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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 03-13-2013, 07:17 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Help me decide - 550i or 535i

UPDATE TO MY DECISION AT THE END OF THREAD Guys...I need some input. I usually do not, but in this case I am a bit conflicted. Those of you that know me know I have been debating an M5, 650, 640, 750 ect. After considering my driving (30k miles a year) and considering the price tag of the M5, 7 series and 6 series I have decided that is just too much money to pay for the kind of driving that I do. So I am back to the 5 series. My current 535i has been great, but I purchased it off the lot and it lacks some features that I really want. I am debating 535i vs. 550i and want your input. My 535i feels adequate most of the time, but it does feel a bit slow to me at times and certainly when it is loaded with luggage or banker boxes. It seems that the 550i returns around 22 mpg highway where my 535i returns about 26-27 mpg highway. Are these numbers accuate? The purchase price between my desired 535i build and 550i build is only 5200 so the sticker price is not an issue. I am really debating the extra fuel consumption vs the fact that my current 535i is not quite as fast as I would like it to be. Last issue, I want the m sport suspension, no negotiation there, but am debating if or not dynamic damper control is worth it. I drove the 650 with m sport suspension and it felt like it handled very well to me. What do you guys say? Also, paging Jagu, Dunderhi, Needsdecaf, leslierc and Stealth Pilot....you guys all have enough experience with these cars to help me out. Of course I want everyone else to chime in as well. TIA.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:28 AM
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chuck92116 chuck92116 is offline
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My 535 gets 24MPG all around and about 32-34MPG highway.

The 550 will be closer to 18-22MPG at best.

So you are talking about a 30-50% difference in fuel economy.

But when spending $70k on a car it does not sound like something one does to save money.

So the question I have for you is what is the goal? Save money or better MPG?
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2013, 07:32 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chuck92116 View Post
My 535 gets 24MPG all around and about 32-34MPG highway.

The 550 will be closer to 18-22MPG at best.

So you are talking about a 30-50% difference in fuel economy.

But when spending $70k on a car it does not sound like something one does to save money.

So the question I have for you is what is the goal? Save money or better MPG?
You make a valid point on the goal. It is not about the money, it is about the range per tank. I love that I can go 3-4 days on one tank in the 535i. It looks like that will drop down to 2 1/2 to 3 days in the 550i. Your 535 fuel economy is excellent. I have never seen more than 28 mpg and that was on a straight highway trip to D.C. a couple of months ago. My usual is about 26 mpg with maybe 95% of the driving being highway. My mpg numbers are based on hard math not the OBC.
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Old 03-13-2013, 07:37 AM
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chuck92116 chuck92116 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
You make a valid point on the goal. It is not about the money, it is about the range per tank. I love that I can go 3-4 days on one tank in the 535i. It looks like that will drop down to 2 1/2 to 3 days in the 550i. Your 535 fuel economy is excellent. I have never seen more than 28 mpg and that was on a straight highway trip to D.C. a couple of months ago. My usual is about 26 mpg with maybe 95% of the driving being highway. My mpg numbers are based on hard math not the OBC.
You might check out the 5 series diesels which are suppose to be out soon.

Also, the 5 series active hybrid might be an option. (only because the lease incentives are quite often better than the 535/550 leases.
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  #5  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:14 AM
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For the amount of driving you do, I would be hesitant to go with the 550 because the fuel economy really matters in your case. I have the 550 and am only getting 17 mpg (I have 1,000 miles on the odometer), but I drive a bit more aggressive than most because I have a 6 mile "commute" (one way) so the mpg doesn't bother me so much.

But even so, if mpg still isn't that important to you, the 550's power is much more effortless than the 535's. You have immediately access to adequate power in almost every gear and at almost any speed. I really like having access to sufficient power to aggressively change lanes or pass without having to change gears. It's a better/smoother feeling than you get in the 535.

Based on the options I chose for my car, there was only something like a 3.5K price difference between the 535 and 550, and being that mpg was a very low priority for me, getting the 550 was somewhat of a no-brainer.
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  #6  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:27 AM
Mbbrewer Mbbrewer is online now
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It sounds like your decision is between fuel consumption vs. power. I think if you do a fair amount of highway driving, the 550i is the way to go. I get about 20-22 mpg hwy in mine and I also have 500 hp on tap thanks to the Dinan S2. The tradeoff in fuel economy is worth it in my opinion.
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  #7  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:35 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cordoor View Post
For the amount of driving you do, I would be hesitant to go with the 550 because the fuel economy really matters in your case. I have the 550 and am only getting 17 mpg (I have 1,000 miles on the odometer), but I drive a bit more aggressive than most because I have a 6 mile "commute" (one way) so the mpg doesn't bother me so much.

