2014 535i MSport - First impressions from a new member

by Bimmerfest.com Member - MikeZap on October 1, 2013, 9:29 am
New member and previous owner of a 2011 535i Sport. I’ve had my Azurite Black 535i MT MSport now for 3 weeks. I had a laundry list of complaints on my 2011 and every one of them has been addressed with the 2014. It’s like I am driving a completely different car! My observations below:

Suspension – definitely stiffer and sportier even in comfort mode, I feel like I am driving a BMW again

Engine/drivetrain – If I didn’t know it I would swear that I had both an increase in horsepower (more than just the 300 to 306) and torque. Wow!, acceleration and torque are noticeably improved, again much more sporty. Even an improvement on shift feel. Manual gear shifts are smoother with just the right amount of resistance.

Steering – Much better. Weighting is more natural and road feel greatly improved especially in normal/comfort mode. Only criticism: BMW still does not get it that heavier steering does not translate to sporty. Heavier steering makes the steering less tactile. As a result where as I like to have the increase in throttle response in sport mode, I hate the stiffer steering. Normal/comfort mode has improved so much that I can stay there.

Black panel gauges and Nav screen – Huge improvement. Black panel allows for a crisp white display in the daytime which is a huge visual improvement vs the painted gauges. All displays are crisper and graphics are excellent, combined with some of the aluminum flourishes the interior definitely feels upgraded

Sport steering wheel – awesome, great thickness and design makes the car feel much more sporty (which it was greatly lacking). Great visibility for gauges

Multi Contour Seats – Movable side bolsters definitely add to the sport feel, they are great!

Bonus features – the ability to fold down the entire back seat is a huge benefit. Center console removal big plus

Ivory White Nappa Leather – much better in person, in the pictures it played much lighter, in reality it is a great color especially since they kept the lower cabin sections black. The contrast is superb and will help keep it clean

Azurite Black Metallic is beautiful and I believe a big improvement over Carbon Black

Future mods: lowering springs, 3D Design front spoiler, M5 rear deck spoiler

I think they hit it out of the park. Looking forward to seeing Car & Driver do a German comparo redeux with the LCI.


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40 responses to 2014 535i MSport - First impressions from a new member

MoonBMWer commented:
October 1, 2013, 12:12 pm

What do you mean by "Center console removal big plus"?

Really nice car. You should be proud
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 12:57 pm

Not only does the back seat completely fold down, but you have the ability to keep the back seat up and just remove a center piece so that you have access to the trunk from inside the car. Not sure if this was the case with the 2013s but my 2011 did not have either of these features
Motorboat411 commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:24 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Suspension – definitely stiffer and sportier even in comfort mode, I feel like I am driving a BMW again
Do you have Dynamic Handling Package (DHP) or 704 M-sport suspension? If you don't have DHP, then there should Not be any difference in softness of the suspension when you go to Comfort mode. Can you confirm this?
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:31 pm

I have DHP. I will tell that going to sport mode I only really notice the throttle response and the heavier steering (which I hate). I believe that because they did such a great job making normal mode (comfort) suspension so much stiffer, you don't get that much suspension impact going to sport mode
Motorboat411 commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
I have DHP. I will tell that going to sport mode I only really notice the throttle response and the heavier steering (which I hate). I believe that because they did such a great job making normal mode (comfort) suspension so much stiffer, you don't get that much suspension impact going to sport mode
That's the only reason I wanted to get DHP - so I can adjust ride comfort on bad roads, you have me confused now. The 2011 535i with DHP that I drove had a "noticeable" difference in comfort mode - when going over bumpy roads, not so much on smooth roads. Did you compare sport vs comfort on bumpy roads? Also, when you change to comfort mode, do you see shocks/struts highlighted on the iDrive graphic?
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:46 pm

Have not really done a compare over specifcally bumpy roads. I would say the compare is mostly on twisties. I don't get any iDrive graphic when I change between modes
Motorboat411 commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:52 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Have not really done a compare over specifcally bumpy roads. I would say the compare is mostly on twisties. I don't get any iDrive graphic when I change between modes
Could you please do a comparison on a bumpy road and let me know today? I was going to place my order but now I'm confused if I $3500 option is worth it or not.
WJGreer commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:53 pm

