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BMW 530xi - 2006



  • I have had three Audi V8's and loved them.

    I believe that $4+ gallon gas is in the near term. The 3.2 engine (at the point in time that I bought mine) was a sipper compared with the then current 4.2 (I think the upcoming FSI 4.2 will improve mileage) -- my money would have gone for the diesel if but it were avail here in the US.

    Moreover, if the 3.2 would be mildly turbo charged and/or offered with a slightly shorter final drive ratio and a 6 speed manual, it would be both a sipper and a much better performer.

    Somehow, I find the V6 quite satisfying and a small concession to conservation.

    On the other hand, with an MSRP of $53,286, you would think a V8 would be included.

    I hate to sound like I am complacent -- but I am NOT displeased with the 3.2 V6 in the A6. This exact car with a stick would be, I am certain, a blast. As it is it is luxurious and adequately powered.

    Hard to believe, at times, I have very few times that the need for the V8 would be evident.

    I thought, however, for "this much money: perhaps I should get an S4.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"And, for pity's sake if you are lucky enough to have a new 530xi with a manual transmission (why would you ever get one with anything else?)"

    Because I have to commute to Boston and would be between 1st/2nd gear for two hours every day, five days a week, and would end up with a sore left calf every day.

    There are valid reasons to getting an automatic, Mark. We all know how you feel. Please just let it go.
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    >"We all know how you feel. Please just let it go."


    Sorry for the snippy response. In my defense, I had just traveled 32 hours from Australia, and then gone into work.

    That, and I'm bitter that my commute means I can't get a manual. ;)
  • No problem. I got to drive my wife's X3 3.0 6spd manual this weekend and again I just scratch my head why Audi doesn't offer one in the A6.

    But, as I may have related, the largest BMW dealer in Ohio is here in Cincinnati and he has NONE, ZERO, ZIP, NADDA 5 series manuals (other than special order ones). The head buyer in fact told us "period. . .there will be no 5x's [and no 525 or 530's either] in inventory with stick shifts; they just sit and sit and sit on the lot."

    When we first went down the path of looking at BMW's we found it almost impossible to find the then current 3x's in anything other than automatics.

    I'm trying to remember, in fact, if we EVER were able to test a 3x car other than automatics.

    My wife's almost first choice was the A4 3.2, which for 2005.5 could ONLY be had in auto also.

    I am (and my wife is) in such a small minority, I do understand.

    Yet, I tested my wife's X3 3.0 yesterday and it is completely comfortable in 2nd gear from speeds of 8 mph to 42 mph -- what is the difference if you are "always stuck in second gear" (the Rembrandt's) if it is in a stick or an auto. The frustration of put putting along in a wonderful German car would be the same, I assume, with either transmission.

    I have transmission envy and I just wonder if automatics have not been foisted upon us by our public education systems that seem to offer driver's education ONLY in automatics.

    When I was growing up and walking uphill both ways to school, the cop cars were sticks, my parent's had a Plymouth Valiant stick shift and a VW bug (ditto), my dad did have a 1953 automatic Hudson Hornet but the main car I got to use (legally) was the VW bug (for insurance reasons); 36 hp and a stick shift WOO WOO!

    Today, my wife cannot use a full service car wash unless she drives the car, none of the high school kids (mostly boys) can figure out how to drive a stick.

    More's the pity, I say.

    For, stick shifts are fun, improve performance and control and other than perhaps some hairy hills in San Francisco, seem to be no more work than an auto in 10 - 35 mile an hour traffic, since you would literally always be in 2nd gear (my A6, 6spd auto, seems hell bent to remain in second gear unless I get to a full-stop.)

    I need someone to remind me that I am a screaming voice in the wilderness.

    I just wish I were king of the car world for a day and could entice every single auto buyer to take a test drive of a stick shift.

    Frankly, I think many folks might find them delightful -- even if their first reaction would be doubt.

    Drive it like you live.

  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    I gather from your posts that you could add stick if you wanted it in a bmw, but not an audi 6? I too enjoyed the vw...You just drove and drove, never thinking of fuel, and then ran out---threw the little lever and looked for a station on the last reserve gallon...A simpler time....Further it would not go the speed limit up a hill on the I...Tony
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    I drove exclusively stick for the 1st 12 years of my driving life, so I do know what the other side is like. But I think stick is more fun to drive on a small, light car. And in general cars have gotten bigger and heavier in the last dozen years or so, hence the trend to automatics. Also, with automatics getting more and more sophisticated, and engines increasingly more powerful, the advantage of a stick over an automatic has been much diminished. IMO.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    you mentioned in an earlier post that you would have gotten the 530xi over the Audi if the 530xi was available. What I was wondering is would you have gotten the 530xi over the X3? Even though they are completely different vehicle types with a sizable price difference, I find myself leaning towards one, then the other, then back again, and so on and so forth. Make no mistake, I think the X3 has the proper pedigree on the spec sheet, and is probably more practical than the 5, but somehow, it doesn't have that upscale and hunky look that all BMW's have. It almost could pass for something the Japanese would produce. Whereas the much-maligned styling of the 5 series keeps growing on me. Everytime I see one on the road now, I find myself staring and salivating. (I guess maybe it should be more desireable given the price difference). Still, I wish the X3 would have inherited more of the X5's hunky, and upscale looks.

