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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • Having previously sworn that I would never have another black interior (or silver car, for that matter), last December I purchased a Ti Ag e39 530 with black leather. It wasn't my choice; it's what I got stuck with because it was the only e39 530i 5 spd sport in the entire DC/Baltimore area. I still think it's boring, even though it is very pretty to look at, but I don't mind the black interior at all. It doesn't show dirt the way light leather does, and it stays surprisingly cool even when the temps are in the 90s.
  • hullhull Posts: 10
    I have been thinking about BMW's for 5 years and am finally ready to get one. I recently moved to Portland, OR from San Diego. I initially considered the 530xi with MT, but I think I can feel the extra weight impacting the handling, and the extra $2000 doesn't seem worth it for Portland. I am now leanilng towards a 525i with stick. Unfortuantely, I will probably have to order from the factory, as there is not a single stick on the local dealers lot (not even a 3 series!).

    In the past I was a beliver in the 530, but the 525 now has 200+ hp and is really the same engine as the 530, just detuned.

    The local dealer will give me $1200 below MSRP (no discount on options) as the "Costco" price. It seems reasonable.

    Now I am torn on color combos:

    Should I get Mystic Blue with Gray leather or Oxford Green with Auburn Leather? I don't like the silver stuff at all (or white). The black and dark blue look good, but I think those dark colors will be hard to keep looking clean.

    I am also trying to decide on options.

    I am NOT interested in the sports package, as the ride is too stiff for my taste, or active steering or NAV.

    I will probably get the premium package so that I can get adjustable lumbar support. I will defintely get the cold weather package, as Portland is very cold by Southern California standards.

    I am wondering if I should consider the comfort seats. The posts seem mixed on this. I am also wondering about the audio system upgrade. $1800 seems expensive, but I do like good sound. I don't care for the idea of a changer in the glove box.

    Are the Xenon headlights really that helpful? Also wondering about the power sunshide and the park distance control.

    All these gadgets sound nice, but are they worth the money. If you take all the options the price of the 525 starts looking more like a 545!
  • equan1equan1 Posts: 27
    Xenons for sure. PDC is very helpful. While I am a BMW diehard, you might want to consider a M35, or even a G35
  • Which color excites you when you see it? If you really don't care one way or the other, it doesn't matter which you choose. But if you think that in six months you will regret not having gotten one or the other, then that is the one to buy.

    Sit in the comfort seats before you decide. Do NOT buy something you haven't experienced for yourself unless you can adapt to anything. (But if you can, then you won't need those expensive comfort seats, will you--the standard ones will be fine because you will adjust to them.)

    Listen to the standard audio. If it sounds good to you, you might not need to upgrade. Personally, I like the in-dash changer since I usually drive alone and have to do it myself while driving.

    I love my Xenons. I don't have a sunshade or park control, and I don't miss them. But that's just me.

    And remember, you really can't miss no matter what you choose; it's a great car! (Did you check out the Prices Paid board for pricing info?)
  • mp2mp2 Posts: 5
    Did they fix the vibrations after the replacement, please let me know. They replaced 3 sets on my car and now they have fixed it to an extent , I only have slight vibration at 60 to 65 mph, it is 90 to 95 % better than before.
    Dealer also thought it could be steering rack, I am still leaning to get a replacement since car has still to date 600 miles only.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Hi riez. Nice to see you post again.
    I have three questions for you. What would one experience if one's car were out of alignment? What would one experience if one's wheels were not balanced? Is it possible for one's car to be out of alignment and have wheels that are unbalanced and not be able to notice it?
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 28,432
    You just pulled his post from over a year ago... I'm not sure that qualifies as posting again....

    I hope we hear from him, but you aren't likely to get a reply...

    regards,
    kyfdx

    MODERATOR
    Prices Paid, Lease Questions, SUVs

  • dagmandagman Posts: 5
    I purchased a 525i/auto/premium/sport last week. Overall, the car drives and handles great, but I am noticing a small problem/quirk with the acceleration/transmission in first gear. When stepping modestly on the accelerator from a stopped position, the car seems to suffer a reduction in power at about 1000 RPM's, just before shifting into second gear. If you accelerate quickly enough, you do not experience the issue. However, in traffic, rapid acceleration is not possible.

    The sensation when this occurs is like a very poor shift, slightly bucking the car. Sometimes it is minor, and sometimes more significant.

    Has anyone else experienced/heard of this problem. Is it a defect, or simply a quirk with the transmission?
  • nyccarguynyccarguy Stamford, CTPosts: 7,536
    Having never sat in the Comfort Seats on a 5 series, I can tell you that the stock seats will suit you just fine. You'll be glad you get the car in a stick too! My Mom drives an '05 530iA. She doesn't have the Sport Package (when she ordered it ONLy came with active steering which she didn't want) or Comfort Seats. On a recent trip form their NYC suburb home to Pittsburgh, PA, my Dad who is 59 with back issues had no trouble sitting in the car and driving for almost 8 hours (including rest stops).

