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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums Regional Forums UK F11 5 series touring v F31 3 series touring
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      04-11-2013, 02:07 AM   #1
drnat
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F11 5 series touring v F31 3 series touring

Hoping for any insights or advice on my next car purchase decision!

I am stuck between a 3 series touring & 5 series touring...

I enjoy driving but also like my luxury & gadgets:

F11: Great dash/interior
Love the space
Love the electronic autohandbrake
Lots of toys to choose from....

Is it fun enough to drive & is this relevant?
Can be pricey with bigger engines

F31: Great to drive
Still good toys
More manoeuvrable

Boot system drove me nuts when I borrowed a car with the load cover....

Questions:

F11 - can it be made more fun to drive - I borrowed a 520d SE standard wheels/suspension

F31 - Does the boot system annoy others & any work arounds?

Have also posted this in the F30/31 forum...

Thoughts please!!
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      04-12-2013, 08:50 AM   #2
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Some good responses in the F30 forum...

How entertaining can an F31 be -> for a 525d se will VDC help, what effect will 18" alloys have?

Will the 525d M/S be better than above & what about the ride?

If going for a 30d, what effect will vdc or adaptive drive have & effects of different wheels?

Insights & advice re fun factor in an F11 will be really helpful!!

Many thanks :-)
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      04-15-2013, 11:01 AM   #3
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Similar dilemma to yourself, coming from e90 330i msport touring 272 bhp have driven all sorts and here's my take ;

F31 visually unappealing front with droopy nose, squared off headlights reminicent of Capri GXL ( shock horror )
Right colour & wheels other angles looks good. Inside much better than e90, 320d good performance / economy balance but rubbish with window down

F11 needs msport IMO visually and handling, think don't need adaptive. Not as sharp as f31 as you would expect but still compared to audis and Mercs I drove exceptionally good. Great seats, space, practicality, 2.0 diesel much smoother and quieter than f31 but unmistakenly 4 pot diesel. Toys even better than f31. 3.0 diesel outstanding and quoted by clarkson ( correctly for once ! ) as the best real world car in the world....

So, was just about to order f11 520d fully navved up then decided best solution was f11 530d imperial, cloth, 19's, Multi function display panel ( best toy yet ) privacy, lumber, USB, visibility pack
Due in may and will give full verdict then.
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      04-15-2013, 05:18 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnat View Post
Some good responses in the F30 forum...

How entertaining can an F31 be -> for a 525d se will VDC help, what effect will 18" alloys have?

Will the 525d M/S be better than above & what about the ride?

If going for a 30d, what effect will vdc or adaptive drive have & effects of different wheels?

Insights & advice re fun factor in an F11 will be really helpful!!

Many thanks :-)
I was in the same situation as you. I actually ordered a 330xd touring with all the bells and whistles. I also had a sit in the F11 while at the Geneva car show and at the dealer showroom (wow, major step up in luxury). When they told me the delivery date (July), I changed my mind, took one that just arrived in the dealer this morning and signed the new contract. It's got many options (plenty to play with) although not all I had on the 3er - very happy with the purchase (and change) though. Can't wait to drive it away end of the week

Gary.
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      04-15-2013, 05:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gxprice
Quote:
Originally Posted by drnat View Post
Some good responses in the F30 forum...

How entertaining can an F31 be -> for a 525d se will VDC help, what effect will 18" alloys have?

Will the 525d M/S be better than above & what about the ride?

If going for a 30d, what effect will vdc or adaptive drive have & effects of different wheels?

Insights & advice re fun factor in an F11 will be really helpful!!

Many thanks :-)
I was in the same situation as you. I actually ordered a 330xd touring with all the bells and whistles. I also had a sit in the F11 while at the Geneva car show and at the dealer showroom (wow, major step up in luxury). When they told me the delivery date (July), I changed my mind, took one that just arrived in the dealer this morning and signed the new contract. It's got many options (plenty to play with) although not all I had on the 3er - very happy with the purchase (and change) though. Can't wait to drive it away end of the week

Gary.
Excellent, what is the spec? Be keen to hear how you get on & comparisons...thanks
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      04-16-2013, 01:48 AM   #6
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Excellent, what is the spec? Be keen to hear how you get on & comparisons...thanks
Just re-read my note and it probably wasn't as clear as it could have been on the (ordered) car - apologies, it was late!

When I ordered my F31 330XD, I had the 5'er at the back of my mind (same situation as you) but figured it was too expensive and too similar to my wife's E61 530XD. Anyway, the F31 is a new car and people say the size can be compared to the E39 (of which I had an M5 version for a while). So I went ahead ...

