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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 New F10 535i ordered after extensive evalutation
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      06-05-2010, 10:55 PM   #1
Mr. Magic
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Smile New F10 535i ordered after extensive evalutation

Black Sapphire
Oyster/Black Interior
Anhracite Wood Trim
Sport Package
Sport Automatic Transmission with shift paddles
Dynamic Handling Package
Integral Active Steering
Premium 1 and 2
4-zone climate

Notes:
I was able to do a full evaluation at the BMW Driving Experience event with just me/wife in the car. The dealer CA also loaned me a car (just for me that day) so I could do some direct comparisons also w/o dealer coming along (wow).

I did side-by-side tests with and without IAS steering on models with Sport + DHS packages. I found the the 550i with Sport/DHS/IAS to be the best handling on high speed highway curves. On Sport mode, it was the best handling larger car I've driven. I simulated the switchback double-apex curves that I commute daily by making late turns/apex's on curves at highway speed (I looked drunk to other drivers). The 550ii/sport/DHS(on Sport mode)/IAS simply responded so well, it reminded me of my 3-series. Really. The car went where I wanted to go, even when I made a late steer into the turn, the car simply recovered nicely and didn't lean or have oversteer tendencies. I switched back to the 535 Sport/DHS on Sport mode without IAS, and when I made those late steers on high speed curves, the car got hung up in the turn and made recovery difficult and uncomfortable, slamming my passenger (wife) into the side. It drove like a bigger car.

Now, some drivers will not notice IAS since they won't be taking such curves most the time. I felt no funny feelings, nor increased unanticipated sensitivities like had been told to me. Also, I felt the benefit of IAS to me meant less possible understeer, more likely keeping the car under control if I (or another driver) apex late in a curve. So, almost the opposite of what I was led to believe previously. I suspect they may have improved/tuned the IAS substantially in this new model, and drivers should take a fresh look. I also believe, if you drive *perfectly* and hit every high speed curve apex early, you won't need the IAS. But, I was impressed, and I will appreciate this capability since I cannot always corner/apex properly due to traffic and sometimes need to adjust the steering in the middle of the curve. The IAS helps here at highway speeds on switchback curves.

I then went to the high school parking lot and did donuts in both cars. I smoked the tires like any pimple faced teenager would do with this car .... Just kidding. Seriously, I'm an adult and just turned at low speed to test turning radius. The IAS was fun and turned on a small dime, but without IAS, well, it turned pretty good too, maybe not as small a radius - I was impressed with both here.

I also was able to compare 535i to 550i engines side by side in test drives. The 550i - I was disappointed. I felt no extra power at slow speeds. In fact, I really needed to punch into it more to get the same acceleration as the 535i. Of course once it got going and rpm's got higher after giving it more gas, the 550 roared forward with shades of a brutish muscle car. The 535i, in contrast, felt like pure silk - smooth during impressive acceleration and engine symphony. I believe this 535 engine is well matched to the 8-speed automatic transmission. I think the 535i has better torque properties at lower speeds and through mid-speed acceleration. It had no trouble passing anything on the highway. The 550i of course had no trouble passing anything either (although it hesitated slightly as we passed the Shell station), but it wasn't as smooth - perhaps it takes getting used to. Nor did it have the nice symphony of engine rpm's as the 535i.

I believe the 535i engine is more impressive to drive under most real circumstances, and may be the reason why they chose to show off the new 2011 F10/5-series to the media in the 535i variant. I would have gladly ponied up the extra for the 550i, but I enjoyed the 535 engine more in this car. 29 MPG HWY just makes it even better.

Turning to the interior. One car we drove had vented seats. While it was 85F out here (dry) with scorching sunshine, we didn't feel any difference with the seats running full blast (noisy) or shut off. Holes in the seats seemed to alarm me with any spills (ala BP), along with accelerated wear. I thought the seats might also smell/outgass something stale long after the new car smell is worn out.

