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 Review: 2011 BMW 535i - Just Plain Better Than Ever
Post Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
      09-14-2010, 10:40 PM   #1
Jason
Administrator
 
Jason's Avatar
 
Drives: E90 M3
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA

Posts: 16,588
iTrader: (0)

Thumbs up Review: 2011 BMW 535i - Just Plain Better Than Ever

Review: 2011 BMW 535i

The redesigned 2011 BMW 535i is faster, roomier, more luxurious, and just plain better than ever

From Bloomberg Businessweek: http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyl...097_239848.htm

By Thane Peterson



Editor's Rating:


The Good: Lower price, better fuel economy, conservative styling, improved interior, available stick shift
The Bad: Pricey options, delayed rollout of all-wheel drive
The Bottom Line: BMW's 5 is much improved and costs less


Up Front

If you've always coveted a top-of-the-line BMW (BMW:GR) 7 Series sedan, you'll probably love BMW's new 5 Series. Completely redesigned for the 2011 model year, the 5 Series (which includes the entry-level 528i, the 535i, and the pricier, V8-powered 550i) is now bigger, more luxurious, and more conservatively styled than before, while maintaining the 5 Series' quickness and handling. On top of that, the 2011 is more fuel-efficient than the previous 5 Series—and actually costs less.

The net result is that the 2011 535i sedan, the model I recently test-drove, was just a small step down in size from the regular-wheel-base version of the new 735i—at a lower price than the previous-generation 535i. At 193.1 inches, the new 535i is two inches longer than the previous one and has a wheelbase that's 3.2 inches longer. It's still more than half-a-foot shorter than the 735i but when you slip into either of the front seats, you'd never know it. In the most important respects—front-seat head and leg room—the new 5 Series offers almost exactly the same space as BMW's top-of-the-line sedan.

Surprisingly, the 535i's rear seat is only a tiny bit more cramped than the 735i's, with adequate head and knee space for an average adult and plenty of foot room under the front seats. And the trunk, at 14 cu. ft., is the same size. (Optional fold-down rear seats cost an extra $475.)

Starting price for the 2011 535i is $50,475, which is a bargain in BMW terms. It's $1,650 less than the 2010 535i and a whopping $33,400 less than the 2011 BMW 750i. It's also only $5,000 more than the new 528i, but $10,000 less than the new 550i. Just keep in mind that drawing on the long list of expensive optional equipment can quickly jack up the price.

Like the new 7 Series, the new 535i features a beautifully appointed, wood-trimmed interior; a ride that's comfortable, rather than stiff and sporty; and tasteful, if conservative, exterior styling. The controversial "flame-surface" exterior that turned off many reviewers and some shoppers has been dropped.

The Bimmer also is quicker and handles better than most of its rivals. The engine in the new 535i has the same 300 horsepower rating as the one in the previous 535i, but instead of twin turbos it now has a single twin-scroll turbocharger that manages to deliver both improved throttle response and better fuel economy. There's a choice of an eight-speed automatic transmission (up from six speeds) with manual shifting function or (in the 535i and 550i only) a six-speed manual. All-wheel drive costs an extra $2,300.

Fuel economy is up , too—surprisingly because, at 4,056 lbs., the new 535i weighs nearly 400 lbs. more than the previous one, according to BMW. With an automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive, the new 535i is rated to get 19 miles-per-gallon in the city and 28 on the highway, for an average of 22 (up 2 mpg from the previous 535i). The 528i does even better, averaging 25 mpg.

The 2011 535i doesn't yet have government crash-test ratings but earned a "Top Safety Pick" designation by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Stability and traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, and front-, side-, and head-protecting side curtain air bags are standard. Optional safety gear includes night-vision ($2,600), blind spot and lane-departure warning systems (part of a $1,750 package), plus intelligent cruise control ($2,400) with a crash-avoidance feature.

