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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 03-31-2013, 04:16 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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650xi vs 550xi: For those that are curious

INTRODUCTION

I've been a member of the Fest since 2007 when I first considered doing a European Delivery of a BMW. I have been quite active in the F10 forum since I purchased a 2011 550xi, sharing my experiences and getting into technical discussions on what were sometimes hotly debated topics. Since I have sold my F10 and leased an F13 I have still remained active on this board, but to a lesser extent primarily due to time constraints. Anyway, I have received several requests from F10 owners to describe how my 650 compares to my former 550, so I'm not here to say my new car is better than anyone else's. Second as an owner, there are several observations that I have both good and bad for anyone that may consider traveling the same road.

THE CARS

2011 550xi (02/11 build) MSRP $84,250
Active Vent Seats, Cold Weather, Driver Assistance, M Sport Package (w/ Adaptive Drive - Dynamic Dampers, Active Roll), Premium Package, Sport Auto Transmission, 4 Zone Climate Control, Split Folding Rear Seats, Side/Top View, Smartphone, NightVision, Head-up display

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2013 650xi (02/13 build) MSRP $105,695
Cold Weather, Driver Assistance, Executive Package, Lighting Package, M Sport Package, Adaptive Drive.

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Options not ordered on the 650:

1. Night Vision - The dealer never could get the pedestrian recognition to work properly and the center console position made it hard to reply upon, so I decided it wasn't worth it. I think the S Class has it right by putting their infrared display in the gauge cluster area.

2. Seat Massage - Frankly, it just moved too slow for me. It was more a seat kneader rather than a set massager. I think Audi and MB offer better seat massagers.

THE SPECS

550xi vs 650xi

• 193.1 vs 192.8" - Length
• 73.2 vs 74.6" - Body width
• 57.6 vs 53.9" - Body height
• 116.9" vs 112.4" - Wheelbase
• 41 vs 40 - Head room
• 58 vs 57 - Shoulder room
• 41.4 vs 42.1 - Leg room
• 14.0 vs 16.2' - Trunk Capacity
• 19.6 vs 19.2' - Turning radius
• 4519 vs 4387lbs - Curb Weight
• 18.5 vs 18.5 gal - Fuel Capacity
• 16/24 vs 16/24 - EPA Rating
• 400 vs 445hp - Horsepower
• 450 vs 480ftlbs - Torque
• 4.7 vs 4.3 sec - 0-60 per BMWUSA
• 4.5 vs 4.1 sec - 0-60 per mag testing and for the heavier 650xi GC

THE MODS

BBS RGRs /Michelin PSS

I trimmed 71.2lbs of non-suspended rolling weight (the number for the 650 is now 74.6lbs, since the 351M/GY Eagles gained weight between 2011 and 2013). The Summer tires improved the grip, improved my road feel, but lightened the my steering, and softened the ride. I was now able to go through my favorite twisty section of road with only one hand on the wheel, vice two hands struggling to keep the car going in the direction I desired. New suspension was needed to fix the softness, but I had to wait for Dinan.

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Dinan Stage 1

Stage 1 was the first power mod. As others have observed, it was a bit soft in the first two gears, but the power upgrade was significant.

Dinan Stage 2

Stage 2 released the beast from within. The car shifted and accelerated harder than Stage 1. Unfortunately, the harder shifting and earlier power made the suspension softness more of a problem and quite frankly the car seemed a bit out of control if any maneuvering was required under full power.

Dinan Springs

Finally, the fix was here. This mod was the fix for the imbalance between the power and the soft suspension designed to accommodate the heavy rolling stock. At this point I was giddy, since this is the car I envisioned when I bought the 550.

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(Pictured with my 18" Winter wheels)

Dinan Stage 3 with Dinan Exhaust

I wouldn't call this a performance mod, since I could not feel nor measure any improvement at the track, but it basically, transformed the bone quiet interior, where only a high revving engine was the only indication that you had just nailed the throttle to the floor, to a proper sounding sports sedan where the sound of the exhaust note lets you know you have a formidable combustion engine under the hood.

