2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10
BMW Garage BMW Meets Register Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read
 

2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 BMW 5-Series (F10) Forums General 5-Series Sedan and Wagon (F10 / F11) Forum 2011 535i test drive, X5 comparison, and side-by-side with my 335i
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      06-04-2010, 03:55 PM   #1
SkipSauls
First Lieutenant
 
SkipSauls's Avatar
 
Drives: E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Longmont, CO

Posts: 354
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2011 535i test drive, X5 comparison, and side-by-side with my 335i

My dealer got their launch 535i a couple of weeks ago but were having some issues with it being locked in "transport" mode. Today I was finally able to drive it, and it was nice, if not spectacular. I really think I'd have to drive a car with the sport package, etc. to get a better feel for it. Some notes:
  • Very nice interior, with a more "modern" look and feel to the displays, controls, and so on. Even the digitial readouts for the climate controls are less pixelated than most BMWs, although in this day and age I really shouldn't be able to detect pixels at all in a modern car.
  • It had the base seats which were very comfortable, if perhaps a bit flatter than I'm used to. I'm not as much a fan of the so-called comfort seats as some are, and might opt for the sport seats.
  • It wasn't quite as roomy as I was expecting. Bigger than my 335i, but not by as much as the overall size of the car might suggest.
  • Handling was very good, but again, I think I'd prefer the sport package or perhaps the dynamic option. On the other hand, it handles better than most of us really need for the majority of driving conditions.
  • Power was great, and I'm becoming a real fan of the N55 engines and the 8 speed transmission. The shove down low is better than with the N54, and the transmission is a marvel of smoothness.
  • The car was still new so I didn't hammer it, but it easily out-accelerates most traffic and would only be challenged by a few cars.
  • Road noise was minimal, if not quite Lexus-like (nor should it be). Cruising at 60 MPH was much smoother and quieter than in my 335i, and I suspect this car would feel "serene" at almost any speed. You could emerge from this car feeling relaxed no matter how long the trip or how awful the road and traffic conditions.
  • Braking was "as expected" on a BMW.
  • The new-style transimission handle still freaks me out a bit, but it is slowly growing on me. I would like paddle shifters as I've become used to having them to downshift for corners, even if it's not something I do all the time.
Overall a very nice car, and I'm quite happy that BMW has restored the 5's good looks. I'm looking at a larger car to replace my 335i and the new 5 and X5 are the front-runners. As I've said in another post, it's not so much car versus SUV as it is BMW vs. BMW. I may end up in something besides a BMW, but it will have to be quite compelling for me to switch. I test drove a 2011 X5 35i Sport Activity back-to-back on the same roads to compare the two:
  • The X5 felt "sportier" than the 535i, with a bit more road feel and more noise under acceleration. I'd really have to drive a 535i with the sport package, etc. for an accurate comparison.
  • Both felt similar in terms of smoothness while cruising at 60 MPH, with a bit more road noise. Over rough patches, railroad tracks, etc. the two were more closely matched, but again the 5 felt slightly more "damped".
  • The new 5 definitely has nicer displays and controls, with some in the X5 reminding me more of those in my 335i. The materials in the X5 seem nicer than the 335i, with all but the dash top seeming to be similar to those in the new 5.
  • The X5 felt much roomier inside, even though the measurements for both seem to be similar. The X5 may only have 2 more cubic feet of passenger space, but it really feels like 5 or more. Some of this is due to the larger greenhouse, but it's not just perception. When I adjust the driver seat and do the "sit behind myself test" (I'm 6'0 and 225 or so lbs.) the X5 feels like the more comfortable place to be.
  • Fit and finish on the two seems comparable, despite their different primary countries of origin. I should have checked a few of the areas that folks have noted some cost-cutting going on in both cars, but forgot to do so. The 535i has the cheezy vinyl sun visors that the 3 series folks have been complaining about, but I didn't notice if the X5 had them.
I'm leaning towards the X5 because of the extra utility (I don't buy the sport "activity" vehicle baloney), the AWD, and the diesel option. I realize that AWD will be available on the new 5 at some point, and a diesel is likely, but I don't want to wait that long. Maybe I can convince my wife to get out of her Lexus GX470 and into a new 5 series at some point in the future...

When I was pulling out I snapped a few pics of my 335i next to the 535i, which offers an interesting comparison of their size and styling. Thankfully the 535i doesn't "feel" as big on the road as it looks next to the 335i!

