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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 05-10-2012, 03:12 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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128i vs 550i

OK, at the risk of getting flamed, I have to tell my story and share my opinion - as unpopular as it'll be.

I recently had my E60 M5 serviced - twice within a couple of weeks. Nothing major, just an oil change and a couple of minor fixes under warranty. Anyhow, on the first occassion I was given a 128i as a loaner; on the second, a F10 550i.

And it's got to be said: I loved the 128i! It was a visceral experience - it drove like the E36 3 series, and felt about the same size. Engine was perfectly matched. Sure, the car was a bit unrefined; a bit raw. But it was fun, with a capital F. Went out for drives in the evenings, jsut to experience it "one more time", and it brought a smile to my face for the couple of days that I drove it.

Second time around, I got the 550i. Was looking forward to it - seriously considered one before getting the M5: I think it looks better than the E60, and would of course represent a lower cost of ownership experience. But man, I am so incredibly disappointed now that I've driven it for two days. Yes, the tires suck (noisy, harsh etc.), but they could be replaced. The standard suspension set up is wallowy beyond belief. But most of all, it is a mindnumbingly dull driving experience. I haven't driven an Infiniti or Lexus of late, but would imagine the 5 handles/drives like one of these. It's just boring. Totally lacking in any visceral feel whatsoever. I'm probably most disappointed by the engine and exhaust note - the car is quiet. Very quiet. Prius quiet. I am so incredibly unimpressed. I was expecting more from BMW.

I will say that the 535i I test drove a while back was more fun - perhaps it featured the upgraded suspension. It also made more "noise". I could actually hear the engine and exhaust.

So in a nutshell I loved the 128i (drives like a real BMW) and close-to-hated the 550i. This is not what I was expecting. I hope I don't offend any 550i owners - I was nearly one of you. If I lived with this thing on a daily basis I'd HAVE to do something with the exhaust - just to be able to hear the darned thing!

Rant over.
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  #2  
Old 05-10-2012, 03:36 PM
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Hey I'm not offended. Afterall, I abuse E60 M5's at the dragstrip and they aren't offended. Shamed yes, offended no.

The F10 550, some like, some don't, it's that simple. Anyway, thank you for sharing your brief experience behind the wheel of an F10. I will weigh your insights with my own insights from the 21,000 miles in my 550 to form my own conclusion about the F10. Okay, lets see now, hmm, yup the 550, is still a great car. Now where is that smilie...oh there it is:
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Old 05-10-2012, 04:00 PM
Kjeronimo91 Kjeronimo91 is offline
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  #4  
Old 05-10-2012, 04:15 PM
djsilo djsilo is offline
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I have the 135i and it is AMAZING. Fun with the capital F indeed. Very raw and harsh but I really feel like I'm on rails. The feedback from the road is insane, but the car truly lacks in comfort. The 550 is wallowy by comparison. It actually hurts me a bit to get rid of my 135, but I need a bigger car and I can still make it a beast with Dinan.
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  #5  
Old 05-10-2012, 04:19 PM
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Stealth.Pilot Stealth.Pilot is offline
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You probably drove the wrong 550i. Now that BMW is to worlds largest luxury car maker, they make everything in a sport and a standard (luxury) version. What you are describing is the luxury model.

My 550i on stock suspension and Pilot Super Sports is a hell of a lot of fun.

Personally for me a car is not fun if the chassis is too good. You need the powertrain to be better than the Chassis. This I why I like cars like the Maserati GranSport, or the M3.
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  #6  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:36 PM
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I understand that the engine in the 550 is a beast, but for me, the 535 is more balanced, and a fantastic everyday driver, with lots of fun when you want it to be (MSport with adjustable dampers). Also, you can clearly hear the engine while accelerating. Of course the quad exhaust and resonator-delete makes some difference.

I've driven the E60 M5, and FOR ME, I could not live with it as a daily driver. It is much more dialed into sports than luxury, which is not what I want in this car. The F10 is a Luxury Sports sedan, that can be fun if you want it to be.
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Old 05-10-2012, 05:42 PM
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Originally Posted by alex_c View Post
I understand that the engine in the 550 is a beast, but for me, the 535 is more balanced, and a fantastic everyday driver, with lots of fun when you want it to be (MSport with adjustable dampers). Also, you can clearly hear the engine while accelerating. Of course the quad exhaust and resonator-delete makes some difference.

I've driven the E60 M5, and FOR ME, I could not live with it as a daily driver. It is much more dialed into sports than luxury, which is not what I want in this car. The F10 is a Luxury Sports sedan, that can be fun if you want it to be.

