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BMW 5-Series Wagon 2004 Redesign



  • zhangqjzhangqj Posts: 15
    Yes I have read Edmunds first drive of E60 as well as many others including the one written by Richard Bremner that I quoted in a previous post.

    Several testers mentioned that AFS failed during hard winding road testing, and they had to use Microsoft solutions (shut down and power up) to reboot. Sometimes even the reboot failed to bring it back on. They also mentioned that BMW engineers on hand had no clue what the problem was. They suspected something electrical (sounds familiar? E65?). Someone called the first batch of E60 buyers "beta testers", I would agree, having been a "beta tester" myself years ago. What a mistake!

    Back to AFS, most press reviews on E60 were written by people who, I would say, are very experienced, very good drivers. However that can't be said for general 5-series buyers. How many E39 are auto? How many E39 are driven by women? How many are old?

    My point is not to start a debate of auto vs manual or about women or old driver, it is rather that the vast majority of future E60 owners will not have Michael Shumacher-like reflexes or experience to deal with a sudden malfunction of something as critical as steering wheel. If one person gets injured due to this new technology, that is one too many to me.

    So I wish the AFS will be a STAND-ALONE option (not bundled with ZSP) or can be turned off intentionally, to give people a choice.
  • 6_speed6_speed Posts: 37
    Yes, I agree with you. In fact it should be an OPTION, maybe in a luxury package. I don't want to have to pay for it and have to leave it OFF all the time.

    AFS are for Cadillac and 18-wheeler, no?
  • bmwgurubmwguru Posts: 51
    This is exactly the problem with car companies today. BMW had a good thing going,sales increases every year for about 15 years, and they go to a new design team. I-Drive is a good idea but nobody was clammoring for it. We all know how to work a radio or climate control system. There wasn't a need to reinvent the wheel and yet that is what is happening. AFS sounds like a nightmare to me. What exactly is wrong with the handling of BMW's products right now? It seems like to me, that BMW is selling its' soul to pander to American driving habits. To create a buzzword like "I-Drive orAFS"in orderto have selling points instead of reinforcing its'engineering superiority.This is what Chris Bangle's legacy will be. A car company that is losing direction chasing techno-geeks instead of building the "Ultimate Driving Machine".
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    I'm originally from the UK and I like to keep in touch by reading Brit newspapers on the web. Here's an extract from a review of the E60:

    "How does the car look? As if it has been got at by double agents from Japan. Unimpressive flanks, frontal view like a Nissan. A bit of a clunker, actually.

    Interior is nice, though? All right. A bit cramped and clinical, decorated a bit like an intensive care ward with the emphasis on switches and less on luxuriating. And I doubt BMW's claim that you can get four golf bags in the boot. We can test that later.

    So good points? Technically astonishing, probably as good, if not better, as anything on the road.

    Bad points? Clinical, dowdy, passionless"

    In a related article on idrive:

    "Perhaps Audi and BMW and Mercedes make these gadget-laden monsters, not because anybody knows how they work, but because they have got them and you have not; it is motoring one-upmanship"

    I think that this is the first time I've read "passionless" when describing a BMW, a real pity I think. Not a real surprise that it's "technically astonishing" though.
  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    Well Guv. I tend to find the British press to be quite critical of BMW especially after the Rover spat. I enjoy reading Top Gear, What Car and Car magazines. But the British media are quite brutal especially given the only descent British cars are track cars like the Catherham and Lotus.

    The new E60, though not a work of art, will probably still be technical superior to the competition. Regardless of what the British media say, there will probably be plenty of punters that will dole out 50K quid to pay for it (pending they don't buy a 520i).
  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    Oh-Oh, Brit-bashing!

    Yes I know that the Brit media is cruel, vindictive and sensationalist but anyone who can single-handedly humiliate the Royal Family can't be all bad.

    It's also true that the Brits have built cars that make the Trabant look good. But that's just part of a master plan to breed legions of shadetree mechanics who found innovative ways to keep their cars running, even when it rains.

    Strangely enough, most of the engines and/or chassis that the IRL and CART depend on are built in the UK. And in F1, most of the cars are designed and built in the UK. Even Ferrari were also-rans until they hired a couple of Brit designers (heresy but true).

    Motto: "we can build race cars that can go 0-100mph-0 in 5 sec but we can't make passenger cars that can make it around the block if it's cloudy." Oh well.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    zhangqi... For a positive perspective, you might check out the November 2002 issue of Roundel (BMW CCA), pages 52-55. Lengthy article dedicated to subject. Article titled "Active Steering: One day behind the wheel will make you a convert to BMW's newest attempt to make you a perfect driver." Discusses how they comparison drove 10 530i. Five with active steering and five without.

