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Discussion Starter #1
I hate to criticize but I felt I had to leave my impressions of the new design as everyone is so excited about the new M5 that will be released soon. I am having some work done on the beast at the dealer and they gave me a 2011 535i as a loaner. First impressions looking at the car was that it is a huge vehicle and rather conservative looking. I've had the car for 2 days now and have been absolutely unimpressed by the driving experience. The car seems really large with too much space between the front driver and passenger seats, rather Cadillac like. The intimacy of the e39 is nowhere to be found. The suspension is too soft and wallows all over the road, as it reminds me of the old Lincoln Town Cars from the 80s and 90s. I used to love renting those babies on business trips, the smoothest drive ever. It's a bit annoying also with an ever changing gear shifting transmission. Even the and brake is an electronic button. I am barely 6 ft and 180 pounds, but while driving I felt like a 300 pound slob trying to stop myself from falling asleep a meal of steak and mashed potatoes. Sure...the F10 M5 will have a totally different suspension but I just can't imagine have a vehicle of that size with more than 550 or so horses spiriting along the byways the way the e39 M5 does. The vehicle feels as though it weighs 10 tons. Even my wife commented that she would be glad when I got my own car out of the shop. I don't understand the direction of BMW but I guess you can't argue with sales figures since they are up quite a bit. I think quite simply the e39 was an anomaly that can't be repeated or replaced. And those that take care of the ones they have will be able to take solace in the unique and unbeatable qualities of the e39. Hopefully my first test drive of the F10 M5 will change my mind.
Cheers.
 

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Interesting....

I don't understand why BMW keeps making these cars bigger and bigger.....
 
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Interesting....

I don't understand why BMW keeps making these cars bigger and bigger.....
To keep up with their competitors and the average buyer who wants a fancy badge and more comfort

Because they introduced the 1-series, which replaced the 3-series (which is now almost as big as the E39s).
 

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Alexander Palevsky pans the F10 550 big time in the new issue of Bimmer magazine. He also says however that the 535 with manual, sport package and dynamic handling package is a great experience.
 

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I test drove the 535i the other day.
At first, my impressions were the same - big, chunky, and slow. It also has 8 gears which I thought was a bit ridiculous.
However, I began enjoying the ride from a different perspective after driving around for a little.
Basically never had to touch the shifter once it was put in gear, which now requires less effort than ever.
It has this new function with the brakes where you press a button and it electronically sets the brakes on for you. You can keep your foot off the brake pedal while you wait for the green light.
The iDrive is very nice and the buttons are perfectly placed.
It has definitely become more of a luxury car. I could see many people enjoying this newer side of BMW.

Personally, I don't agree with the direction BMW is going, but they probably have to keep up with the market.
I'm sure the M5 is still a blast to drive. However, I feel that the F10 is too big to be a manual car.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I test drove the 535i the other day.
At first, my impressions were the same - big, chunky, and slow. It also has 8 gears which I thought was a bit ridiculous.
However, I began enjoying the ride from a different perspective after driving around for a little.
Basically never had to touch the shifter once it was put in gear, which now requires less effort than ever.
It has this new function with the brakes where you press a button and it electronically sets the brakes on for you. You can keep your foot off the brake pedal while you wait for the green light.
The iDrive is very nice and the buttons are perfectly placed.
It has definitely become more of a luxury car. I could see many people enjoying this newer side of BMW.

Personally, I don't agree with the direction BMW is going, but they probably have to keep up with the market.
I'm sure the M5 is still a blast to drive. However, I feel that the F10 is too big to be a manual car.
Yes, I agree, too big to be a manual. If it were a second car... maybe, but a daily driver, no way. Years ago I drove the e39 528i and that had the nice balance between luxury and sport. Not as good as the 540 of course but nice all the same. These vehicles are made for a different generation. The seat...make that the couch is just so damn wide. And to be able to see the front hood so high while driving is just a stark difference from the e39 where the front hood just disappears when looking out the front window.
Again...sales figures tell BMW they are on the right track but for me individually, Mercedes Benz would be the car for me if a large luxo vehicle was my flavor but presently it is not. I'll hold onto my e39 M5 but I am done with BMW. I wish them the best but they have moved in a direction that does not suit me.
Cheers,
JP
 

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Yes, I agree, too big to be a manual.
I don't know what that means. Large semi trucks have manual transmissions... :confused2

I've written about the F10 many times already so I'm not going to repeat myself here. I will add that it weighs roughly as much as the E39 M5 and is only a few inches longer (both wheelbase and the car itself). However, the styling makes it look and feel much much larger than that. And those few inches in the wheelbase do make a huge difference.

The electric parking brake annoys me more and more every day. If I want to roll the car out of the garage (say to wash it or get the motorcycle out) I have to go find the key and turn the car on just to release the brake. And a lot of automatic equipped F10 owners (which is probably 98%) have complained about the constant shifting - another reason I ordered mine with the far superior manual transmission as God intended.

Michael
 

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Unfortunately, seems the way lots of cars are going

Not sure what % of BMW, Audi & Merc sales are in the US, but seems like more and more the dynamics, styling and content are geared towards us buyers. Unfortunately, it seems like most US buyers don't value performance as much as they do comfort & not having to be involved in driving. How else do you explain all the electronic non-sense: lane departure warning, automatic braking/collsion avoidance, active cruise control, wake the idiot up alert, etc. What the hell happened to actually DRIVING the car and paying attention to what you were doing?

If I had a dollar for every time some bimbo driving an X5, Jag, or LR has nearly taken me out becuase she's blabbing away on her cell, failing to signal and then turning right into the nail salon from the left lane.... grrrr.
 

