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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 Asia Spec F10 523i Review
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      07-26-2010, 10:28 PM   #1
akhter
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Asia Spec F10 523i Review

I had the chance to testdrive the Asia spec 523i last weekend. I believe the Asian spec 523i is different from the EU spec model because it has a 2.5L engine instead of the 3.0L one in EU. The HP/power rating is the same (204hp) so maybe maybe because Asian countries tax heavily based on engine size, so BMW decided to downsize the engine. Its also probably reduces the weight of the car since its a smaller engine. It seems they tuned the engine carefully since 0-100km times are identical to the EU one.

A little bit of a background--I am coming from a 335i M-Sport e90 which I sold about 6 months ago before moving from Japan to Hong Kong. The 335i was fully loaded with iDrive/Nav/ipod/upgraded stereo/active steering/adaptive xenon/M sport package.

After debating the 3 series again and the Audi A4/A5 I decided to spend more on luxury instead of engine because in HK there aren't any long drives, or any track and most of the time will be stuck in traffic.

In HK, the trim choices are:

523iA Executive
-204HP
-8speed (not sport)
-Dakota leather/any paint choice
-ipod usb
-17" wheels 236 wheels
-idrive (no nav)
-power seats

523iA (changes from above)
-8 speed sport transmission
-hifi speakers
-bluetooth
-sunroof

528iA (changes from above)
-258HP
-no sunroof
-327 wheels

535iA (changes from above)
-306HP
-6dvd changer
-sunroof

550iA
-didn't really look at this one as out of my budget

The car I drove was a standard 523i with 8sp sport (not executive).

Immediately I noticed the cabin was much much nicer than the e9x. Too many little touches to mention but it felt closer to the last 7er and a cut above even the e60 which i loved. it also has a very high-tech gadgety feel to it, but different from Audi's which have too many buttons and is distracting.

I expected to be quite dissappointed with the 523i since I had driven a 325i and didn't like it much. I was wrong. The 8 speed transmission hides any flaws of the engine well until the legal speed limit. It probably slow after 100km/h but how often in HK do you get to drive there? I played with the sport/sport+ setting but to be honest, couldn't tell much probably because of the underpowered engine.

The steering is not as tight as e9x standard, but closer to active steering. I did notice that on center feel was not that great but I can get used to it. Suspension was tight as a BMW should be--much better than A4/A5 stock and very close to e9x but it does feel like a bigger (but not so heavy car).

The 523i is a hot item here and only on order. They have some 528i on stock but they don't have Sports transmission so I didn't consider them. In the end I ordered a 528i with a load of options. 4-5 months wait...

I paid the same price as a base 535i for the 528i, but the options I went for are:
-Sophisto Gray/Cinnamon/Anthracite
-Navigation Professional
-HiFi Professional
-Sports seat
-Premium edition (rear camera/soft close trunk/power rear sunshade)
-surround camera view (my wife needs to be able to park the car in the narror hk streets )

Last edited by akhter; 07-27-2010 at 03:02 AM.
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      07-26-2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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Sweet. Nice to hear you enjoyed your 523i. How does it handle the corners compared to the E60? Is there alot of body roll? Or can it stick through the turns well like the E60?
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      07-26-2010, 10:57 PM   #3
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Sweet. Nice to hear you enjoyed your 523i. How does it handle the corners compared to the E60? Is there alot of body roll? Or can it stick through the turns well like the E60?
I added a bit more about suspension and steering.
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      07-26-2010, 11:37 PM   #4
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Let the agony of waiting begin! I still have 4-6 weeks to wait for mine......
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      07-26-2010, 11:43 PM   #5
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Let the agony of waiting begin! I still have 4-6 weeks to wait for mine......
so you got july production?
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      07-27-2010, 01:36 AM   #6
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Yes on July production
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      07-27-2010, 02:13 AM   #7
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Yes on July production
I ordered yesterday--hoping to get sep production. if not then oct.
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      07-27-2010, 02:21 AM   #8
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2011 F10 528i  [5.00]
hi there,

i am new here. just ordered my 528i too the past sunday too. all standard and only added sunroof. got 2% discount (only!) for loyalty owner (owned 2 bimmer or more previously)
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      07-27-2010, 02:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC3 View Post
hi there,

i am new here. just ordered my 528i too the past sunday too. all standard and only added sunroof. got 2% discount (only!) for loyalty owner (owned 2 bimmer or more previously)
what color/interior did you get? I went with sophisto gray/cinnamon/anthracite.

