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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum Test Drove 2011 BMW F10 550i
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      05-22-2010, 07:14 PM   #1
BimmerGuyFL
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Test Drove 2011 BMW F10 550i

So I was surprised today when I took my 335i coupe for it's weekly Saturday wash at Fields BMW in Orlando Florida, when I pull up a new 2011 F10 550i was parked up front. I got my sales person to let me take it out on the back roads and on the highway.

I really love the new exterior and interior design. Very high quality that's unmatched by any other cars in its class. Ride quality was fantastic! I tried out the Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ settings. I didn't notice too much of a difference between all 4 settings. Sport settings seem as if the steering becomes a bit and I mean a bit sharper than Normal and Comfort settings. Also in Sport the gas pedal was more responsive as well as the transmission kick down faster. Comfort didn't feel as soft as I thought it was going to, there is a bit more softness but not dramatically so from Normal or Sport settings.

Power was amazing and sounded great! Def drives like a lighter 750i but feels like two class notches above the previous E60 530i Sport I had back in 2005-2007. Interior seems smaller than that of the E60 models but not in a bad way. Love the move back to the more intimate feel from BMW's of the past.

I noticed that the power seats don't go up high enough, seemed strange to me.

Overall I loved the new F10 5-series. Only thing I didn't like was the too light steering feel at all speeds while driving the car. Wish it had a bit more heft like the E39 5-series or like my current 335i coupe.

I recently also test drove the 535i on a special event in Atlanta. The 535i did not have the sports package as well as the Dynamic Handling package of course. After driving today the 550i I would say I rather get a nicely loaded 535i without Sport Package as I didn't really notice any great gains over the standard suspension.

Hopefully buy the time my 335i coupe lease is over in a year and a half, BMW might resolve the too light steering feel currently being introduced on the 2011 F10 5-series.
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      05-23-2010, 12:13 PM   #2
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Thanks for sharing, I can't wait to test drive the 550i personally.
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      05-23-2010, 09:40 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerGuyFL View Post
So I was surprised today when I took my 335i coupe for it's weekly Saturday wash at Fields BMW in Orlando Florida, when I pull up a new 2011 F10 550i was parked up front. I got my sales person to let me take it out on the back roads and on the highway.

I really love the new exterior and interior design. Very high quality that's unmatched by any other cars in its class. Ride quality was fantastic! I tried out the Comfort, Normal, Sport, and Sport+ settings. I didn't notice too much of a difference between all 4 settings. Sport settings seem as if the steering becomes a bit and I mean a bit sharper than Normal and Comfort settings. Also in Sport the gas pedal was more responsive as well as the transmission kick down faster. Comfort didn't feel as soft as I thought it was going to, there is a bit more softness but not dramatically so from Normal or Sport settings.

Power was amazing and sounded great! Def drives like a lighter 750i but feels like two class notches above the previous E60 530i Sport I had back in 2005-2007. Interior seems smaller than that of the E60 models but not in a bad way. Love the move back to the more intimate feel from BMW's of the past.

I noticed that the power seats don't go up high enough, seemed strange to me.

Overall I loved the new F10 5-series. Only thing I didn't like was the too light steering feel at all speeds while driving the car. Wish it had a bit more heft like the E39 5-series or like my current 335i coupe.

I recently also test drove the 535i on a special event in Atlanta. The 535i did not have the sports package as well as the Dynamic Handling package of course. After driving today the 550i I would say I rather get a nicely loaded 535i without Sport Package as I didn't really notice any great gains over the standard suspension.

Hopefully buy the time my 335i coupe lease is over in a year and a half, BMW might resolve the too light steering feel currently being introduced on the 2011 F10 5-series.
Thanks for the info! After four Fives, I've had a couple of Threes (335i coupe, M3 sedan), and I think I'm ready to go back to a Five. Based on your comments, I agree and hope the 2011 irons out the ride/drive issues you identified. I've got 17 months left on the lease on my E90 M3 -- that should give them plenty of time to get it all sorted out!
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      05-24-2010, 08:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBrown1003 View Post
Thanks for the info! After four Fives, I've had a couple of Threes (335i coupe, M3 sedan), and I think I'm ready to go back to a Five. Based on your comments, I agree and hope the 2011 irons out the ride/drive issues you identified. I've got 17 months left on the lease on my E90 M3 -- that should give them plenty of time to get it all sorted out!
As far as ride quality is concerned I don't feel that there is any type of improvement that BMW would need to revise between the Handling and Ride quality balance. However, what I feel that needs to be sorted out a bit more is to bring back more heft into the steering wheel. Even my 2010 X5 has a heavier feel which I prefer to than that of the 2011 F10 5-series.

