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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • designmandesignman Posts: 2,129
    Regarding your question of "feel", I too went from a 3-Series to a 5-Series (albeit E46 to E39), and if anything, my 5-Series felt sportier AND more luxurious at the same time. Go figure.

    I think the 5 has had less power assist in the steering which adds to the feel of the road. Also on the E60, the variable assist drops down considerably at highway speeds. On highway turns and jug handles at speed you really have to tug on the wheel with E60. I like that even though I would prefer it without the variable assist.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I think the 5 has had less power assist (than the 3) in the steering which adds to the feel of the road."

    That might well have been the case with the later E46s, however, my E46 was a 1999 (built in 1998 no less) and it had the old/original "heavy steering".

    FWIW, I much prefer a heavy wheel, and both cars were wonderful in that department. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • You are right, boys, the xi has an entirely different set of options than the i. That really sucks because I live in the deep south and it almost never snows here. Why would I want the extra weight on frame to get the sport package I want (without the suspension mods)? You can get the multicontour seats as a stand alone option but not the sport steering wheel and with all multicontours you have to get the dakota leather which doesnt come in black or beige. I always get a black interior. Why dont they let you order what you want. At least they started optioning the sport seats without the sport suspension. Not the steering wheel. I like a thick one.
  • I meant the extra weight on frame as in the 4 wheel drive.
  • gohorns1gohorns1 Posts: 53
    "you have to get the dakota leather which doesnt come in black or beige"

    Actually, the dakota leather does come in black (as well as cream beige). In fact, that is what I did. I ordered a 535i with multicontour seats with the black leather interior and opted not for the sport package.
  • I guess edmunds is wrong. Under multicontour seats in the 535i they say "only available with LC(Dakota leather)" When you look under dakota leather it says:NOT AVAILABLE with beige,black.The caps are not mine, they are capitolized under Dakota leather.
  • aussiem8aussiem8 Posts: 27
    I am currently leasing an Audi A4 that ends in a year. I am very interested in replacing it with a 535xi (which would be my first ever BMW), but would like to have the sports handling package that comes on the 535i. Does anyone know why BMW doesn't offer the sports suspension on its AWD variants?? This is obviously not an issue with Audi's since all sports variants come with quattro. Any insights would be appreciated.

    Cheers
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    This has been hashed about a bit in the past and I don't believe that we've ever come up with a definitive reason. That said, until shown otherwise, it is my belief that it is a ride height issue. BMWs Sport Suspensions lower the car somewhere around an inch below the ride height of an otherwise identical "xi" model (which rides a tad higher than even a RWD non-SP car).

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    Shipo,

    I've seen several people postulate that the tuning of the suspensions in the Xi models, both 3 and 5 series, is somewhere between the non-sport and sport suspensions of the equivalent RWD versions. Do you have any insight into this?

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hmmm, I kind of would have ranked them in order of dry road capabilities as:

    1) RWD-SP
    2) AWD-Optional wheels and tires
    3) RWD-nonSP (all-season tires)
    4) AWD-Standard tires

    Can't say I have any scientific evidence to back that up, just kind of a seat of the pants guess.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • Is there any reason for a person to get an xi unless there is snow and ice? Audi seems to think so however I have not found a comparison anywhere that although Audi makes a better than average car, weight seemed to always be a major complaint.I personally like a car to be as light as possible. I hate the current trend as cars inch there way toward and past 4000 lbs. It seems to me that an average car that is light is more fun to drive than a deluxe approaching 2 tons.
  • dhanleydhanley Posts: 1,531
    "Is there any reason for a person to get an xi unless there is snow and ice?"

    I'd go beyond that; IMO, you're better off with RWD unless you need to climb icy/snowy hills, ESPECIALLY since you are concerned with weight!
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,596
    you're better off with RWD unless you need to climb icy/snowy hills

    I swapped an A4 Avant Quattro for a BMW 528i, one of the reasons I went to RWD is that I found out the hard way that
    I could not climb the steep, snow-covered hill to my home with AWD unless I put on dedicated snows.

    I decided if I was going to have to do a seasonal changeover anyway I might as well enjoy the benefits of lighter weight and much less understeer afforded by BMW's beautifully sorted RWD chassis.

