW is their attitude. Like I should be honored they let me buy one of their cars. We don't get that at Lexus. The four year maintenance was a good concept but in practice if the computer doesn't produce a code you aint getting warranty service and the computer rarely thinks anything is amiss. So when your transmission bucks when stopping, or hesitates between gears everything is "fine" and no service will be done (no computer code produced). Consumers speak with their wallets and my relationship with the dealership has a bearing on what company's car I will buy next.

I never owned an Audi but recently drove an A7. It was surprisingly (to me) very competitive with the BMW 550. A little less room but the same vroom. It has excellent road manners, very good acceleration (lots of low end torque), and the interior is quite nice. There are some new quirks that a BMW ownwer would need to get used to (like good responsive customer service) but this is a car I would be happy to drive.

If BMW would pay more attention to their owners and get back to more direct driver to throttle designs (a lot less computer personality decisions versus driver decisions) this would be a no-brainer and I would be buying my third 5 series. But alas that is not the world we live in. There really is no compelling drive trait that would stop me from considering that Audi A7. A shame.
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  #75  
Old 12-25-2011, 12:02 PM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Another frustration point with BMW is their attitude. Like I should be honored they let me buy one of their cars. We don't get that at Lexus. The four year maintenance was a good concept but in practice if the computer doesn't produce a code you aint getting warranty service and the computer rarely thinks anything is amiss. So when your transmission bucks when stopping, or hesitates between gears everything is "fine" and no service will be done (no computer code produced). Consumers speak with their wallets and my relationship with the dealership has a bearing on what company's car I will buy next.
I totally agree with shopping with your wallet, but realize that not all dealers are equal. Upon moving to Ohio 12 yrs. ago, first BMW was with a different dealer, many experiences similar to what you describe. Moved to a different dealer and it made all the difference in the world.

If you don't have that option though, I'd agree and send the message.
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