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BMW 5-Series Sedans

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  • andys120andys120 Loudon NHPosts: 16,380
    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).
  • 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: 1,569
    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: 1,569
    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.
  • car_rmcar_rm Posts: 47
    I have a 2005 530 with the sport package, while my friend has a 2007 without it (standard tires as well). There is a significant difference in the ride. His feels soft to me, not as soft as my wife's Volvo V70. I like the stiffer ride the sport package gives. I will be replacing mine next year with a 535 and will order the sport package as part of my options. They have taken the active steering out of the package and is now offered as a separate option. Given that the 04 and 05's are coming off lease, your dealer should have some with and without the sport package to test drive and compare.

    Good luck!
  • hihomikehihomike Posts: 111
    Camaught,

    I've had my 535i for about 2 months now, and I have to agree with everything you mentioned. I find the HD radio with logic 7 to be superior to the 07 system I had on my 530i. I don't know why, it just sounds crisper and more refined, especially for an audiophile like myself. The only noticeable difference is the transmission. I find that it is not as smooth as my 07 was. What I mean by this is it seems to "jerk" more when slowing down (downshifting automatically). I've gotten used to the electronic transmission, but the biggest and most impressive change is the power and torque in the engine. It's like driving a V8 with the smoothness and quietness associated with V8's. I have no regrets trading in my 07 for the new 08. The interior refinements are luxurious. I particularly like the memory buttons for radio stations (satellite as well as FM). Keep enjoying as I have enjoyed.
  • drikerdriker Posts: 2
    Does anyone have a sure way to get rid of this? I know it's a common problem. I just bought an 04 530I and this would have to be my only complaint. I recently took it to the dealer and they gave it their treatment ($80) but it only lasted a couple of days. I feel like the evaporator housing/coil need to be treated directly but I do not know how to gain access it. I know how to minimize the problem by turning the A/C off a few minutes before I turn the car off, but that only works once the mold/bacteria is destroyed.
  • Thanks for yall's input. I guess it is a very subjective matter. Car reviewers seem to like a stiffer suspension, however, when you see what each one drives themselves it is usually a beater so the sports suspension might feel good for the 2-3 days they test it but living with it daily is another matter. Some days I feel like going on the twisties and somedays I feel like being in a cocoon(?). Can you have it both ways? I had a 3sport and I literally dreaded going over railroad tracks and asphalt repaired roads. But it took me awhile before that happened. Im going on 55 and I guess I like luxury more. The younger you are the more the stiffer suspension appeals? Is the regular 5 suspension enough to be fun and still be luxurious?
  • car_rmcar_rm Posts: 47
    Before taking delivery of the 530, I had a 325 with only the premium package (taken back by BMW under the CA Lemon Law) and the dealer gave me a 325 coupe with sport package while I waited for the 530. My impression was that the coupe was fun to drive, but because of the shorter wheel base was harsher then what I have experienced with the 530. If you don't get the sport package, make sure you compare the standard seat to the multi-contour seats. To me, the standard seats with leather feel like sand paper against clothes. If you don't get the sport package, you will still really enjoy the car.
  • carnaughtcarnaught Posts: 1,569
    ..........The younger you are the more the stiffer suspension appeals? Is the regular 5 suspension enough to be fun and still be luxurious?

    I think so but then, I'm young.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    kcx,

    Car wash issue is now resolved. After some research, I found another car wash that has no trouble with the X-Drive 5 series.

    I called and talked with the manager, who was very helpful, and he assured me they could wash my 535Xi. When I showed up, the manager personally checked my car as it entered the wash to ensure there wasn't a problem.

    The car came out without a hitch. It's a full service car wash and they do an excellent job. The manager of this car wash does not know why the former car wash has trouble with the AWD 5 series and won't wash them.

    Thanks
    Bruce
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 6,013
    The younger you are the more the stiffer suspension appeals?

