BMW 530xi - 2006



  • tcoztcoz Member Posts: 16
    I didn't know it was limited availablility, but I disagree with you as far as it being "hot". It's a niche market car in this country. We're a nation of SUV drivers and a car like this mainly appeals to enthusiasts like us who are interested in performance and handling as well as cargo capacity. That's why BMW hasn't brought a 5-Series wagon into the US for the past two years. All of this may begin to slowly change now with the offerings from MB and Audi as well as BMW.

    As I mentioned in my other post, I didn't have a trade-in.
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    Just want to clear up what I said... I wasn't trying to be misleading by saying "limited availability" meaning "limited edition" or something like that. What I was trying to say was that BMW was not flooding the market with them; that they are keeping supply relatively tight so that the number of purchases pretty much equals the number produced so there isn't much standing inventory at dealers. Of course, there will always be anomolies and particular dealers or locales that just don't sell them well... but overall, that was what I was trying to say. :)
  • dpndpn Member Posts: 7
    thanks for the info tcoz. this is exactly what this forum is all about. i called and they no longer have the silver-metallic left. you got a great color! :)
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Does the 530xi have a higher ride height than the 530i? Is it noticeable visually?

    Also, even if it is higher, is ground clearance an issue when trekking through the white stuff? Would an X3 or X5 be a more appropriate choice if snow performance is a consideration for getting an x-drive bimmer? Afterall, what good is AWD if the front end is acting like a snow plow! :cry:

    Any and all comments would be much appreciated!
  • tcoztcoz Member Posts: 16
    This is purely a subjective observation, but one of the first things I noticed about it sitting in the showroom was that it did not seem to be a higher ride height. Visually, it had that low raked appearance. The higher ride height was one of the things I always disliked about past "X" models. There was enough space between the wheels and fenders that I could always spot them without seeing the model designation on the back.

    I would imagine that if you're talking about 8-12 inch snows, the X3 or X5 might be a better choice, but I think it would be just fine for anything less than that. I live near Chicago and can only recall a couple of 6-8 inch snows in the past few years and for the most part, my wifes front-drive Hyundai did a passable job in them.
  • tcoztcoz Member Posts: 16
    The black also looked great, but I had a black 2003 325i a couple of years ago so I wanted a change in color. If you're really interested, you should think about it. I've searched every nook and cranny of the web and can't find any advertised price even close or anybody who has been able to negotiate a similar price. They're also great people to work with. I talked to them about shipping a car to Hilton Head Island a few months ago and the cost was around $800, so shipping to Colorado probably wouldn't be much more than $1000-1200...still at or close to invoice.
  • freddybbfreddybb Member Posts: 95
    I bought a new 2006 530xi recently, and I specifically inquired about the ride height difference and was told there isn't any. I particularly dislike cars that are raised up in their AWD versions (makes them look ungainly and ugly), and I am very happy that my 530xi is the exact same ride height as the 530i.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Thanks for the reply, freddy and tcoz. I agree a non-SUV should not have a raised suspension, especially a sedan, and double especially a BMW sedan!

    Just curious if you also considered the 330xi. Even though styling is subjective, I find the 330 very attractive, and I still have trouble looking past the trunk treatment on the 5. That trunk line that merges into the tail light gives the 5 a droopy-butt look. :cry: Otherwise the car looks very masculine. :P

    You would also save some serious change with the 330, compared to the 530.
  • freddybbfreddybb Member Posts: 95
    I did not consider the 330xi because I need the extra room in the back for school drop-off in the mornings! That's also the reason why I waited until BMW increased rear leg room substantially in the 5 before I took the plunge.
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    Got a new 530xi yesterday. I like the way it looks both inside and out. I agree that the XDrive will take some time to master, but my husband likes gadgets... I am glad the car is not higher due to the AWD. Anyway, if it gets really deep here I can always take our SUV (I live in Minnesota).

    What I would like to know: the salesperson said the car is Ipod compatible. Just need a hook-up. Why is it I can't find this model mentioned on the BMW website.