The 2011s really hurt the reputation of this car. I think several of the issues you outline were being gradually addressed along the way.
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 1:55 pm

ill see what I can find - keep in mind that DHP (according to BMW) also gives you reduced body roll, flatter cornering etc as it adapts to the road surface continually. Not only does it give better handing but adds better comfort at the same time.
jagu commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorboat411 View Post
That's the only reason I wanted to get DHP - so I can adjust ride comfort on bad roads, you have me confused now. The 2011 535i with DHP that I drove had a "noticeable" difference in comfort mode - when going over bumpy roads, not so much on smooth roads. Did you compare sport vs comfort on bumpy roads? Also, when you change to comfort mode, do you see shocks/struts highlighted on the iDrive graphic?
Just to save you some money, I'd forget the DHP and go with the 704 but change the run flat tires to non run flat michelins. The car rides very well all around without needing to switch buttons all the time.
rysky007 commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:28 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorboat411 View Post
Could you please do a comparison on a bumpy road and let me know today? I was going to place my order but now I'm confused if I $3500 option is worth it or not.
Me to
rysky007 commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:31 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Not only does the back seat completely fold down, but you have the ability to keep the back seat up and just remove a center piece so that you have access to the trunk from inside the car. Not sure if this was the case with the 2013s but my 2011 did not have either of these features
In the picture you have of your car, it looks like the bottom of your heal light is list up in a line following the out line of the head light. Does your car have the upgraded LED lights?
rysky007 commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:34 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by jagu View Post
Just to save you some money, I'd forget the DHP and go with the 704 but change the run flat tires to non run flat michelins. The car rides very well all around without needing to switch buttons all the time.
What would you recommend for some one who has to go AWD and cant do the 704 suspension?

Go with DHP or not?
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:36 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rysky007 View Post
In the picture you have of your car, it looks like the bottom of your heal light is list up in a line following the out line of the head light. Does your car have the upgraded LED lights?
Yes I have LED lights
que syrah syrah commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:40 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rysky007 View Post
What would you recommend for some one who has to go AWD and cant do the 704 suspension?

Go with DHP or not?
Definitely. Not sure how much the option is now but I'm very glad I have it and use it quite often with a noticeable ride difference.
jagu commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:45 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rysky007 View Post
What would you recommend for some one who has to go AWD and cant do the 704 suspension?

Go with DHP or not?
Sorry, I missed that. I don't have any X Drive experience.
rysky007 commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:45 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Yes I have LED lights
Would you say there are noticible difference between the way the LED's light up the road vs standard lights that come on the 535Ix?
Sonicendeavor commented:
October 1, 2013, 2:52 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rysky007 View Post
What would you recommend for some one who has to go AWD and cant do the 704 suspension?

Go with DHP or not?
Go out and drive both. Each person has different needs so what works for one could be unacceptable for another. I can tell you that the LCI standard suspension is very good over a wide range of conditions - absorbs rough roads well, and stays pretty flat in the corners.
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:07 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by rysky007 View Post
Would you say there are noticible difference between the way the LED's light up the road vs standard lights that come on the 535Ix?
I think so, I really like the look as well
mness commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:10 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorboat411 View Post
Also, when you change to comfort mode, do you see shocks/struts highlighted on the iDrive graphic?
The iDrive graphic will unfortunately always show the suspension highlighted when changing modes, even on cars that don't have adjustable suspension. IE M-sports with 704, and cars without the DHP (Dynamic Handling Package) or EDC (Electronic Damping Control) options.
mness commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:14 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Steering – Much better. Weighting is more natural and road feel greatly improved especially in normal/comfort mode. Only criticism: BMW still does not get it that heavier steering does not translate to sporty. Heavier steering makes the steering less tactile. As a result where as I like to have the increase in throttle response in sport mode, I hate the stiffer steering. Normal/comfort mode has improved so much that I can stay there.
YES what the F10 needs is faster steering, not necessarily heavier. I hate how far you have to row the wheel around turns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
Azurite Black Metallic is beautiful and I believe a big improvement over Carbon Black
Let's see some pics of Azurite Black. Not enough of them around!

Congrats!
MikeZap commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:22 pm

Will get a few more pics in the sun to show the Azurite Black. Did not mean to slight Carbon Black which is also a great color, Azurite just plays differently. Frankly my 2011 was Black Sapphire and I would have gone with that again if they had offered it in the MSport

With regard to the steering. BMW was really under the gun for the 2014 LCI with all of the bad press they received on the steering. So I gotta think that the LCI represents what they feel is the best they can do. Like I mentioned definitely better but they need to really get a clue on the weighting. My other car is a MINI which also has electric steering and it is much closer to hydraulic. Isn't it the same company??
rysky007 commented:
October 1, 2013, 3:22 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonicendeavor View Post
Go out and drive both. Each person has different needs so what works for one could be unacceptable for another. I can tell you that the LCI standard suspension is very good over a wide range of conditions - absorbs rough roads well, and stays pretty flat in the corners.
I don't have that option, my only local dealer only has 4 cars in stock, and the dealers have no clue what the cars do and dont have.
Motorboat411 commented:
October 1, 2013, 5:04 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
I have DHP. I will tell that going to sport mode I only really notice the throttle response and the heavier steering (which I hate). I believe that because they did such a great job making normal mode (comfort) suspension so much stiffer, you don't get that much suspension impact going to sport mode
Btw, does your car have Comfort+?
BlakeH commented:
October 1, 2013, 5:05 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mness View Post
The iDrive graphic will unfortunately always show the suspension highlighted when changing modes, even on cars that don't have adjustable suspension.
You guys broke my heart when I learned that the graphic was not accurate on my car.

