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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Great link. I've never seen BMW steering criticized before. It's always been hailed as "magic". Any comments from anyone who has a new 5 or tested one extensively.
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,636
    I've never seen BMW steering criticized before. It's always been hailed as "magic". Any comments from anyone who has a new 5 or tested one extensively.

    BMW's optional Active Steering has been roundly criticized for being "twitchy", "numb" and generally non-linear.
    the C&D article doesn't state whether their test car was so equipped but what do you expect from a second-rate rag. ;)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    According to BMW's press releases, the 335 used a turbo i6 instead of a v8 because it saved 140lbs versus a similarly-powered v8.
  • carnutpacarnutpa Posts: 42
    I was at a dealer yesterday looking at the 5 Series cars and a customer walked in to tell the salesman that he got his first door ding last night. So I asked the salesman if side moldings were available and he said no. I realize the car looks better without moldings, but it also looks better than a car with a bunch of dings in the side. Are side moldings not even available from BMW? Is there an aftermarket supplier that has them to match the body colors?
  • carnutpacarnutpa Posts: 42
    Yesterday was the first day I really took a hard look at BMWs, specifically the 5 Series. I was pretty surprised that the interior temperature settings are not displayed digitally. In every other luxury car I have looked at, they are. In this car, you have to look at what position the two knobs are in to see the settings. It just seems odd that a car that is loaded with so much hi-tech stuff, would have it that way. Any thoughts?
  • erickplerickpl Posts: 2,735
    As one who has driven an Active Steering car for a while, I can say it is not twitchy or numb. The ratio changes depending on speed are actually VERY nice. No cranking the wheel in the parking lots. At speed, it feels like I just have to think about steering and it happens. Switching back to my wife's car or my Jeep, their steering feels very vague by comparison, and my wife's car is one considered to also have excellent driving dynamics.

    -Paul
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,938
    BMW likes to pretend to still be an analogue experience.
  • Ok topspin this is Richard w/e500. Been away for a few days. In answer to review of e500 I will put it in context w/BMW 3and5's.Seat comfort is great, firm, but comfortable,great lumbar support yet still lacks the side bolsters I like. You may not think side bolsters are that important but believe me they are. Even on those 360 degree freeway exits I just about slide sideways off the seat(yes,I drive very fast).Not as good as bimmer sport seats(probable best in the business and Ive had a Ferrari for 3 years).Regular bimmer 5 seats are about the same as Benz as I dontlike"comfort seats" ,usually too squishy. Steering is another sore spot. The effort to steer is too easy and a little too isolated, probably my biggest complaint.Again I like the 3 steering effort as just about perfect.Car however, handles very well abeit with a comfort-luxury feel certainly not anywhere near asisolated and wallowy bad as Lexus(had an LS for 3 years) Yes, I spend too much money on cars!Stereo can be ordered up to one of the best. I have regular stereo and it is not so good but passable.I got a basic,if you want to call it that, e500, less to go wrong I think, and I'm right.Dont need all the gizmos. My service advisor is the same one Ive had for years and he said that at the 2005 year screw ups quietened down(2003 was the new body style).Same as with all cars. Always wait 2 years on any model, even Honda and Toyota, to iron all the kinks out. S class is very good looking,5 times better than the 7 but it also has the adjustable suspension which to me even in the sport setting is a little too isolated.The interior of my e is beautiful but functional with great cupholders in the console,not like those stupid cupholders in the 5. For a car that is one of the best driving cars in the world, the 5 sucks at piddling consumer ideas that piss everyone I know off and at the same time are ridiculously very easy to fix!
  • To summarize my last post,Ive had 3's,driven 5's,owned two 6's, driven 7's and to a model all of them have driven better with more feel and control than all comparable models of all other luxury cars. I also feel that they all to a model have been grossly underpowered (not the m's) for their weights until the 5 got the 360 hp and the 3 got the 300hp.They also werent until now very quiet with wind and road noise coming thru more than merc or lexus which I hate!Also, their interiors are the most austere in the business, especially compared to Lexus.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    I drove the 550. It was loaded so I'm assuming it had active steering. I did not find anything "twitchy" about the car, it rode like I would expect a BMW to ride. My one comment is: the first time I pressed the accelerator to the floor, I was a bit shocked on how fast that thing took off. Also drove the X5 didn't find anything to complain about the shifter or idrive on any model. Yes it takes some getting used to, but I figured it out while driving at 50mph without any trouble.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    After the 90,000 mile service, the total maintenace costs for my 2002 530i 5sp SP is $6922.55. The amount that would have been covered by an extended warranty/maintenance package was $1402.45, including a brake master cylinder. The total costs includes 3 sets of tires, a new wheel and repair of a wheel.