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Sounds like your loaner doesn't have the proper set up. Mike Miller at Bimmer Magazine said, "That BMW actually makes such a car available without an M badge is heartening because it shows that the company is still making cars for us, the serious drivers of the world".

His 535i had 6 speed manual, Sport and Dynamic Handling packages.
 

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Not sure what % of BMW, Audi & Merc sales are in the US, but seems like more and more the dynamics, styling and content are geared towards us buyers. Unfortunately, it seems like most US buyers don't value performance as much as they do comfort & not having to be involved in driving. How else do you explain all the electronic non-sense: lane departure warning, automatic braking/collsion avoidance, active cruise control, wake the idiot up alert, etc. What the hell happened to actually DRIVING the car and paying attention to what you were doing?

If I had a dollar for every time some bimbo driving an X5, Jag, or LR has nearly taken me out becuase she's blabbing away on her cell, failing to signal and then turning right into the nail salon from the left lane.... grrrr.
You are right, especially about people being able to DRIVE the car instead of being driven by it.

But look at the U.S. from a driving perspective? Even on the "opne road", speed limits of 65 or 70 mph if you are lucky. No where to stretch a cars legs. No need to be involved (like say the autobahn) because people have no lane discipline, no awareness of surrounds and no real need for top end. So to while away the time, you get all kinds of electronic gizmos, gazillion watt stereos, heat/cool/ massaging seats, cupholders (ok, I like mine in the morning for coffee on my 65 mph highway jaunt to the office), lane departure warning (what, I was supposed to stay in my lane all by myself?), automatic braking (what, I have to judge stopping distances and decide how HARD to push the brakes, even with ABS since you can't even lock up the brakes in most situations), etc.

Yup, not really a surprise, but no less a disappointment. There will be a niche for car companies that can still put out an exciting product that the driver drives. I would have to say the Porsche is still in the lead, although they have to keep up with other car companies too.....

Regards,
Jerry
 

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Mike Miller at Bimmer Magazine said, "That BMW actually makes such a car available without an M badge is heartening because it shows that the company is still making cars for us, the serious drivers of the world".
Palevsky said the same thing about the 535 Sport -- must be a world of difference between that and the non sport and 550.
 

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The front suspension of an F10 is basically like a truck [double wishbone] but all made out of aluminum. It's a huge car but it's seriously fast [at least the 550i]. Who knows what the new M5 will be compared to its AMG counterpart.
 

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You are right, especially about people being able to DRIVE the car instead of being driven by it.

But look at the U.S. from a driving perspective? Even on the "opne road", speed limits of 65 or 70 mph if you are lucky. No where to stretch a cars legs. No need to be involved (like say the autobahn) because people have no lane discipline, no awareness of surrounds and no real need for top end. So to while away the time, you get all kinds of electronic gizmos, gazillion watt stereos, heat/cool/ massaging seats, cupholders (ok, I like mine in the morning for coffee on my 65 mph highway jaunt to the office), lane departure warning (what, I was supposed to stay in my lane all by myself?), automatic braking (what, I have to judge stopping distances and decide how HARD to push the brakes, even with ABS since you can't even lock up the brakes in most situations), etc.

Yup, not really a surprise, but no less a disappointment. There will be a niche for car companies that can still put out an exciting product that the driver drives. I would have to say the Porsche is still in the lead, although they have to keep up with other car companies too.....

Regards,
Jerry
Amen Jerry!
Granted, I am a bit biased.....but the latest two generations of BMWs since the E39/E46 have been airballs for me....
The only thing that has slightly interested me is the E92 M3 (probably because it is basically my M5 LOL)

Brian
 

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Discussion Starter #17
The eating binge is over

I say eating binge because the car makes me feel like I weigh 300 pounds. Got the beast back with a new rear suspension. Life is good again. It's amazing getting into the beast after driving the F10. For the first 5 or so minutes the beast felt like a little go cart. Really weird. The beast is just so nimble and quick with a suspension that seems to be energized as I jaunt around corners and stab in and out of traffic....couldn't help myself since the cars been stuck at the dealer for 3 days. I had a ball driving home today. The beast is simply "the bomb!"
 

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I say eating binge because the car makes me feel like I weigh 300 pounds. Got the beast back with a new rear suspension. Life is good again. It's amazing getting into the beast after driving the F10. For the first 5 or so minutes the beast felt like a little go cart. Really weird. The beast is just so nimble and quick with a suspension that seems to be energized as I jaunt around corners and stab in and out of traffic....couldn't help myself since the cars been stuck at the dealer for 3 days. I had a ball driving home today. The beast is simply "the bomb!"
I can't wait to get my car back from the shop. It's probably going to be another 2 weeks.
Currently, I'm driving a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The difference is huge.
Driving at the speed limit in the beast seemed impossible, but it seems like the speed limit is all the Jeep can handle.
 

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But look at the U.S. from a driving perspective? Even on the "opne road", speed limits of 65 or 70 mph if you are lucky. No where to stretch a cars legs. No need to be involved (like say the autobahn) because people have no lane discipline, no awareness of surrounds and no real need for top end. So to while away the time, you get all kinds of electronic gizmos, gazillion watt stereos, heat/cool/ massaging seats, cupholders (ok, I like mine in the morning for coffee on my 65 mph highway jaunt to the office), lane departure warning (what, I was supposed to stay in my lane all by myself?), automatic braking (what, I have to judge stopping distances and decide how HARD to push the brakes, even with ABS since you can't even lock up the brakes in most situations), etc.
I agree. I have to say also that in all the years owning my e39 M5, I've never really yearned for more power (like that found in the V-10 e60). I can barely keep out of trouble with "just" 400 bhp! As for the F10, I've seen how M works its magic, able to transform an X5 into a relatively decent handler in the M version (albeit a bit of an oxymoron), so I'll try to keep an open mind.
 
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