After the salesman told me about the 3.5 month waiting list, I re-examined the possibility of the 5 series (specifically, I wanted the F11 530XD) and with "this and that", realised that the lease was actually less that the F31 since I was buying one "from stock".

In terms of spec, the one I took is Sapphire black metallic with Dakota Oyster leather (LCCX). In terms of options, it comes with the Comfort, Communication and Visibility packs plus the Swiss pack (I'm based in Switzerland). Individually, we have Sports auto box, 18" wheels (328), sunroof, rear sunblinds, electric comfort seats with memory, lane change warning, surround view, rear camera, combined (large) instruments (6WA), DAB Radio, HiFi speakers and BMW Live.

It only arrived at the dealership yesterday and, once I'd seen it, signed on it! Hopefully will pick it up on Monday and really looking forward to it I'm coming from a 911 (997) so am looking forward to getting back to a little comfort. We'll retire my wife's older 530XD next year and see what comes next....

To answer your initial question - yes, the 3'er is a little more sporty and perhaps slightly more affordable but - there is no comparison in the "luxury" element of the car (IMO). Also, with the Comfort Access (which mine has as part of one of the kits), your boot problems will cease to exist!

Best,

Gary.

Last edited by gxprice; 04-16-2013 at 01:55 AM.
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      04-16-2013, 01:52 AM   #7
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Just one thing you may notice as a glaring error, it does not come with an alarm (apparently the Swiss feel really safe!)! I've asked the dealership to find out if I can get one retrofitted and they will look into it for me... Any comments/knowledge on this are welcome (?) Since I drive regularly outside of Switzerland, I think an alarm is important so I'll have to find a solution....

Sorry if this is a little off-topic but I've only 3 posts (including this one) so can't create a new thread on my own yet ...

Gary.
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      04-16-2013, 04:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gxprice
Just one thing you may notice as a glaring error, it does not come with an alarm (apparently the Swiss feel really safe!)! I've asked the dealership to find out if I can get one retrofitted and they will look into it for me... Any comments/knowledge on this are welcome (?) Since I drive regularly outside of Switzerland, I think an alarm is important so I'll have to find a solution....

Sorry if this is a little off-topic but I've only 3 posts (including this one) so can't create a new thread on my own yet ...

Gary.
Great spec. I love comfort access & would never be without it! Be a bit different to the 997 - I used to have a C2S 997 & loved every second of it - sadly children out grew it quicker than I did!!

Should be easy to get an alarm fitted but can't believe it isn't standard!! Incredible!!

Please let us know how it goes when you collect.

I'm testing a 530d M/Sport tomorrow to see if can satisfy the fun factor - fingers crossed it makes me smile :-)
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      04-16-2013, 06:49 AM   #9
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Quote:
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I'm testing a 530d M/Sport tomorrow to see if can satisfy the fun factor - fingers crossed it makes me smile :-)
I'm sure you will enjoy it, but if you really feel a 3-series is your kind of car, you may find it a bit big. Make sure your drive is long enough to get a proper assessment. Get past the initial feeling of it being a big car.

Having lived with my F11 for over 6-months I don't regret it at all, even though it is bigger than I needed, it is a superb place to be. I wouldn't want a 3-series after this car, it is just so much more car, but in a different way.

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      04-16-2013, 04:08 PM   #10
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Great spec. I love comfort access & would never be without it! Be a bit different to the 997 - I used to have a C2S 997 & loved every second of it - sadly children out grew it quicker than I did!!

Should be easy to get an alarm fitted but can't believe it isn't standard!! Incredible!!

Please let us know how it goes when you collect.

I'm testing a 530d M/Sport tomorrow to see if can satisfy the fun factor - fingers crossed it makes me smile :-)
Yes, it'll be different to the 911 but hey, I've already done the mid-life crisis thing I must admit to enjoying driving my wife's car these days when I get the opportunity so that's a clear enough sign for me

I'll keep you updated on the car. Initially he said the alarm couldn't be retrofitted but I said that it was that or aftermarket... Suddenly there's a commercial challenge so we'll see what they can do.