I'm guessing the sport package might lower the 535i a bit, but it looks pretty tall next to my stock 335i (all e92s have the sport suspension). The grill on the new 5 looks big, but it seems more appropriate than the tiny one that the e60 had:


From the rear the f10 seems more aggressive than the e92, and the wheel well bulges help:


I'm not sure exactly why, but in the front quarter view the f10 reminds me a bit of the Maserati Quattroporte. It may be the long hood, but I also think that the way that the BMW schnoz now projects forward has something to to with it. The extra creases in the hood are interesting, and may grow on me, but seem a little busy:


In the rear quarter view the 535i shows that it needs bigger wheels, as these seem to be "lost" in such a big car. The sport package, tinted windows, and a better color (black cars don't do it for me) would show off the 535i, I think:


As much as I like the f10, I have to say that I still find the e92 to be one of the all-time great BMW designs. Granted, I'm biased, but my car can still give me a thrill when I see it, which is quite amazing nearly 4 years on!

Last edited by SkipSauls; 06-05-2010 at 11:33 AM. Reason: Fixing links to images
SkipSauls is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-04-2010, 07:43 PM   #2
crxb
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: 2002
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: dfw

Posts: 34
iTrader: (0)

hey SkipSauls at my event I drove the X5 diesel - I was really impressed. from the engine sound (no clatter) - nothing suggested it was a diesel except for the great torque!

I drove the 550i and the 550GT also
crxb is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-04-2010, 07:52 PM   #3
bm323
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2013 M5 FG SO
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: singapore

Posts: 526
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSauls View Post
[*]The X5 felt "sportier" than the 535i, with a bit more road feel and more noise under acceleration. I'd really have to drive a 535i with the sport package, etc. for an accurate comparison.
Was the X5 on standard suspension?
bm323 is online now  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 12:24 AM   #4
SkipSauls
First Lieutenant
 
SkipSauls's Avatar
 
Drives: E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Longmont, CO

Posts: 354
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
Was the X5 on standard suspension?
It was the new Sport Activity model with the sport suspension, 19" wheels, etc. I've driven a base X5 in the past, but can't recall details. I suspect the 535i with sport suspension would be better.

Last edited by SkipSauls; 06-05-2010 at 12:27 AM. Reason: Mistype
SkipSauls is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 01:00 AM   #5
ibimmer346
Major
 
Drives: 2013 650i GC, 2002 M3
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: San Diego, California, USA

Posts: 1,233
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
2002 BMW M3  [0.00]
2013 BMW 650i GC  [0.00]
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSauls View Post
It was the new Sport Activity model with the sport suspension, 19" wheels, etc. I've driven a base X5 in the past, but can't recall details. I suspect the 535i with sport suspension would be better.
Keep in mind that if you want the "sport suspension" then you need the Dynamic Handling Package. The Sport Package does not contain any suspension tweaks on the F10.
ibimmer346 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 01:56 AM   #6
iwannabimmer
Second Lieutenant
 
iwannabimmer's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 mazda6s grand touring
Join Date: May 2010
Location: chicago, IL

