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BMW 5-Series Sedans



  • vavavavolvovavavavolvo Posts: 110
    Get the Touring version.
  • mstlcmstlc Posts: 3
    Touring version???
  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    What we used to call the "station wagon" in the U.S. A very competent variant of the 5-Series if you need the stowage space and want the performance of a sedan!
  • mstlcmstlc Posts: 3
    I'm driving the ML because it sits high and I"m petite; storage and space isn't really an issue. Several people I have told me that I'm not going to like driving the sedan after driving the SUV.
  • tayl0rdtayl0rd Posts: 1,926
    Well, you said you drove the 5-series on 3 occasions. Were you comfortable driving it or not? That's your answer.
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    My wife drives an X3, after previosuly driving an '01 3 series sedan, and she loves the higher seating position. She is also petite.

    I just traded in my '06 3 series sedan for an '08 5 series sedan. The 5 series sits a bit higher, and is easier to get into and out of than the 3 series, although it's not the same as the X3.

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250
    I picked up our new 535Xi last night, and have all of about 25 miles driving experience so far.

    I did not get navigation. In playing with the radio using the I-Drive, I think I-Drive is really great for that- it's much better than a convetional radio interface.

    I'm wondering if there are other aspects of I-Drive I haven't encountered yet that are not easy to use. Otherwise, my very limited initial exposure makes me wonder why the auto press continues to criticize I-Drive.

  • carnaughtcarnaught 'zonaPosts: 2,366

    I did not get navigation. In playing with the radio using the I-Drive, I think I-Drive is really great for that- it's much better than a convetional radio interface.

    I-Drive isn't as bad as it is purported to be. In fact I can do several things with my i-drive using the console knob without taking my eyes off the road. With the addition of 6 programmable buttons on the '08, it should be a major additional improvement.

    Good luck with your new 5. I get mine approximately at the end of Aug. and can't wait.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    …wonder why the auto press continues to criticize I-Drive.

    It is a mystery to me. I have been using it almost for four years, and always with a smile.

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    About the iDrive and the press, I find that curious as well. In the Consumer Reviews, those who comment on it like it with very few exceptions.
  • jlbljlbl Posts: 1,333
    About the iDrive and the press, I find that curious as well. In the Consumer Reviews, those who comment on it like it with very few exceptions.

    Perhaps the press do not like i-Drive for two reasons.

    1. It is true that a potential user has to put a little time into i-Drive to get used to its possibilities. May be journalists have not the right approach to 'wast' that time.

    2. Then, and from the very first review, i-Drive and the press is just like a passing prejudice: a smart remark that has to be said. After all, some negative remarks have to be underlined for a review to be fair, haven't they?

  • patpat Posts: 10,421
    Makes sense to me. :)
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 10,389
    I think a lot of the animosity is a carryover from the first iteration of i-Drive(introduced on the E65 7er). The latest versions found in the 3er coupe, the new X5, and the facelifted 5er are much easier to use. I really don't mind i-Drive as long as I don't have to use it to adjust the HVAC settings or the radio. The user definable buttons also go a long way toward simplifying the interface. Bottom line- it's no longer a deal-breaker for me.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • lovemyclklovemyclk Posts: 351
    Even in my '03 e39, I rarely interface with the various controls on the console aside from turning the sound system on/off and use the steering wheel controls for everything else. Since the a/c settings keep a constant temperature (cool in summer, warm in winter), I rarely ever use those controls except for the occasional Max setting to cool the car down faster.

    My take on iDrive is that it is "set and forget" along with having the 6 new programmable buttons for your primary functions. Sure seems like a good idea to me, given that "Job 1" behind the wheel is to pay attention when driving. I agree that this iteration of iDrive is far better executed than v1.0.
  • kdshapirokdshapiro Posts: 5,751
    There is nothing wrong with idrive. It allows the driver to customize the car in a way that was impossible a couple of years ago. The latest iteration of idrive is far and away better than the first. If you have never used a personal computer or MAC, high tech entertainment system or used a ticket kiosk for public transportation or any other device that requires you to interact with it: in other words have been in a bubble. You will have a problem with idrive.