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THE COMPARISIONS

Coupe vs Sedan

Although many think the 650 is a 550 with two less doors, a coupe is different beast than a sedan. The coupes sit lower, so it has a lower center of gravity. The driver sits less upright. Outward vision is much reduced. Sun-roofs are replaced by moon-roofs because there is less room. The doors are huge and require large parking spots. There are no B Pillars, so left shoulder room is actually increased. The rears seats are usually unusable.

Controls

The switches are in nearly the identical places on both cars, so I am quite happy knowing that I can instinctively adjust the suspension without looking for the rocker switching. The gauges are the same, but there is one minor iDrive change from the '11 to '13 or maybe from the 550 to the 650 that I don't like - the oil level.

Oil Measurement Craziness

I know a lot of members were annoyed that they lost their dipsticks, but I am annoyed that I can no longer check my oil level by a couple of clicks on the iDrive. The new system requires you to park your car on a level spot while idling so that it can do a measurement. I'll save that for post #2.


Interior

I guess, I would say the interior appointments of a 650 feels like the interior appointments of a full-up Individual 550. The Nappa leather is almost everywhere including the dash and the doors. The contrast stitching looks really nice. The Alcantara roof liner and sun visors (much nicer than the vinyl ones on my X5M) is nice, making nearly all surfaces soft touch.

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Seats

The 20-way seats provide the missing lateral support of the 550's multi-contour seats. As this is a coupe, the seating position is angled backward, so the first class aviation head rest is not as useful.

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HUD

I missed out on the color HUD by only one month on 550. I will have to say it is a nice improvement. The HUD in the 650 also includes the speed limit info, which in my short experience if right about half of the time, wrong about a quarter, and blank the other quarter. If it reads a sign, it takes about two seconds to update the HUD. There is also a collision warning that pops up an image of the rear of car in red in the HUD. It's kind of like having a back seat driver sitting on your hood telling you that you are going to fast and will get into an accident. Sorry, but I couldn't get a picture of the collision warning.

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LEDs

I couldn't resist trying out the LEDs head lights. They pretty bright and provide a near symmetric beam pattern that peaks in height in the center and tapers down as it moves outward. It is more visually appealing than the driver's side Xenon is pointed lower than the passenger side Xenon look.

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Suspension

I've must have said to Mrs D probably a dozen times, this is what the 550 should have felt like. The firmer stock suspension managed the heavy wheels and tires quite well, but it also let more harshness to be felt by the chassis. This time around, swapping out the 64.2lb/corner rolling stock for 45.6lb/corner BBS/PSS did not have an adverse effect on the steering, but improved the suspension compliance. I am quite happy with the current set-up with comfort mode providing incredibly flat cornering and basically equivalent to Sport mode on my 550 with the Dinan springs. I am surprised by this stock stiffness. If I get Dinan Stage 2 for the 650, I will probably also buy the Shockware, since I think the stock springs are sufficiently stiff to handle the additional power.

xDrive

Okay, I am scratching my head on this one, but the xDrive on my 650 seems to have more of a rear bias than the xDrive on the 550. I will confirm this at the track, but in my informal power tests, I can get the rears to chirp and the back-end feels more like a RWD car under aggressive maneuvers. Some might rejoice in this observation, but I'm a keep the power planted at all times type of guy, so this doesn't necessarily make me happier.

Weighty Issues

The 6er weighs 136lbs less officially, but the lack if night vision, seat massage, and folding seats probably makes it 140-145lbs lighter. When I compared the F10 to the F07 with respect to weight, I likened the F07 to feeling like a F10 with a 400lb Sumo wrestler sitting in the back seat. So, if I were to use the same analogy, the F10 felt like a F13 with a 140lb mother-in-law sitting in the back seat, but somehow the extra weight feels a bit higher and further back, so let's say she is sitting on the trunk lid. I say this since my in emergency maneuver test, the rear of the 550 lagged a bit more than the rear of the 650, which feels much tighter.