Posts: 295
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSauls View Post
My dealer got their launch 535i a couple of weeks ago but were having some issues with it being locked in "transport" mode. Today I was finally able to drive it, and it was nice, if not spectacular. I really think I'd have to drive a car with the sport package, etc. to get a better feel for it. Some notes:
  • Very nice interior, with a more "modern" look and feel to the displays, controls, and so on. Even the digitial readouts for the climate controls are less pixelated than most BMWs, although in this day and age I really shouldn't be able to detect pixels at all in a modern car.
  • It had the base seats which were very comfortable, if perhaps a bit flatter than I'm used to. I'm not as much a fan of the so-called comfort seats as some are, and might opt for the sport seats.
  • It wasn't quite as roomy as I was expecting. Bigger than my 335i, but not by as much as the overall size of the car might suggest.
  • Handling was very good, but again, I think I'd prefer the sport package or perhaps the dynamic option. On the other hand, it handles better than most of us really need for the majority of driving conditions.
  • Power was great, and I'm becoming a real fan of the N55 engines and the 8 speed transmission. The shove down low is better than with the N54, and the transmission is a marvel of smoothness.
  • The car was still new so I didn't hammer it, but it easily out-accelerates most traffic and would only be challenged by a few cars.
  • Road noise was minimal, if not quite Lexus-like (nor should it be). Cruising at 60 MPH was much smoother and quieter than in my 335i, and I suspect this car would feel "serene" at almost any speed. You could emerge from this car feeling relaxed no matter how long the trip or how awful the road and traffic conditions.
  • Braking was "as expected" on a BMW.
  • The new-style transimission handle still freaks me out a bit, but it is slowly growing on me. I would like paddle shifters as I've become used to having them to downshift for corners, even if it's not something I do all the time.
Overall a very nice car, and I'm quite happy that BMW has restored the 5's good looks. I'm looking at a larger car to replace my 335i and the new 5 and X5 are the front-runners. As I've said in another post, it's not so much car versus SUV as it is BMW vs. BMW. I may end up in something besides a BMW, but it will have to be quite compelling for me to switch. I test drove a 2011 X5 35i Sport Activity back-to-back on the same roads to compare the two:
  • The X5 felt "sportier" than the 535i, with a bit more road feel and more noise under acceleration. I'd really have to drive a 535i with the sport package, etc. for an accurate comparison.
  • Both felt similar in terms of smoothness while cruising at 60 MPH, with a bit more road noise. Over rough patches, railroad tracks, etc. the two were more closely matched, but again the 5 felt slightly more "damped".
  • The new 5 definitely has nicer displays and controls, with some in the X5 reminding me more of those in my 335i. The materials in the X5 seem nicer than the 335i, with all but the dash top seeming to be similar to those in the new 5.
  • The X5 felt much roomier inside, even though the measurements for both seem to be similar. The X5 may only have 2 more cubic feet of passenger space, but it really feels like 5 or more. Some of this is due to the larger greenhouse, but it's not just perception. When I adjust the driver seat and do the "sit behind myself test" (I'm 6'0 and 225 or so lbs.) the X5 feels like the more comfortable place to be.
  • Fit and finish on the two seems comparable, despite their different primary countries of origin. I should have checked a few of the areas that folks have noted some cost-cutting going on in both cars, but forgot to do so. The 535i has the cheezy vinyl sun visors that the 3 series folks have been complaining about, but I didn't notice if the X5 had them.
I'm leaning towards the X5 because of the extra utility (I don't buy the sport "activity" vehicle baloney), the AWD, and the diesel option. I realize that AWD will be available on the new 5 at some point, and a diesel is likely, but I don't want to wait that long. Maybe I can convince my wife to get out of her Lexus GX470 and into a new 5 series at some point in the future...

When I was pulling out I snapped a few pics of my 335i next to the 535i, which offers an interesting comparison of their size and styling. Thankfully the 535i doesn't "feel" as big on the road as it looks next to the 335i!

I'm guessing the sport package might lower the 535i a bit, but it looks pretty tall next to my stock 335i (all e92s have the sport suspension). The grill on the new 5 looks big, but it seems more appropriate than the tiny one that the e60 had:


From the rear the f10 seems more aggressive than the e92, and the wheel well bulges help:


I'm not sure exactly why, but in the front quarter view the f10 reminds me a bit of the Maserati Quattroporte. It may be the long hood, but I also think that the way that the BMW schnoz now projects forward has something to to with it. The extra creases in the hood are interesting, and may grow on me, but seem a little busy:


In the rear quarter view the 535i shows that it needs bigger wheels, as these seem to be "lost" in such a big car. The sport package, tinted windows, and a better color (black cars don't do it for me) would show off the 535i, I think:


As much as I like the f10, I have to say that I still find the e92 to be one of the all-time great BMW designs. Granted, I'm biased, but my car can still give me a thrill when I see it, which is quite amazing nearly 4 years on!
Excellent review!

But for some reason I can't see the pictures. Does anyone have the same problem? OP, could you please try to repost them differently?

Thanks
iwannabimmer is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 02:11 AM   #7
bickers1972
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: 530D GT
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Manchester

Posts: 39
iTrader: (0)

+1
bickers1972 is offline   United Kingdom
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 03:21 AM   #8
Robin_NL
S0THPAW
 
Robin_NL's Avatar
 
Drives: AW 1M , Assetto Corsa
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: The Netherlands, Europe

Posts: 4,679
iTrader: (0)

Nice writeup man.

Can't wait to collect my 535iA this tuesday...feeling like a little kid.
Robin_NL is offline   Netherlands
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 06:55 AM   #9
bm323
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2013 M5 FG SO
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: singapore

Posts: 526
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by iwannabimmer View Post
Excellent review!