    Excerpt: "The non-AS car felt like a tank compared to the AS car. Active steering made a tremendous difference in how easy it was to change lanes but still keep the car under complete control--a difference noted by every journalist on hand. From that moment on, I knew that in the never-ending battle for technological supremacy, BMW had a new weapon in its arsenal--one which I can't wait to arm myself."
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315

    Well, I'm 10 years older than the average BMW buyer, I'm 54. I just bought a 530i, 5 speed, sport pack. Well, I know my reflexes don't match the Formula 1 drivers, do yours? Hey, what's your point. you want me to drive something else? Just send it over and I'll consider it.

  • seivwrigseivwrig Posts: 388
    I'm British also. From the East Anglia area. But yes, I have had a serious problem with British track supremecy but lack of creating a real customer car that works. Jags are beautiful cars but you need to be a mechanic to own one before Ford too over. Most British auto makers don't get it until someone bales them out or take them over. Yes, alot of FIA F1 and WRC teams are based out of Southern England, but who cares. Why can't the British build something like the BMW? The Rovers that are create nowadays have some BMW still left in their gene pool especially the 2002/3 Range Rover. As much as the British press wants to bash the E60, I don't see anything better coming out of Merry olde England.
  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out the May 26, 2003, issue of AutoWeek. Cover story titled "First Drive 5: Is the 2004 BMW 5 Series Still the World's Best Sedan?"

    Some great photographs. This was BMW's press introduction on Sardinia. Appears they were driving mostly (only?) new 530i. Drove both 6-speed manual and automatic, but they didn't drive SMG

    Interesting story. Enjoyed their comments about AFS. As they put it, AFS in a slalom "really shined. It guided the car through the cones faster and with less effort than the passive steering, which seemed to fight you rather than assist after several hard, fast cranks of the wheel. But the weighting of the active steering feld odd, as if the amount of assist was changing all the time, which it was, of course." One of the AFS cars had to be reset several times. They point out that "if active steering completely fails for any reason, it returns to a set ratio that doesn't vary."

    Sport Package includes AFS and ARS (active roll stabilization).
  • slider4slider4 Posts: 1
    Some lunatic turned right in front of me causing my insurance company to total my month old BMW 540i sport a few weeks ago,(after trading in a 2002 Corvette) but just as the letter in the brochure states, "I walked away completely uninjured". It was an awesome car for the month I owned it. My dilemma was to get another 2003, or wait for 2004. I decided to go with the new technology, and ordered a 2004 530i w/sport pkg. price unknown. After reading these posts, I'm having second thoughts. Besides now I would have to be satisfied with a 530i Sport, can't wait for the 545i. Any prices yet? What is included in the base price? Sport pkg?? Performance vs. 2003? If the numbers are too high I might go back to 2003 540i. Greatly appreciate any help.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315

    I know where there are a couple of new 03 540i, 6 speeds (sport), one jet black on black, one sapphire black on black. (I'm not connected w/ any dealer)

  • TSchrammTSchramm Posts: 106
    After finally deciding that the '04 5-series looks like a collision between an '04 Pontiac Grand Prix and a Toyota Camry, I went down to the BMW dealer and traded my '98 528 for an '03 530. The '03 design is familliar and classic. Looks like BMW decided to create a new look just for the sake of looking new. Mechanical improvements, no doubt, but a Japanese-inspired aesthetic mistake, IMO.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... >>> After finally deciding that the '04 5-series looks like a collision between an '04 Pontiac Grand Prix and a Toyota Camry <<< ...

               I gotta agree with you ... I would have thought that BMW would have taken' a good lesson from the new 745 .. dealers are sitting on 3/4/5 months of inventory (their not happy), folks don't like them (their not happy) and they are being sold at big discounts just to move them, and the ones that have them, are already trading them in with 3/5/7k with a Big Hit .. no more BMW's for them I would guess.

              The 5 was the fat daddy in that mid size, and they could sell/lease them easily .. with the new idrive and a "almost" anything look it's going to be very interesting how this plays out ... "Hello BMW - is anyone home" ...?

  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315

    Welcome aboard! I just got my 530i for similar reasons.

    Happy Motoring,

  • jtulljtull Posts: 4
    I ordered a 2004 530i last month. After going back and forth on the new design, along with having to probably pay too much for the new 'sport pkg bundle' with AFS and ARS,stuff I believe still has way too many gremlins, I changed my mind and bought a 2003 530i sport.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    I think the 03 530i may turn out to be a "classic", like it isn't already. If the new design ever makes sense to me, I'll bite. But for me, right now, that 03 looks and drive so nice.

    Happy Motoring,

  • bmwdougbmwdoug Posts: 248
    When the 7 series changed designs, everyone said, "the new design is not the classic old design, sales will fall." Well, the new 7 series has out sold the classic old 7 series. The same will hold true with the new 5 series. People always fight change, then they adapt. I would not buy a new 03 at this point in time. In six months, maybe less, the 03 style will be the old style, and it will take a depreciation hit. I would wait for the 04 or buy a used 5 series.
  • joatmonjoatmon Posts: 315
    Yeah, becuase people were waiting for the new one. Did the old one's get traded in at the MB dealership with 4,000 miles on them? Not often. Ask Terry what the new one's are doing at the auction. Also, lots of unhappy owners on the new one. Not many with the old style.