    2001 Honda Prelude Type SH/ 2011 BMW 328xi / 2011 Honda Pilot EX-L w/ Navigation

  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Oops! :blush: Jeez, I must have been tired or something. Guess I was hitting too many threads in a day.
  • bksportbksport Posts: 5
    They only replaced one tire on mine, however it did little or no good. I still have a noticeable vibration from 45+ and up. I really thought the tire would fix it since you can definitely hear what sounds like more tire nose at medium speeds - similar to driving in a truck with offroad tires.

    I'm curious when you say "3 sets"? Did they replace 3 tires or did they replace multiple tires 3 times. I believe mine are a Goodyear Eagle RS.
  • hullhull Posts: 10
    OK, I placed my order for my new 525i MT.

    I decided on the following options:

    Leather, cold weather package, Comfort seat, halogen lights, park distance control.

    I left out the enhanced stereo, as the base stereo is fairly good and $1800 for the upgrade is too much. The sports package is too aggressive for my tastes, as the low profile tires are expensive, noisy, and pass road irregularities on to my bum. However, I really wish they would offer active roll stabilization as a separate option (instead of active steering). Based on my experience driving a 3-seris around a track, the active roll stabilization really is nice. I also didn't bother with the premium package as the combination of leather+comfort seat covers all of the useful stuff. I can live without the built in garage door opener and auto dimming rearview mirror.

    I figure park distance control will pay for itself if it gets me out of one minor ding.

    Halogen lights are going to be useful in the hills in Portland near where I live.

    Cold weather package is a no brainer now that I live outside Southern California (probably don't need in Florida or HI either, but everywhere else it is worth it I think)

    I sat in the comfort seat. Not sure it is worth the $1200, but I decided to go for it. My body build has very short legs and I end up moving the seat close and reclining the seat back in order to get away from the steering wheel. The problem is that the top half of the seat back ends up not contacting my back due to an excessive slope. Having independent control of the upper part of the seat back and also the headrest should help me get the right adjustment on the seat.

    By the way, I did test drive the Accura RL and Infiiti M35. They are both very nice cars, but only come in automatic. My soul is stick shift. The Infiniti G35 was a possibility. I rented it once for about a week (an automatic one), and I also drove it around the track and compared it to the Audi A4 and the BMW330i (at a BMW event). The G35 automatic is poorly executed (M35 is much nicer) and the engine noise sounds unrefined to my ears. Also, it is not as well balanced as the BMW. That being said, it is a very good value, and with a stick it probably would make a nice car for the price. Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to test a G35 stick, so I really don't know if the manual transmission is good or not. It is definitely a powerful car though, though the 0-60 times of the new 330i are essentially identical to the G35 (for both automatics).
  • cdnpinheadcdnpinhead Forest Lakes, AZPosts: 3,256
    Thanks for a very useful post. . .from a fellow fan of the manual transmission.
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    I had a 2001 5 series, and truly loved it!!! When I went out looking to replace the vehicle, I obviously ended up at my BMW dealer. I drove the 05 530i, and when he told me thbe 06's would be in shortly, just a change in hp for the engine, I decided to look at the E60 seriously.

    The comparisons are difficult, to be honest. By the way, I loved my 01 so much, I decided to keep it. But I did buy the 06 530i. The E39 is more nimble - responds more quickly to handling and acceleration, rides a bit more harsh (sportier) and is more classic in its interior design as well as the exterior, of course. The seats are harder/harsher in the E39.

    As for the E60, the ride is nimble, but more subtle. It handles more like a Mercedes Benz than the E39, but far superior to the Benz. Acceleration with the new engine (255 hp) is good, but not as responsive as the E39. The interior seems more plush and the seats are a bit more comfortable on a longer drive. It is bigger on the inside and the trunk is far superior to the E39. Rear seat room is superior, as well. The I-drive, even though a "bugger" to learn and get used to, removes many dials and buttons off the front dash. Don't like the fact that on the E60, you have to get into the I-drive to change the direction of air-flow in the cabin, but on the E39, it's right there in the center lower dash - one push, it redirects air.

    As for styling, I like them both. The E39 is classic in its appearance and stance while the E60 is more graceful and progressive - looks like a cheetah ready to pounce on prey. The interior of the E60 is less obtrusive - fewer buttons and gadgets to press - looks cleaner on the inside. But, I also like the simplicity and ease of control of functions in the E39.