    Don't get me wrong AWD cars are a blast to drive in winter
    and I might yet buy another but there's nothing like a nice RWD with no power corrupting the steering the rest of the year. :)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I swapped an A4 Avant Quattro for a BMW 528i, one of the reasons I went to RWD is that I found out the hard way that I could not climb the steep, snow-covered hill to my home with AWD unless I put on dedicated snows.

    Yeah, I found out the same thing back in the 1980s. Turns out that given the nose heavy bias of the Audi, if your would have turned the car around and backed your way up the driveway, you probably would have gotten up without winter treads. Of course it's all water under the dam at this point. Enjoy your 528i. ;)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • kcxkcx Posts: 10
    Bruce,

    I wonder if you resolved the car wash issue you brought up earlier :)

    I am still waiting for my 528xi which was built on the 16th and got on the ship on the 18th :)
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    kcx,

    No, have not resolved that yet.

    I washed the car once myself, but don't always have the time or energy for that.

    I've taken it to some self-service car washes, where you drive the car in and sit there versus a system that pulls the car through. But the self-service washes don't do as good a job.

    I had gotten spoiled by the full service car wash that gets the wheels really clean, dries the car thoroughly, and perhaps most appreciated, they clean the inside of the car, especially the inside window surfaces. I'm jealous every time my wife takes her X3 to the full service wash!

    I've started looking for a good detailer in my area, and maybe I'll discover something through that chain.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I am wondering if an Xi has an advantage in traction on wet roads, especially for the TT engine?

    One plausible explanation for BMW citing a lower 0 - 60 time for the AWD version of the TT engine is better traction with all that power, and wet roads would exacerbate traction issues.

    I've also seen posts by one of the moderators that races a Suburu saying AWD gives him an advantage on wet roads.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I am wondering if an Xi has an advantage in traction on wet roads, especially for the TT engine?"

    That's a pretty fair bet that a 535xi will suck the doors off a 535i (SP or not) in the wet. That said, I don't usually find myself needing that kind of acceleration on wet roads, it can get you into trouble real quick. :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,596
    Turns out that given the nose heavy bias of the Audi, if your would have turned the car around and backed your way up the driveway

    Actually I tried backing up the road, it had four to six inches of heavy wet snow on it but it's a long steep grade
    and the A4 was shod with Summer performance tires (Goodyear Eagle F1s) so it was just not gonna happen.

    Don't get me wrong A4 Quattros are awesome in snow IF they
    are properly shod. BMWs if properly shod will do just fine due to their inherent balance, but you already knew that. ;)

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Ahhh, I thought you had All-Season rubber there (maybe I didn't fully read what you wrote). Yup, the Eagle F1s are pretty much worthless in even a quarter of an inch of snow (as are most performance tires). :P

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,596
    Well see that's the thing, if you want to wear sticky tires for three seasons it makes no sense to put All Seasons on for ONE season, I concluded you might as well go with dedicated snows since today's snows don't have the noise and piss-poor dry cornering of old fashioned bias ply snow tires.

    Between modern tire design, traction control and generally good balance most people would be amazed how good Bimmers can be in snow.

    PS- one of the biggest drawbacks to Quattro AWD was that it eats tires. Those F1s were shot after about 15,000 miles!

    I wonder if BMW's X-Drive is any better in that respect? I don't know if E60 Fivers have as good a weight dist. as my
    E39 (53%F/47%R IIRC).

    2000 BMW 528i, 2001 BMW 330CiC

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Well see that's the thing, if you want to wear sticky tires for three seasons it makes no sense to put All Seasons on for ONE season, I concluded you might as well go with dedicated snows since today's snows don't have the noise and piss-poor dry cornering of old fashioned bias ply snow tires."

    The only real problem with modern winter tires for non winter driving is heat. It seems that the tires with the best bite in the snow and on ice also have the worst ability to withstand heat. Other than that, the Michelin winter tires that I had on my 530i were no slouch in the ride and handling department. ;-)

    Between modern tire design, traction control and generally good balance most people would be amazed how good Bimmers can be in snow.

    I hear that, our first winter up here in New Hampshire I managed to break my right leg and partially tear the foot off. As such I wasn't able to drive a stick, so, with a tear in my eye, I swapped the keys to my 5er with my wife. Her minivan allowed me to sling the cast over into the front passenger foot well and drive left footed. She on the other hand had to commute to and from work (just over sixty miles per day) during a winter that featured nearly ten feet of snow. The fact that she was born and raised in California and had very little experience driving in the snow (NONE in a RWD car) gave me pause. She never missed a beat.