Engine

Ah the big question that everyone seems to ask, how does the 445hp compare to...? In short, I would say it feels almost like Dinan Stage 1. There is certainly much more aggression and acceleration when compared to the stock 550, but it lacks the beastliness of Dinan Stage 2/3. If Dinan does release the software soon, I will take my car to track stock and then with Dinan to do some comparison runs. If Dinan takes too long to release its software for the 650, I will skip it and enjoy what I have.

Exhaust

Like the suspension, the 650 M Sport exhaust is the exhaust the 550 M Sport should have as standard. When I am driving down the road with the windows closed, I can hear the exhaust note. If I nail it, it comes alive and lets the world know I mean business. That said, it is not as aggressive as Dinan's exhaust. There is no booming bass while cruising through the parking lot.

Fuel Economy

Although I am still early in the process of collecting data for the 650, so far it is showing about one mpg less than the 550. Yes that is correct, one mpg less than the 511hp 140lb heavier 550. Now it could be that I didn't have an opportunity to break it in as aggressively during my most recent European Delivery (he 650xi has a speed limiter of 130mph due to the tires). It can also be possible that Dinan runs the fuel ratio a bit leaner than BMW. either way, I won't be sure until I have about 10kmi on the motor.

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Cost

Although not all options are available for standard orders on both cars the difference is pretty much $20k, but effectively I would say the difference is closer to $15k, considering the cost of the leather dash, Alcantara head liner, contrast stitching, and LED headlights. The weight reduction efforts, using aluminum instead of steel in some places does add to the cost factor. Of course a power close trunk is not available on the 650 at any price - which seems to be the primary complaint of many F13 owners.

IN HINDSIGHT

In the past, Mrs D and I have typically owned two sedans and a pick-up truck. In 2004, Mrs D bought her first SUV which she liked quite a bit. In 2007 she convinced me to downsize the fleet to two, so we got a large SUV (GL450) and a fun car for me (SL550). This worked out fairly well, but in the end, I didn't really, like driving the GL and the SL was impractical on long trips, so in 2011 we decided to go back to sedans that either of us would enjoy driving. This worked for the most part, but Mrs D no longer enjoyed the lower driving position of a sedan and the 550 just wasn't utilitarian enough to pack enough stuff for a week at the Jersey shore. So now we jumped back to 2007, a fun car and a SUV, but this time it is a fun SUV. Hopefully this is the formula that will work for us, otherwise, I'm buying a Ford Raptor for those weekend Home Depot trips.

Finally, I enjoyed my time with the 550. It was an interesting journey tweaking the 550 to achieve my desired performance level. There were some glitches and warning lights along the way, but the car always got me to where I wanted to go and when I wanted to get there in comfort and with a level of sportiness that made the drive enjoyable.

Farewell my friend, we had some good times.

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Hello new friend, let's have some fun.

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P.S. I hit well over two thousand words in a single post! This is a new personal record.
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Last edited by dunderhi; 05-02-2013 at 08:10 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2013, 04:20 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Oil Measurement Craziness

I know a lot of members were annoyed that they lost their dipsticks, but I am annoyed that I can no longer check my oil level by a couple of clicks on the iDrive. The new system requires you to park your car on a level spot while idling so that it can do a measurement. Below is a sequence of pictures of my oil measurements.


Just click oil indicator in iDrive and we are done, right?

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Not even close. Okay, I have to ask it to measure the oil level and follow the instructions.

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Now I have wait about a minute while parked

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Okay, finally!

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Old 03-31-2013, 04:30 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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The hud you have is 60x nicer than the one in the f30 328i I'm using

I'll read it all when I have a chance but thank you for giving me something to do this week in class.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:40 PM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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Great write-up. Thanks, D.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:50 PM
Sam-F10 Sam-F10 is offline
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Awesome review and comparison Dunderhi! Really well written review.
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Old 03-31-2013, 05:52 PM
Sam-F10 Sam-F10 is offline
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Dunderhi - on your comment on exhaust, so do you like the Dinan exhaust more or prefer the one on your 650 ?


