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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 11-28-2011, 05:58 AM
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Leslierc Leslierc is offline
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What I did with time to kill the day following Thanksgiving.

So, I visited the nearby Porsche and Audi dealer. There has been so much written here regarding the Panamera and A6 cars that I decided to satisfy my curiosity. I did not take any test drives, but had a lot of uniterrupted time to examine both cars. The Panamera was a `10 Panamere S (there also was a 4, but I spent most of my time with the S version). The car struck me as a kind of riddle...it's a Porsche, so it's got that heritage...the overall lines of the car are fluid and very attractive, but it's big and unflattering in appearance from some angles. Nonetheless, it's an imposing car and it has presence. IMO the interior is where the Panamere wins accolades...and justifiably so...the cabin layout is very sophisticated and spacious. Passengers would be comfortable in all seats in the Panamera. I think anyone considering the Panamera would otherwise also be looking at the 7 Series, A8, and LS460. Why folks here want to compare it against the 5 Series is puzzling given the size of the Panamera. Regarding the A6, let me first say that I have owned Audis since 1984 and am an admirer of that brand's cars; however, in person, the new A6 doesn't appear to be much to write home about looks-wise when comparing it to the 5 Series. I found it interesting that the nearby BMW dealer (BMW of Silver Spring) had a 535i displayed with a roof rack holding 2 ///M road bikes and that the A6 was similarly displayed (bicycle roof rack) at the Audi dealership...the 5 Series in this comparison looked wayyyy sexier IMO. I actually had to get closer to the 5 Series just to make sure it wasn't a 7. And that's my point, looks-wise, the 5 has it all over the A6; in fact, instead of reminding me of an A8, the A6 appears to me to draw closer resemblance to the A4. Based on my observations, I can understand the comparisons between the 5 Series and the A6 and I can tell you that if I were deciding between those models it would easily be the BMW.
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Last edited by Leslierc; 11-28-2011 at 06:01 AM.
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2011, 07:55 AM
PsychDoc1 PsychDoc1 is offline
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I think most have conceded that the A6 is NOT a looker from the outside. While some have expressed the opinion that the F10 is a bit too conservative I think most agree that it is a very, very handsome car and that its looks will 'age' well. A further nit is the LED front running light treatment on the A6. It's trendy and quickly becoming generic to all brands and is in danger (already there?) of becoming played out and tacky. That said, however, the A6 excels in the engine department. There is no lag and the rest of the driving dynamics are very good. The steering loses to the F10 as it is way too light and lacks road feel. many have mocked the pop-up nav screen but I think it's rather clever and there's no getting away from the fact that the information displayed, screen resolution and routing are top notch...a clear win for the A6. The rest of the interior is well laid out and classy looking. Fit and finish is a step or two behind the F10, however and the front seats are not completely leather (just the "seating surfaces"). Most importantly, the front seats are very hard and uncomfortable, a (very) clear win for the F10. The 'premium' sound system of the F10 is also considerably better than the base sound system of the A6 which is significant because no one in their right mind is going to shell out $5900 for the upgraded B&O system. Both great cars but the F10 makes a considerably better "statement" while the A6 offers the better pure driver's experience. BTW everything I said about the A6 applies equally to the A7 except, of course, it's exterior looks.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:19 AM
swajames swajames is offline
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Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition. The understandable biases of ownership make it easier for us to find faults in competitor products, and of course make it easier for us to overlook the things about our own cars that we might wish were different. Provided you've done your homework up front, you'll settle on the right car for you. No one who has chosen an F10 or an A6 has chosen a bad car, they are both excellent - both just represent each manufacturers vision of the state of the art in the executive mid-size class, and both have got a pretty compelling story to tell. With the upgrades to the E Class for the new model year there has never been a better time to buy a car in this class - and, for me, there's never been a time when these three cars have been so competitive.
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Old 11-28-2011, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition. The understandable biases of ownership make it easier for us to find faults in competitor products, and of course make it easier for us to overlook the things about our own cars that we might wish were different. Provided you've done your homework up front, you'll settle on the right car for you. No one who has chosen an F10 or an A6 has chosen a bad car, they are both excellent - both just represent each manufacturers vision of the state of the art in the executive mid-size class, and both have got a pretty compelling story to tell. With the upgrades to the E Class for the new model year there has never been a better time to buy a car in this class - and, for me, there's never been a time when these three cars have been so competitive.
You nailed it 1000%.
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  #5  
Old 11-28-2011, 08:52 AM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition. The understandable biases of ownership make it easier for us to find faults in competitor products, and of course make it easier for us to overlook the things about our own cars that we might wish were different. Provided you've done your homework up front, you'll settle on the right car for you. No one who has chosen an F10 or an A6 has chosen a bad car, they are both excellent - both just represent each manufacturers vision of the state of the art in the executive mid-size class, and both have got a pretty compelling story to tell. With the upgrades to the E Class for the new model year there has never been a better time to buy a car in this class - and, for me, there's never been a time when these three cars have been so competitive.
Swajames you could not have said it better. I think right now the E-class, F10 and A6 are all great cars in their own right. Each car caters to a slightly different consumer (with some overlap) and ultimately I don't think that a consumer can go wrong with any one of those cars.
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  #6  
Old 11-28-2011, 09:00 AM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Swajames you could not have said it better. I think right now the E-class, F10 and A6 are all great cars in their own right.
I'll agree with that.