    The balance of my E39 530i 5-Speed was something like 50.3/49.7 (IIRC), which is a spot on match for the new 528i Steptronic (the 6-Speed is reversed at 49.7/50.3). The 535i suffers a bit coming in at 51.2/48.8 (Stick) and 51.8/48.2 (Step). What's interesting is that usually the V8 models have the heaviest nose, however, in the case of the current E90, the percentages split the numbers of the 535i coming in at 51.4/48.6 (Stick) and 51.7/48.3 (Step). Go figure.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • jb_shinjb_shin Posts: 357
    Tell me about it, on a very gentle incline that would have hard time rolling a ball downhill, my M5 with summer Dunlops could barely move itself when I was caught in snowfall about 2 minutes from the house.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Hehe, yup. Try telling that to some folks who believe that AWD equipped cars shod with summer rubber can conquer all. ;-)

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
  • In a video on autospies an engineer from Infinity claimed that the new Infinity coupe was "edgier" than the 3 and that BMW had gotten "softer" over the years. Any truth to this, has BMW (I believe they were talking about the sports) in an attempt to appeal to more buyers made their cars more luxurious? I had a 2003 3sport which I thought was rough even though the road racers at Car and Driver(who would be happiest with go-carts)thought it was "compliant". Do you guys think the 3 and 5 sports are more luxurious than the previous models or are they just as "sporty"
  • Anyone out there have a 5 sport? A recent one (2004-2008)? I am about to look for a new 5 and wondered how much difference in the ride is there between the sport and the non-sport.Thanks in advance.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,580
    Well, thus far, I've had my 535 for two days and have driven over 120 miles. My impression in short is: no disappointment!

    The fit and finish are perfect (at least so far I have not found even one defect; give me time though.) Driving and comparing it to my '06 3 series, I have a welcome familarity, yet a more refined and luxury sensation. Driving it last night to dinner, I felt as if I had the luxury impression of a Lexus, yet a distinct sporting spirited feeling. And, that's what I wanted. The idrive, which btw, I never had a problem with, is another generation which means improved. For example, going from one given function to another, there are frequenly saved steps noted in comparing it with my '06 3 series. I note small things, the wheel is slightly padded and spins 360 degrees without the resistance as in the older one. This makes scrolling your cell phone book or other menu, much easier. The seats are among the MOST comfortable in any of the many cars that I've owned and it is easy to find the right configurations of seat, steering wheel and mirrors to satisfy one greatly. The lumbar support augments your feeling of comfort, my wife commenting that it aborted her muscular related backache. That said, if I had to order again, I would have ordered the upgraded comfort seats which are even better, more plush and great looking. (These are the same seats as on the sport package as a stand alone option.)

    If I didn't emphasize it, this car is responsive, yet silky smooth in its execution. The electronic shift slushbox (my apologies to the purists) works great. It takes a BRIEF getting used to. When you reach your destination and stop, you push the "park" button and that's it, you exit the car. I must say that from the Logic 7 HK stereo to the comfort access and the Nav., everything has worked brilliantly so far with surprisingly good ergonomics, sometimes quirky in German cars.

    Oh, and the worst gas mileage thus far has been 24mpg in mostly city driving.

    That's it for now. More to follow.
    __________________
  • wolfer2wolfer2 Posts: 10
    Glad to here from you. Mine is due in a week. Can't wait. I was especially interested in your comments on the seats. I also opted to not get the comfort seats and have been wondering if it was a mistake given what everybody says about them. Sounds like the regular seats will be sufficient. Enjoy and keep us posted (I have to live vicariously for now).
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,580
    Thanks. Please do the same and share your comments. BTW, what color combination and options did you get?

    Compared to my first drive (which wasn't bad), I actually appreciate it more each time I drive it. The interior tweaks they did for '08 render the cabin more luxurious and more efficient.

    You're really got a treat to look forward to. I know you'll love it.
  • wolfer2wolfer2 Posts: 10
    Sapphire black with gray interior. Was seriously considering the natural brown interior but my wife talked me out of it. Xi, premium, cold weather, rear side impact, rear fold down, park distance, nav, Logic 7, ipod. No sport package, comfort seats, comfort access, HD radio, or HUD. Question whether I made the right decision on those. This is my first bimmer. Coming off a Ford Explorer, which is going to my son.
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