    Also, after 90,337 miles my average MPG is 26.4 at an average 51.4 MPH.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Have you tracked your scheduled maintenance, recurring replacement, damage repair and unscheduled repair costs separately? If you have, I'd love to know the breakout. ;-)

    FWIW, I split out the above categories as follows:

    SCHEDULED:
    - Mileage related service costs as outlined in the manual
    - Time related service costs as outlined in the manual

    RECURRING:
    - Wiper blades
    - Tires
    - Brakes
    - Lighting (assuming the elements last several years at least)
    - Clutches (if so equipped and if it lasts at least 100,000 miles)

    DAMAGE REPAIR:
    - Repair/Replace bent, scratched or otherwise cosmetically flawed parts due to road junk, parking lots and general "stuff" happening.

    UNSCHEDULED REPAIR:
    - Everything else not included in one of the above categories

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • da763da763 Posts: 14
    I am looking at buying a used 2004 545i and would like to know how easy/hard it might be to add a factory satellite radio (Sirius) to the car to interface through iDrive. The car does have bluetooth and NAV, but the current owner says that it is not pre-wired for satellite.

    Has anybody done this? If so, what are the ups/downs and estimated cost.

    Thanks.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I have all the receipts, but recurring and maintenance are commingled. My spreadsheet is at home. The only damage repair is the wheel and wheel repair, probably $700 and the only unscheduled is the master cylinder, about $300 (and it was not the issue). My brakes still have 40% on the front and 50% on the rear and still have the original clutch.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Good info, thanks. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • parrowparrow Posts: 8
    What am I missing?

    I have an 02 5 series (e39), and recently jump started and then replaced the battery. Immediately following the replacement, the radio and cd do not work. The computer works, the clock works, but not the radio or cd. I've owned other bmw's in which a radio code had to be entered. According to my manual, my model has no such code. The dealer confirmed this. I checked the fuses and they are not blown.

    Is there a trick to restarting the radio after a battery change? Could the jump start or battery change have caused a problem with the radio? I suppose it could be purely coincidental, but that does not seem likely.

    I'd appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.
  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I'll expand the spreadsheet, but I may not be able to do it for a few days.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    That'd be pretty cool. I'm thinking that BMWs aren't as "breathtakingly expensive" to own and operate as some would have us believe.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,636
    Having owned two Audis and a Bimmer well after the expiry of the factory warranty I can tell you that I think he's all wet about these "breathtaking expenses".

    German cars are never going to be as cheap to keep up as a Toyota or a Nissan but they aren't ridiculously expensive unless you're foolish enough to go to an authorized dealer for maintainence.

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    That'd be pretty cool. I'm thinking that BMWs aren't as "breathtakingly expensive" to own and operate as some would have us believe.

    I don't know about that; my 3er needed a brake light switch and it cost almost $20!!! On top of that, I just changed the final drive oil and the seal washers for the drain and fill plugs cost 49 cents for the pair. And then the X3 needed new tires; $346.72 for four Pirelli PZero Nero M+S. Plus $48 to mount and balance. My bimmers are bleeding me dry. I knew I should have bought a Kia... ;)

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    I was thinking about his comments recently. I think that he's right on the money (no pun intended) with Audi, but not BMW. For some reason, Audi maintenance is, as he says, "breathtakingly expensive".
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"German cars are never going to be as cheap to keep up as a Toyota or a Nissan"

    A friend and I happened to be car shopping at the same time a couple of years ago. I decided to get the Lexus GS300, and he chose the 530xi. Within a week, his iDrive display died, and his car was down for a week. I was feeling pretty smug.