    To sum it all up, I love by E39, but I also love my E60. It seems that our inner thoughts or memories of the pride of owning/driving a BMW zero-in on the previous body styles. But, the future is hear - and BMW appears to be heading down the road that attracts a wider range of buyers. Lexus, Infiniti, Audi, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, Acura, etc., owners find the new E60 more attractive and less harsh on the road. Perhaps that is the market niche BMW is trying to infiltrate.

    I don't know all the answers, just love my Beemers.
  • First off, I will chide you for getting one of these machines with an automatic, but I have room to talk since I recently got an Audi A6 3.2 which also comes with one of these "awful" automatic transmissions. This is neither unique to Audi and BMW nor is it exactly a flaw in the transmission.

    We Audi owners call the condition you are experiencing, TIP lag, for BMW's it is STEP lag and for Mercedes owners, well you get the picture (oh, BTW, I have no evidence that the "perfect" Japanese cars have somehow managed to program around the "hesitation" these transmissions are apparently intended to provide.)

    If the Steptronic (which I just drove two weeks ago in a 530xi) has a regular and sport mode, just simply NEVER EVER EVER again use the regular mode and switch instead to sport mode -- or like my friends with BMW's they just "row their own" in step-mode.

    I don't even think it technically is a quirk -- the damn thing(s) are programmed to be very quick to get out of first gear (and very quick to upshift generally) probably to improve mileage. Moreover, the transmissions generally have a gradual and mostly appropriate down-shift capability (from speed) that is smooth and approximates what most of us who are closet manual transmission shifters would do were our fine sheens sticks.

    First gear, there's another issue -- virtually as long as the car has NOT come to a full stop, the steptronic transmission (in regular drive mode) will NOT shift to first gear. Then, when you want to accelerate, the engine's rpm's are so low it is unlikely that the car will have sufficient power to accelerate normally.

    The steptronic's brain "computes" or evaluates your "intention" and if you persist in this desire to accelerate it gives in and downshifts (of course this is often at the exact moment you, in your impatience [and who can blame you?] press even further down on the accelerator pedal which when coupled with the delayed downshift causes the car to "lag" then "lunge" or lurch forward with almost reckless abandon.)

    "Bucking," yep, that is another word for it.

    You have "classic" tip or step or whatever the heck the modifier to "tronic" is du jour.

    You however can be criticized since you actually had a choice and you chose an automatic -- what in the wide wide world of sports were you THINKING?!? See if you can turn this puppy back in and get a stick! ;) (I'm kidding -- mostly -- about that last sentence.) :shades:
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    "I don't even think it technically is a quirk -- the damn thing(s) are programmed to be very quick to get out of first gear (and very quick to upshift generally) probably to improve mileage."

    The steptronic transmissions start in 2nd gear. When you use sport mode it starts in first gear. Definitely a gas saving measure. But when you average 20 mph going to work, there really is no need for jack rabbit starts. I never experienced the lag others talked about.
  • No wonder I was "underwhelmed" with the 530xi automatic I took out -- it was WAY less powerful than either my wife's stick 3.0 X3 or my 3.2 Audi (which DOES -- reluctantly -- start in first gear and immediately upshifts.)

    I don't "hate" these "something-tronic" transmissions, but I don't really like them much. They are (especially on upshifts) hardly ever upshifting when I would upshift my manual transmission cars (I drove the Audi TT 6spd for the last time yesterday when I turned it in off lease.)

    I have never driven ANY of them, Audi, Cadillac (CTS or STS), BMW, Chrysler 300C, Jeep Grand w/Hemi or Infiniti M35x that didn't have some sensation that could be accurately (and broadly) described as "hesitation."

    I have resigned myself to "that's the way it is and probably ever shall be," and since I am not going to get a gas sucking V8 S4, I will probably be stuck with some form of a two pedal car.

    The only car, today, I would probably really thoroughly enjoy is the 530xi with the stick shift. Timing, as they say, is EVERYTHING.

    Next time, hopefully.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Of late I’ve been commuting daily along a 6.4 mile section of I-93 between Exit #3 in New Hampshire and Exit #48 in Massachusetts, a portion of a stretch that seems to have the highest number of “Rear-End” style of collisions of anywhere in the country. Hardly a week goes by where I don’t see at least three such accidents on my very short portion, my wife who doesn’t exit I-93 until Exit #39A, reports many more.

    I told y’all that so that I could tell ya this. I’ve become aware of a troubling trend in these accidents, a trend that should be worrying to all of us who like driving BMWs. In just the last three weeks I’ve seen five different BMWs and one MINI Cooper “S” involved in such a collision and in every case but one, the other car happened to be a Ford truck. Coincidence? I certainly hope so. The good news is that all of the drivers and passengers involved seem to have survived the incident without significant injury, including the folks who sat in the back seat of the Cooper that was Rear-Ended by a Ford F-250 4WD truck. Yikes! Just the thought of that scares me. Of course the bad news in all of this is that when a BMW (or a Cooper) gets hit from behind by a truck of any kind (Ford or otherwise), it makes a nasty mess of the car.