But for some reason I can't see the pictures. Does anyone have the same problem? OP, could you please try to repost them differently?

Thanks
I can't see them either.
bm323 is online now  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 07:55 AM   #10
tim-atl
N00B
 
tim-atl's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 X5 35d + 2011 528i
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Atlanta, GA

Posts: 76
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via ICQ to tim-atl
Great post, thanks.

Tim
tim-atl is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 12:09 PM   #11
SkipSauls
First Lieutenant
 
SkipSauls's Avatar
 
Drives: E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Longmont, CO

Posts: 354
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
I can't see them either.
Should be fixed now. Here are some others:

Front seat:


Rear seat:


Side (sorry about the glare, Colorado is quite sunny):


Engine:
SkipSauls is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 05:17 PM   #12
iwannabimmer
Second Lieutenant
 
iwannabimmer's Avatar
 
Drives: 2009 mazda6s grand touring
Join Date: May 2010
Location: chicago, IL

Posts: 295
iTrader: (0)

Now that's more like it! I love how big the F10 looks. What options did it have?
iwannabimmer is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-05-2010, 09:57 PM   #13
soledoc
New Member
 
Drives: 2009 328i sedan 6MT montego bl
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Zionsville IN

Posts: 14
iTrader: (0)

Thanks for that write up. I've been looking for one comparing it to the current 3 series. I'm looking at moving up from my E90 328i sedan for a bit more room and more of a "grown up car." I'm 41 now.

I hate that the sport package doesn't give you the tighter suspension. I think you're right about the 19 vs 18 inch wheels. I hate big wheels (potholes...summer vs. winter tires etc.) but the 19 are probably the way to go on this car.
__________________
'09 328i sedan 6MT montego blue
'02 525iT topaz blue
soledoc is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      06-06-2010, 05:47 AM   #14
docbeemer
First Lieutenant
 
docbeemer's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 SG 335i
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Melbourne Australia

Posts: 306
iTrader: (0)

Great review- especially as I am in exactly in the same boat as you are. I drive an E92 335 and my lease expires at the end of the year. I need a bigger car so the X5 or new 5er are up for consideration. Did you look at or consider the 535 wagon? It must be bigger than the sedan- and the back seats recline on the wagon! We also get the larger diesel engine for the X5 in Australia (X5 40d!) so it makes that option more tempting for me. Want to see and drive the wagon first though.
__________________
335i | 6MT | SG | Jade Grey | Poplar Grain Grey | 19" 230 rims | Sunroof | NAV with TV & voice control | HiFi | Sport Suspension | Rear Sunblind | 35% tints
docbeemer is offline   Australia
0
Reply With Quote
      06-06-2010, 08:15 AM   #15
SkipSauls
First Lieutenant
 
SkipSauls's Avatar
 
Drives: E70 X5 35d
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Longmont, CO

Posts: 354
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by docbeemer View Post
Great review- especially as I am in exactly in the same boat as you are. I drive an E92 335 and my lease expires at the end of the year. I need a bigger car so the X5 or new 5er are up for consideration. Did you look at or consider the 535 wagon? It must be bigger than the sedan- and the back seats recline on the wagon! We also get the larger diesel engine for the X5 in Australia (X5 40d!) so it makes that option more tempting for me. Want to see and drive the wagon first though.
It looks like the US won't be getting the wagon, with the GT being the replacement. I hope BMWNA knows what they're doing, but I'd rather see the wagon here, or both. I liked the e60 wagon better than the sedan as it "fixed" the ugly rear end in addition to the extra utility. If the GT were sleeker and looked less like a giant Prius it would have more appeal.

The US also suffers from being out of sync with the rest of the world for powertrains. What's interesting is that a few other manyfacturers, including Dodge/Ram and VW, have figured out how to build diesels that don't require things like AdBlue. Maybe now that BMW knows it can sell diesels in the USA it will develop "world" engines, and bring more over here.

Last edited by SkipSauls; 06-07-2010 at 02:54 PM. Reason: poor spelling!
SkipSauls is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-06-2010, 10:58 PM   #16
DerekS
Captain
 
DerekS's Avatar
 
Drives: 335i M Sport GS
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Vancouver,B.C.

Posts: 912
iTrader: (0)

Garage List
Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSauls View Post
Maybe know that BMW knows it can sell diesels in the USA it will develop "world" engines, and bring more over here.
BMW already sells one of "Ward's 10 Best Engines" in North America: it's called the 3.0L twin turbo diesel with 265hp and 425 ft.lbs. of torque - the world's most powerful diesel available for a sedan (335d) or SUV (X5).
It is also an extremely economical and powerful engine.