    Since then, my car has been in the shop a total of nine times for "unscheduled" service. I've done all the math - I've had to bring it in, on average, every 70 days. It has spent 7% of its entire life in service. I'm about to start the Lemon Law process.

    My friend's 530xi has been humming along quite nicely, thank you very much. He's nice about it - even offered to give me a ride when my GS was down for three weeks with busted power steering for the third time. :)

    Even if I wasn't planning on trading my GS in for a 335i, there's no way I'd keep it past the warranty.
  • zoelmanzoelman Posts: 15
    okay, i'm a new bmw owner, just bought a 2004 cpo 545i.

    my wife had a 1995 318i. to charge my cell phone in that car you had to buy a bmw adapter to plug into the cigarette lighter socket, you couldn't just plug in the universal charger like you can on american cars.

    question: is that still the case? do i have to buy a special bmw adapter in order to charge my cell phone with the cigarette lighter in the 2004 model? or can i just plug it into the lighter like i can on my jeep? just wondering.

    thanks.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    So I took one out of for a spin yesterday and it was a very impressive machine. It drove sportier than I had anticipated with very quick acceleration and fantastic brakes. The interior has been upgraded for 08 and I particularly liked the bamboo wood trim which looked grey to my eye. The car handled very well and felt very solid. The I drive can be a bit frustrating (it took me a few minutes to turn on the radio) but I think after a short while it would be easy to master.
    It will be on my short list.
    Afterward, I jumped into the E Class to compare. The 550E was a bit more on the lux side of ride and didn't handle as well but offered a very plush ride with lots of power. The E350 felt underpowered and lacked a bit in the engine for my tastes of a 50K car. I think the 535 and the E550 are direct competitors and in that case the BMW seems like a better deal providing you want a sporty ride.
    As an aside, I checked the Edmunds review of the 2000 M5 and compared it to the 08 535. Back in 2000 they called the M5 the best car in the world and said you could spend 100-300K and not get as good a car. I think it listed for around 75K at the time. The 0-60 time was 5.3 vs 5.5 for the 535. The brake distance was 116 ft compared to the 535 at 113 ft. It pulled .90 g vs the 535 at .89 and it's gas mileage was 13/21 vs 17/26 for the 535. The M5 beat it on the slalom by 4 mph. And all for about 15-20 K less. Just shows you how much better cars have gotten in a few years.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    Just shows you how much better cars have gotten in a few years.

    I'd still take the E39 M5 over an E60 535i. Now an E60 M5... that's a tougher call to make. I think I'd go for door #3 and take a new M6.

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • 530ir1150r530ir1150r Posts: 263
    I added columns to my spreadsheet. The costs are:

    Scheduled; $2139.42, all fluid changes,filters, tire rotations, etc.

    Recurring; $2606.07, mostly tires and alignments

    Damage; $621.00, wheel and wheel repair

    Unscheduled; 1393.06, everything else.

    I'll repost periodically.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,571
    do i have to buy a special bmw adapter in order to charge my cell phone with the cigarette lighter in the 2004 model? or can i just plug it into the lighter like i can on my jeep? just wondering.


    Just give it a try; if you don't have to use a hammer to fully insert it you should be OK...

    2009 328i / 2004 X3 2.5/ 1995 318ti Club Sport/ 1975 2002A/ 2007 Mazdaspeed 3/ 1999 Wrangler/ 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica

  • zoelmanzoelman Posts: 15
    the guy at BMW i talked with a few days ago said i still need to get an adapter that plugs into the glove box where the flashlight goes - otherwise i could possibly blow fuses and/or cause damage because it's only a 4 amp lighter? so not sure whatz up with this.
  • kyfdxkyfdx Posts: 29,156
    I don't need an adapter for my '05 330.. Just plug it right in... Motorola..

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  • zoelmanzoelman Posts: 15
    well, i guess i'll give it a try. i do have the warranty.

    on another note, how accurate is the gas guage and when you run out of gas? when it says i have xx miles left before running out of gas - is there any grace miles in there? just wondering how exacting it is, or if it says 2 miles left, then, it's just 2 miles left and that's it.

    on my jeep, i could run for maybe a dozen or more miles AFTER it said i had zero miles left.

    new owner...
    thanks.
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