    Glad to join your forum. I am Nancy in Minnesota--mother of two, doctor and BMW enthusiast, even though I drove a Lexus for 10 years. Time to get wild again.
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    Sorry. I meant IDrive, not XDrive. Sorry. :blush:
  • dpndpn Member Posts: 7
    the aux input comes standard on the 3. however, you will have to get an adapter for the 5. i believe it costs around $40 and is pretty easy to install.

    btw, i have a 3 (looking for a 5 for the wife) and my ipod didn't sound so good with the analog aux because you're amplifying an amplified signal which creates distortion. i then went and bought a dension ice>link plus which acts as a cd changer emulator. you'll love this because the artist and song is displayed on the stereo and you can control the volume, next song, etc from the steering wheel.
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    sounds great dpn! I forwarded your post to my husband the gadget freak and I'm sure he will check that out. I like the idea of seeing the artist/song displayed. That is wonderful!
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    Welcome to the forum -- my wife a "Juris" doctor, owner of two shelties and NOW BMW enthusiast has a 4 month old X3 3.0 stick with all the toys (the X3 even with the navigation however doesn't come with iDrive -- perhaps thank god for that.)

    Why the switch from Japanese back to German? You seem to be one of the few that has come back.

    Speaking for myself (and probably my wife somewhat), the Japanese cars are very nice and some of them are "almost German" -- but they seem to lack a certain driving involvement that rewards the German car driver (generally speaking.)

    We have had 28 Audis, 2 BMW's and 3 VW's over the past 30 years -- although we have test driven many cars from all over and I almost slipped earlier this year with an Infiniti M35X.

    We have had virtually ONLY AWD cars since 1984 and I can't imagine a 2WD car ever again.

    To repeat: welcome. :shades:
  • bustershowdogbustershowdog Member Posts: 1
    I too have the intermittent "High Battery Drain" warning on my new 530xi, and have it going into the shop. No severe drain noticed thus far...
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Does the 5-series have the same push-button engine-start system as on the new 3 -- meaning you have to stick the fob into the dash before pushing the button? What happens if you (accidentally, or otherwise) yank the fob out while the engine is running?
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    All four brakes clamp full-on, the engine locks completely and the steering wheel locks thereby preventing the wheel from steering the car.

    This happens instantly and without regard to the speed or "attitude" the car is in when the hapless driver extracts the key from its designated slot.

    Oh yea, the horn starts honking and the BMW assist feature immediately calls 9-11 and reports the car has been stolen. I think the battery fries itself and the radio self destructs too.

    OK, none of this really happens -- although, as I recall the system does "inform you" that the key is missing via a warning light with a graphic of a key.

    These keyless start functions on German cars seem over priced and less friendly than on the Japanese cars, du jour.

    My own experience with an Audi A6 is that in 4 months I have had to have the Engine Start/Stop button replaced three times (making the car have a grand total of 4 switches since I bought it.)

    No wonder they cost so much if Audi's supplier is also the vendor to BMW.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    LOL. Everybody's a comedian. :)

    So I guess the key only needs to be inserted to start the car, not to keep the car running.

    BTW, you're referring to your current A6, a 4-month-old car that has had the start button replaced 3 times?!
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    You know, the more I think about it, I can't see why the keyless ignition seems to be all the rage now. You have to stick the fob in the dash, then then push a button to start. So is that really such a big convenience over turning a conventional key?

    And isn't it conceivable that an absent-minded person, or simply someone who's used to a conventional key system, could forget to push the button to turn off the car, and simply take the key out and exit, with the engine still running? :cry:
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    Hi Mark in Cincy:
    I drove a Lexus SC400 for 10 years and finally got rid of it for the BMW. I loved the Lexus but it was never what I really considered a "sporty" car. I have always liked sports cars and I got the Lexus because at the time it was such a new up and coming brand and the sport coupe was really unlike anything on the road (at least where I lived). It was nice, but when it came time to get a new one the first thing I did was return to Lexus and try out their GS with AWD. Well, it felt like I was still driving the SC. I wanted MORE!! Plus the Lexus salespeople didn't seem to be very interested in selling me a car. Oh well....I went to the BMW dealer next...end of story. Oh, I was going to look at the Infiniti M35 but couldn't quite bring myself to do it. Curious about your comment. Anyway, I emailed the Lexus salesman after he emailed me to try to get my business back and I basically told him I wanted to feel some exhilaration and power when I drove a car..I have had enough of the squishy Lexus feel. He agreed that Lexus had a ways to go in that regard but that that is their prime focus now. We'll see. I am actually doing a 3- year corp lease so at the end of 3 years I can reassess things. Thanks so much for the welcome!!
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    The keyless start on the Lexus I drove you didn't have to stick the key or fob in anything. It just had to be on you or near you.
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    I am having a time with the voice commands. It seems like half the time it misunderstands me and goes somewhere I don't want it to. Do you all use the voice commands much and if so, how do you fine-tune the process? I still haven't been able to get my phone book into the system even though it recognizes my phone and I can call out and accept calls in as long as the cell phone is on me, but it won't transfer any info. Is this because it is not the right Nokia phone? Does anyone know. My hubby is not sure either.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    That's a better system, IMHO. If you're going to go keyless, why should you have to fumble around with inserting a fob into the dash. Kinda defeats the purpose of going keyless.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    " My hubby is not sure either."

