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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 09-10-2013, 08:05 PM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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Mein Auto: LCI 550i Msport
Took delivery of my LCI 550i today =) *Mini Review*

First off let me make this clear. This thread is about MY car and MY review of it. Nobody has to agree with my review which is perfectly fine. I am basing my review against my 2013 535xi with Dynamic Damper Control and ACS springs/M5 FSB.

Ok now that I got that out of the way here's my review of my 2014 550i Msport without the 704 suspension It has been a long day of modding since I took delivery this morning and I put about 100 miles on the car so far. Exhaust, front lip, trunk spoiler, rear diffuser, black grills, painted reflectors all done already... ACS springs going in tomorrow...

Here are the major differences between the two cars

535xi vs 550i
300hp vs 445hp
AWD vs RWD
Hydraulic Steering vs Electric Steering
GY All Season Tire RFTs vs Dunlop Summer Tire RFTs


First up....

Handling

So how does the LCI Msport handle without the Msport suspension? Way better than my DDC 535xi stock vs stock. The instant I swapped cars I noticed how the LCI has more road feel than my old car pulling out from the dealership. It feels sportier than my 535xi even in Sport mode but some how it soaks up the bumps better! I don't know how they did it but all i know is that the ride feels sportier but at the same time more comfortable when going over bumps. My 535xi would exhibit much more understeer at the limit while the LCI 550 feels very neutral to me. It has more oversteering tendency than my old car for sure which I like. For those of you who live in NY should be familiar with the Southern State Parkway where the road has lots of long winding curves and it is the perfect road to test out the suspension. I was able to maneuver the 550 into and out of those curves without any issues. Not once did i felt like the car was bouncing around being too soft etc... No question that the new car out handles the old one stock for stock. Much more enjoyable to drive imo.

What I don't like? Wheel gap. In person the gap doesn't look any larger than other Msports i've seen around and on par with my stock 535xi ddc suspension. During high speed bumps I did feel like the suspension could have been a little more firm because I felt it float just a bit when going over consecutive dips/bumps going at a high rate of speed. I am hoping that after I get the ACS springs installed it will improve the handling even further as well as eliminating that horrible wheel gap.

After taking delivery of my car it really makes me wonder if all this fuss about the 704 suspension is even worth all the headache. While it might not be as firm as it could have been but at the same time this car handles quite well and takes bumps like nothing. Like KA's review.....the leader in raving about the 704 suspension even said in his LCI test drive that the difference isn't all that noticeable. Not like some guys here make it sound like the LCI with the base suspension feels like a 1988 caddy riding on air and how it is the worst handling BMW ever created.

Power

One word - Amazing. Even with the JB tune on my 535xi it doesn't even come close to the power the new N63TU motor is putting down. Tons of power anywhere. 7th and 8th gear is actually useful for me now since the car has enough power to accelerate even in those high gears. 445hp is plenty for this car!

Interior

Not a fan of the new steering wheel compared to the old Msport one. Yes it does look sportier but doesn't flow as well as the old wheel design wise. Buttons are harder to reach as well as the horn due to the smaller contact area. Build quality seems about the same as the old one so no complaints there. I'm sure I will get use to the new wheel but initial response was why did they have to mess with an already great steering wheel?

Ivory white interior. My old car had black nappa and now the new car has Ivory white nappa. Huge difference for sure and it took me awhile to get use to it. Its growing on me the more I drive the car. I'm thinking I should have went with Mocha instead but we'll see. Ivory combo gives the interior a different upscale look. Its not as white as i thought it would be. In reality it looks more like Lemon / cream color. The lighter interior color def. makes the cabin feel more open and airy. Wife seems to love it and I'm sure my baby girl would prefer it over the cave like look of the old car.

iDrive knob. That thing is a big boy compared to the old one. Takes some getting use to rotating such a big knob. I tested out the hand writing thing and it seems pretty quick and accurate. Will need to mess around with it more to really judge how the new system is.