Went back and forth between medium gray and Oyster/black. Decided Oyster/black was more interesting in the end. Light color leather was creamier, contrasted with the black, showed off the styling/lines better. This is the 2010's - it's a new era, time for something new. And it grows on you, as did this car overall.

Ordered it, to be built week-28 (July 5-10), and due here early-to-mid August in N. California via Oxnard.

Thanks for eveyone's input here - it made me evaluate things carefully.

I thoroughly enjoyed test driving all the different F10 cars, closely evaluating each and every color, interior, and options to build the very best car for my needs.

-Magic

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-08-2010 at 04:42 PM. Reason: Actually drove 550i during IAS testing, not 535i
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      06-05-2010, 11:09 PM   #2
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Were there any F10s with Space Grey exterior? If yes, how did it look in person? Does the IAS feel weird under normal driving/turning on roads with 45mph or less speed limit? Does it change at various different speeds?

Black Sapphire with Oyster/Black is excellent choice. How much you end up paying for the car? You buying or leasing?
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      06-05-2010, 11:29 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review OP! It is nice reading how you felt between driving the 535i and the 550i.

Did the car you test drive have the Comfort Access option? I heard there is no key slot on the F10 even you don't order the CA option. So does this imply the key fobs for the F10 are no rechargeable regardless of whether you have CA or not?
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      06-05-2010, 11:41 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iwannabimmer View Post
Were there any F10s with Space Grey exterior? If yes, how did it look in person? Does the IAS feel weird under normal driving/turning on roads with 45mph or less speed limit? Does it change at various different speeds?

Black Sapphire with Oyster/Black is excellent choice. How much you end up paying for the car? You buying or leasing?
I did see a space gray last week. Looks nice. She preferred the metallic sapphire black.

IAS does not feel weird under normal driving. Under 45 mph, I couldn't tell any difference. You have to get the car to take curves at higher speeds - one's that really make car/passengers lean outward. The car responded to the steering correction much quicker and controlled - a very agile car. The car w/o IAS look a second longer (w/ passenger grabbing seat/door) to recover and get pointed straight. A different car with IAS in these circumstances.

Buying. $1700 over invoice. I didn't negotiate much. After 5 weekends in the dealer, they just wanted me to get lost.

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-05-2010 at 11:58 PM.
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      06-05-2010, 11:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beemer3 View Post
Thanks for the review OP! It is nice reading how you felt between driving the 535i and the 550i.

Did the car you test drive have the Comfort Access option? I heard there is no key slot on the F10 even you don't order the CA option. So does this imply the key fobs for the F10 are no rechargeable regardless of whether you have CA or not?
Yeah, one did have comfort access option. I did not really explore this option much, just noticed doors/trunk soft closed.
All cars had key slots in front of cup holders, comfort option or not.

I really don't know how FOB recharges.

-Magic

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-05-2010 at 11:56 PM.
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      06-06-2010, 01:16 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Magic View Post
I did see a space gray last week. Looks nice. She preferred the metallic sapphire black.

IAS does not feel weird under normal driving. Under 45 mph, I couldn't tell any difference. You have to get the car to take curves at higher speeds - one's that really make car/passengers lean outward. The car responded to the steering correction much quicker and controlled - a very agile car. The car w/o IAS look a second longer (w/ passenger grabbing seat/door) to recover and get pointed straight. A different car with IAS in these circumstances.

Buying. $1700 over invoice. I didn't negotiate much. After 5 weekends in the dealer, they just wanted me to get lost.
Since you were buying the car, did you extend the warranty/maintenance to 6years/100,000 miles? Did you put money as down payment?
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      06-06-2010, 01:27 AM   #7
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No and no. I haven't extended service yet. Extended maintenance to 100k quoted at $2.3k. I've got a good independent BMW-only shop and hope in 4 years, they have the ability to service this vehicle at half the price. That will be one of my first stops with the new car, tell them to get the capability to service this car.