But even so, if mpg still isn't that important to you, the 550's power is much more effortless than the 535's. You have immediately access to adequate power in almost every gear and at almost any speed. I really like having access to sufficient power to aggressively change lanes or pass without having to change gears. It's a better/smoother feeling than you get in the 535.

Based on the options I chose for my car, there was only something like a 3.5K price difference between the 535 and 550, and being that mpg was a very low priority for me, getting the 550 was somewhat of a no-brainer.
Your difference in price is similar to mine. I am going to assume your 17 mpg is city mileage. Am I correct? If so, that is in line with what I expected. You hit on the power deficit that I feel in the 535i hence my reason for this debate. Thanks for the input.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mbbrewer View Post
It sounds like your decision is between fuel consumption vs. power. I think if you do a fair amount of highway driving, the 550i is the way to go. I get about 20-22 mpg hwy in mine and I also have 500 hp on tap thanks to the Dinan S2. The tradeoff in fuel economy is worth it in my opinion.
You hit the nail on the head and appreciate your comments. My driving goes beyond fair amount of highway as it is about 95 percent highway. If you get 20-22 mpg with Dinan what were you getting prior to Dinan? I doubt I will feel the need to go Dinan for my purposes. Dropping down from 26-27 to 22mpg is not too bad. About 60-75 miles less per tank. I can live with that.
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  #8  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:36 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Anyone have input on the need for dynamic damper control with M sport suspension?
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  #9  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:38 AM
Mbbrewer Mbbrewer is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
You hit the nail on the head and appreciate your comments. My driving goes beyond fair amount of highway as it is about 95 percent highway. If you get 20-22 mpg with Dinan what were you getting prior to Dinan? I doubt I will feel the need to go Dinan for my purposes. Dropping down from 26-27 to 22mpg is not too bad. About 60-75 miles less per tank. I can live with that.
I've seen no change in fuel economy with the tune.
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  #10  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:42 AM
Mbbrewer Mbbrewer is online now
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
Anyone have input on the need for dynamic damper control with M sport suspension?
This has been debated by many on this forum, and most people will tell you that the DDC is worth it. It's a fairly inexpensive option all things considered. I on the other hand, chose to forego the DDC. The M Sport suspension is fine for my needs and it handled the twisty roads during my mountain runs in Austria very well.
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  #11  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:45 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Get the 550i. My past experience says whenever you are debating between two engine options of the same car, it's better to stick with the more powerful one. Otherwise, you will always keep wondering: "What if...". Plus, after LCI the power gap between N55 and N63 will widen considerably (300 HP vs 440 HP).

Not having to deal with ASS from the very beginning is another sweet side benefit.

I have dynamic damper control in my car and would highly recommend that option. You might also consider x-drive since 440 HP can overwhelm a 2WD sedan.
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  #12  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:52 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Originally Posted by Mbbrewer View Post
This has been debated by many on this forum, and most people will tell you that the DDC is worth it. It's a fairly inexpensive option all things considered. I on the other hand, chose to forego the DDC. The M Sport suspension is fine for my needs and it handled the twisty roads during my mountain runs in Austria very well.
This is what I was thinking. The 650 m sport I drove had a very good m sport suspension and I did not see the need to overcomplicate things with DDC unless it provides a very significant difference. With the miles I drive I tend to forgo options that are not absolutely necessary because the less you have in the car the less than can break after warranty is up.

Quote:
Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
Get the 550i. My past experience says whenever you are debating between two engine options of the same car, it's better to stick with the more powerful one. Otherwise, you will always keep wondering: "What if...". Plus, after LCI the power gap between N55 and N63 will widen considerably (300 HP vs 440 HP).

Not having to deal with ASS from the very beginning is another sweet side benefit.

I have dynamic damper control in my car and would highly recommend that option. You might also consider x-drive since 440 HP can overwhelm a 2WD sedan.
Why do you recommend DDC? I am hoping to hear from someone who has the 2013 m sport suspension and DDC to see if the difference is significant. On the standard suspension (as you car seems to have) I can see why you would pick DDC.
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2013, 08:57 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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If you do a lot of highway driving, I would implore you to research Adaptive Cruise Control as well. It's a very well-engineered system. I have driven from LA to SF with ACC on and it made highway cruising much more pleasurable with the fringe benefit of boosting MPG.
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Old 03-13-2013, 08:57 AM
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760Lifan 760Lifan is offline
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Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
Plus, after LCI the power gap between N55 and N63 will widen considerably (300 HP vs 440 HP).
If the OP has the time to wait for the LCI, I guess we should also mention that the new V8 is supposed to get a 20% lower fuel consumption. At least that's what I heard.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:03 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Originally Posted by 760Lifan View Post
If the OP has the time to wait for the LCI, I guess we should also mention that the new V8 is supposed to get a 20% lower fuel consumption. At least that's what I heard.
I thinks that's correct because currently 750i has better highway MPG than 550i.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:12 AM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
This is what I was thinking. The 650 m sport I drove had a very good m sport suspension and I did not see the need to overcomplicate things with DDC unless it provides a very significant difference. With the miles I drive I tend to forgo options that are not absolutely necessary because the less you have in the car the less than can break after warranty is up.