Exterior

The biggest change here were my LED headlights. This is a must have IMO. The car looks so much more aggressive with the squared halos and blacked out headlights. The rear lights looks so similar you don't even notice that its different unless you had the two next to each other.

Thats about it for now. I will update this thread once I have a chance to take a few pictures of the car and get the ACS springs installed as well as tint. I am pretty exhausted right now driving around all day plus installing all of my mods in this nasty hot and humid weather.

Alan

Updated with a crappy iphone pic from this morning...
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2014 LCI 550i M Sport | 3D Design Front Spoiler | BMW Performance Black Kidney Grills | BMW Performance Trunk Spoiler | BMW Performance Gloss Black Diffuser | Painted Reflectors | Wincos 30% Tint | Supersprint Quad Exhaust | AC Schnitzer Springs | MORR VS8.2 Brushed Finished Wheels 20x10R and 20x9F | Michelin PSS Tires 245/35/20F 285/30/20R | M550d 16mm RSB |||More Photos of my car here|||

Last edited by Alan L.; 09-11-2013 at 07:27 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:33 PM
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Needsdecaf Needsdecaf is offline
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Took delivery of my LCI 550i today =) *Mini Review*

You are inspiring me to order an LCI 550.

Glad you are actually ENJOYING your car. I know you have been through a lot of agony with the issues you had in your old car.

Congrats!


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  #3  
Old 09-10-2013, 08:46 PM
kk22 kk22 is offline
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Thanks! I have been waiting for your review. There has been a higher noise to signal ratio regarding suspensions on this forum lately. Being that I may only order X-drives living in Chicago a swap with a Luxury Line 550 with ACS springs doesn't seem to be a bad idea a few months down the road. Enjoy your new beast! And let's see some pictures!!
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Old 09-10-2013, 08:56 PM
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Alan, thanks for the review. It's good to hear you are happy.

Needs, what are you crazy - another 5er! Just kidding.
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2013, 09:02 PM
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What exhaust did you put on it?
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  #6  
Old 09-11-2013, 04:29 AM
jjsC6 jjsC6 is offline
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Thanks for the great write-up.
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  #7  
Old 09-11-2013, 04:36 AM
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admannj admannj is offline
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Took delivery of my LCI 550i today =) *Mini Review*

Great write-up. Enjoy your new ride.


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  #8  
Old 09-11-2013, 05:33 AM
The X Men The X Men is offline
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Alan, nice mini write up, short and to the point, just the way I like it and finally a concrete comparison between the two suspension.
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  #9  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:04 AM
TJH-5 TJH-5 is offline
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Originally Posted by The X Men View Post
Alan, nice mini write up, short and to the point, just the way I like it and finally a concrete comparison between the two suspension.
Sound right but wouldn't the tires also make a difference ?
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  #10  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:06 AM
omaralt omaralt is offline
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so your enjoying your leper? :P

just kidding, congrats and enjoy, lets see some pictures. also, do you have black floor mats or white ones?
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  #11  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:28 AM
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MoldCAD MoldCAD is online now
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Alan - even though your specific situation (first the 535xi buyback, now the 704 suspension confusion) doesn't (nor even could) possibly apply to me personally - I'm sincerely happy for you, man. Enjoy your new ride - I envy you the power
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:33 AM
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Nice Review from what ive seen a stock 650xi run at the track your 550 should be in mid 12's stock.
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Old 09-11-2013, 06:34 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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Thanks guys.

I must say I am glad to finally drive the new car after months of waiting and stressing over this suspension "issue". This has been a long process that started back in June when I brought my 535 in for service and thats when the nightmare began. At the end of the day BMW paid me to jump into a 2014 LCI 550 so it all worked out for the better.

In regards to my comparison it really isn't apples to apples because of the fundamental differences of the two cars. This is why i listed all of the changes between the two so you can gauge where I am coming from.

I just dropped off the car to have the ACS springs installed to complete the major modifications I have planned for the car. I can't wait to see how it looks with the lower stance and 20" wheels mounted.