Exhaust

Like the suspension, the 650 M Sport exhaust is the exhaust the 550 M Sport should have as standard. When I am driving down the road with the windows closed, I can hear the exhaust note. If I nail it, it comes alive and lets the world know I mean business. That said, it is not as aggressive as Dinan's exhaust. There is no booming bass while cruising through the parking lot.
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Old 03-31-2013, 07:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sam-F10 View Post
Dunderhi - on your comment on exhaust, so do you like the Dinan exhaust more or prefer the one on your 650 ?


Exhaust

Like the suspension, the 650 M Sport exhaust is the exhaust the 550 M Sport should have as standard. When I am driving down the road with the windows closed, I can hear the exhaust note. If I nail it, it comes alive and lets the world know I mean business. That said, it is not as aggressive as Dinan's exhaust. There is no booming bass while cruising through the parking lot.
I think the 650 exhaust is the way a 400-450hp OEM M Sport should sound. The aggressiveness of the Dinan sounds more appropriate for a 500-550hp όber-sedan. In the 650, when I drive through a parking lot people look at it because it is a bit rare, but with my Dinan S3 550, people looked to see what monster car has came to rule the roost. So the answer your question, Mrs D prefers the stock exhaust, whereas I prefer the more aggressive sound of Dinan. If my old exhaust was compatible, I would have put it on the 650, but rather than spending another $3.5k for a Dinan exhaust, I think I will make due with the OEM. Well, at least for now.
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Old 03-31-2013, 08:21 PM
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K-A K-A is offline
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Great review! In another thread you seemed to concur that you preferred the look and/or execution of the F10's iDrive screen/dash layout. Would be curious to know if that is in fact the case as I just can't get myself to find the interior layout of the 6 (leather/alcantara excessive materials not included) to be more to my liking than the F10's.

As for your HUD, with it being able to read speed limits and give you a "crash warning", is that available on all HUD's on 2013's or do you have special options for that.

I gotta say, the only car/s that can get me to switch from my F10 at this time, were that to become the case would be the 6-Series family. Can't say I like them more or less since each have their merits but I really think the Coupe is one of the nicest 2-Doors in the world and the GC is one of the nicest 4-Doors money can buy. I parked my car next to a black 6 GC tonight and the two cars together just look so perfect. Very purposeful in their differing intents yet so strikingly familiar. Great design language contrast, similarity and play between the two.
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Old 03-31-2013, 09:21 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-A View Post
Great review! In another thread you seemed to concur that you preferred the look and/or execution of the F10's iDrive screen/dash layout. Would be curious to know if that is in fact the case as I just can't get myself to find the interior layout of the 6 (leather/alcantara excessive materials not included) to be more to my liking than the F10's.

As for your HUD, with it being able to read speed limits and give you a "crash warning", is that available on all HUD's on 2013's or do you have special options for that.
No seeming about it, I'm not crazy about the Nav integration on the 6er. I would say it is the car's weakest design point. I do like it better than the even less integrated looking F30 Nav or the pop-up Audi Navs. Unfortunately, I'm seeing more and more of this type of Nav integration, so I guess I'll just need to get used to it.

Speaking of design, I do prefer the continuous line flowing from the center console to the dash on the 6er, in comparison the dash on the 5er looks a bit disconnected, well... uh more sedan-like.

