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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 12-21-2011, 07:31 PM
jones99 jones99 is offline
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Comparison of old 5 series to new 5 series

I have had my new 2012 535xi for about 750 miles and thought I would provide some details on my initial thoughts. My previous ride was a 2008 535i.

Overall, I really like the new car. But, in my opinion, it is much less of an ultimate driving machine than the E60. The steering feels very light - definitely a huge step back from the direct road communication of all prior BMWs that I have owned (5 in total). The power from this new engine feels less than my 2008. It may be that the new car is always taching lower than the old - in comfort mode. When I switch to sport mode the tachometer goes up, and so does the responsiveness - but I feel that it is too high in this mode - at least compared to the 2008 5 series. I guess I feel that if I drive around in sport mode the entire time, it will really affect my gas mileage. I will admit that I haven't really pushed the new car too much, so maybe my impression will change after the breakin period.

The doors on the new 5 series are terrible. I have read this complaint, and believe me it is real. The E60 had solid doors that easily closed. With the new car, I am constantly re-opening a partially closed door to slam it securely shut. Now that I am used to how they work, it is getting better. But this definitely not a step forward.

Despite these issues, I do like the car. I really like the updated interior and all the new technology. I love the new iDrive and even the new navigation. I know that BMW nav gets a bum wrap, but I have used it extensively over many years and it does the job for me. So, I view the new version as a signficant upgrade - albeit the confounding switch from NavTeq to Tele Atlas.

I also think that the F10 looks much better than the E60. Others I have spoken with agree. And pictures don't do this car justice. In person, it is just really stunning.

So, I am happy with my purchase. If only they could have kept the handling dynamics of the old car - now that would be the ultimate driving machine.

For now, that is my 2 cents.
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  #2  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:42 PM
Gruntion Gruntion is offline
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The doors on the new 5 series are terrible. I have read this complaint, and believe me it is real. The E60 had solid doors that easily closed. With the new car, I am constantly re-opening a partially closed door to slam it securely shut. Now that I am used to how they work, it is getting better. But this definitely not a step forward.

+1

The doors have to be slammed hard on the 2012 and i can't help but think it's going to cause I problem down the line? Seems like the car was designed to have automatic soft close doors. Should have come standard.
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  #3  
Old 12-21-2011, 08:44 PM
yogi799 yogi799 is offline
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I wish I had that option (soft-close) available on our Canadian 535i... it would have been really tempting. But I didn't. Took me 2 months to get used to the doors. Now I don't notice it any more.
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  #4  
Old 12-21-2011, 10:41 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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You mention the steering but what do you think about the supension? I also had a 2008 E60 before a 2011 F10 and found the suspension with the dynamic handling package to be a major downgrade compared to an E60 with Sports package. One commenter who has a 2011 like mine test drove a 2012 with sports package and no ars and thought it was tighter than his 2011 F10 with ZDH. Do you have the sports package on your 2012?
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  #5  
Old 12-22-2011, 02:55 AM
jones99 jones99 is offline
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I do have the sport package on my 2012. I also had it on the 2008. I think that I haven't pushed the new car enough to notice. However, I will say that the comfort and comfort+ settings feel more like a luxury car - not a sports sedan. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.

As I mentioned in my initial post, I am struggling with the proper setting to use. There are times when I think that comfort is similar to the standard mode of the E60 - but then the poor throttle response makes me feel that perhaps sport is more comparable. I would be interested to hear what others think that have driven both cars.

One other really positive thing about the F10. The homelink garage door openers have a much, much longer range and work more consistently. On my E60 I would sometimes park in front of my garage door and repeatedly press the button until the door would open. On the F10, I can press it as I approach my driveway and the door opens. Sometimes, it is the small things....
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  #6  
Old 12-22-2011, 03:37 AM
bm323 bm323 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jones99 View Post
I do have the sport package on my 2012. I also had it on the 2008. I think that I haven't pushed the new car enough to notice. However, I will say that the comfort and comfort+ settings feel more like a luxury car - not a sports sedan. I'm not sure if that is good or bad.
Sorry mate, a review of the F10 is proper only when sport mode is used extensively. Can you not adjust the sport mode to chassis only? I'm not familiar with your option.