Extended warranty to 100k quoted at $5k - I may check out 3rd party.

I put $1k down to order only.
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      06-06-2010, 02:13 AM   #8
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Congratulations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Magic View Post
The 550i of course had no trouble passing anything either (although it hesitated slightly as we passed the Shell station)
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      06-06-2010, 05:27 AM   #9
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      06-06-2010, 10:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Magic View Post
{SNIP}
I also was able to compare 535i to 550i engines side by side in test drives. The 550i - I was disappointed. I felt no extra power at slow speeds. In fact, I really needed to punch into it more to get the same acceleration as the 535i. Of course once it got going and rpm's got higher after giving it more gas, the 550 roared forward with shades of a brutish muscle car. The 535i, in contrast, felt like pure silk - smooth during impressive acceleration and engine symphony. I believe this 535 engine is well matched to the 8-speed automatic transmission. I think the 535i has better torque properties at lower speeds and through mid-speed acceleration. It had no trouble passing anything on the highway. The 550i of course had no trouble passing anything either (although it hesitated slightly as we passed the Shell station), but it wasn't as smooth - perhaps it takes getting used to. Nor did it have the nice symphony of engine rpm's as the 535i.
{SNIP}
Very interesting. I've read a couple of other careful, considered reviews such as yours. After two ///M cars, a 540i/6, and a surprisingly fast E92 335i, I am wondering if a 535 would be "enough" car for me. After my first drive of a 535 (yesterday), and your comments, I do find myself wondering. When my time gets closer (about a year from now), I guess I'll have to do my own side-by-side comparo. But thanks for the comprehensive write-up, and further opening my mind. And, of course, best of luck with your car.
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      06-06-2010, 05:41 PM   #11
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[quote=Mr. Magic;7446652]

Turning to the interior. One car we drove had vented seats. While it was 85F out here (dry) with scorching sunshine, we didn't feel any difference with the seats running full blast (noisy) or shut off. Holes in the seats seemed to alarm me with any spills (ala BP), along with accelerated wear. I thought the seats might also smell/outgass something stale long after the new car smell is worn out.

Excellent Magic. Thanks for the insights. I am still vascillating between 550 and 535. That was helpful to read.

As to the seats: I am in Northern CA as well. I have had ventilated seats on a 540i and a Mercedes E-class. It makes a huge difference on a hot day. It is the difference between your back (and butt) feeling as cool as your front when the a/c is on. I also use it in conjunction with heated seats to keep my back loose on long drives without getting too hot. (I really wish the seat bottom and seat back could be controlled separately for this purpose). There is no smell issue, no wear issue. As to spilling through the holes, I think carrying coffee in the car is a citable offense in Deutschland
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      06-06-2010, 05:44 PM   #12
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[quote=Rudegar;7450118]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Magic View Post

Turning to the interior. One car we drove had vented seats. While it was 85F out here (dry) with scorching sunshine, we didn't feel any difference with the seats running full blast (noisy) or shut off. Holes in the seats seemed to alarm me with any spills (ala BP), along with accelerated wear. I thought the seats might also smell/outgass something stale long after the new car smell is worn out.

Excellent Magic. Thanks for the insights. I am still vascillating between 550 and 535. That was helpful to read.

As to the seats: I am in Northern CA as well. I have had ventilated seats on a 540i and a Mercedes E-class. It makes a huge difference on a hot day. It is the difference between your back (and butt) feeling as cool as your front when the a/c is on. I also use it in conjunction with heated seats to keep my back loose on long drives without getting too hot. (I really wish the seat bottom and seat back could be controlled separately for this purpose). There is no smell issue, no wear issue. As to spilling through the holes, I think carrying coffee in the car is a citable offense in Deutschland
Wasn't that available thru the iDrive controller on E55 Sevens and E60 Fives?
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      06-07-2010, 10:54 AM   #13
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Congrats! Glad that 5POST was able to help you with your decision. Now, where are the photos of your car?! Oh wait, too soon

Please post up photos when you take delivery of your beauty.
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      06-07-2010, 11:06 AM   #14
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Congrats on your order, you will enjoy regardless of your choices, the F10 in all variants are that good ... almost idiot proof if I dare say.