The speed limit info is part of the Drivers Assistance Package and the collision warning is part of the '13 Lane Departure Warning which is also part of the DAP.
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Old 03-31-2013, 10:20 PM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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In MY 2013 F10, you get collision warning in HUD if you opt for adaptive cruise control.
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Old 04-01-2013, 04:53 AM
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Originally Posted by neilsarkar View Post
In MY 2013 F10, you get collision warning in HUD if you opt for adaptive cruise control.
I thought the collision warning has been a part of ACC on the F10 since 2011. I'm not sure, but I think it was added to the HUD when the HUD it went full color. Anyone have it on the red/yellow HUD? I believe that making it part on the Lane Departure Warning option is new for '13.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:54 AM
Sam-F10 Sam-F10 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I think the 650 exhaust is the way a 400-450hp OEM M Sport should sound. The aggressiveness of the Dinan sounds more appropriate for a 500-550hp όber-sedan. In the 650, when I drive through a parking lot people look at it because it is a bit rare, but with my Dinan S3 550, people looked to see what monster car has came to rule the roost. So the answer your question, Mrs D prefers the stock exhaust, whereas I prefer the more aggressive sound of Dinan. If my old exhaust was compatible, I would have put it on the 650, but rather than spending another $3.5k for a Dinan exhaust, I think I will make due with the OEM. Well, at least for now.
Thanks, I am sure you will do your Dinan upgrades as soon as they are available
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Old 04-01-2013, 11:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I think the 650 exhaust is the way a 400-450hp OEM M Sport should sound. The aggressiveness of the Dinan sounds more appropriate for a 500-550hp όber-sedan. In the 650, when I drive through a parking lot people look at it because it is a bit rare, but with my Dinan S3 550, people looked to see what monster car has came to rule the roost. So the answer your question, Mrs D prefers the stock exhaust, whereas I prefer the more aggressive sound of Dinan. If my old exhaust was compatible, I would have put it on the 650, but rather than spending another $3.5k for a Dinan exhaust, I think I will make due with the OEM. Well, at least for now.
On your 550,,, did you install the black or chrome Dinan Exhaust? I want the chrome but im not sure how it would look with the black rear bottom part of the bumper
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Old 04-01-2013, 01:19 PM
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Thank you for posting this. Very insightful and useful.
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Old 04-01-2013, 03:52 PM
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On your 550,,, did you install the black or chrome Dinan Exhaust? I want the chrome but im not sure how it would look with the black rear bottom part of the bumper
Black.

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Old 04-01-2013, 05:22 PM
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Dunderhi, you know I'm not being superior snotty a-hole party pooper or diminishing your choices and fun parameters in any way. But ...

May I ask you what exactly is wrong with F-150 for anything that doesn't require driving and then DBS for everything that DOES require driving AND style? My understanding is you need TWO seats for that (driving and style). Right?

Mind, you would have probably saved a penny (or two) in that combination. Not that it really matters, I know, but still ... just curious.
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Last edited by Mark K; 04-01-2013 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 04-01-2013, 06:06 PM
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When I test drive the 650, I really liked it. Does Mrs. D feel isolated in the passenger's seat? I as this because when I sat in the passengers side I noticed everything was angled towards the driver and the leather "divider" bar thingy coming from the dash to the arm rest area seemed to create a wall further isolation the passenger. As long as I am driving I wouldn't care. It was just an observation I had but I'm wierd like that. Again, thanks for the honest review
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  #18  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:37 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Dunderhi, you know I'm not being superior snotty a-hole party pooper or diminishing your choices and fun parameters in any way. But ...

May I ask you what exactly is wrong with F-150 for anything that doesn't require driving and then DBS for everything that DOES require driving AND style? My understanding is you need TWO seats for that (driving and style). Right?

Mind, you would have probably saved a penny (or two) in that combination. Not that it really matters, I know, but still ... just curious.
The rear seats on the 650, like those on a 911, are utterly useless, so I think of the 650 as a two seater.

Anyway, I guess you don't remember the "deal" that Mrs D offered to me back in December. She said that if I commit to a 3 year lease on a "not so nice car" (her words), then I could get a really nice one when our house is paid off in three years. So I made the supreme sacrifice and got a 650. Compromise is the key to happy marriage.


P.S. Mrs D approves of this post.
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Last edited by dunderhi; 04-01-2013 at 07:37 PM.
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  #19  
Old 04-01-2013, 06:47 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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When I test drive the 650, I really liked it. Does Mrs. D feel isolated in the passenger's seat? I as this because when I sat in the passengers side I noticed everything was angled towards the driver and the leather "divider" bar thingy coming from the dash to the arm rest area seemed to create a wall further isolation the passenger. As long as I am driving I wouldn't care. It was just an observation I had but I'm wierd like that. Again, thanks for the honest review
She's commented that she likes the fact that she has her own nook carved out for her. She has also commented that the seat is "huggy" like her 335d sport seats. So I thinks she is happy.