Why do you recommend DDC? I am hoping to hear from someone who has the 2013 m sport suspension and DDC to see if the difference is significant. On the standard suspension (as you car seems to have) I can see why you would pick DDC.
DDC is wonderful since I have the option to button down the suspension when I hit in the twisty mountain roads in Napa or Marine county. But I could not live with sport-suspension in my pot-holed neighborhood. Plus, I think (correct me if I am wrong) DDC makes continuous tuning to the suspension stiffness based on the current road condition, so you get a more composed ride in all situations.

If you are getting M-Sport it might not matter as much.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:45 AM
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I missed the BMW signal in the clouds last night.

Given you situation - high mileage, need for more umph, and better mpgs, the 535d is the logical choice. As a former 335d owner yourself, I'm curious why the diesel isn't in the mix?

If gas is your only fuel choice, I would pick the 550i - well I did pick the 550. Highway mileage is a bit better than what has been posted here, my xi averaged 24mpgs hwy with Dinan - the 550i should be 2-3 mpgs better. You can always baby a 550 to get better mileage, but you can't push the throttle past the floor board to get an 535 to accelerate harder. Just sayin.

On the suspension side, my soon to be redelivered 650 has both the sport suspension & DDC and I would say DDC is required to offset the stiffness of the sport suspension on not-so-smooth roads. The sport suspension of the 650 is a good bit stiffer than the non-sport suspension on the 550, but I would guess the '13 550 sport suspension would be similiar.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:49 AM
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I would recommend the 550i M Sport with DDC and ARS. Also I would strongly recommend four wheel steering or whatever they call it. That feature significantly improves the maneuverability and the cornering speeds making the 5 handle more like a 3.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:55 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I missed the BMW signal in the clouds last night.

Given you situation - high mileage, need for more umph, and better mpgs, the 535d is the logical choice. As a former 335d owner yourself, I'm curious why the diesel isn't in the mix?

If gas is your only fuel choice, I would pick the 550i - well I did pick the 550. Highway mileage is a bit better than what has been posted here, my xi averaged 24mpgs hwy with Dinan - the 550i should be 2-3 mpgs better. You can always baby a 550 to get better mileage, but you can't push the throttle past the floor board to get an 535 to accelerate harder. Just sayin.

On the suspension side, my soon to be redelivered 650 has both the sport suspension & DDC and I would say DDC is required to offset the stiffness of the sport suspension on not-so-smooth roads. The sport suspension of the 650 is a good bit stiffer than the non-sport suspension on the 550, but I would guess the '13 550 sport suspension would be similiar.
This is why I was paging you. Exactly the input I was looking for. I did consider waiting for the 535d, but my 335d did not generate the fuel economy that was expected so I no longer see the value in spending extra for the diesel. My 335d was fast and fun, but the fuel economy was only marginally better then a 335i. That combined with the lack of availability of premium diesel in Florida has made me re-think the whole diesel thing. My 335d did not run well on your run of the mill 40 cetane diesel and that is all we get down here unless I find Chevron where they bump it to somewhere around 45 cetane. Regardless, the 535d will still not be as fast as the 550 and I expect it to cost as much as the 550i if BMW declines to bring back the eco credit. If you were getting 24mpg with your DS2 550xi then something must be wrong with my 535i that gets, at best, 27-28 mpg highway. If I can realistically expect 24 mpg highway I am inclined to go 550i. I am glad you chimed in on the DDC. You live in D.C. so I take it that you got DDC to soften the m sport suspension over bad roads? If I am correct then I suspect that I do not need DDC since my roads down here are pretty much butter smooth.
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Old 03-13-2013, 09:56 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I would recommend the 550i M Sport with DDC and ARS. Also I would strongly recommend four wheel steering or whatever they call it. That feature significantly improves the maneuverability and the cornering speeds making the 5 handle more like a 3.
So you would delete m sport suspension and replace it with dynamic handling package (which contains your mentioned options)? Thanks for the input.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:01 AM
CK530 CK530 is offline
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Alpine300ZHP,

Why don't you just tell us the TRUTH.......who is your garage mate....a X5 M!!!!!