    Otherwise some time has to be spent learning it, in the same way one has to learn a new vehicle.
  • topspin628topspin628 Posts: 373
    Congrats. After you get some more seat time, I would love to hear your review since I am also putting the 535xi in the mix for my next ride. What else did you cross shop against and why did you choose the BMW?

    As for I- drive, maybe it's the fact that it's not something that one can quickly or easily (in the first minute)get a grip on. When I test drove a 7 series a few years ago, I remember that I wanted to turn on the radio and it took me five minutes to figure it out (never having seen I-Drive before). I will tell you that those 5 minutes were very frustrating and for no apparent purpose. I mean, was there anything wrong with the "old" way of turning on a radio? That said, I'm sure that once you put in some seat time, it becomes second nature. So the auto journalists who are reviewing are forced to re-learn things that the already knew and not to a clear advantage. I'm not sure that I-drive is really a step up (Lexus seems to do OK without it) but it wouldn't be a deal breaker for me as I seem to have the ability to learn new technology fairly quickly. It's just that sometimes the old "simple" way is really better.
  • I've been quite frustrated by my i-Drive ('06 330d M sport), as there's a lot of input redundancy and waiting time (sometimes up to 5 seconds for a response), but it sounds like the newer version is better. I miss the ease of control with my old M5, but that's supposedly progress. Maybe my UK i-Drive system is slower?

    Question re: the 535i vs. 535xi: Since i can't drive the cars where I live (in the UK - they don't offer the new 535i petrol models) can anyone comment about the ride characteristics, driving dynamics or any other differences between the two, I'm moving back to the States later this month and would like to order one before I get there, but am hesitant without test driving. I'll be living in the upper Midwest, so AWD would be great if it doesn't compromise the driving dynamics I admire so much in BMW's. Also, any comments about the speed shift sport option (with the paddle shifters) I'm not even sure if that's available in the States yet. Thanks!

  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    Regarding "What else did you cross shop against and why did you choose the BMW?":

    The only other car I was actually considering was the M35x. I liked the interior room and styling from seeing them at auto shows, and the pricing. From what I read, I liked the reported good handling and performance, but was leery about reported high engine revs on the highway, ride not as supple as the 5 series, and road / cabin noise. My other concern was Infiniti might upgrade the engine to the one in the new G35, or even the 3.7 in the new G37 coupe, and I didn't want to pay that much for a car that could soon have last year's engine. And I felt the performance of BMW's twin turbo engine makes the 535 cars more of a competitor to the M-45 than M-35.

    When I placed my order in late May, there were unconfirmed rumors of an M-45x. Someone in the Infiniti threads said Infiniti has now announced the M-45x, but that was not a consideration when I made my decision.

    If the '08 CTS had been available for a comparison drive, I would have cross-shopped that. Notwithstanding that it is categorized as an ELLPS category here, size-wise (external dimensions and interior room) it seemed to be a clone of the 5 series, the 300hp V-6 with AWD and a 6 speed AT sounded attractive, and I liked the new CTS' styling. But I was anxious to buy sooner rather than later, and the new CTS was still untested, so I felt much more secure in going with the 535Xi.

    I would also comment that over time I grew to like the styling of the 5 series, and felt it conveys an impression of a sporty car versus a traditional sedan. I also think the visual impression of the 5 series is of a car smaller than it actually is, which contributes to the sporty impression.

    This is all very subjective. The cars that I initially considered, but ended up not cross-shopping were:

    GS-350 AWD- Liked the styling, which I felt was sporty, and engine power, but every time I sat in one it felt too small inside for an LPS, and it isn't supposed to be as fun to drive as the 5 series.

    E-class with 4-matic- Just from reading, MB did not sound like it was as fun to drive as the 5 series. I also thought the styling was elegant, but traditional rather than sporty.