The F10 is sportier the faster it goes. Drive it at 200 kmph (which I did today) in sport mode and tell me whether its the ultimate driving machine for its class

Last edited by bm323; 12-22-2011 at 03:41 AM.
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  #7  
Old 12-22-2011, 04:20 AM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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Sport Mode and Sport + change the handling attributes of the new F10 significantly. It is difficult to evaluate the car in normal mode. I personally like the different settings as you can have a comfortable ride if you want to or an aggressive one. And I agree, the faster you go, the more you appreciate the car's attributes.
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  #8  
Old 12-22-2011, 04:44 AM
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jzcrna jzcrna is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jones99 View Post
I also think that the F10 looks much better than the E60. Others I have spoken with agree. And pictures don't do this car justice. In person, it is just really stunning.

So, I am happy with my purchase. If only they could have kept the handling dynamics of the old car - now that would be the ultimate driving machine.

For now, that is my 2 cents.

You are right. Im staying in South Florida on vacation and have seen tons of 5 series in person. It looks waaay better in person. Not that it looks bad in the pictures, but It has a commanding presence on the road. Love the white angel eyes and tail lights are put together well. M sport looks fantastic as well.
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  #9  
Old 12-23-2011, 02:18 PM
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My 2008 528 (E60 ) was nimble,shifted smoothly and did not have RFT's.
My 2011 528i has a transmission that lurches off the line-forget smooth starts.The RFT's are rock hard and noisy, plus two have failed (they are 17's). In city traffic it is as nimble as a bus!

Loved my E60 .The F-10 may be my last BMW!!
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  #10  
Old 12-23-2011, 02:43 PM
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markl53 markl53 is offline
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Just don't understand why some people have trouble with the doors. I didn't own an E60, but had 2 other BMW's, and dozen+ other cars. I just push the door shut and it closes on the first try. And I don't slam it. I wonder how you all close your doors.
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  #11  
Old 12-23-2011, 03:59 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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Change the tires. I am running Michelin Pilot Super Sports on my 550i, and that combined with the Dynamic Handling Sport setting and the IAS, is delivering gob-smacking handling. I was driving down a twisty country road today at 80mph and it was very reminiscent of driving the F10 M5 in the mountains of Andalucia.

In my opinion my car, as it is currently setup eclipses any E60 550i.
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  #12  
Old 12-25-2011, 09:59 AM
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  #13  
Old 12-25-2011, 11:40 AM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alandf View Post
My 2008 528 (E60 ) was nimble,shifted smoothly and did not have RFT's.
My 2011 528i has a transmission that lurches off the line-forget smooth starts.The RFT's are rock hard and noisy, plus two have failed (they are 17's). In city traffic it is as nimble as a bus!

Loved my E60 .The F-10 may be my last BMW!!
I can't speak for the 528 but the 2012 535 xi M Sport with Adjustable dampers is outstanding. I think it handles great, I don't have the lurching off the line and as it gets more kms on it, it seems to get smoother and smoother. I have about 700 kms now and it was warm enough today to have the stop start function working. I think that function is fine too. The other thing I find surprising is the power. Maybe its the way my car has been broken in, but it has great take up when you step on it. On WOT it really goes. For me, its all the power I'm going to use in this, relatively big, car. The other surprising thing is the RFTs. I have a 2007 with RFTs and these are great. I haven't bottomed out yet.
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  #14  
Old 12-25-2011, 11:48 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Great review. Thanks for sharing your thoughts
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  #15  
Old 12-25-2011, 02:16 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gruntion View Post
The doors on the new 5 series are terrible. I have read this complaint, and believe me it is real. The E60 had solid doors that easily closed. With the new car, I am constantly re-opening a partially closed door to slam it securely shut. Now that I am used to how they work, it is getting better. But this definitely not a step forward.

+1

The doors have to be slammed hard on the 2012 and i can't help but think it's going to cause I problem down the line? Seems like the car was designed to have automatic soft close doors. Should have come standard.
The reason the doors are hard to close is because of how air tight the car is. Same thing happens in the current E90's as well. Crack a window and watch how easily the door shuts.....
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  #16  
Old 12-25-2011, 04:43 PM
Gruntion Gruntion is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
The reason the doors are hard to close is because of how air tight the car is. Same thing happens in the current E90's as well. Crack a window and watch how easily the door shuts.....
Interesting Needsdecaf

Never thought about that. Gonna try it tomorrow.
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  #17  
Old 12-25-2011, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PeterC4 View Post
I can't speak for the 528 but the 2012 535 xi M Sport with Adjustable dampers is outstanding. I think it handles great, I don't have the lurching off the line and as it gets more kms on it, it seems to get smoother and smoother. I have about 700 kms now and it was warm enough today to have the stop start function working. I think that function is fine too. The other thing I find surprising is the power. Maybe its the way my car has been broken in, but it has great take up when you step on it. On WOT it really goes. For me, its all the power I'm going to use in this, relatively big, car. The other surprising thing is the RFTs. I have a 2007 with RFTs and these are great. I haven't bottomed out yet.
My thoughts exactly. My 2012 535 with M-Sport is the best vehicle I've ever had, hands down. And I've had my share of Porsche's, MB's, Audi's and BMW's in the past.