    What? The "gadget freak" is stymied?! :surprise: :P ;)
  • nancyh1nancyh1 Member Posts: 7
    No, more likely he hasn't really taken the time to look at it closely. He hasn't been driving it. LOL!
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    Well, there you go. There's no incentive for him to solve it! You gotta give him some wheel time. Us guys need constant positive reinforcement! :P
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    The $750 Audi Advanced Key option adds two console mounted push-buttons, one says Start Engine the other says Beam me up Scotty. Well not really.

    When you approach the car, with the key fob in your pocket, the door (or doors depending on how YOU programmed it) opens and you get in, put your foot on the brake and press and release the Start Engine button.

    Nothing needs to be inserted anywhere.

    The key is a switchblade key and can also be used conventionally in that there is a keyhole right next to the steering wheel -- you would never even need to use the pushbutton start if you didn't want to.

    The A6, a 2005 3.2, that I have has over 6,000 miles on it (I got it in June). It is, literally on its fourth switch. This one will not make it to Thanksgiving I'm thinking.

    There is no way to tell that the switch is going out -- it works one day and stops the next.

    The new switch takes 10 minutes to install and the dealer says Audi is aware of the issue and that is why they keep several in stock at all times.

    I certainly HOPE that BMW doesn't use such short-lived switches.

    And, putting the key into a hole and then pressing a button seems retro compared with Infiniti, Lexus and even Audi (short life span notwithstanding.)

    I like the ability to not have to dink around with the key when it is in my pocket -- but I just wish the system was more durable. Virtually everything else about the current crop of German cars seems to be a huge improvement over what has been the case in even the recent past few years.

    I would get pushbutton start again -- IF IF IF it cost a bit less and would last, oh say at least 50,000 miles!

  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    I certainly HOPE that BMW doesn't use such short-lived switches.

    BMW's been using the push-buttons since their 2002 7-Series and I haven't heard any general complaints about them.....
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    ...but, as I asked earlier, is there some built-in safeguard against the user absent-mindedly removing the key without pushing the button to turn the engine off?
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514, I think Audi has that 2-way communication feature to enable confirmation of armed/unarmed status. I like that. So, other than reliability, Audi seems considerably ahead of BMW in keyless technology.
  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    ...but, as I asked earlier, is there some built-in safeguard against the user absent-mindedly removing the key without pushing the button to turn the engine off?

    You can't take the key out unless the car's off.... Once the car's off, you need to push the key fob in and then it releases and pops out slightly.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    OK, that makes more sense. Thanks!
  • buzz35buzz35 Member Posts: 6
    Are you aware of BMW' s comfort access it does the same thing as Audi advance key. I was an Audi fan for awhile, but after dealing with an Audi dealer I have sworn off them forever and I take delivery of my 525xi in 7 days.
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I thought the BMW version required you to stick the key fob in a slot and then push it -- wait a minute, that might be the new Passat -- I'm so confused.

    If BMW's is as reliable as my Audi's good luck -- four months and four pushbutton starters and still counting, I'll bet.

    Mine is working fine, but half the time I still use the key since I hate the key fob's bulk especially when wearing anything but baggy pants.

    Takes all kinds -- seems like these keyless start systems are great fun but I am yet to find their practical side. My wife -- who has a BMW -- makes fun of me with the keyless start, says she wouldn't take it if it were free.

    Takes all kinds.

