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      07-27-2011, 04:40 PM   #1
Rochdale Pioneers
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520d High Mileage blog

Hi everyone, took delivery of my 520d yesterday and as I'm going to do 60,000 miles a year I thought a blog of how the car performs would be of interest to those of you doing lower miles.

Spec is on my signature so I won't repeat it here, and pictures will have to wait until weekend as I'm crazy busy with work, but I already have some data to add in.

Today I drove to Manchester and back, 110 miles each way, and as I've got the journey computer on auto reset, I don't think this is too bad a performance for a brand new engine on the way home: 50.0mpg, 61.4mph average

Average speed reflects the city driving for the first 8 miles or so then busy motorway for most of the rest. Already love the LIM button for making sure I can't go too quick in town, and as my now departed E91 was a poverty-spec ES and didn't have cruise control, its been great to have that back. Steering feels a little twitchy compared to the last car, but the E91 felt virtually unassisted is was so heavy so its not a surprise.

Anyway, will post photos soon and will update this blog as I go. Will be interesting how fuel economy goes and if anything comes on on a high-mileage car thats of interest/concern! Well more of a concern than the 83 spent filling it up this morning from empty.....
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      07-29-2011, 09:38 AM   #2
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Good luck with the new motor - I'm sure you'll enjoy it. I thought I was a high mileage driver until I read your post! (~30K Miles PA).

I do about 85% of my mileage on motorway, and I'd be really interested to hear how you get on with steering, suspension and tyre wear...... I've had niggling issues with all of these on my car since new, and never at any stage been 100% problem free.

Looking forward to hearing how you do.
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      07-29-2011, 04:15 PM   #3
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End of week one. 600 miles on the clock and average mpg is between 45 and 47mpg on my trips into the office (virtually all motorway driving).

What I like:
Its a BIG car and feels like it
Business speakers are fabulous at all volumes (and they are loud!)
Still don't know what some buttons do - gadgets are good
Plenty of space
Lovely gearbox - both action and stick positioning in console
Quiet, refined, cossetting ride

What I don't like:
Ride feels skittish. Rear end feels loose on bends compared to my E91
Steering feels light compared to E91. Mind you, hated the E91 at first as too heavy...
Boot lid needs shoving closed hard - bounces open too easily
Doors don't feel as solid as E91 - its tailgate in particular closed with a KERCHUNK that sounded like a giant iron gate slamming shut.

Anyway, some photos:






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      08-03-2011, 04:34 PM   #4
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Have just filled the tank. 90.02!
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      08-04-2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Garage List
I would suggest you start filling in a dedicated mileage system instead. I use sprtimonitor.de. Allthough it is german you can use it fine in English as well.
You can even use it for an automatic updated icon below, like this on my car:
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      08-04-2011, 04:11 PM   #6
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Decided to check the PSI on my tyres. Dealers had over inflated my tyres by 0.5-0.7 BAR. No wonder it felt skittish on the bends.....
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      08-09-2011, 05:38 AM   #7
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I have over 13k on the clock since mid-November - 520d M Sport, Sports Auto - 47.1mpg average and steady at that.

White looks nice in the evening sunshine!
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      08-09-2011, 02:46 PM   #8
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A quick update. The car definitely feels better on deflated (to the correct Bar) tyres - I've thrown it more confidently around a couple of the test bends on my 90+ mile commute. But there is definitely a skittish nature to how she handles - not as planted as my E91 but I do appreciate the lighter steering. I think that VDC would make a big difference is tightening up the ride. I don't like sport suspension and like a softer ride, but I do wonder if the M-Sport wouldn't ride better.

And its not just me. Sat talking to one of my F10-touting colleagues earlier, and he agrees that the handling isn't as special as it could be, reporting the same rear-end twitch. The best way I can describe it is the back end skips slightly and that pushes the nose into a little under or oversteer. Its simple to correct and never feels like its skipping out completely, but compared to the E91 it is taking a bit of getting used to.

And tonight's fill-up from 24-miles-range empty? 94!
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      08-09-2011, 04:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochdale Pioneers View Post
What I don't like:
Boot lid needs shoving closed hard - bounces open too easily
It's the price we pay for spring loaded opening, but if you look underneath the lower lip of the lid you'll see a plastic bump stop on each side and they're easily adjustable. I screwed each one in by two clicks and the boot's a lot easier to close, but there's no getting away from the spring assist.
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      08-10-2011, 04:08 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochdale Pioneers View Post
Have just filled the tank. 90.02!
With prices locally at 142p, filling from empty will now cost 99!
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      08-10-2011, 09:31 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochdale Pioneers View Post
... But there is definitely a skittish nature to how she handles - not as planted as my E91 but I do appreciate the lighter steering. I think that VDC would make a big difference is tightening up the ride. I don't like sport suspension and like a softer ride, but I do wonder if the M-Sport wouldn't ride better.