As for me, I wouldn't like the passenger seat in any car.
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  #20  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:16 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
The rear seats on the 650, like those on a 911, are utterly useless, so I think of the 650 as a two seater.

Anyway, I guess you don't remember the "deal" that Mrs D offered to me back in December. She said that if I commit to a 3 year lease on a "not so nice car" (her words), then I could get a really nice one when our house is paid off in three years. So I made the supreme sacrifice and got a 650. Compromise is the key to happy marriage.


P.S. Mrs D approves of this post.
I'm not jealous, but I want to get to a point where a $100k 650 is a "not so nice" car. Have trouble picturing what REALLY nice is.
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  #21  
Old 04-01-2013, 08:27 PM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
I'm not jealous, but I want to get to a point where a $100k 650 is a "not so nice" car. Have trouble picturing what REALLY nice is.
SLS, 458 italia NEW, aventador those are mine

Anything under 100 should be just considered fine

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
The rear seats on the 650, like those on a 911, are utterly useless, so I think of the 650 as a two seater.

Anyway, I guess you don't remember the "deal" that Mrs D offered to me back in December. She said that if I commit to a 3 year lease on a "not so nice car" (her words), then I could get a really nice one when our house is paid off in three years. So I made the supreme sacrifice and got a 650. Compromise is the key to happy marriage.


P.S. Mrs D approves of this post.
Let me know if you want to drive this f30 328i I have for awhile. I wouldn't mind swapping for a week or two

We could be car swingers.

Last edited by SuperTerp; 04-01-2013 at 08:29 PM.
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  #22  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:19 PM
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dunderhi dunderhi is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
I'm not jealous, but I want to get to a point where a $100k 650 is a "not so nice" car. Have trouble picturing what REALLY nice is.
SLS, 458 italia NEW, aventador those are mine

Anything under 100 should be just considered fine
My fellow terrapin knows what I am talking about.

I think she was worried about me getting a $168k SL63, which BTW, she dragged me over to look at while I was checking out an SL550, but that's why she plans to stay home the next time I go car shopping. That sounds like a good topic for a thread.

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We could be car swingers.
I'm going to pretend I didn't read that.
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  #23  
Old 04-01-2013, 09:54 PM
neilsarkar neilsarkar is offline
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OK, now my interest is piqued. I'd love to see what 'nice' car Dunderhi buys after the lease on the 650 is over.

The i8 should be in production by then.

I love Dunderhi's car shopping threads.
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Last edited by neilsarkar; 04-02-2013 at 12:31 AM.
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  #24  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:41 AM
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Mark K Mark K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
The rear seats on the 650, like those on a 911, are utterly useless, so I think of the 650 as a two seater.

Anyway, I guess you don't remember the "deal" that Mrs D offered to me back in December. She said that if I commit to a 3 year lease on a "not so nice car" (her words), then I could get a really nice one when our house is paid off in three years. So I made the supreme sacrifice and got a 650. Compromise is the key to happy marriage.


P.S. Mrs D approves of this post.
No, I didn't remember that. VERY important parameter for a decision. Well, I'm sorry you'll have to suffer driving that ... thing ... for three more years Just kidding.
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  #25  
Old 04-02-2013, 07:53 AM
SuperTerp SuperTerp is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
My fellow terrapin knows what I am talking about.

I think she was worried about me getting a $168k SL63, which BTW, she dragged me over to look at while I was checking out an SL550, but that's why she plans to stay home the next time I go car shopping. That sounds like a good topic for a thread.
Yikes a new one would put me at 208k I need that $6800 b&o sound package.

I bet if you brought her home some mcnuggets for lunch she'd forget you spent that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dunderhi View Post
I'm going to pretend I didn't read that.
lol I tried to use words older people would understand
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