    Audi A-6- I like what Audi pioneered with Quatro and that you can get Quatro with the V-8, but it reportedly does not drive as well as the 5 series. The styling is very sleek and elegant, but to me it gives a visual impression of a larger, more traditional, less sporty sedan.

    Acura RL- Ride is too soft, styling is okay although a bit bland, but it's not supposed to be in the same performance league as a 5 series.

    Again, just my opinion, YMMV.

  • bmw_userbmw_user Posts: 4
    I posted this in the other discussion
    but did not get any response. SO, I am posting it again here. Please let me know if this is no the right place.
    I am buying a new 2008 BMW 528i. I am planning to buy extended warranty to help after the standard 50,000 mile warranty BMW gives. Is it a good idea? How much it may cost and what are the best places to buy around Chicago area. I am also interested in understanding how it works and what it covers. I would appreciate any links.
  • cmr530icmr530i Posts: 278
    Some of us were having this same discussion recently on the BMW 5 series Maintanance and Repair board. Go there for some opinions on extended warranties.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    re the Edmunds Future Vehicles item on the 2009 "F10" BMW 5 series. Given that BMW has just done a "mid-cycle" refresh on the 5 series, and that assuming BMW is still using their seven year replacement cycle we shouldn't expect a new 5 until the 2011 model - can you please check with the Future Vehicles section editors to see if they are still standing by their 2009 prediction? It just seems strange that BMW would go to the expense of this refresh only to replace the car a year later - just not their normal M.O. - unless the "F10" change is really nothing more than the European "pedestrian bumper" mods that will soon be required there. Thanks.
  • kamdogkamdog Posts: 28
    You do not need to get the sport in the 5 to get the seats. You can separately order the comfort seats.
  • So bruceomega, we havent heard from you for 2 weeks and you have been driving your 535 all this time giving you plenty of time to get used to the car. How is it? How is the ride? Are you glad you got the normal vs sport version or just the opposite? How are the multicontoured seats? Do they have adequate bolstering when you make a sharp fast turn and do they hold you in the seats without sliding over and how is the all important lumbar support? Does the regular suspension roll over in turns or is it sporty enough? How about the noise? Wind? Tlre? I guess you have the run flats which supposedly roar a little. This is summer and I guess you have had a chance to put it through its paces. Thanks
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    I may have mentioned that I traded in an '06 330Xi for the 535Xi. The catalyst for doing that was the occasional ride harshness in the 330Xi, with RFTs, over larger road irregularities. I like firm, but not harsh. That wasn't the only reason I traded, but it got me started on looking for another car. The 535Xi is much smoother riding and doesn't suffer the periodic "hard hits" of the 330Xi, so I am very happy about that.

    What I like about the 535Xi is: smoothness and quietness; handling; great combination of ride and handling; power; responsiveness of the engine and transmission (I don't feel the need to use SD like I did in the 330Xi); roomier all around; the multi-contour seats; a rear seat usable by adults even when the driver's seat is back far enough for my long legs; higher seating position; and easier ingress and egress. So far, I still like iDrive, especially for the audio system. I like the colors and every option I picked- space gray, gray leather interior, sport package, premium package, cold weather package, folding rear seats, heated rear seats, Logic7 premium audio, Sirius, and HD radio.

    The only option I wasn't sure of was the 18" wheels and tires. I like the looks of the wheels, but did not like the idea of what lower profile RFTs might do to the ride quality. I also did not want to drive in the winter with summer performance tires, so I felt I would have to either change the summer performance tires to all seasons, or buy a second set of wheels and tires for the winter. Given all this, I decided against the 18" wheel option.

    I'm still adapting to the car being larger than the 3 series in terms of around town maneuvering and parking. On the open road, the 535Xi is very stable and secure feeling. The steering is different, it has a heavier feel than the 330Xi I traded and a heavier feel than my wife's '06 X3. I'm starting to adjust to the steering, but was wondering at first if it was an issue.