One thing I like to mention is that while I had the car on a lift getting my exhaust done I took a bunch of pics of the suspension parts. I figure just in case i wanted to upgrade them down the road I know what I already have under the car.

I can confirm that my car has 24mm Front sway bar and 14mm Rear sway bar. The design looks just like the pre LCI's so that means there is even more room for improvement such as 26mm M5 front bar in combination with a 16mm 650 rear bar. I am happy with the way the car rides now and will see how it is once the springs are on. I think this combo should be the sweet spot for me in terms of having a sporty handling car without it being too stiff for New York roads. Nevertheless parts are there if I want an even tighter OEM suspension setup. It would out handle the 704 suspension that some seem to praise so much here.

Ausdude - I reinstalled my Supersprint exhaust on to the 550. I ended up only using the muffler section of my SS exhaust and it matches up with the stock 550 piping. The piping is slightly smaller on the SS exhaust but it shouldn't matter because the stock piping has multiple crush points that reduces the diameter size anyway. The mufflers are also more free flowing so that should offset it as well. Since my 535xi had the full race pipe mid section plus exhaust it was much louder than the 550. When I started up the 550 I was shocked just how quiet the car still is. Slightly disappointing at first but the more i drove the car under load the more happy I am with it. It reminds me of the 650 Grand Coupe loaner that i had but slightly louder. Cruising speed there is ZERO droning but you hear it when you get on the throttle. Its pretty perfect for this type of car its just that I am use to having louder exhaust systems so this is very tame for me. Wife likes it though lol
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Last edited by Alan L.; 09-11-2013 at 06:51 AM.
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  #14  
Old 09-11-2013, 06:43 AM
pharding pharding is offline
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Great review, Alan. Thank you.
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  #15  
Old 09-11-2013, 07:00 AM
omaralt omaralt is offline
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alan, can you please let me know if you have black or white floor mats? i hated how in the 6 coupe when you had ivory white you got white floor mats. i preferred it when you had oyster/black with the black floor mats
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  #16  
Old 09-11-2013, 07:02 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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Black floor mats and interior carpets. The combination is actually very classy and upscale looking.

Alan
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2014 LCI 550i M Sport | 3D Design Front Spoiler | BMW Performance Black Kidney Grills | BMW Performance Trunk Spoiler | BMW Performance Gloss Black Diffuser | Painted Reflectors | Wincos 30% Tint | Supersprint Quad Exhaust | AC Schnitzer Springs | MORR VS8.2 Brushed Finished Wheels 20x10R and 20x9F | Michelin PSS Tires 245/35/20F 285/30/20R | M550d 16mm RSB |||More Photos of my car here|||
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Old 09-11-2013, 07:02 AM
omaralt omaralt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan L. View Post
Black floor mats and interior carpets. The combination is actually very classy and upscale looking.

Alan
nice, thats what i was hoping for. i hated the all white ivory look in the 6er. congrats
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  #18  
Old 09-11-2013, 07:51 AM
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Sonicendeavor Sonicendeavor is offline
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Alan,
Your thoughts on the handling are very similar to mine in my LCI review last month. Some people didn't want to believe it at the time, but the improved standard suspension is quite capable. Still, there are times when I wish it was tighter and as you said, the stance needs to be lowered, but overall BMW did a nice job. Nice catch on the sway bars. I wonder if the sway bars are beefed up on the 535's as well.
Glad to hear you're pleased with your car.
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Old 09-11-2013, 08:01 AM
redbull21 redbull21 is offline
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Glad to hear it's all working out for you. Thanks for taking the time to post the detailed review!
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  #20  
Old 09-11-2013, 08:13 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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When I had my LCI up on the lift yesterday I used a measuring tool and it was showing 24mm for my front sway bar. The 2013 704 Msport suspension also comes with 24mm front sway bar as part of its upgrade. So it it possible that with the LCI's all of them already got part 704 front sway bar already? Judging by what my car came with the "base" suspension is already much more sporty than any base suspension that came on any pre lci cars going by the sway bar sizes alone.