The engine response is an ode to joy, just how easily it pulls and keeps going and going and...

The adjustable dampers and steering and throttle response in COMFORT+, COMFORT AND SPORT really make for 3 very different and unique vehicle dynamics.

And the look of the M-Sport is just beautiful.

Quite an extraordinary vehicle.
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  #18  
Old 12-25-2011, 05:18 PM
tadtaggert tadtaggert is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
The reason the doors are hard to close is because of how air tight the car is. Same thing happens in the current E90's as well. Crack a window and watch how easily the door shuts.....
Maybe that, in part.

Everyone complains about the weight of the F10's, well the doors are predominantly aluminum for weight savings. Push one, less mass, less momentum. Moment of impact has less force, just poorly matched to the latching mechanisms, or probably more correctly people just aren't used to them.
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  #19  
Old 12-25-2011, 05:21 PM
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azray7 azray7 is offline
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Needsdecaf is spot on. I just read this post and had to try shutting the door with the window down...closes much easier, but I agree Soft Close doors should be standard along with the rear window shade.

I live in a warmer climate and the auto start/stop works frequently. I totally get it saves gas, but I can't help but wonder if this feature will end up costing me much more money in maintenance. This has got to be hard on the ignition system.
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Last edited by azray7; 12-25-2011 at 05:23 PM.
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  #20  
Old 12-25-2011, 05:27 PM
PeterC4 PeterC4 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azray7 View Post
Needsdecaf is spot on. I just read this post and had to try shutting the door with the window down...closes much easier, but I agree Soft Close doors should be standard along with the rear window shade.

I live in a warmer climate and the auto start/stop works frequently. I totally get it saves gas, but I can't help but wonder if this feature will end up costing me much more money in maintenance. This has got to be hard on the ignition system.
I think it's just as hard, or harder, on the battery. We'll see.
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  #21  
Old 02-11-2012, 05:48 PM
silberma silberma is offline
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The auto restart is also much harder on the starter. You may get better in town gas mileage but I wonder if the saving will be wiped out with faster battery and starter replacements.
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Old 02-11-2012, 06:43 PM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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Originally Posted by silberma View Post
The auto restart is also much harder on the starter. You may get better in town gas mileage but I wonder if the saving will be wiped out with faster battery and starter replacements.
My thoughts too. It doesn't seem like a very good idea even tho it's been out for a while now. Wouldn't there be a huge delay when starting back up? It makes more sense in LA traffic though. Kinda. Would work better with a hybrid.
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  #23  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:05 PM
sack-o-taters sack-o-taters is offline
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Auto Start/Stop is designed to save gas & reduce emissions, not reduce total cost of ownership. They aren't the same thing.
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  #24  
Old 02-11-2012, 07:08 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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I agree that, subjectively speaking, the F10 is better looking inside and out. A terrific looking car. It does, though, in my opinion drive more luxuriously than the E60. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it feels a bit less connected to the road - a bit more numb. Not nearly as numb as an Audi or Merc, but it is noticeable. That said, if I had a choice of a brand new E60 vs. an equivalently-powered F10, I'd go for the F10. It's a more refined car to drive, and looks more "current". If no-one was looking and it was just me on the road, I might be tempted to go with a late model E60. But I'm biased, of course...
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Old 02-11-2012, 07:12 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by azray7 View Post
Needsdecaf is spot on. I just read this post and had to try shutting the door with the window down...closes much easier, but I agree Soft Close doors should be standard along with the rear window shade.

I live in a warmer climate and the auto start/stop works frequently. I totally get it saves gas, but I can't help but wonder if this feature will end up costing me much more money in maintenance. This has got to be hard on the ignition system.
I (unfortunately) have soft close doors on my E60 and am totally convinced it is THE most pointless feature ever designed into a car. Every time I see the doors in action, I think "I could've done that" (close them, that is), followed by "I wonder how much it'll cost to replace one of those motors when they (inevitably) break." You did well, IMHO, to not opt for soft close doors.

The stop/start feature would drive me up the wall, though. I understand the emissions argument - it does make environmental sense, I suppose - but I couldn't live comfortably with the engine stopping/starting like that.

Last edited by nhs156; 02-11-2012 at 07:14 PM.
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