sunroof is just about the only option i didn't get
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      07-27-2010, 03:12 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter View Post
I paid the same price as a base 535i for the 528i, but the options I went for are:
-Sophisto Gray/Cinnamon/Anthracite
-Navigation Professional
-HiFi Professional
-Sports seat
-Premium edition (rear camera/soft close trunk/power rear sunshade)
-surround camera view (my wife needs to be able to park the car in the narror hk streets )
Hi, how much are the 523i, 535i, navigation professional, hifi professional and the surround view camera (excluding the rear view camera which I understand has to be packaged together) in HK?
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      07-27-2010, 03:53 AM   #11
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akhter,

Congrats on your final choice. And welcome to the F10 family.
Try to stay away from here if you can, if not, the mod bugs bite! HAHA.

I am also waiting for mine, should be here in less than 4 weeks.
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      07-27-2010, 04:24 AM   #12
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2011 F10 528i  [5.00]
akhter,
got the black sapphire, oyster/black interior, anthracite trim.
don't like the 327 rims too much, may consider after market rims afterward.
can't resist the sunroof since i am driving a convertible now

Last edited by RC3; 07-27-2010 at 04:46 AM.
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      07-27-2010, 04:32 AM   #13
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kfiend and mlai,
that is very nice for you to get the 550. would love one if have the budget

Last edited by RC3; 07-27-2010 at 04:46 AM.
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      07-27-2010, 04:39 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC3 View Post
got the black sapphire, oyster/black interior, anthracite trim.
don't like the 327 rims too much, may consider after market rims afterward.
can't resist the sunroof since i am driving a convertible now
style 327 are probably the ugliest on the list aside from 363 which are just gross

they wanted 23k+FRT for 18" ones or if I wait 6 months then only 23k so for the time being i'll have to deal with them
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      07-27-2010, 04:45 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
Hi, how much are the 523i, 535i, navigation professional, hifi professional and the surround view camera (excluding the rear view camera which I understand has to be packaged together) in HK?
http://bmwhk.com/com/en/newvehicles/prp/index.html

the options came to about 17k usd (incl. 85% tax).
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      07-27-2010, 04:52 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter View Post
style 327 are probably the ugliest on the list aside from 363 which are just gross

they wanted 23k+FRT for 18" ones or if I wait 6 months then only 23k so for the time being i'll have to deal with them
agree, the 17" rims are gross all

i actually went hunting for new wheels, like the breyton GTP, around HK$27,000 with 19" tires (non RFT), also will take my stock wheels for $3,000. still considering. love those rims but made in China
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      07-27-2010, 04:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter View Post
http://bmwhk.com/com/en/newvehicles/prp/index.html

the options came to about 17k usd (incl. 85% tax).
such a rip off for the tax on options
actually there are many options i like to add but just don't have the budget
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      07-27-2010, 05:09 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC3 View Post
such a rip off for the tax on options
actually there are many options i like to add but just don't have the budget
yeah after adding options, my 528i came to the same price as a base 535i, but i chose the toys over the added 45hp. I also find the NA engine a bit smoother than the n54 engine. i know the n55 is supposed to be smoother but the 3.0L NA engine is a gift from the gods of smoothness and 258hp is plenty for me in HK roads.
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      07-27-2010, 05:28 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akhter View Post
what color/interior did you get? I went with sophisto gray/cinnamon/anthracite.

sunroof is just about the only option i didn't get
any gifts the dealer threw in for u? he gave me extra set of carpet, two umbellas, and two cases of key
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      07-27-2010, 05:35 AM   #20
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any gifts the dealer threw in for u? he gave me extra set of carpet, two umbellas, and two cases of key
i don't get my car till nov/dec. he promised me 2 key something and carpets (not extra).
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      07-27-2010, 07:09 AM   #21
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I didn't bother asking for much except umbrellas..... I don't particularly like the dealer's free gifts as they just jam stuff nobody wants to you.....

And the F10 550i I am getting, I can probably go for the 730i for the same price, too.....

Probably ditching my factory 18" wheels when the car arrives. Trying to get a quote for some 19" HRE Monoblok with non-runflats but they cost a fortune (HKD8000+ for each wheel.....)
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      07-27-2010, 07:16 AM   #22
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I enjoy my 523i with the 2.5 litre enjin. It has enough power. I had a 323i E90 2006 model with 130KW. The new 523 has 150KW. It feels if the 523 has better feul consumption. The 8 speed sport auto box is also very nice.
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