    Anyway, to the point of this tragic story, yesterday morning while I was engaged in the uphill merge onto southbound I-93 at Exit #3 I saw a beautiful dark gray metallic E39 528i SP go cruising by me in the left (of two) lane, moving with traffic at somewhere north of 75 mph. Less than a mile after I completed my merge, and before I had been able to work my way into the left lane, I saw a cloud of rising blue smoke from the left lane a few hundred yards in front of me, very quickly followed by an arcing plume of car parts. Of course my lane immediately “dropped anchor” as well, taxing the brakes of my current mount (1998 Grand Caravan) to their very limit. As I approached the accident scene, I saw that that lovely 528i had managed to return the favor as it were and slam into a large Ford Econoline delivery van. Ouch! The hit was hard enough to make the drivers’ airbag egress from its usual hiding place in the steering wheel, buckle the hood in half and judging from the twin plumes issuing from the area of the engine, one blue (oil and/or rubber), one white (coolant), do significant damage to the contents of the engine compartment. My bet is that this world has seen the last of that E39, which gave its all to inform the Ford trucks of the world that BMWs don’t like being pushed around. Unfortunately the Econoline, while damaged, will probably live to drive another day. :cry:

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Yikes! Remind me not to drive anywhere near where you live. I'll take my chances on the free-for-all in the tri-state area. The driver of the that BMW is probably going to be facing some nasty financial surprises in the next couple of years.
  • I could not agree more with your opinion on the 2001 BMW. I had a 2001 540i until it was totalled last month. No car I have driven since quite measures up to that. I have been wondering if the new 3 series may be a good substitute since it is almost as large as the old 5. Has anybody compared the two?
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    It is easy to have things change in a hurry on the Interstate...I have seen alot of sliding around in the heavy thunderstorms the pop up.....I must admit even though I am getting more proficient with the Idrive, it really is dangerous to use except for the most easy things...I guess the worse danger would be to try and use the navigation..Tony
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Woot. They made sure it was a brute. I can't wait to see the real world gas mileage.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Hmm, I don't even think that makes it faster than the 545 was. In Edmunds' road test they took 5.6 seconds in the 545 with automatic so I imagine with SMG it would be about the same. I had heard from my salesman that the 550 would only be .01 seconds faster 0-60 so I guess he was at least close to right. I think where the real difference shows up is at higher speeds (say, 60-100). Anyway, I also noticed that Active Steering is now optional with the Sport Package whereas it wasn't when I bought mine. Also, the price jumped a bit of course!
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Oh, and the gas mileage on my 545 is just about dead-on with what BMW published so I would guess that what they say the 550 will get will be very close to accurate as well.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    Last 5-series brochure quoted:

    5.7 seconds 0-60 SMG - so 550 is .3 seconds faster than 545.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    Right, but Edmunds pulled 5.6 with an AUTO, not SMG. Maybe they'd be able to better the 5.4 SMG for the 550 too though. I'm just saying that it isn't that much faster at least 0-60 wouldn't you agree? Especially considering that you're paying about $3K more for that .3 second. Come on, work with me here! I'm trying not to be too annoyed that 2 years after I bought my 545 they came out with a 550! What do you think AUTO vs. AUTO would be in the real world?
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    Rich - BMW is quoting 5.5 seconds to 60 with the Auto. If BMW is quoting 5.5 seconds, the rags ought to be able to pull in the low 5s with an auto by their usual array of destructive write-once testing methods.
  • manybmwsmanybmws Posts: 347
    ya BMW brochures show a consistent .3 second difference independent of the transmission type. Their numbers are always conservative relative to real world independent tests. Just enjoy your 545 - it's plenty fast! I think that BMW has to up the ante versus the competition - it's about time. Even a Hemi Chrysler 300 is in the low 5s.

    The brochure also shows that the area in the console below the radio has wood - that would be a nice upgrade.
  • rich545rich545 Posts: 386
    I know, I know. I'm just kidding (for the most part!). It's actually scary to think that the 550 really is slightly faster because the 545 already feels ridiculously fast for a sedan. I noticed that additional wood too. I wonder if they can put it in any E60. I hope so because I think it looks a lot better. Does anyone know if the E60 is getting a facelift for 2007? That's about when I'll be trading this one in (I never keep BMW's past the original warranty so I'll be interested to see what changes (if any) are made to the car's appearance.
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