    $750 for the Audi version is an outrage unless you factor in that you get not one, not two but four switches for the price of one! Lame-o, :lemon: for the time being. :shades:
  • kyfdxkyfdx Moderator Posts: 219,210
    The standard BMW configuration is a fob that you put in the slot, then push the start button....

    If you pay $500 for Comfort Access, then you leave the fob in your pocket... and just push start...

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  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    If BMW's is as reliable as my Audi's good luck -- four months and four pushbutton starters and still counting, I'll bet.

    BMW has used the push-button start buttons since 2001 (02 model year). It started in their 7-Series and has now trickled down.... I haven't heard of people having problems with them, and even if they used to, I'm sure they would have worked the bugs out by now.
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    No, I wasn't aware there is this option. It would definitely be more convenient that having to stick the fob in to start, and remove it after parking. But if it is $500 USD as kyfdx said, then it is a pretty pricy convenience! :cry:
  • turnbowmturnbowm Member Posts: 76
    The 2006 5-series with the new 6-cylinder engines are supposed to be available in the States sometine in April. The horsepower increase will be substantial.... from 184hp to 215hp in the 525i and from 225hp to 255hp in the 530i. All this with a 10% reduction in fuel consumption!


    The light engine design, however, is heavily dependent on the use of magnesium. The block is made up of an aluminum inner core and a magnesium outer shell. Special precautions are taken to avoid the corrosive effects of water on magnesium and dissimilar metals. Special bolts, for example, will be used to attach engine accessories to the magnesium block.


    Am considering the purchase of a new 530i, but this new engine technology has me concerned about long-term reliability. Going with the current 2005 530i with the aluminum engine would be a safe bet, but +30hp and increased mpg of the 2006 is hard to ignore. What are your thoughts?


    Martin T.
  • freddybbfreddybb Member Posts: 95
    I am trying to determine whether the "Premium" Logic7 sound system in my 2006 530xi can play MP3 CDs. The manual says YES, but when I tried to do so I could not get either the in-dash single CD player OR the glovebox-mounted 6-CD changer to play MP3 CDs. Please help if you know the definitive answer.

    Also, I sent in a "Priority Customer Email" to BMW Customer Service via the BMW Owner's Circle SIX WEEKS AGO with this same question. Six weeks later, BMW is STILL researching the answer to this ridiculously simple question: "Does my new BMW play MP3 CDs or not?". Apparently BMW has to "research" whether a car that they built supports a feature that the manual says it supports!!

    Here is the exact verbatim text from [email protected]:

    Thank you for your reply. I apologize for your frustration and for the delay. I know this seems like a simple question, but actually has, in fact required some research. Please rest assured that when a definitive answer is available, it will be provided to you immediately.


    Customer Relations and Services
  • bodble2bodble2 Member Posts: 4,514
    You know, I just took a peak at the BMW Canadian web site out of curiousity. And Comfort Acess is listed as a $1200 option!! Can you believe that? 1200 of our funny money for the convenience of not having to stick a key fob into a hole in the dash! :mad: I hope there is more to the option that just that!
  • dmontemeddmontemed Member Posts: 1
    Just purchased a 2006 530xi which was manufactured and delivered in October. My original thought was to order the comfort access option however with the most recent builds the cars do have the start/stop button and keyless entry without having to spend the $1200 option. I am really enjoying the car - I would highly recommend ordering the navigation option with voice command. The voice command works very well when you are having difficulty with the idrive menu selection process. Best of luck to all...
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    Was reading on other posts about changing from daylight savings.....I used my wife`s car today , and as I don`t want to get really familiar with the i controller, I just said `clock` and the voice controller put the clock settings up...( Now I had messed with the idrive for several minutes with no luck) I then set the clock back one hour punched idrive and then idrive again to bypass the minutes and the clock was set...It was cumbersome, but would not be if you were familiar with the idrive etc....I am beginning to be a believer in the voice command..The car really drives wonderfully and is tight....The radio is really a good sounding one, better than the Mark Levenson....All in all a very nice car....Tony
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    I am here with this post suggesting that voice with one of these cars should be MANDATORY. I have a 2005 Audi A6 with virtually every option and the MMI comes with this model.

    The Audi with all the toys has 82 buttons, switches, knobs, levers and stuff to touch, move, etc to control various functions. This is WITH the ease of use of the MMI, etc etc, etc.