The new 5 Series has done well worldwide, with all of this year's production already sold to the dealer network. In the U.S., results so far have been mixed. In July, 5 Series sales jumped 9.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, to 2,724. However, sales then fell 13.8 percent in August from the same month last year, to 3,047.

BMW says the new 5 is in short supply because of high demand. Many potential buyers also are waiting for all-wheel-drive versions of the car to become available. The xDrive 535i and 550i won't hit showrooms until October and the 528i xDrive won't be available until September 2011. A spokesman says all-wheel drive accounts for 93 percent to 98 percent of demand in states such as Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Colorado.

Behind the Wheel

The engine in the 535i seems about right to me. By comparison, the 528i, which is powered by a 3.0-liter, 240 horsepower inline six, seems a bit sluggish. And unless you're really into speed and power, I don't see the need to pay an additional $10,000 for the 4.4-liter, 400 hp. V8 in the 550i (similar to the V8 found in the new 7 Series sedan).

Despite its 400 lbs. weight gain, the new 535i will accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 5.7 seconds, BMW estimates—about a second faster than Daimler-Benz's (DAI:GR) Mercedes ES 350, the Lexus ES 350, the Cadillac CTS Premium, and the BMW 528i. The V8-powered Jaguar XF Premium can match the 535i's speed and, at 5.9 seconds, the new turbocharged Audi A6 3.0T is only a tiny bit slower.

The BMW 550i accelerates from 0 to 60 in 5.0 seconds but costs more and averages only 20 mpg, 2 less than the 535i. If you opt for the stick shift in the 550i, the average falls to just 17 mpg, 5 less than the 535i.

It's a plus that BMW continues to offer a manual transmission in the 535i. It doesn't hurt fuel economy as it does in the 550i, and I found the stick shift in my test car tight and quick. However, the new eight-speed automatic is remarkable, with innovative technology that makes use of four planetary gear sets and five clutch packs. Among other things, the transmission can downshift from eighth to second without going through any intermediate gears. What that means is that when you punch the gas at cruising speed, the car takes off like a rocket.

The new turbocharger setup in the 535i is equally remarkable. The 535i's engine generates 300 lb. ft. of torque, equal to its horsepower, and maximum power is available from 1200 revolutions per minute to 5,000. What that means is that the car smoothly delivers enormous oomph as you shift through the gears.

A couple of options worth considering are the $2,700 Dynamic Handling package and the $2,200 Sport Package (which come together). The Sport package gets you 19-in. spoked alloy wheels, performance tires, active head restraints, and 20-way adjustable front seats that I found very comfortable.

The Dynamic Handling package allows the driver to adjust the suspension firmness, throttle and transmission responsiveness, and the amount of steering assist. There's a real difference as you move among the "Comfort," "Normal," "Sport," and "Sport Plus" settings. In the "Comfort" setting, the 535i feels more like a Mercedes than a BMW, with a ride that verges on being cushy and steering that requires very little effort. Even in the "Sport" and "Sport Plus" settings, however, the suspension isn't overly stiff. The throttle and steering are touchier, but the new electric steering remains light to the touch while offering a good deal of road feel.

Buy it or Bag It?

The big decision for me would be choosing between the 528i and the 535i. The 528i costs five grand less, gets 3 mpg better mileage, and is quick enough for most owners. However, I just love the extra speed that the 535i offers.

Extra speed doesn't come cheap, however. The 535i's average selling price is $57,390, according to the Power Information Network—less than the 2011 Mercedes E350 ($60,035), but more than the 2011 Audi A6 ($51,109), Jaguar XF ($51,976), and Infiniti M37 ($50,982). According to PIN, the 2010 Acura TL ($36,119) and the Lexus ES 350 ($36,994) are far cheaper.

The Lexus and Acura aren't quite in the same class, but are well worth considering if money is tight. Among the others, the Jaguar is better-looking than the BMW, but has a very cramped rear seat. The Mercedes is a wonderful car, less sporty and more expensive than the BMW. I haven't driven the new Audi A6, but it should be hot.