My experience with MB reliability and service would eliminate any MB, no matter if the car was heads and shoulders above the rest.
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition. The understandable biases of ownership make it easier for us to find faults in competitor products, and of course make it easier for us to overlook the things about our own cars that we might wish were different. Provided you've done your homework up front, you'll settle on the right car for you. No one who has chosen an F10 or an A6 has chosen a bad car, they are both excellent - both just represent each manufacturers vision of the state of the art in the executive mid-size class, and both have got a pretty compelling story to tell. With the upgrades to the E Class for the new model year there has never been a better time to buy a car in this class - and, for me, there's never been a time when these three cars have been so competitive.
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  #8  
Old 11-28-2011, 09:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition
Not always true. In fact, it was what the competition was offering that got me to switch over to Lexus from the Audi cars I had been driving, and then the same thing happened that got me to BMW. Yes, you're right that there is unprecedented competition and value for buyers in this class of cars. However, I believe it's that emotional attachment to cars that you spoke of that makes us compare things like the sexiness, power, longevity in our vehicles to those of the competitors. I think there's another factor at play too...we're never 100% satisfied with our cars. [That truism is clearly evident throughout the pages of this form!]
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Old 11-28-2011, 09:53 AM
Munich77 Munich77 is offline
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I'll agree with that.

My experience with MB reliability and service would eliminate any MB, no matter if the car was heads and shoulders above the rest.
That is ironic that you say that because for me it is exactly the opposite. By way of background my wife and I both have 2008s - an E350 4matic and an E60 535 xi. Compared to the N54 powered 535xi, the MB has been bullet proof (some minor things were replaced). Dealer service for BMW is not great and I do not trust them at all. At MB, the service is far better - heck they will even put in you a Mercedes loaner rather than a Hyundai!
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Old 11-28-2011, 10:06 AM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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That is ironic that you say that because for me it is exactly the opposite. By way of background my wife and I both have 2008s - an E350 4matic and an E60 535 xi. Compared to the N54 powered 535xi, the MB has been bullet proof (some minor things were replaced). Dealer service for BMW is not great and I do not trust them at all. At MB, the service is far better - heck they will even put in you a Mercedes loaner rather than a Hyundai!
My wife is in an R class, 2nd generation. I don' really want to type in all the things replaced, a number of them multiple times. Dealer says 'that's too bad, here's the bill' while my F10 (and past BMW's) have had zero problems. I did have bubbles on front tires, didn't have dealer/BMW tire/wheel insurance, but the dealer identified and replaced them through the tire manufacturers warranty on their own. Loaners? MB aged and dirty C class, BMW is model year current 5's or X5's, low mileage and spotless.

