After months of hand wringing and test drives of XJs, A8, 750i, CLS550, E550, 550i, and LS460, I have settled on ordering a 2013 550i. This site has been invaluable and thanks to all of the posters that take the time to share information. Now, I'd like to see if I can get some advice on my spec.
1. It looks like there is no more 4-zone climate control. I have a 10 & 13 YO and they like being able to adjust their own thermostat. Is this available in the 2013 model 5 series?
2. I like the Dark Graphite II exterior color and I really wanted to pair it up with the Saddle colored interior I saw in a 7 series. But, as you all know, that color isn't available in the 550i. I haven't found a color that I like yet. I have been to the dealer a few times to see various cars with different colors and I'd say the Venetian Biege or Cinnamon Brown are the leading contenders right now. However, I am not too crazy about the Dakota leather vs. the Nappa leather. I don't want to go to the Individual selections because that is incompatible with the M Sport package. Does anyone have a Dark Graphite car with Venetian Biege or Cinnamon interior? How does it look and would you order it again? What about the overall look and feel of the Dakota leather after a year or so?
3. I have been looking at 'black wood' trim in my AMG car for ten years now and I am sick of it. I want something that actually looks like real wood in my new car. On the BMW configurator, the Light Wood trim looks REALLY light. Does anyone have this and is it really that light? Any suggestions of nice wood and interior color combinations would be appreciated.
4. I wish BMW would dump the run flat tires. I have a Mini Cooper with them and can't stand them. I'll probably replace them with non-run flat and buy the spare package, but it seems ridiculous to have to do this on a $75,000 car. I have to say, the Jaguar XJ almost won out in my selection because of this one difference.
5. There are a few options associated with adaptable/programmable suspension & transmissions. I don't plan to take this car on the track and it's going to be just a daily driver for work. Which one of the options is most worthwhile? Can I get by with just the Electronic Damper Control option or should I go for the Dynamic Handling Package with Adaptive Drive and Dynamic Damper Control? Is the Electronic Damping control the same as the Dynamic Damper Control? What about Active Roll Stabilization? Do I need that for 'regular driving'?
6. I spec'd out the Night Vision although I don't think that is a very popular option, from what I can tell. However, I live in a neighborhood with tons of runners and joggers that frequently run on the street in the dark at various times of the year and we get our share of deer that wander through the neighborhood as well. For those that have it, is this option worth the $2,600 price tag? Is it really effective?
So far, here are the specs I have picked, comments or suggestions are welcomed:
550i Rear wheel drive
Dark Graphite II
Interior - not sure
Wood trim - not sure
Driver Assistance Pkg and Plus Pkg.
Luxury Seating Pkg.
M Sport Package
Steptronic Auto Transmission
Electronic Damping Control
High Beam Assistant
Active Cruise Control
Thanks in advance for comments and suggestions.