The 535i lingers fondly in my memory. It's a very sweet car—and a bargain, at least by BMW standards.
__________________
Check on the Latest BMW News
Become a fan of Bimmerpost Facebook
Follow us on Bimmerpost Twitter
Subscribe to Bimmerpost Youtube Channel

Jason is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-14-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
MOCKBA
Captain
 
MOCKBA's Avatar
 
Drives: 135 convertible
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: SFBA

Posts: 867
iTrader: (0)

Can’t trust to the reviewer much. He seems didn’t really check the car out and just read some net resources. 5 series do not compete with Acura TL or Lexus ES (which is rebadged Camry). The author admitted that, however he didn’t hear about Lexus GS and Acura RL. Equally equipped E350 is cheaper about $1K (MSRP) and even cheaper for actual purchase from price point view. Jaguar and Audi will be more expensive for lease, since low residual, so again MSRP doesn’t make much sense for many buyers.
__________________

135i/cabrio/p/s/c
MediaChest is iTunesLess way of iPod managing
MOCKBA is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 01:24 AM   #3
delvek
Major
 
delvek's Avatar
 
Drives: F10 550i Msport
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Rhineland, Germany

Posts: 1,130
iTrader: (0)

The F10 is hard to drum up competitors for ... it is really unchallenged unless you allow greater fluctuation in price parameters.
__________________
2011 550i M-sport:Mods: Hartge ECU (490hp/497ps@5500rp 531ft-lb/720Nm@2000rpm), ACSchnitzer suspension, ACSchnitzer sport exhaust, Msport Spoiler, Shadowline Grille, Color matched front reflectors, dvdinmotion. MyBavarianBeast: http://f10.5post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=530637
Future: 2014 F82 M4
delvek is offline   Germany
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 01:32 AM   #4
fireman550
Private First Class
 
fireman550's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 550
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Yonkers

Posts: 127
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by delvek View Post
The F10 is hard to drum up competitors for ... it is really unchallenged unless you allow greater fluctuation in price parameters.
+1.......
fireman550 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 04:08 AM   #5
gorban
Second Lieutenant
 
Drives: F11 520xdAT, E87 120dM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Posts: 229
iTrader: (0)

Wow, the 550i is $27,000 cheaper in the U.S. compared to Sweden. And comes with more standard equipment in the U.S. as well. And the cost of gas is almost nothing. Not to mention Norway or Denmark where cars have astronomical prices. I will need to emigrate

As a comparison, my F11 520d Touring ended up at $60,000 after rebates.
__________________
Current: 2014 F11 lci 520xd Touring, Imperial Blue
gorban is offline   Sweden
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 04:51 AM   #6
bm323
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2013 M5 FG SO
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: singapore

Posts: 552
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorban View Post
Wow, the 550i is $27,000 cheaper in the U.S. compared to Sweden. And comes with more standard equipment in the U.S. as well. And the cost of gas is almost nothing. Not to mention Norway or Denmark where cars have astronomical prices. I will need to emigrate

As a comparison, my F11 520d Touring ended up at $60,000 after rebates.
A 535i with options here costs slightly more than 3x that in the US.
bm323 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 08:29 AM   #7
dela
Black/white Ninja
 
dela's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW 118D Hatch 3D AW
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Denmark

Posts: 140
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by bm323 View Post
A 535i with options here costs slightly more than 3x that in the US.
And here in Denmark we're at 170.000$ with no extras, thus base price! (todays exchange rate 15/9) It should be mentioned that extras are taxed by 300% too, so a fully loaded 535 is the same as an M3 with a little extra....
__________________
2008/06 lemon on white 118D. Coilovers, 19" and a bit of OEM extras!
dela is offline   Denmark
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 08:42 AM   #8
Touring
Captain
 