My front sway bar




My rear sway bar


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2014 LCI 550i M Sport | 3D Design Front Spoiler | BMW Performance Black Kidney Grills | BMW Performance Trunk Spoiler | BMW Performance Gloss Black Diffuser | Painted Reflectors | Wincos 30% Tint | Supersprint Quad Exhaust | AC Schnitzer Springs | MORR VS8.2 Brushed Finished Wheels 20x10R and 20x9F | Michelin PSS Tires 245/35/20F 285/30/20R | M550d 16mm RSB |||More Photos of my car here|||
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  #21  
Old 09-11-2013, 08:44 AM
jmfan jmfan is offline
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Thanks for the write-up!

I have always found your opinion to be very credible and the fact that you have actually owned a 2013 to compare the 2014 LCI puts you in a league occupied by very few at this time.

You kept a pretty level head throughout all this and it looks like you will be happy with the end results. I have been through the BMW buyback process and understand the disappointment and frustration. In your trade assist case, knowing that your replacement car may not be spec’d the way you want before taking delivery would be unnerving for anyone.

I find your comment interesting “After taking delivery of my car it really makes me wonder if all this fuss about the 704 suspension is even worth all the headache…” I think many, myself included, figured this would work out in the wash and the “pseudo-lemon, leper, ’88 Caddy suspension, lawsuit crowd just took this issue off the rails. A few of them might be more credible if they actually owned and drove a BMW.

Looking forward to further review and anxious to see some pictures, your 535i was a stunner!
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  #22  
Old 09-11-2013, 09:40 AM
hotrod2448 hotrod2448 is offline
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Congrats on the new car. It looks great. The ivory really pops with the grey.

Besides the nicer cosmetics, how does the light output of the LEDs compare to HIDs? I only ask because even matching lumen output LEDs have always seemed to be not quite as bright to me. Maybe it's because of the narrower spectrum white LED used to have. I'm assuming/hoping with them being used in more applications like this they are getting better.

Are you going to try and code in the LED high beam functions they have in Europe?

Last edited by hotrod2448; 09-11-2013 at 09:51 AM.
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  #23  
Old 09-11-2013, 09:44 AM
solstice solstice is offline
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Congrats Alan and thanks for the review.
Any comments on the steering? How does the EPS compare to your xi's HPS? Apparently the lci's steering has been re-tuned for more feel and with your new car having the driveline and suspension stacked in favour of the EPS car it would be interresting to hear if it equals or surpasses the steering feel in the HPS car. Things as road feel, linearity, weight, on-center feel and return to center force would be interresting to hear about.

Last edited by solstice; 09-11-2013 at 09:47 AM.
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  #24  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:03 AM
BlakeH BlakeH is offline
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Alan,

Thanks for the review. I love the car too. I don't have the M package, but I wish there was a way to get the SPORT throttle response and higher gear shift changes in Comfort mode so I can use all eight gears. SPORT mode seems to lock out the top gear or gears. I do not have the SPORT+ with the Modern Lines - Just Sport, Comfort and ECO Pro.
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  #25  
Old 09-11-2013, 10:14 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hotrod2448 View Post
Congrats on the new car. It looks great. The ivory really pops with the grey.

Besides the nicer cosmetics, how does the light output of the LEDs compare to HIDs? I only ask because even matching lumen output LEDs have always seemed to be not quite as bright to me. Maybe it's because of the narrower spectrum white LED used to have. I'm assuming/hoping with them being used in more applications like this they are getting better.

Are you going to try and code in the LED high beam functions they have in Europe?
You are right about ivory popping with grey. That is why i went with it instead of mocha. No regrets just yet and I am liking it more and more.

I did notice on my limited drive last night that the light output from the LED headlights/fog lights didn't seem as bright as my old CBI xenon setup. It could be that the factory has them pointed really low by default and I manually adjusted my xenons to be slightly higher up giving me more range. I'll try to do that with the LEDs and report back but from what i could tell they do seem a little dimmer. The color out put is very white from both the fogs and headlights. Not a hint of yellow at all.
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