    Well, I'm 50 and I have a 3 Series with the sport package; I also have a Mazdaspeed3 for my commuter sled. And when things get too dull I break out my 1996 Triumph Speed Triple. My guiding principle is:

    Growing OLD is mandatory...
    Growing UP is optional... :P

    To answer your question, my wife drove a non-sport E39 528i for about four years and it was a very enjoyable car to drive. I soon threw away the mediocre OEM Michelin all-seasons and fitted a set of Kumho KH 11 Summer tires(I had Arctic Alpines on steel rims for the winter). With the Kumhos I could drive the car about as hard as I would want to- on the street anyway. That said, my wife and I prefer smaller cars, and she eventually sold it and bought a BMW truck(an X3, which is another story altogether). Look at it another way; 95 out of 100 US BMW owners exploit the capabilities of a non-sport Bimmer. How many do you think can utilize even 50% of the ability of a sport model?

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

  • sdg380sdg380 Posts: 109
    I've long been a proponent of the regular suspension in a 5-series, and I think a couple of factors are key.

    First, here in the Midwest, our frost-heaved roads are junk, so there is precious little smooth asphalt to really enjoy the sport suspension--so the first question is how good are your local roads?

    I would next note that compared to virtually all other mid-size sedans, the non-sport suspension on a BMW is pretty firm, so just because a little is good doesn't necessarily mean that more is better.

    Are you doing track days? If so, the sport suspension would be great, but I doubt too many of us flog our 5's on a track (BTW, the mag. reviewers, frequently DO test cars at a track, so their affinity for sports suspension is understandable, not to mention that it's not their daily driver.

    Of course, optimum sporting performance calls for performance tires, but outside of regions that are perpetually sunny, you've then got to contend with bi-annual wheels swaps--no big deal to many, but too much of a nuisance to me. (Any comments from somebody with sports suspension and all-season tires?)

    Finally, it's not like the sports package is free, and I doubt you see too much of that money back on the far end of the deal--seems to me that it could even hurt trade-in value, like a stick shift, since it may limit the potential resale customer base (any comments from those in the know?)

    My bottom line is when you buy a standard 5, you're buying one of the most versatile, capable sedans around, and the sports suspension narrows the focus in a way that detracts from versatility. Having said that, different strokes...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Of course, optimum sporting performance calls for performance tires, but outside of regions that are perpetually sunny, you've then got to contend with bi-annual wheels swaps--no big deal to many, but too much of a nuisance to me. (Any comments from somebody with sports suspension and all-season tires?)"

    Depending upon where my next contract is, I'll be looking for an E39 528i or 530i with both a stick and SP. I live in New Hampshire and will most likely shoe the factory wheels with All-Season tires in the OEM size (235/45 R17) and then buy a set of winter wheels and tires for the snowy months.

    "Finally, it's not like the sports package is free, and I doubt you see too much of that money back on the far end of the deal--seems to me that it could even hurt trade-in value, like a stick shift, since it may limit the potential resale customer base (any comments from those in the know?)"

    Interesting comment. When I turned my 2002 530i SP 5-Speed in at lease end, the dealership (who doesn't like taking back lease cars they didn't originally sell) couldn't wait to get their hands on my car. Why? Because it was a nicely optioned SP (with PP, Premium Audio and Xenon) car with a STICK. The leasing manager said, "Do you have any idea how hard it is to come by a 530i SP with a stick? Usually the 5ers with a stick are strippo 525is (plural, not "is"). Oh yeah, we'll be keeping this one (as opposed to sending it back to BMW-FS to dispose of."

    FWIW, I leased it through the ED program for forty two and change in 2002 and after I turned it in in 2005 they CPOed it in two days and put it on the lot for $36,999. They got $36,000 even for it, fully two thousand MORE than they were asking for an otherwise identical 530iA SP.

    FWIW #2, I've been keeping an eye on the used car market for a year or so now and 528i and 530i SP cars with three pedals under the dash almost always carry a premium asking price over similarly speced cars with an Automatic transmission.

    Best Regards,
    Shipo
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