Touring's Avatar
 
Drives: F11,i3,E21,Porsche 928GT,E30
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oslo, Norway

Posts: 929
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorban View Post
Wow, the 550i is $27,000 cheaper in the U.S. compared to Sweden. And comes with more standard equipment in the U.S. as well. And the cost of gas is almost nothing. Not to mention Norway or Denmark where cars have astronomical prices. I will need to emigrate

As a comparison, my F11 520d Touring ended up at $60,000 after rebates.
I ordered my 520d touring and have to pay $ 120.000 for it. Ok, its loaded with equipement (M-pack, 19 inch, Navi pro, internet, Hif-pro, Xenon, nightvision, sunroof, reverse-camera, winter-package, carbonblack, automatic, variable damper +++), but the base-price is $84.000 . Which is a bargain compared with 550 xi which cost $241.000.

The reason for this hell is that car-tax is calculated from the cars weight, C02 emission and horsepower. Obama, help us!!

Last edited by Touring; 09-15-2010 at 08:54 AM.
Touring is offline   Norway
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 08:47 AM   #9
gorban
Second Lieutenant
 
Drives: F11 520xdAT, E87 120dM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Gothenburg, Sweden

Posts: 229
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Touring View Post
I ordered my 520d touring and have to pay $ 120.000 for it. Ok, its loaded with equipement (M-pack, 19 inch, Navi pro, internet, Hif-pro, Xenon, nightvision, sunroof, reverse-camera, winter-package, carbonblack +++), but the base-price is $84.000 . Which is a bargain compared with 550 xi which cost $241.000.

The reason for this hell is that car-tax is calculated from the cars weight, C02 emission and horsepower. Obama, help us!!
I'm crying, but at the same time happy that I don't live 3 hours north from here (Norway). Well, you've got the oil and we don't so its only fair

Btw, is your 520d a 163 hp then?
__________________
Current: 2014 F11 lci 520xd Touring, Imperial Blue

Last edited by gorban; 09-15-2010 at 08:52 AM.
gorban is offline   Sweden
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 09:01 AM   #10
Touring
Captain
 
Touring's Avatar
 
Drives: F11,i3,E21,Porsche 928GT,E30
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Oslo, Norway

Posts: 929
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by gorban View Post
I'm crying, but at the same time happy that I don't live 3 hours north from here (Norway). Well, you've got the oil and we don't so its only fair

Btw, is your 520d a 163 hp then?
The oil doesnt help us when it comes to taxes it seems :-)

Yes the 163 hp. I save $3500 from the normal version, but its easy to tune up again

Maybe I should seek political asylum in Sweden?
Touring is offline   Norway
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 10:46 AM   #11
tony20009
Brigadier General
 
tony20009's Avatar
 
Drives: BMW 335i - Coupe
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Washington, DC

Posts: 4,511
iTrader: (0)

LMAO

..."The Good: ...conservative styling..." --> Not sure why that rates as good or bad...I guess you just gotta love the unbiased perspective of the article's author.

..."The controversial 'flame-surface' exterior..." --> Should have just said, "The butt-ugly 'flame surface exterior.." I don't think that fact was much contested. I don't think there's controversy about it; even the owners I know think the car is ugly, but the love the way it drives/feels.

..."It's a...bargain, at least by BMW standards." --> I pretty much agree, although I wish it were a bit more taught. I guess Business Week readers don't really care about the car's handling seeing as not much of substance is mentioned about such things.

Does anyone here know whether the DH Package is enough to make the car not feel tight and responsive? Is this a "must have" option for this car?
__________________
Cheers,
Tony

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
'07, e92 335i, Sparkling Graphite, Coral Leather, Aluminum, 6-speed
tony20009 is offline   United_States
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 10:47 AM   #12
acorradi87
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: 2008 550i M sport
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Emeryville, CA

Posts: 35
iTrader: (0)

The fact that this reviewer referred to a '735i' that doesn't exist nullifies the whole review for me.