    As an aside, I find it amazing that the 530xi is actually lighter than the 325xi Touring by a good 30kg, and is only 15 kg heavier than a 330xi.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    It is a very nice driving car, and gets pretty good fuel economy 26 + at or above eighty....I really don`t care for the idrive as it involves so many steps just to change stations, and further is intrusive to the driving experience....Maybe this is the future, but it could surely be refined....I found the seats for a long trip to be way superior to my ls430 seats..Tony
  • My wife's 2005 X3 3.0 with almost every option available at the time on it IS darn near a Lux vehicle.

    Indeed in terms of being engaging, the X3 in gloss black with Premium, Sport and the Terracotta leather interior, is IMHO, hunkier than the stoic 5. The Audi A6 interior in Amaretto, however bests both.

    The 5, despite my comments, is a true LPS vehicle and the X3 lacks some of the lux treatment I wanted.

    However, at this point, if someone gave me a 2006 X3 equipped just like my wife's, I would miss but ONE thing -- voice control, but I might be OK without it if I bothered to program my phone with all the numbers I have in my head.

    The X3 even with ONLY 225HP but with the 6spd manual is pretty peppy and it sure is a blast to drive.

    A trip from Cincinnati to Pittsburgh is, mostly, easy and enjoyable -- the upgraded sound system and Sirius sure help this.

    The only 530xi I have driven had the automatic and it was, almost anemic -- my tubby A6 3.2 seems peppier even with its auto trans.

    In the heat of the momemnt, I would say, go with a $47K X3 over a $57K (similarly equipped) 530xi and pocket the diff.

    I may change my mind but that is the emotion du jour.
  • bodble2bodble2 Posts: 4,519
    "The only 530xi I have driven had the automatic and it was, almost anemic"

    That is surprising, since the 530xi has a 30hp advantage over the X3, and weighs a few hundred pounds less, and is more aerodynamic. Granted it is an automatic, but still, you wouldn't expect it to have that big of a factor in performance.
  • yurygyuryg Posts: 15
    I'm about to purchase 530xi, and have a question to which no dealer has been able to provide a definite answer - does the car have a speed sensitive stereo volume? Some of the answers I got were "No", "Only with moonroof open", "I think so".
    While we're on the stereo topic, is there much difference in sound quality between stock stereo and optional logic7?
  • I have a 530xi, and yes it does have the
    speed sensitive stereo volume
  • I would first try the all seasons.
    I have a 2002 330XI and have been just fine with the oem tires and they have 35k on them.
    You can always get snows if needed.
  • I got the software recall/update on my 2006 530xi last week and it has the following benefits:

    1. Got rid of the annoying "High Battery Drain" message that a number of us got used to seeing every morning! Now I hope that it was not really a battery drain problem that is simply being ignored :-)

    2. RDS on the radio works fine now, even with Navigation, premium CD changer, etc. I really had no idea what RDS was until now -- shows the call signs, station name, and in some cases even the song or program title and song lyrics (or am I misreading the lyrics?).

    3. Before the update two "@" symbols were showing up on my Bluetooth phone list after each and ever entry (e.g., John Smith@@). This was annoying, and confused the voice recognition for names. The @@ are gone now (at least I haven't seen them yet!).

    I also had them put in an AUX audio input in the glovebox for my iPod. Not ideal, because the tracks don't show up on the iDrive display, but it will have to do for now until they bring out full iPod integration for the new 5 series.
  • anthonypanthonyp Posts: 1,857
    Somehow the 530xi got two small dents n it`s hood, so wife took in over yesterday for the body man to try and take out...I swear you now can`t even tell where they were..Somehow they can punch them back out and not didturb the paint or anything.....It cost a hundred fifty dollars, and one dent was a sort of crease around three and a half inches long, and the other was a sort of round dimple of a couple of inches and very shallow....Tony
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Yeah, it's called Paintless Dent Removal. There are a number of companies that perform the service from roving vans. If you call them directly some of them will even show up at your home or office and fix your car on the spot.

    Here is just one of many that will suck your dents out:

    Best Regards,
  • bdr127bdr127 Posts: 950
    Isn't that crazy how they can do that? Some of the companies won't even let you watch how they do it, I guess to keep it a "trade secret"... ;)
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292

    Any update on the MP3 issue? Did BMWNA ever get back to you?

    >"...until they bring out full iPod integration for the new 5 series."

    What new 5 series? Have I missed something?
  • Yes, after weeks of "research" they finally told me that my 2006 530xi with Premium Sound CANNOT play MP3 CDs. So I had the dealership put in an AUX audio input and bought an iPod. Not elegant, but the best option available right now (unless you want to use one of those FM transmitter thingys).
  • bdkinnhbdkinnh Posts: 292
    When I was comparing cars (BMW, Lexus, and Infiniti) I remember reading in a manual for one of them that MP3's can be played by the navigation DVD reader, but not the CD player. I'm not sure which one it was, but since the Infiniti CD could play MP3's, and the Lexus can't play them anywhere, it was probably the BMW. I'm sure you've read and re-read the manual, but it may be worth another look.
This discussion has been closed.