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BMW 530xi - 2006



  • bdr127bdr127 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 Posts: 4,519
    OK, that makes more sense. Thanks!
  • buzz35buzz35 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.
  • 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 Posts: 64,749
    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 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 Posts: 4,519
    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:
  • 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.
  • 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

    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 Posts: 4,519
    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!
  • 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 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
  • 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 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
  • 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 Posts: 11,025
    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 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....
  • 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??
  • 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 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
  • 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: 1,860
    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: 1,860
    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.
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