    We took our first road trip this past weekend, about 250 miles each way. Just for grins, I ran a test to check highway gas mileage. After I got up to speed on Interstate I-81 in the Shenandoah Valley, I reset the avg mph and avg mpg on the car’s computer, and tried to drive at a constant 75 mph while not being heavy-footed with the gas.

    At the end of a 90 mile stretch on the first day, the display read an avg mph of 73.4, and an avg mpg of 27.6. On the second day, at the end of a 40 mile stretch, I averaged 73.8 mph and 30.1 mpg.

    I drove on some back roads this past weekend, including a short stint on the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the car was responsive and stable. But I haven't pushed the handling, or adjusted the side bolsters in the seats enough to comment on the other things you asked.

  • Sounds like a winner! However, I may have misunderstood you when you ordered the car. I thought you were leaning toward the non-sport package in the 5 due to the harsh ride you and I both experienced in the 3 sport. And if I understand you now you have the 5 sport? And if you do does the increased weight(inertia) of the 5 sport negate the tossing around and harshness of the 3 sport(lighter weight)? In other words is the 5 sport now smoother than the 3 sport was?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "And if you do does the increased weight(inertia) of the 5 sport negate the tossing around and harshness of the 3 sport(lighter weight)?"

    What extra weight are you talking about? As near as I can tell, like for like, the E60 weighs about 66 pounds more than a comparably equipped E90.

    Best Regards,
  • wolfer2wolfer2 Posts: 10
    I also recently ordered a 535xi. My understanding is that the "sports package" (which I went without) with the xi does not include the sports suspension, roll stabilization, or the 18 inch wheels w/ RFT. 18 inch wheel are available as a separate option, but I think Bruceomega went without those. So handling should not be much different than the non-sports package.
  • Either, shipo, I hope you are mistaken or the 3 has been on a fat diet. It was my understanding that the tests I have read about on the 5 the weight is around 4000 lbs the 3 usually tests around 3500-3600 which for the size of the car is still too heavy now and which is what the 5 used to weigh. Anyway, what I was getting at was the "sport" in the 5 more luxurious or did it feel like the 3 sport only being a bigger car.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152

    Model --- Manual --- Automatic - / - Manual --- Automatic
    328i/xi --- 3,340 -------- 3,406 ----- / -- 3,582 ------- 3,627
    335i/xi --- 3,593 -------- 3,605 ----- / -- 3,814 ------- 3,825
    528i/xi --- 3,505 -------- 3,571 ----- / -- 3,770 ------- 3,814
    535i/xi --- 3,660 -------- 3,703 ----- / ---- N/A -------- 3,946

    Okay, so I'm mistaken, my bad. :blush: I happened to only look at the 335i vs. the 535i yesterday and assumed the differences would hold across the various cars. Like I said, my bad. That said, the average weight difference between like for like 3-Series and 5-Series cars (for the 7 that I have direct weight comparisons that is) 141.57 pounds.

    "...I hope you are mistaken or the 3 has been on a fat diet."

    Actually it's the other way around. The 5-Series has been on an aluminum diet as pretty much all of the body forward of the firewall is made of non ferrous metal.

    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.

    Best Regards,
  • bruceomegabruceomega Posts: 250

    As wolfer2 said, the sport package on the 535Xi does not change the suspension or wheels and tires. It includes the 20 way multi-contour seats, different steering wheel, and shadowline trim. And I did not order the optional 18" wheels and tires.

    The same situation existed with my '06 330Xi. I got the sport package with that, but there was no change in suspension or wheel / tire size. There was a difference in wheel design, but not size, with the sport package.

    Yes, my 535Xi is definitely smoother and less harsh riding than my '06 330Xi. To me, they both have great handling, but I've never pushed them to the limit. Also, I have no experience with the RWD versions, so cannot comment on how the AWD compares.

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