Alex when you have some time can you please upload a clip of your exhaust ? i am thinking to go in same direction !
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  #8  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:47 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djsilo View Post
I have the 135i and it is AMAZING. Fun with the capital F indeed. Very raw and harsh but I really feel like I'm on rails. The feedback from the road is insane, but the car truly lacks in comfort. The 550 is wallowy by comparison. It actually hurts me a bit to get rid of my 135, but I need a bigger car and I can still make it a beast with Dinan.
F30 335i for you. It's plenty big unless you take long trips or are large people, like us (6'2", 5'10" wife).
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  #9  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:49 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
You probably drove the wrong 550i. Now that BMW is to worlds largest luxury car maker, they make everything in a sport and a standard (luxury) version. What you are describing is the luxury model.

My 550i on stock suspension and Pilot Super Sports is a hell of a lot of fun.

Personally for me a car is not fun if the chassis is too good. You need the powertrain to be better than the Chassis. This I why I like cars like the Maserati GranSport, or the M3.
550 on standard 18's and stock suspension = boat.

Having said that, even the best non-M F10 is very much isolated compared to any E-chassis BMW product. ANY. But once you learn it's capabilities and appreciate it's mix of luxury and capability, you learn it's not so bad after all....
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  #10  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:52 PM
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I hate my F10 550i. It is really annoying the way my head keeps slapping the headrest every time I touch the accelerator.
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  #11  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:54 PM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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I'm not offended either. Like Alex, I live in Houston Texas. We simply don't have the roads to enjoy a sportier car. I have had six Corvettes in the last eleven years, and I had to take them out on 140 mile "coffee" runs on the back roads early Sunday mornings to enjoy those cars (like I do with my motorcycles every Saturday).

The beauty of the 550 is that it is incredibly refined and comfortable, but still capable of doing what I want it to do. And with the sport suspension I can dial up a very firm ride when I want it (I run in sport mode about half the time).

If I lived where the roads were more interesting, then I would agree with you. I might have shopped a little more for something more sport oriented. Or I may just be running my 550 in sport + mode more often. I actually plan to take the 550 out on one of my favorite back roads to see what's its like in that environment.
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Old 05-10-2012, 06:43 PM
TahoeM3 TahoeM3 is offline
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Can't disagree with you...the 5 is a great luxury car with a sporty side, rather than a sports sedan with luxury which is the typical BMW style. There is a reason that I call it the black cloud.
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  #13  
Old 05-10-2012, 07:02 PM
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Not sure what the point of this post was by the OP unless he was just trying to take a shot at F10 owners. He's comparing two very different cars that serve different purposes. Hopefully he got a good deal on that '10 M5 cause there's no way I would have gotten one around that time with the F10 550 on the horizon.

Raj
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  #14  
Old 05-11-2012, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajG View Post
Not sure what the point of this post was by the OP unless he was just trying to take a shot at F10 owners. He's comparing two very different cars that serve different purposes. Hopefully he got a good deal on that '10 M5 cause there's no way I would have gotten one around that time with the F10 550 on the horizon.

Raj
Yes ..... would be better placed on the 1 Series board to promote a group hug ....
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  #15  
Old 05-11-2012, 06:31 AM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
Hey I'm not offended. Afterall, I abuse E60 M5's at the dragstrip and they aren't offended. Shamed yes, offended no.

The F10 550, some like, some don't, it's that simple. Anyway, thank you for sharing your brief experience behind the wheel of an F10. I will weigh your insights with my own insights from the 21,000 miles in my 550 to form my own conclusion about the F10. Okay, lets see now, hmm, yup the 550, is still a great car. Now where is that smilie...oh there it is:
I agree that the 550 is fast. My butt dyno suggested it's faster than the e60 M5 0-60. But, that doesn't make it fun - in my opinion. It's more "the ultimate cruising machine" than "driving machine".

Am glad you like it though - would suck for you if you didn't.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:38 AM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RajG View Post
Not sure what the point of this post was by the OP unless he was just trying to take a shot at F10 owners. He's comparing two very different cars that serve different purposes. Hopefully he got a good deal on that '10 M5 cause there's no way I would have gotten one around that time with the F10 550 on the horizon.

Raj
The point of the post is as stated. And I'm taking a shot at the car not the owners. Finally, I did get a great deal on the M, not that that is of any relevance here - though the f10 M5 is really the better alternative.

Look - the 550 I drove is fine car by most automotive standards. Lexus would be proud if they could build something like it. It just doesn't drive/handle like a Beemer - that's my point. At least not the loaner I drove.
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:40 AM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Originally Posted by djsilo View Post
I have the 135i and it is AMAZING. Fun with the capital F indeed. Very raw and harsh but I really feel like I'm on rails. The feedback from the road is insane, but the car truly lacks in comfort. The 550 is wallowy by comparison. It actually hurts me a bit to get rid of my 135, but I need a bigger car and I can still make it a beast with Dinan.
Then you'll have to upgrade the exhaust as well - gotta be able to hear it!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 06:42 AM
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yes ..... Would be better placed on the 1 series board to promote a group hug ....
lol!!!
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Old 05-11-2012, 08:26 AM
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BickUW89 BickUW89 is offline
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Originally Posted by nhs156 View Post
The point of the post is as stated. And I'm taking a shot at the car not the owners. Finally, I did get a great deal on the M, not that that is of any relevance here - though the f10 M5 is really the better alternative.