Both my wife and I shop dealers as much as cars, the only variable I have is the company. I suppose it's a roll of the dice no matter how much time you investigate, in my case for every day drivers BMW has been pretty much perfect.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:28 AM
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IMO the interior is where the Panamere wins accolades...and justifiably so...the cabin layout is very sophisticated and spacious. Passengers would be comfortable in all seats in the Panamera. I think anyone considering the Panamera would otherwise also be looking at the 7 Series, A8, and LS460. Why folks here want to compare it against the 5 Series is puzzling given the size of the Panamera.
I do like the front cockpit and layout of the Panamera, but that's where it ends. The rear seats in the Panamera are unusable for a drive longer than 1 hour. The seats are designed to hug you and make you sit in a upright position. This is fine around the Nurburgring, but it gets really old on a 5 hour journey to Vegas. Also the trunk is a joke and you basically have to fold the back seats down to have any real room which sort of makes it a 2 person car, or a hideous 911 hatchback.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:31 AM
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I do like the front cockpit and layout of the Panamera, but that's where it ends. The rear seats in the Panamera are unusable for a drive longer than 1 hour. The seats are designed to hug you and make you sit in a upright position. This is fine around the Nurburgring, but it gets really old on a 5 hour journey to Vegas. Also the trunk is a joke and you basically have to fold the back seats down to have any real room which sort of makes it a 2 person car, or a hideous 911 hatchback.
That being said, I like the looks of the 911 991 a lot.
More expensive than a 3 series, but a very nice car!

Just putting in my apples and pears in the fruit basket....
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:56 PM
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I'm curious to know if anyone has cross-shopped, and could offer their thoughts on a Jaguar XF? If ever there were a car that could turn me away from BMW, I think it would be one of the new Jags...
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:09 PM
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I'm curious to know if anyone has cross-shopped, and could offer their thoughts on a Jaguar XF? If ever there were a car that could turn me away from BMW, I think it would be one of the new Jags...
I would skip this current version. It's built on a Ford platform that is over 10 years old. You think Bimmers need lots of maintenance, you aint seen nothin yet. bankrupt more times than Brad and Angelina have kids, sold to Ford, sold to Tata. Reliability history of a Windows beta OS. However, like most Jags, I do like the styling. Check out this article:

How To Tow A Jaguar Equipped With An Electronic Shift Lever
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:15 PM
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I would skip this current version. It's built on a Ford platform that is over 10 years old. You think Bimmers need lots of maintenance, you aint seen nothin yet. bankrupt more times than Brad and Angelina have kids, sold to Ford, sold to Tata. Reliability history of a Windows beta OS. However, like most Jags, I do like the styling. Check out this article:

How To Tow A Jaguar Equipped With An Electronic Shift Lever
It is a very nice car, but imdeed a maintenance disaster brand.
Something for a true lover and with a toolshed and two right hands.
The jags don't (nor the Range Rovers) come close to the quality of the three German carmakers.

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Old 11-28-2011, 04:27 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Originally Posted by swajames View Post
Once any of us have thrown down what is after all a significant amount of money on something like a car (where there is some level of emotional attachment in addition to the financial commitment) it's going to very hard for any of us to be truly objective about the competition. The understandable biases of ownership make it easier for us to find faults in competitor products, and of course make it easier for us to overlook the things about our own cars that we might wish were different. Provided you've done your homework up front, you'll settle on the right car for you. No one who has chosen an F10 or an A6 has chosen a bad car, they are both excellent - both just represent each manufacturers vision of the state of the art in the executive mid-size class, and both have got a pretty compelling story to tell. With the upgrades to the E Class for the new model year there has never been a better time to buy a car in this class - and, for me, there's never been a time when these three cars have been so competitive.
I don't think both represent each manufacturer's vision of the state of the art. The BMW does.

The A6 has very obvious evidence of being designed to meet a lower production cost than the BMW. The cost cutting is striking. The A6 is more like designed to be the best car Audi could build to meet a price goal $5k below BMWs.
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Old 11-28-2011, 05:11 PM
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I don't think both represent each manufacturer's vision of the state of the art. The BMW does.

The A6 has very obvious evidence of being designed to meet a lower production cost than the BMW. The cost cutting is striking. The A6 is more like designed to be the best car Audi could build to meet a price goal $5k below BMWs.
The weird thing is that a lot of A6 content that is available across the pond doesn't make it here.

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Old 11-28-2013, 07:26 PM
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Old 11-28-2013, 07:42 PM
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Old 11-28-2013, 08:57 PM
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