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      10-31-2010, 08:47 PM   #1
omegarho
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520d Auto - advice needed on options

Hi Folks

I'm just about to order a 520d Auto with VDC. 3 options that I'd like some advice on:

Auto transmission - normal vs sport. The dealer told me that for the smaller 520 engine, the sport transmission doesn't add any value, and just reduces mpg - it's only useful for the bigger engines. Your thoughts/experiences?

Sports Steering Wheel - other than a bit of chrome, does this add anything to the experience (assuming it's a stand-alone option and not as part of the sport auto transmission)?

Reversing Assist Camera - I've never had this before but then again, I'm used to driving a 330 Convertible with M sport suspension that's fairly easy to park- is this option worth it, or a "nice-to-have" as the car has parking sensors anyway?

All opinions appreciated ...
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      11-01-2010, 04:04 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Hi Folks

I'm just about to order a 520d Auto with VDC. 3 options that I'd like some advice on:

Auto transmission - normal vs sport. The dealer told me that for the smaller 520 engine, the sport transmission doesn't add any value, and just reduces mpg - it's only useful for the bigger engines. Your thoughts/experiences?

Sports Steering Wheel - other than a bit of chrome, does this add anything to the experience (assuming it's a stand-alone option and not as part of the sport auto transmission)?

Reversing Assist Camera - I've never had this before but then again, I'm used to driving a 330 Convertible with M sport suspension that's fairly easy to park- is this option worth it, or a "nice-to-have" as the car has parking sensors anyway?

All opinions appreciated ...
I use the backup cam all the time. Worth it!

The steering wheel its just the looks, no difference in driving.

I agree with the dealer, the engine is to weak for a sport box.
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      11-01-2010, 04:08 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Hi Folks

I'm just about to order a 520d Auto with VDC. 3 options that I'd like some advice on:

Auto transmission - normal vs sport. The dealer told me that for the smaller 520 engine, the sport transmission doesn't add any value, and just reduces mpg - it's only useful for the bigger engines. Your thoughts/experiences?

Sports Steering Wheel - other than a bit of chrome, does this add anything to the experience (assuming it's a stand-alone option and not as part of the sport auto transmission)?

Reversing Assist Camera - I've never had this before but then again, I'm used to driving a 330 Convertible with M sport suspension that's fairly easy to park- is this option worth it, or a "nice-to-have" as the car has parking sensors anyway?

All opinions appreciated ...
I have an F11 520d Touring with sports automatic and VDC on order. I went with the sports automatic to get the paddles. That way I can easily downshift a couple of gears if I want some extra power when passing. As opposed to using the kick-down which will be a little to much in some cases. I would figure that the 520d could actually benefit more from this compared to the larger engines where down-shifting might not be necessary in these circumstances due to more torque on low revs.

The sports steering wheel is slightly smaller and thicker than the standard wheel. It also has thumb grips. I went for the M sports steering wheel because it's even thicker.

I didn't order the reverse camera. Having seen it in action I think I should have ordered it. It even displays the tow hitch if you have one.
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      11-01-2010, 05:19 AM   #4
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Interesting isn't it, how opinions vary.

I'd personally go for the sport auto, both for the way the box can extract power from the smaller engine (you may need all you can get, as fast as possible ) and the paddles, to get the control as 'gorban' suggests.

We can argue that the biggger engines don't even need a sport setting, let alone a sport auto. To me it is nothing to do with engine output, but for options and/or better control. Don't forget it allows steering weighting to be modified as well.

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      11-01-2010, 05:25 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Hi Folks

Reversing Assist Camera - I've never had this before but then again, I'm used to driving a 330 Convertible with M sport suspension that's fairly easy to park- is this option worth it, or a "nice-to-have" as the car has parking sensors anyway?

All opinions appreciated ...
Brilliant bit of kit, even better with Surround View. Having tried a couple of F10,s with surround view and used it for difficult junctions and tight parking, is a 'must have' on a new order, from my perspective.

The birds-eye view is great... kerb parking anyone?

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      11-01-2010, 05:53 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Interesting isn't it, how opinions vary.

I'd personally go for the sport auto, both for the way the box can extract power from the smaller engine (you may need all you can get, as fast as possible ) and the paddles, to get the control as 'gorban' suggests.