  • TSchrammTSchramm Posts: 106
    Consider a couple of nuggets told to me by the dealer this week - they normally have 15-18 5's in stock at any given time. Since the release of the '04 preview photos, they now can't keep more than 6-8 5-series on the lot. Sales are up 120% to date in May over last year. Stated she was concerned about the new 5, and that it may need some heavily subsidized lease/financing to get it off to a solid maybe there will be some good deals for those who like the new styling.

    Yes, year-to-year sales of the 7 are up, but that is due, in part, to significantly greater financial incentives BMW is providing , as well as the fact that the new 7's advertising budget has been quadrupled over what BMW spent on the previous 7 in it's last couple of years.
  • zhangqjzhangqj Posts: 15
    I tend to agree with critics about BMW getting too much fancy stuff in their cars. Frankly I couldn't care less about the look of E60, and I for one don't think it looks so bad. However BMW isn't the best at making electronic toys, leave that to the Japanese. Too many electronics, cost a lot, break a lot. That's what I am disappointed about.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... Actually, the new "7" has sold LESS units then the old style .. the old 7 produced almost 2,000 units less over a shorter period of time .. the new "7" is over a 15 month year which means in "real deal" figures their sales are OFF 22% .. forget all that stuff, right now the BMW dealers are screaming for some rebate/dealer cash support to move these puppies, sitting on almost a million dollars of 7 floor plan doesn't make their day, cuz' they ain't movin' .. BMW has alot of ego and false pride going on here, and that would be the first time they had to cough up some $$ to move their super duper New, 5 years on the drawing board "mistake" ..

               If you look at the crossover reports Lexus, Benz, (especially Lexus) etc, have already picked up 16% of that market .. you know you are in trouble when someone spends $80,0 ++ in September and they are trading them in May and they are only worth the ultra low $60's .. kinda scary .. they would have been better off buying a Acura MDX and only losing $2 grand .l.o.l.

                I buy and sell a lot of Bimmers, I really like the 5's, I hope this doesn't turn out to be a direct reflection of the new 7 series ..

  • riezriez Posts: 2,361
    Check out AutoSite's data in their Market Research Section. Here is the latest on SEDANS as of end of April:

    Model 4/03 4/02 YTD 03 YTD 02

    BMW 3 6394 6546 23597 21432
    BMW 5 4240 3929 12827 13518
    BMW 7 1753 2125 6385 6679

    So total YTD sales of both 5 and 7 Series are down. Only 3 Series sedans up YTD. 5 Series sales up for month of April. But April sales down for both 3 and 7.

    MB data much better.

    MB C 4277 4133 15135 14568
    MB E 4228 2614 16789 11057
    MB S 2042 2002 7292 6640

    April sales of C, E, and S classes up. Notice the huge increase in E Class, both in April and YTD. E Class Outselling C class YTD! MB E and S class outsell BMW 5 and 7, but 3 outsells C.
  • arosteguiarostegui Posts: 1

  • karmikankarmikan Posts: 116
    Tony Whitney, the reviewer here is one of the best IMO. This is a really positive review of the E60. Even the pics are quite flattering, the car is starting to look (gulp!) almost acceptable.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... Kinda reminds me of the new Saturn .. great, I always wanted to spend $50 grand and have someone say "Hey, I sure like your new Saturn" .. that surely would make MY day .l.o.l.

  • ateixeiraateixeira Posts: 72,587
    Sales are down on a new model? No wonder they ordered an emergency face-lift.

    So who at BMW is manipulating the data to make it look the other way around?

  • Arostegui,

    The Packages are going to be quite similar I am told by my dealership as the existing 5.

    However, most of the exciting new technology will be options such as run flat tires, active steering, and adaptive headlights.

    As far as the base price, it is said that it will only come in a a couple of thousand more then the exiting 5. However, if the US$ continues to plumbet, who knows!
  • Wow I actually like those pictures! I like the view of the rear in that blue color. Maybe I just might trade in my 02 530i (22,500 miles). I like the interior too, only I wish iDrive was an option. And if it was, it sure wouldn't be on my car :)
  • idletaskidletask Posts: 171
    How can one criticize the look of a car without seeing it in person ? How come people are so reluctant to change ?

    As to the 7 series facelift it's just a rumor, it never has been confirmed. Of course, like any BMW, it will have a facelift in its life.

    Comparing the 5 series to a Pontiac is, well, uhm... Even with the photos that are out currently I just don't see any Pontiac cues in it. Actually I prefer the new look over the sedate, classic look of the current one. Ditto for the 7.

    Things change.
This discussion has been closed.