I found the 550 ran circles around the 535 in all acceleration aspects, I do believe the 535 is really the true end game car because its that good but BMW makes 550's and M's for those who have a hard time refraining, although the 550 and M are totally different in that an M really belongs on a track.
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      06-07-2010, 12:09 PM   #15
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[quote=MBrown1003;7450127]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudegar View Post

Wasn't that available thru the iDrive controller on E55 Sevens and E60 Fives?
Yes. At least from E60 '08 on. My iDrive allows this control. I'm not sure about the previous generation seen on the same models prior to '08.
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      06-07-2010, 12:22 PM   #16
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Yes. At least from E60 '08 on. My iDrive allows this control. I'm not sure about the previous generation seen on the same models prior to '08.
Yes, you can control Back vs. Bottom Seat Heat in the iDrive menu on the F10 535i. But there aren't separate buttons on the dash. There's just one seat heat button per seat.
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      06-10-2010, 03:54 PM   #17
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Today, found out my 535i got bumped up in production. My online status screen switched to "Schedule for Production" - it wasn't supposed to move for almost a month. Curious, I called the 800 # and they gave a finish date of June-17.

Instead of waiting for July 5-10 to build, it seems it's going to be built now.

Called my CA, and he confirmed it "magically" got started yesterday morning.

Depending upon shipping, it may get here between 2 -4 weeks earlier than anticipated.

Wonder if anyone else got theirs bumped up recently.

-Magic
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      06-10-2010, 04:46 PM   #18
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It's gonna take about 6 weeks after it's built to get to California based on my experience.
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      06-10-2010, 07:08 PM   #19
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Thanks for the excellent review. I was originally going to get the 550i (the throw back acceleration really hooked me)/DHS/no IAS. I did drive the standard 535i-no DHS/no IAS-IMO wasn't a fun drive. I am really thinking the 535i with DHS & IAS will fit my needs for everyday driving better (might even get less speeding tickets compared to having the 550i-which is still the beast in terms of power/acceleration). I don't think IAS is necessary but all the reviews by persons who have it or have tried it really like having it.
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      06-10-2010, 07:22 PM   #20
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if you can get the head up display. get it, the 535 is and excellent motor, and with that head up display. it will give your car that little bit of extra that other cars don't have
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      06-10-2010, 09:49 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Wonder if anyone else got theirs bumped up recently.
Mine got bumped up by a little over a week. Was supposed to be 1st week of May but was actually last week of April.
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      06-10-2010, 10:14 PM   #22
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if you can get the head up display. get it, the 535 is and excellent motor, and with that head up display. it will give your car that little bit of extra that other cars don't have
I went in with the HUD on my list of things to get. However, I found most everything I needed - including the NAV turn directions - were displayed in full vivid color right on the dash anyway - right below and between the speedometer & tachometer on an uncluttered dash panel. Alright, so not appearing to float in front of me, but really close to me and clear. Also, found the HUD display made some distracting reflections on the front windshield for me - the outline/glossy panel. And the show stopper for me was polarized sunglasses - the HUD does not work with them. I cannot drive in the day without polarized lenses to increase the contrast of the pavement and to see inside other car's windows/windshields.

I can understand how some would like this, but it would not work in my case. I also think the F10 dash is one of the best laid out and clearest, thus diminishing the appeal of a HUD. I'd urge anyone to check it out (HUD) on an F10 before putting this in your order.

-Magic

Last edited by Mr. Magic; 06-11-2010 at 10:16 AM. Reason: clarified the dash layout
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