Clearly he's referring to the 740i which uses the -35 number designation on all the other models.... but still. If you're going to publish your crap in a magazine at least get the facts straight.

"In the U.S., results so far have been mixed. In July, 5 Series sales jumped 9.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, to 2,724. However, sales then fell 13.8 percent in August from the same month last year, to 3,047."

I'm also not really surprised by these numbers. Although there's some economic factors in play here, the initial "yipee" of a new 5 series wore off... I also love when BMW compares sales figures between 2 different models:

like... OMG sales increased 9.6% percent from last July when, you know, the e60 was 6 years old! hahah so lame

Last edited by acorradi87; 09-15-2010 at 11:13 AM.
acorradi87 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 11:46 AM   #13
bm323
Lieutenant
 
Drives: 2013 M5 FG SO
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: singapore

Posts: 552
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by acorradi87 View Post
"In the U.S., results so far have been mixed. In July, 5 Series sales jumped 9.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, to 2,724. However, sales then fell 13.8 percent in August from the same month last year, to 3,047."

I'm also not really surprised by these numbers. Although there's some economic factors in play here, the initial "yipee" of a new 5 series wore off... I also love when BMW compares sales figures between 2 different models:
For August, quote "The BMW 5 Series also reported sales growth of 24.9% (16,175 / prev. yr. 12,948)." http://www.bmwblog.com/2010/09/09/bm...st/#more-41945 What you quoted is only sales in the US, greatly affected by the market sentiment.

But this early comparing of sales in a particular month compared to previous year's sales as done in some forums is all crap to me. Wait for a year or 2, maybe 3 when all the models are in production and there is time to check the market, then compare, and even then there is also the economy to take into account. Go test drive it, buy something else if you don't like it. Buy it if you like it. So what if sales are up and you dislike the F10. You drive a 2008 550i and have plenty of time to check the market.

Last edited by bm323; 09-15-2010 at 11:53 AM.
bm323 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 11:50 AM   #14
fireman550
Private First Class
 
fireman550's Avatar
 
Drives: 2011 550
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Yonkers

Posts: 127
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by dela View Post
And here in Denmark we're at 170.000$ with no extras, thus base price! (todays exchange rate 15/9) It should be mentioned that extras are taxed by 300% too, so a fully loaded 535 is the same as an M3 with a little extra....
GOOD LORD!! That kind of money would get me a nice Alpina B7 here and leave some extra for a trip to vegas. OWW to you fellas in Denmark...
fireman550 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #15
nosnoop
Private First Class
 
Drives: 5 Series
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Canada

Posts: 173
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by acorradi87 View Post
"In the U.S., results so far have been mixed. In July, 5 Series sales jumped 9.6 percent compared with the same month a year earlier, to 2,724. However, sales then fell 13.8 percent in August from the same month last year, to 3,047."
I'm also not really surprised by these numbers. Although there's some economic factors in play here, the initial "yipee" of a new 5 series wore off... I also love when BMW compares sales figures between 2 different models:
Geez, why would anyone care about a monthly sales figure right in the middle of model transition? It means absolutely nothing!
nosnoop is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 12:16 PM   #16
acorradi87
Enlisted Member
 
Drives: 2008 550i M sport
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Emeryville, CA

Posts: 35
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by nosnoop View Post
Geez, why would anyone care about a monthly sales figure right in the middle of model transition? It means absolutely nothing!
The reviewer wrote it... I didn't... GEEZ!
acorradi87 is offline  
0
Reply With Quote
      09-15-2010, 12:24 PM   #17
nosnoop
Private First Class
 
Drives: 5 Series
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Canada

Posts: 173
iTrader: (0)

Quote:
Originally Posted by acorradi87 View Post
The reviewer wrote it... I didn't... GEEZ!
Sorry for the misquote. I meant the article.
nosnoop is offline  
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 07:32 AM.




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