Look - the 550 I drove is fine car by most automotive standards. Lexus would be proud if they could build something like it. It just doesn't drive/handle like a Beemer - that's my point. At least not the loaner I drove.
OP:I enjoyed reading your post - it described my exact same experience on two separate service visits to a "T." When I drove the 135i, I smugly thought of it as the Bimmer with the "little boy pants," but was quickly and enthusiastically converted! Man, that is a Fun Fun Fun car to drive! I've never had a loaner car that made me want to run errands before, but I drove the hell out of that thing for one day.

While we all lament the increased weight of modern 3ers and 5ers, and the perceived loss of BMW's heritage with each new model, BMW has gone out and recaptured the spirit and essence of the brand in the 1er. Bravo to them.

Having said that, I felt a little beat up by it by the end of the day. The 135i is kind of like that one exGF/booty call that you know is wrong in all kinds of ways, but a lot of fun in the moment. Wouldn't take her home to momma, though.

I like the 5ers for a DD, still prefer my E60 over my wife's F10, but recognize the progress that the F10 represents. The cool thing is we all have preferences, and BMW provides (and has provided) the choices that make us all smile. There is no all-in-one car, but boy they sure make one for every need.
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Old 05-11-2012, 09:36 AM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Originally Posted by nhs156 View Post
At least not the loaner I drove.
As I said before....base 550....BOAT.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:02 AM
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Leslierc Leslierc is offline
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I like to think of my 135i convertible beating me up like Monica Bellucci in latex with a whip...I'm too distracted to feel any pain!
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:31 AM
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I like to think of my 135i convertible beating me up like Monica Bellucci in latex with a whip...I'm too distracted to feel any pain!
Oh my .... I think my S2000 has similar tendencies .....

Now you have to do a comparo with your Mini S
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Old 05-11-2012, 12:40 PM
nhs156 nhs156 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BickUW89 View Post
OP:I enjoyed reading your post - it described my exact same experience on two separate service visits to a "T." When I drove the 135i, I smugly thought of it as the Bimmer with the "little boy pants," but was quickly and enthusiastically converted! Man, that is a Fun Fun Fun car to drive! I've never had a loaner car that made me want to run errands before, but I drove the hell out of that thing for one day.

While we all lament the increased weight of modern 3ers and 5ers, and the perceived loss of BMW's heritage with each new model, BMW has gone out and recaptured the spirit and essence of the brand in the 1er. Bravo to them.

Having said that, I felt a little beat up by it by the end of the day. The 135i is kind of like that one exGF/booty call that you know is wrong in all kinds of ways, but a lot of fun in the moment. Wouldn't take her home to momma, though.

I like the 5ers for a DD, still prefer my E60 over my wife's F10, but recognize the progress that the F10 represents. The cool thing is we all have preferences, and BMW provides (and has provided) the choices that make us all smile. There is no all-in-one car, but boy they sure make one for every need.
This made me laugh out loud. I'm curious - having never driven an e60 550i - I presume those cars sound like "actual" V8s, being devoid of turbos, right? And I presume you aren't crusing at somewhere around 1,500 rpms when doing 75mph? If that's the case - and I suspect it is - I would imagine the F10 to be a totally different animal, driving experience wise. I personally think BMW would have hit a homerun had they stuck with the new shape, but fitted it with the "feel" (and related parts) of the old one.

I was contemplating getting a 1 after the loaner car experience - as a daily driver - but ultimately thought the car a bit too "cute" looking. I'll be asking for one next time I need a loaner, though. Maybe I'll get lucky and get a 135i.
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  #24  
Old 05-11-2012, 01:15 PM
TahoeM3 TahoeM3 is offline
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The net result is what we already know...the F10 550i is a luxury car that is faster than it feels because of the added refinement and luxury focus, and the 128 is a sporty car that feels faster than it is due to a more visceral experience and less refinement.
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Old 05-11-2012, 02:59 PM
solstice solstice is offline
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Originally Posted by TahoeM3 View Post
The net result is what we already know...the F10 550i is a luxury car that is faster than it feels because of the added refinement and luxury focus, and the 128 is a sporty car that feels faster than it is due to a more visceral experience and less refinement.
Your garage has me curious, what role can a 550 possibly play when you also have an X5 50i and a GT-R to choose from? Is the X5 your wife's?
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