We can argue that the biggger engines don't even need a sport setting, let alone a sport auto. To me it is nothing to do with engine output, but for options and/or better control. Don't forget it allows steering weighting to be modified as well.

HighlandPete
+1

And it's the best bargain of all the available options at £220 (including the sports steering wheel). It's a no brainer.
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      11-01-2010, 06:28 AM   #7
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Thanks guys - all proving to be extremely useful input.

If I go for these, then I have a trade-off to make ... VDC vs SatNav

I know they are 2 completely different things but what do people think? I'm used to an in-car SatNav, but my test drive had VDC, so I don't know how the car is without it. Also, on SatNav, what does the Professional one give you that the business one doesn't - i.e. is it worth the 400 gbp extra?
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      11-01-2010, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Thanks guys - all proving to be extremely useful input.

If I go for these, then I have a trade-off to make ... VDC vs SatNav

I know they are 2 completely different things but what do people think? I'm used to an in-car SatNav, but my test drive had VDC, so I don't know how the car is without it. Also, on SatNav, what does the Professional one give you that the business one doesn't - i.e. is it worth the 400 gbp extra?
You're going through the painful decision process many of us have been through

I also ordered VDC (my car was delivered on Sarturday) and I'm pleased I have it. I ordered it for comfort reasons because I found the standard suspension didn't cope with bad road surfaces well. It thudded over potholes and other imperfections in a way that intruded into the cabin (and my spine). Even my wife (who is not a car enthusiast) noticed it. With VDC the car copes with bad road surfaces very well. I have no complaints - and my last car was a Mercedes S Class.

If you are going to spend £1500 for business sat nav you will forever kick yourself for not spending the £400 extra for the professional version. It is so much nicer. The most obvious difference is a 10" wide screen compared to a 7" 4:3 aspect screen. The smaller screen has what the press has called "horrible plastic inserts" to cover up the space the 10" screen would have taken.

If you can find any way of doing it, buy both - even if it means living in poverty for a couple of months
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      11-01-2010, 12:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Thanks guys - all proving to be extremely useful input.

If I go for these, then I have a trade-off to make ... VDC vs SatNav

I know they are 2 completely different things but what do people think? I'm used to an in-car SatNav, but my test drive had VDC, so I don't know how the car is without it. Also, on SatNav, what does the Professional one give you that the business one doesn't - i.e. is it worth the 400 gbp extra?
If you really need the navigation to get around, go for the professional version and skip the VDC.

I only use a navigation system occationally so I have a Garmin Nüvi instead, which can't of course be compared with the beautiful Navigation Professional in the F10.

Stay with the VDC if comfort is important to you. If you only want performance, add in the M sport suspension instead. That will save you a few quid for the navigation system. Otherwise I think you will be fine with standard suspension.

Btw, for me HiFi Professional and a tow hitch was a must have.
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      11-01-2010, 12:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krell View Post

If you are going to spend £1500 for business sat nav you will forever kick yourself for not spending the £400 extra for the professional version. It is so much nicer. The most obvious difference is a 10" wide screen compared to a 7" 4:3 aspect screen. The smaller screen has what the press has called "horrible plastic inserts" to cover up the space the 10" screen would have taken.
When I ordered my car I told the dealer that Business satnav was enough for me. He stared me in my eyes and said " Are you gay or something? Im not selling you the car if you wont order the professional !"