But... I get Sports Display
Sonicendeavor commented:
October 1, 2013, 6:41 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeH View Post
You guys broke my heart when I learned that the graphic was not accurate on my car.
Hmmmmmm, I wonder if that those mode graphics are jpegs that can be replaced by pointing an entry in the configuration (aka Coding) file to a different image. That could lead to some fun customization . Minimally someone could edit the existing images to remove the suspension components, but it could be a lot more interesting than that.
mness commented:
October 1, 2013, 8:01 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlakeH View Post
But... I get Sports Display
Haha, so do I in my 2013 I just got coded last week ;-)

That cool that they're standard in your 2014.

Attachment 399915




Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
MikeZap commented:
October 2, 2013, 9:10 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorboat411 View Post
Btw, does your car have Comfort+?
It does have Comfort + which I cannot imagine I will ever use
Bernie@Bimmerfest commented:
October 2, 2013, 10:38 am

Post up some more pics!
rysky007 commented:
October 2, 2013, 12:26 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mness View Post
Haha, so do I in my 2013 I just got coded last week ;-)

That cool that they're standard in your 2014.

Attachment 399915




Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
That display showing the power and torque is that standard in all 2014's? I did not see that option when I was playing with the settings.
MikeZap commented:
October 2, 2013, 12:38 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie@Bimmerfest View Post
Post up some more pics!
will do, need to get a better camera
Needsdecaf commented:
October 2, 2013, 2:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeZap View Post
It does have Comfort + which I cannot imagine I will ever use
What suspension did your 2011 have?

Sent from my SCH-I925 using BimmerApp mobile app
lindros2 commented:
October 2, 2013, 3:59 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mness View Post
The iDrive graphic will unfortunately always show the suspension highlighted when changing modes, even on cars that don't have adjustable suspension. IE M-sports with 704, and cars without the DHP (Dynamic Handling Package) or EDC (Electronic Damping Control) options.
Not true - my 2013 does NOT show suspension when changing modes.

My 2011 (without DHP) did show it, which was always either confusing or made me feel better about myself (I could pretend I had it).
ahmadddd commented:
October 2, 2013, 7:23 pm

Is the steering heavier or lighter than your 2011 in comfort mode?
mness commented:
October 2, 2013, 8:27 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindros2 View Post
Not true - my 2013 does NOT show suspension when changing modes.

My 2011 (without DHP) did show it, which was always either confusing or made me feel better about myself (I could pretend I had it).
Hmmm. Here's the pic of my display when I switch to Sport, red suspension, but I have Msport 704 non-adjustable suspension. Let's compare a pic of yours.

Attachment 400170


Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
MikeZap commented:
October 3, 2013, 10:13 am

Quote:
Originally Posted by Needsdecaf View Post
What suspension did your 2011 have?

Sent from my SCH-I925 using BimmerApp mobile app
Had DHP in the 2011, MSport package was not available and therefore 704 was not available
Motorboat411 commented:
October 3, 2013, 1:52 pm

Just noticed that you have Michelin PS2s as well. How much of a difference did they make in ride-quality?
MikeZap commented:
October 3, 2013, 2:13 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by Motorboat411 View Post
Just noticed that you have Michelin PS2s as well. How much of a difference did they make in ride-quality?
I think they are great although my compare was to the run flats that I had on my 2011. Handling and ride quality are exceptional! I am sure that RF technology is getting better all the time. I never even drove my new car with the stock RFs so I can't do a compare.
lindros2 commented:
October 3, 2013, 4:54 pm

Quote:
Originally Posted by mness View Post
Hmmm. Here's the pic of my display when I switch to Sport, red suspension, but I have Msport 704 non-adjustable suspension. Let's compare a pic of yours.
I was referring more to my 2011 which actually called out "drivetrain" and "suspension".

I could even select whether I wanted drivetrain and/or suspension (either/both) to be adjusted with the rocker switch.

The 2013 is similar to yours, but I think slightly different. My car was built 3/2013 and has the updated (HUH not CIC) nav/iDrive version 4.2.
bwong commented:
October 3, 2013, 6:41 pm

I currently have a 2--8 535i with Sport package, Sport trans, Premium package, and seats with movable bolsters. My friend has a 2011 535i and said he couldn't get movable bolster seats so I was bummed and waited.
I'm about to order my 2014 535i MSport and have a few questions:
This is what I'm thinking
Imperial Blue but also considering Carbon Black. I like both, hard to choose, comments?
Mocha Napa Leather. Based upon Internet photos but never seen. Does anyone have this or seen it?
Sport Trans/paddle shift. A must for me
Luxury Seating Packaging: Can you confirm that the bolsters can move again like they did pre-2011?
Harman Kardon stereo
Driver Assistant package - I l like the parking radar and rear camera
ACC with Stop & GO - Question, do you guys think it is worth it? I commute 100 miles a day mostly freeway.

I got a quote for 1500 below invoice
Thanks for feedback.
Brian