As for the AdBlue component, this is a silent partner with no noticeable effect on day to to day running. The top-up of the AdBlue tank is included with the BMW scheduled maintenance for 4 years.
__________________
2013-335i M Sport, 8 spd, Glacier silver, adaptive M suspension, variable sport steering, 18" style 400 staggered wheels/tires, M Sport brakes,
DerekS is offline   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      06-06-2010, 11:06 PM   #17
docbeemer
First Lieutenant
 
docbeemer's Avatar
 
Drives: E92 SG 335i
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Melbourne Australia

Posts: 306
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by SkipSauls View Post
It looks like the US won't be getting the wagon, with the GT being the replacement. I hope BMWNA knows what they're doing, but I'd rather see the wagon here, or both. I liked the e60 wagon better than the sedan as it "fixed" the ugly rear end in addition to the extra utility. If the GT were sleeker and looked less like a giant Prius it would have more appeal.

The US also suffers from being out of sync with the rest of the world for powertrains. What's interesting is that a few other manyfacturers, including Dodge/Ram and VW, have figured out how to build diesels that don't require things like AdBlue. Maybe know that BMW knows it can sell diesels in the USA it will develop "world" engines, and bring more over here.
Pity you don't get the wagon- it looks great in the pictures and son much more versatile than the sedan and without the GT price tag or "prius" looks. Have you noticed how heavy the GT is? One of the few criticisms I have of prestige cars (maybe all cars!) is that they are getting sooo heavy. But the powertrain and suspension is very advanced now.

I can't understand why your governments put such restrictions on the diesels, preventing manufacturers bringing in their best engines. On a fuel economy basis it's madness not to push diesel engines!

Good luck with whatever you decide.
__________________
335i | 6MT | SG | Jade Grey | Poplar Grain Grey | 19" 230 rims | Sunroof | NAV with TV & voice control | HiFi | Sport Suspension | Rear Sunblind | 35% tints
docbeemer is offline   Australia
0
Reply With Quote
      06-06-2010, 11:15 PM   #18
lux
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2011 M3 E90 zcp dct
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: SoCal

Posts: 309
iTrader: (0)

If you really want a nice interior and more space than a 5er, consider the 5GT. I personally don't like the exterior styling but I sat in one and it is very nice inside. The backseats are 7er spacious you have that practicality of a hatchback. I think a F11 would be the perfect compromise but we won't get those in the US.
lux is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-07-2010, 02:16 PM   #19
cloakster
First Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2012 VW GLI
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Toronto, Ontario

Posts: 393
iTrader: (0)

This is definitely means great things for the F30
cloakster is online now   Canada
0
Reply With Quote
      06-07-2010, 02:35 PM   #20
Vintage
Colonel
 
Vintage's Avatar
 
Drives: 2010 Z4 35i and 2014 535d x
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Austin, Texas

Posts: 2,205
iTrader: (0)

thank you for the helpful review; as a 2010 X5 35d owner with sport activity package - all I can say is that it has truly exceeded all of my high expectations
Vintage is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-07-2010, 03:52 PM   #21
BMWPower06
A^M=G is nothing w/o the Power of ///M
 
BMWPower06's Avatar
 
Drives: ///M5 & ///M3
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Washington D.C.

Posts: 1,763
iTrader: (0)

Send a message via AIM to BMWPower06
E39 is hands down the best BMW design ever
__________________
Indianapolis Red BMW ///M5
BMWPower06 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      06-07-2010, 04:36 PM   #22
BimmerGuyFL
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2013 F10 BMW 535i M-sport
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Orlando, FL USA

Posts: 515
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by BMWPower06 View Post
E39 is hands down the best BMW design ever
+1
__________________
2013 F10 BMW 535i Alpine White / Oyster Dakota Leather / Anthracite Wood Trim / Steptronic transmission / M Sport Package / Premium Package / Technology Package / Rear-view camera / Park Distance Control
BimmerGuyFL is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
Post Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 11:37 PM.




5post
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.0
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
1Addicts.com, BIMMERPOST.com, E90Post.com, F30Post.com, M3Post.com, ZPost.com, 5Post.com, 6Post.com, 7Post.com, XBimmers.com logo and trademark are properties of BIMMERPOST