I also hope you have a great test drive tomorrow The car comes with quite a few niceties if you specify the main packs so no major need to dip into the individual options. Great if you can but not critical to your well-being! Let us know how it goes please

There's another thread on the main F10 forum on the best / worst options chosen based on experience on what has been owned already. Might be worth keeping an eye on if you have the chance to choose options. Opinion seems quite "varied" though

Gary.
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      04-17-2013, 05:21 PM   #11
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What did you think of the 530d msport after your test drive ?
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      04-18-2013, 02:15 PM   #12
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What did you think of the 530d msport after your test drive ?
Yes, very much looking forward to the response also

Gary.
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      04-19-2013, 06:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bandiano
What did you think of the 530d msport after your test drive ?
Unfortunately not happened yet. The demonstrator isn't in the dealership yet & the used car they had is awaiting a new bumper....awaiting a call from the dealer still :-( Frustrating!
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      04-21-2013, 04:21 PM   #14
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Hoping test drive will now be next week....can't wait to try it :-)
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      04-22-2013, 07:58 AM   #15
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My f11 530dMS delivery has been confirmed for 4 weeks and just heard the rental company are swapping my audi a4 tomorrow for a 320d until it is ready. This news has made me very happy indeed and as I had an f10 520dMS for 4 weeks will be an interesting comparison, keen to hear your thoughts after your test drive !
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      05-01-2013, 01:42 PM   #16
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Have now finally driven the 530d M/S with 18" wheels.

The good:

The usual 5er quality interior
The 30d engine was smooth, pleasant sounding & pretty brisk

The not so good:

I was really disappointed by the ride/handling compromise with the MS suspension. The ride was not good, firm & felt imperfections through the light handling wheel. The handling wasn't great either, was more sporty but had initial understeer and was skittish around the bends, often moving laterally if it hit an imperfection on the road. It didn't encourage spirited driving. Also, the braking didn't inspire confidence.

Overall, have discounted this car. I think an SE spec & probably a 525d SE would be a good compromise.....

Just MHO though!
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      05-02-2013, 02:52 AM   #17
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Good to hear back from you DrNat! I've had my car for 10 days now and can't say I've found anything I don't really like about it (yes, yes, I know - what do you expect after dropping the best part of 60K UKP on a car!). My only bugbear is that my Galaxy S3 won't hook me up with Internet so I may have to get a cheap phone with a data-only PAYG SIM card to enable this.

Based on what you said, I'm glad I didn't select the MS (presume M Sport?) set up and suspension - although to be fair, the roads are in a helluva lot better shape here than the UK (!).

I don't have any suspension "options" on my car, just the "normal" (whatever that is classified as) but find the ride to be great; the comfort seats and the overall quality of the cabin/controls/instruments etc. really help the overall experience also.

I confess I made a deliberate choice in this direction (i.e. comfort) as I alluded to in previous remarks and was very happy to find a car that was specced accordingly.

Interesting comment on the brakes - not noticed any issues so far with this (but then, I'm still in the phase of "wafting" along and watching the fuel tank remaining full ). What exactly didn't inspire confidence? Too much pedal travel? Brake fade with too much heat? If it was lock up (or more specifically, ABS kicking in), it's more likely a function of the tires which you should be able to address to a significant extent (ditch the run-flats, get some performance rubber on there). I've also read here (or bimmerfest?) of cases where dealers have over-inflated tyres at delivery which would cause the understeer (as well as skittishness / feeling of imperfections / non-optimised brake performance). Anyway, track mode off

Just my 2p worth - I hope you find the car you're looking for
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      05-02-2013, 05:07 PM   #18
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Thanks & glad you are enjoying.

Brakes just didn't seem to shed speed quickly or bite well.

Did wonder about tyre pressure, but think it was more to do with a lack of compliance over bumpy roads rather than anything else.

Currently leaning towards 525d SE with lots of toys. Dealer wanting me to see the 3 GT too...
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      05-14-2013, 01:54 PM   #19
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Interesting point about skittish suspension, having tried the f30 now for 2000 miles it is definitely more fun to drive near or on the limit, the trade off being the 2.0d engine is quite gruff after a while, the NVH budget was obviously lower on the 3 series. Astonishingly frugal and a compelling combo
I was also looking at the 525d which looks great on paper, I couldn't find a dealer with one to try and actually came to the conclusion that a 520d with performance upgrade kit reviewed elsewhere on the forum offered nearly the performance for notably less cash and thus more toys......
Personal preference all of it and I hope you are happy with whatever your final choice is.
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      06-16-2013, 10:33 AM   #20
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Have now driven a 520d SE with 18" alloys - best combo so far. Happy to go for this.

Going to order a 5er luxury with the following spec:

Sports auto box
Prof Nav
HUD
Comfort package inc comfort seats
? VDC
Steering wheel heating
Tyre pressure monitor
Soft close doors
Reversing camera
Extended luggage
Ext mirrors folding
Seat ventilation
Seat heating rear
Rear air on
Adaptive LED lights
High beam assist
HK sound
Enhanced Bluetooth
Speed limit display

Still unsure re engine - depends on deal probably but likely 525d I think. awaiting further info from dealer tomorrow re deal.

Excited now :-)
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