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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 09-23-2013, 10:02 PM
bodonx's Avatar
bodonx bodonx is offline
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Location: LA
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 455
Mein Auto: 2014 F10 M5 CP
2011 535i vs. 2014 550i review

Continuation of my thread here, I finally got a chance to test drive 2014 550i i (no DHP, luxury line) and 2014 M5 (no comp pkg) back to back. One of these will be my replacement car.

Please note I currently drive 2011 535i with its well-know weaknesses (jerking/delay throttle, light steering, too soft suspension).

Hopefully, this review is helpful for anyone who wants to upgrade to LCI F10. The rating is from 1 to 10

Steering
None of F10s have good steering feel compared to old BMW.
535i - 1
550i - 3
M5 - 5 (I don't get it why BMW keep it hydraulic, but the feel is fake)
E46 330i - 10 (I had this car before)

Transmission
I don't know why 2011 F10 has a slow-shifting 8 AT. It's much more improved in the LCI 550i (I don't know if BMW already corrected this in MY2012/2013). The new software of the transmission makes 8AT feel like M-DCT like.
E46 330i - 3
535i - 6
550i - 8
M5 - 10 (it's just simply the best, so fast and engaging)

Handling
Even with base suspension, as other member's said, 550i has less body roll and more stable over the bumps than my 535i. 704 suspension should be even better
535i - 4
550i - 6
M5 - 9 (this is just another league. Other than the weight, doing 45 mph cornering in the city does not test the suspension at all. M5 doesn't feel bounced left/right on bumpy road. It feels 100% planted.)

Engine
550i engine is definitely much stronger than N55, but I am very disappointed with the sound. No, induction noise at all. N55 has one of the classiest engine sound.
535i - 8
550 - 8 (due to lack of sound)
M5 - 10 (It's like riding on a roller coaster and the extra sound from the fake induction noise is nice too. The TQ is everywhere).

Interior
I love BMW finally brought the adjustable bolster BACK. And, the stitching detailing on the seat is a nice addition to F10 LCI. Any of these cars have very high-quality interior. But, M5 is available with full leather which takes it to the next level
535i - 8
550i - 9 (Due to adjustable bolster)
M5 - 10


At the end of day, F10 LCI 550i is a great improvement over 2011 F10. However, I feel like driving the same car compared to my 535i.

Whereas the M5 is like another car with totally different sound, aura, handling, transmission, character. You feel like driving something special.
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Last edited by bodonx; 09-24-2013 at 02:58 PM.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2013, 11:01 PM
kk22 kk22 is offline
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Location: Chicago
 
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 318
Mein Auto: 535i X-Drive
So M5 it is then!
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  #3  
Old 09-24-2013, 07:36 AM
Alan L. Alan L. is offline
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Location: East Coast
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 1,457
Mein Auto: LCI 550i Msport
No question the M5 is a best car here. If the funds allow it its a no brainer.

I believe the longer you drive the 550 or M5 the more you will like them even more and start to notice just how different they are compared to your 2011. Even compared to my 2013 the 2014 has some significant improvements that just makes me love this car much more than the old one.

Power difference aside these are the key areas where I feel the LCI was a improvement even over my 2013

Steering. The EPS feels more direct and real to me than my old hydraulic setup in the Xi. Does not feel artificial at all. I too had a E46 and while the steering was awesome on the highway it was cumbersome during local driving and parking. Mine was a 2000 and it was very very stiff. The more I drive the LCI the more i notice that the steering response is quicker. You turn the wheel less to turn the same amount i did with my pre lci.

SAT Transmission - I always thought my 13 transmission shifted fast and DCT like feel but the LCI 550 feels just a tad quicker during up and down shifts. One MAJOR improvement that BMW seemed to have fixed is the low speed jerk feeling I always felt while in Sport mode where you creep to almost a full stop(<5mph) but then give it gas again. The car would jerk into 1st gear making it feel like someone just rear ended me or someone who doesn't know how to drive a manual letting the clutch out too fast. I felt this in my 13 ever since it was new and others reported the same. This only happens in that precise fashion that i described above. There is an area by my house where i could almost duplicate it 99% of the time and I am happy to report my LCI 550 has not done this once yet! This was a huge improvement imo and i no longer have to be conscious about this worrying about jerking my passengers in my 75K car.