I simple software upgrade would fix this. I hope BMW is aware of this and has a fix for it in the near future.

Kinda reminded me when the E46 3-series came out. It has perfect steering heft and feel. Then in the 2001 model year for the first 330i and 325i models they made the steering way lighter. BMW quickly returned back to a more proper BMW type of steering for the E46 model years 2002 thru 2005.
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      05-25-2010, 02:39 AM   #5
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I don't know if riding like a smaller 750i is a good thing. I test drove the 750i and wasn't very impressed seeing how clumsy it rode. It was too Lexus-like.

I was hoping for a larger 3er ride feel.
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      05-25-2010, 08:19 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by enigma01 View Post
I don't know if riding like a smaller 750i is a good thing. I test drove the 750i and wasn't very impressed seeing how clumsy it rode. It was too Lexus-like.

I was hoping for a larger 3er ride feel.
It definitely has a much larger car ride and feel then that of my 335i. I feel like the new 5-series rides very smooth but it doesn't have that nimble feel anymore from what made the E34 and E39 5-series so famous.
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      05-25-2010, 12:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerGuyFL View Post
It definitely has a much larger car ride and feel then that of my 335i. I feel like the new 5-series rides very smooth but it doesn't have that nimble feel anymore from what made the E34 and E39 5-series so famous.
Do you know if the car you drove had the Sport Package?

I'm hoping that the combination of the adjustable settings + Sport will make for a well-controlled and entertaining sedan. If the ride on the firmest setting (with Sport Pkg) is a little too stiff for some, that's probably just FINE for me (and many of us here).
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      05-25-2010, 01:19 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBrown1003 View Post
Do you know if the car you drove had the Sport Package?

I'm hoping that the combination of the adjustable settings + Sport will make for a well-controlled and entertaining sedan. If the ride on the firmest setting (with Sport Pkg) is a little too stiff for some, that's probably just FINE for me (and many of us here).
The 550i I test drove on Saturday did have the Sports Package and Dynamic Handling package as well. I switched on the drive between Normal, to Comfort, then Sport, and Sport +. I honestly didn't feel too much of a difference in the shocks as far as being a lot softer or a lot firmer. When in Sport or Sport + all it seems to do is make the steering a bit sharper with no extra heft built into it and make the transmission more responsive as well as the throttle. The hard edge ride quality that was present in the E60 models is completely gone. Now the 5-series is more of a refined high-speed cruiser than it ever was before.

The 535i I test drove did NOT have the sports package. I felt this setup and engine was more suited for those that are accustomed to driving a 5-series as it felt more natural and agile being about 300 pounds lighter than the 550i.
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      05-25-2010, 04:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BimmerGuyFL View Post
The 550i I test drove on Saturday did have the Sports Package and Dynamic Handling package as well. I switched on the drive between Normal, to Comfort, then Sport, and Sport +. I honestly didn't feel too much of a difference in the shocks as far as being a lot softer or a lot firmer. When in Sport or Sport + all it seems to do is make the steering a bit sharper with no extra heft built into it and make the transmission more responsive as well as the throttle. The hard edge ride quality that was present in the E60 models is completely gone. Now the 5-series is more of a refined high-speed cruiser than it ever was before.

The 535i I test drove did NOT have the sports package. I felt this setup and engine was more suited for those that are accustomed to driving a 5-series as it felt more natural and agile being about 300 pounds lighter than the 550i.
I'll be VERY curious to try it. I had one E34 and three E39s (see signature below), then a 335i coupe, then the M3. With the E39M5, you knew you were trying to get 4,000 pounds to change direction. I love the tossability of the Threes, but I'm really seduced by the features and looks of the F10.
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      05-25-2010, 04:38 PM   #10
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I did drive 2 535I's with and without sports package at a driving event in Vancouver. I was only able to go through a slalom course at about 30mph but I can tell you that for me there was a significant difference in the stiffness of the car in sports mode. I currently drive an M3 and I could not get a 535I without this feature as I felt the car just rolled to much around the corners. With sports package it was much stiffer (of course not M3 like). I know what I am about to say is an exaggeration but when I drove without the package it felt more like a north american sedan than a BMW. Sorry, just how I felt. Very pleased I ordered mine with sports package.
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