I followed your threads when you were shopping for the X5M back in Nov/Dec. My wife got the X5 50i right before your X5M. I just sold my E60. I was thinking about getting a fully options 535ix, instead I went with the 550ix. My wife and my son told me upfront, if I get the 535ix, I'm not allow to drive her X5.

GL
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:06 AM
Alpine300ZHP Alpine300ZHP is offline
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Originally Posted by CK530 View Post
Alpine300ZHP,

Why don't you just tell us the TRUTH.......who is your garage mate....a X5 M!!!!!

I followed your threads when you were shopping for the X5M back in Nov/Dec. My wife got the X5 50i right before your X5M. I just sold my E60. I was thinking about getting a fully options 535ix, instead I went with the 550ix. My wife and my son told me upfront, if I get the 535ix, I not allow to drive her X5.

GL
Your point has been made, but the garage mate gets driven by the wife and I only get to drive it on the weekends. I cannot imagine driving the x5M on a daily basis as I would be filling the tank every other day. At this point you guys are all pushing me toward the 550i. The fuel economy penalty does not seem to be significant at all (for highway driving) based on Dunderhi's comments. Even if I get 22-23 mpg that is small enough of a difference that I am inclined to make the jump to the bigger motor. BTW...my next car will also be AW/black with m sport. I guess we ll have twins minus the x drive.
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Old 03-13-2013, 10:23 AM
Blkthght Blkthght is offline
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Originally Posted by Stealth.Pilot View Post
I would recommend the 550i M Sport with DDC and ARS. Also I would strongly recommend four wheel steering or whatever they call it. That feature significantly improves the maneuverability and the cornering speeds making the 5 handle more like a 3.
Alpine,

This is the exact set up I have and I want to echo the above recommendation. My 550i msport gets about 17-18mpg street and 21-22mpg highway (aggressive driving)....but you admit to driving 95% highway.....so I don't really see what the decision is. And it sounds like you have already made your decision and are just looking for it to be validated....which is perfectly normal. 1 year ago I faced the exact same choice....535 or 550. My friend told me that he passed on the v8 infinity m45 to get the v6 m35 and regrets it every time he drives the car. He says that you get used to the power of your vehicle and it becomes commonplace too quickly. And he was exactly right. I'm already used to the amazing low end torque of the 550i and it will be very difficult for me to own a vehicle that doesn't have that same power.

As for suspension, I have dds, ars, and ias (active steering) and it is very easy for me to forget that I am driving a big car. It handles like a much smaller car. I like the ability to adjust the suspension on the fly....adds to the driving experience in my opinion. And even though I agree that sport mode suspension is optimal, I'm going switch out the stock springs with AC schnitzer springs next week for even better handling and maneuvering and a moderately lower stance. I personally think the f10 msport sits too high on the stock springs with the 19" rims. So I'm glad that I have dds because when I switch the springs out I can still adjust to a softer ride if necessary. With the 2013 msport passive suspension, that will not be the case.

Good luck with whatever route you decide to go.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:49 AM
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cordoor cordoor is offline
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Originally Posted by Alpine300ZHP View Post
Your difference in price is similar to mine. I am going to assume your 17 mpg is city mileage. Am I correct? If so, that is in line with what I expected. You hit on the power deficit that I feel in the 535i hence my reason for this debate. Thanks for the input.
Yeah, I think you would be correct. There is an optional 2 mile stretch of freeway (out of the 6 total miles for the commute) and I don't always take it. Even when I do, I gun it hard. So city driving probably accurately describes 95% of my use.
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Old 03-13-2013, 11:57 AM
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cordoor cordoor is offline
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Anyone have input on the need for dynamic damper control with M sport suspension?
I got the full dynamic handling package on my car and I will tell you that it was the right decision (mine is a Jan 2013 build of 550i xDrive M Sport).

Many on this forum will mock me for saying this, but comfort+ on the freeway is fantastic! This goes straight to why DDC is a nice feature. I think generally on this forum the bias is for sport performance but I will say that comfort+ on longer drives is pure luxury.

The active roll stabilization feature really does flatten the vehicle around sharp and hard turns. It is flatter and more fun to corner in than my E60 (that did not have active roll stabilization). So with active roll stabilization, you can satisfy your cravings for sport performance.
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2013 550i xDrive | Jet Black | Venetian Beige | Dark Red Sycamore | M Sport | Dynamic Handling | Sport Auto Trans
2008 535xi | Jet Black | Cream Beige | Burl Wood | Sport



See, when the Government spends money, it creates jobs; whereas when the money is left in the hands of Taxpayers, God only knows what they do with it. Bake it into pies, probably. Anything to avoid creating jobs. - Dave Barry

Last edited by cordoor; 03-13-2013 at 12:08 PM.
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