Now Im happy he gave me an offer I couldnt refuse though
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      11-09-2010, 03:46 PM   #11
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- If you have VDC (as I have on my 520dA), you already have dynamic drive control, main advantage of the sport auto in my opinion, beside the shift paddles. Also the normal autobox has a sportprogram option. But if you like the shift paddles: the supplement for the sport auto is very very reasonable, I wouldn't hesitate.
- I tried a car with normal steering wheel and the sports one: the sports steering wheel is really added value, much better feeling, try it in real live and you won't hesitate. And the supplement is very reasonable again.
- hesitated for the camera, but sticked to the PDC. Works perfectly!! My dealer suggested the camera was a good idea if you have to fix a caravan...
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      11-27-2010, 04:16 PM   #12
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Go for the sport auto transmission. You won't regret it
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      11-27-2010, 04:56 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by omegarho View Post
Auto transmission - normal vs sport. The dealer told me that for the smaller 520 engine, the sport transmission doesn't add any value, and just reduces mpg - it's only useful for the bigger engines. Your thoughts/experiences?
Igonore your dealer on this call. No dis-respect. I have the 520d M Sport with Sports Auto. I have used the paddles on hills and at fast roundabouts. It's useful and it works. The mpg reduction is total nonsense ... again, no dis-respect intended ... you don't have to use the paddles all the time, just when you feel like it, or indeed, need it: the auto box is amazing, granted, but it can't predict the road ahead - you can.
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      11-27-2010, 05:52 PM   #14
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Igonore your dealer on this call. No dis-respect. I have the 520d M Sport with Sports Auto. I have used the paddles on hills and at fast roundabouts. It's useful and it works. The mpg reduction is total nonsense ... again, no dis-respect intended ... you don't have to use the paddles all the time, just when you feel like it, or indeed, need it: the auto box is amazing, granted, but it can't predict the road ahead - you can.
Is it any advantage over using the manual mode in the ordninary autobox?
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      11-28-2010, 04:14 AM   #15
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Is it any advantage over using the manual mode in the ordninary autobox?
I don't feel qualified to answer that, as I haven't used the manual mode in the regular auto. I can only think, from a rather obvious perspective, that "your hand does not have to leave the steering wheel". But that is just pointing out the obvious, it's not stating an advantage per se.

I think anyone who has extensively used both of these options should chime in.

Cheers.
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      11-29-2010, 04:20 PM   #16
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Fellows,

I ordered a 520d Sedan with Sport Auto transmission but no VDC. Is there any mode driving selector?
Thanks
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      11-30-2010, 12:03 PM   #17
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Fellows,

I ordered a 520d Sedan with Sport Auto transmission but no VDC. Is there any mode driving selector?
Thanks
With my Sports Auto, you get forward / back buttons to elect; Normal, Sports and Sports+ for the gearing / chassis setup ... is that what you are referring to by "mode driving selector" ?

Cheers
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      11-30-2010, 12:57 PM   #18
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Yes, I think so. I ordered the plain sport auto transmission with no other options (dumpers control, etc.). Do I get with this the forward/back button for selecting the chassis/gearing set up?

Cheers
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      11-30-2010, 03:26 PM   #19
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I have a brand new 520d manualgb , options required for me :

-Autodim mirror
-Ipod connection & bluetooth phone
-Leather and heated seats
-Aloy inside finish
-The PRO gps is stunning but $$$
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      12-03-2010, 11:19 AM   #20
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Yes, I think so. I ordered the plain sport auto transmission with no other options (dumpers control, etc.). Do I get with this the forward/back button for selecting the chassis/gearing set up?

Cheers
Then I can confirm yes, as I got these Normal, Sports, Sports+ and I did not order any of the advanced suspension options. Cheers and have a good w/end.
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      12-03-2010, 01:57 PM   #21
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Hi, my question really is directed to ipso facto. I have a M-Sport 520d on order. I also have gone for the sports auto box.
But living in Kent, and having to deal with the weather we've had over the last week, I'd really like to know what it's like in the snow?
Are you able to lock it into a higher gear and pull away? Can you stop it changing up or down while driving?
Be pleased to hear from anyone who has had experience with this setup.
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      12-03-2010, 04:22 PM   #22
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Hi, my question really is directed to ipso facto. I have a M-Sport 520d on order. I also have gone for the sports auto box.
But living in Kent, and having to deal with the weather we've had over the last week, I'd really like to know what it's like in the snow?
Are you able to lock it into a higher gear and pull away? Can you stop it changing up or down while driving?
Be pleased to hear from anyone who has had experience with this setup.
Sorry I can't answer that one: I've only left the house on foot since Monday evening!! Personally speaking, I wouldn't take a rear wheel drive car onto icy roads unless it was a genuine emergency. Even then, I'd seek any other alternative first.

I'd post this one as a dedicated topic if you want to get some response on these questions.

I would have seriously considered the xdrive if that were an option for UK spec 5's, but it is not currently - what a shame!

Cheers.
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