Suspension - Handles better but yet soaks up bumps better than ever. Both of my cars are on ACS springs too and the 550 just rides nicer overall.

Navigation - The touchpad handwriting feature is amazing. I thought it would just be a gimmick at first but after using it a few times it really makes entering in addresses so much easier and safer. I no longer have to take my eyes off the road when entering a destination and the system is FAST so it is very useful.

Steering wheel - I know I said in my original thread that I prefer the style of the old wheel more to this new 3 spoke one. Style wise I still think the old wheel flows better with the interior but the much more open design of the new wheel just makes the dash so much cleaner and easier to look at. I know its more of a optical illusion but some how this new wheel just makes everything in front of me much easier to see and clearer.

In terms of power the 550 is plenty powerful for even me. 445hp and 480tq stock is nothing to sneeze about. You get up to speed so fast in this car I feel like i don't have anywhere to really use it where i live. I just can't even imagine what a M5 feels like with over 100hp more.

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|||

Last edited by Alan L.; 09-24-2013 at 08:07 AM.
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  #4  
Old 09-24-2013, 02:11 PM
bodonx's Avatar
bodonx bodonx is offline
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Location: LA
 
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Posts: 455
Mein Auto: 2014 F10 M5 CP
Yes, I forgot to mention that. I thought only MY11 has that jerking issue. Turns out BMW hasn't fixed it until 2014. Or maybe, 550i has never had that issue in the first place. Only 535/528 has that issue.

2014 F30 335 I test drove two months ago didn't have that jerking issue.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan L. View Post
No question the M5 is a best car here. If the funds allow it its a no brainer.

I believe the longer you drive the 550 or M5 the more you will like them even more and start to notice just how different they are compared to your 2011. Even compared to my 2013 the 2014 has some significant improvements that just makes me love this car much more than the old one.

Power difference aside these are the key areas where I feel the LCI was a improvement even over my 2013

Steering. The EPS feels more direct and real to me than my old hydraulic setup in the Xi. Does not feel artificial at all. I too had a E46 and while the steering was awesome on the highway it was cumbersome during local driving and parking. Mine was a 2000 and it was very very stiff. The more I drive the LCI the more i notice that the steering response is quicker. You turn the wheel less to turn the same amount i did with my pre lci.

SAT Transmission - I always thought my 13 transmission shifted fast and DCT like feel but the LCI 550 feels just a tad quicker during up and down shifts. One MAJOR improvement that BMW seemed to have fixed is the low speed jerk feeling I always felt while in Sport mode where you creep to almost a full stop(<5mph) but then give it gas again. The car would jerk into 1st gear making it feel like someone just rear ended me or someone who doesn't know how to drive a manual letting the clutch out too fast. I felt this in my 13 ever since it was new and others reported the same. This only happens in that precise fashion that i described above. There is an area by my house where i could almost duplicate it 99% of the time and I am happy to report my LCI 550 has not done this once yet! This was a huge improvement imo and i no longer have to be conscious about this worrying about jerking my passengers in my 75K car.

Suspension - Handles better but yet soaks up bumps better than ever. Both of my cars are on ACS springs too and the 550 just rides nicer overall.

Navigation - The touchpad handwriting feature is amazing. I thought it would just be a gimmick at first but after using it a few times it really makes entering in addresses so much easier and safer. I no longer have to take my eyes off the road when entering a destination and the system is FAST so it is very useful.

Steering wheel - I know I said in my original thread that I prefer the style of the old wheel more to this new 3 spoke one. Style wise I still think the old wheel flows better with the interior but the much more open design of the new wheel just makes the dash so much cleaner and easier to look at. I know its more of a optical illusion but some how this new wheel just makes everything in front of me much easier to see and clearer.

In terms of power the 550 is plenty powerful for even me. 445hp and 480tq stock is nothing to sneeze about. You get up to speed so fast in this car I feel like i don't have anywhere to really use it where i live. I just can't even imagine what a M5 feels like with over 100hp more.

Alan
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