    My Audi has voice command. I cannot imagine MMI without it and be ye a lover or hater of idrive or MMI these systems are here to stay. Additional functionality and complexity and controls will surely follow -- without voice command and control, I cannot even imagine the frustration and even perhaps danger these systems could impart.

    When I first started using my voice command, I didn't want to use it when other people were in the car -- now I realize just how fantastic and SAFER it is to say "dial 513.555.1212" completely without looking and touching anything. Moreover, with Sirius, a CD changer and AM and FM at my voice command, I am less of a hazard on the highways.

    Now I long for voice control of almost everything that requires my glance or attention away from the business of driving the car.

    Hopefully the Germans will reach the level of voice control that I am led to believe the Japanese have attained.

    These cars are great -- but to fully and safely enjoy them, they must be equipped with voice command.

    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?), well then you would be crazy to have one without voice command.

    We Audi A6 owners are so jealous of you BMW 530xi drivers -- we were forced to accept tiptronic transmissions which are nearly as bad as steptronics (but since you can avoid the step-lag-tronics, we simply avert our eyes and proclaim, "we're not worthy.") I got my A6 3.2 before the 530xi was available -- damn.
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    I have followed your posts elsewhere with great pleasure...Emass and myself seem to be the only two people getting the a8, so your comments would be greatly appreciated over there as well ....I`m just almost as your situation, my wife has the 530, and I am getting (shortly) the a8...Personally I would think the a6 to be awefully nice..I sat in one at the showroom and it was beautiful, as you know. I just liked the little screen that popped up and down better as I could see it well. I have had wonderful treatment with Lexus, but am boared after all thes years and look forward to a good change...The Lexus has had the voice control, but alas I never used it is the car was so easy to use...Now with all the stuff etc. It is really dangerous to be fiddeling with anything that takes more than half a second....So I am in your camp and do think this should be standard equipment...If so it could save our lives as someone wouldn`t crash ino us careful drivers.....I guarantee these idrives mmi, and others are going to cause accidents....Tony Cecil Charleston S.C
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    A8 or A8L or S8? And, to be right with the hosts, we need to continue this somewhere else -- the Audi forum springs to mind.

    Now that we have the 3 and 5 BMWs with iDrive, what are the odds that the 7 will (eventually) follow?

    Of course with almost every Mercedes offered with AWD and every Audi with it and 4 Bimmers, it would seem that Audi needs to make their next priority improving the balance of their cars. I recall reading somewhere that some of the Audis (recently) were 60 40 F/R balance. BMWs IMHO often get the performance/handling nod more for that one quality than any other -- they are very well balanced.

    I had an A8 and there is, to this day, NOTHING that sounds as sweet as an Audi V8 at full cry.

    See you over on the Audi board. :shades:
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Administrator Posts: 11,129
    Thanks for trying to keep things on topic, Mark!

    We are actually going to move this discussion to its permanent home on the Sedans board in a day or so.


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  • bdr127bdr127 Member Posts: 950
    Now that we have the 3 and 5 BMWs with iDrive, what are the odds that the 7 will (eventually) follow?

    I assume you meant xDrive, right? IMO, I doubt the 7-series will get an AWD model anytime soon....
  • tollyhotollyho Member Posts: 2
    Do you advise getting snow tires for New England winters for the 2006 530xi ? It was delivered with all weather tires.
    Should I use BMW rims with what brand of tire??
  • markcincinnatimarkcincinnati Member Posts: 5,343
    You are right and of course the spell checker doesn't check for stupidity or fumble finger or typos like that.

    With the accolades heaped upon both the A8 and the S class Mercedes (all avail with AWD), one would imagine BMW would want to add this to the option list.

    News flash -- BMW will soon offer its cars (well, some of them anyway) with superchargers. After all those years of essentially being anti-blown-engines, this is shall we say an "interesting" developement. Maybe Audi will put turbos on its larger than 4 cylinder engines again, soon, too.

    I would love to drive the Audi (or the BMW) 6's with a little artificial aspiration. They would easily go to 300 HP and probably a like torque number too (at low RPM's.)
  • anthonypanthonyp Member Posts: 1,860
    Mr Cincinnati How come you didn`t get the v8? Is the upcharge as rediculous as the twelve was to me...You might see my post over with emass on the a8 board about the trip driving the bmw....Tony
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