And its not just me. Sat talking to one of my F10-touting colleagues earlier, and he agrees that the handling isn't as special as it could be, reporting the same rear-end twitch. The best way I can describe it is the back end skips slightly and that pushes the nose into a little under or oversteer. Its simple to correct and never feels like its skipping out completely, but compared to the E91 it is taking a bit of getting used to.
I tried an F11 520d on the day of the launch. Was most disappointed on the ride quality (18" wheels) and it had the distinctive RFT foibles, over poor surfaces. That poor rear end feel is just not good enough, IMO.

True, I had just driven 2 hours in an F10 530d with Adaptive Drive, but the weaknesses of these new cars and all the teething troubles, has put me off buying at present. I was ready to buy an F11 530d or 535i, but I'm sticking to the E91 until BMW bring out the new 3-series, then I'll compare and see if BMW have used these past couple of years to sort out some of the latest technology.

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      08-10-2011, 02:43 PM   #12
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Don't get me wrong - I absolutely love my F10. The way it looks, the way it makes me feel, its sheer bulk, the whisper quiet effortless cruise. It's just a pity that its not quite as tight handling as it could be.
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      08-14-2011, 04:43 PM   #13
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An update at the end of week 3. Mileage now up to 2,931 with this week's (Mon-Sun) driving summary looking like this:



This week I finally started feeling comfortable driving the car
1) Fine tuning my drivers seat so that it gets the right balance between thigh support and pedal reach,
2) Getting more of a feel of handling and chassis. Gone is the twitchiness I was feeling from the back and the play in a straight line. How much of this was my over-correcting my own slightly unrefined inputs?
3) Have reformatted the 60GB hard drive plugged into USB in the arm rest. It was showing as two drives when searched - an hour's faff and I managed to delete the recovery partition from its old use in a laptop. Now much easier to search, but still need to make the effort to try playlists and see if they are easier to navigate

In terms of lighting I have switched DRL back on. Without it the Auto lights were switching themselves off in conditions I would have left them on. In my E91 I had the light switch set to dipped permanently so am used to driving with my headlights on, and since doing so have found that a white 5-series with lights on during the day makes other cars consider pulling over to let me past. I can't think why...... I do switch to sidelights when its brighter, the angel eyes are halogen but pretty bright.
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      08-14-2011, 05:57 PM   #14
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I swapped off the run flats for a set of Michelin pilot super sports and the handling and ride is utterly superb. Much more mechanical grip and 100% more confidence in cornering precision, all evidence of from end washout gone and all rear end 'skip' so familiar with run flats totally eradicated
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      08-14-2011, 08:19 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amateurish View Post
With prices locally at 142p, filling from empty will now cost 99!
Good God! What's that...something like $150(US) ??? I filled my Bluetec the other day (19+ gallons) for $69.
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      08-15-2011, 09:19 AM   #16
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Good God! What's that...something like $150(US) ??? I filled my Bluetec the other day (19+ gallons) for $69.
Yep we pay approximate $10 gallon, of which the majority is tax from the government. Guess you guys would be lynching senators if you faced such fuel costs
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      08-15-2011, 11:11 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 22andcounting View Post
I swapped off the run flats for a set of Michelin pilot super sports and the handling and ride is utterly superb. Much more mechanical grip and 100% more confidence in cornering precision, all evidence of from end washout gone and all rear end 'skip' so familiar with run flats totally eradicated


What was the cost of replacing the tyres??
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      09-04-2011, 03:43 AM   #18
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Its been a few weeks since I updated this blog, so a few things to add:

1. I've been on my holidays! I had wondered how practical a car this is and here was the first big test. I have 3 kids (aged 10, 3 and 3 months) and they fit in the back in reasonable comfort (a few moans from my 10 year old in the middle between the two child seats but frankly he'd moan anyway....). I then needed to load enough stuff to cover one week away.

So into the boot went 3 suitcases of increasing size, several small backpacks, several other squashy bags, coats and spare shoes for everyone, a baby stroller, and to my amazement it all went in:



What really makes it practical are the various nooks and crannies that BMW have managed to free up on the sides.

2. Ride, handling and economy when crush loaded. Inflated the tyres to full load and whilst the car still wallows it still feels responsive round the bends in the wet. The brakes could do with being a bit sharper when heavy - it takes a lot of stopping and frankly are a bit on - off. Economy dropped from my usual 47-48 to 40-41.

3. Big car, small spaces. I think for the first time I really feel just how big this car is. Had to park it into some tight spaces and both the length of nose and tail plus the width meant for some precision shunting to get the car central in the bay so that I could still open the door enough to get out. I don't need reversing cameras or top view or any of that nonsense, but it is a big car!

What I did think would be useful are the wing cameras for the front. Several roads I went down a lot ended at a t-junction with very limited visibility. The only way to see out onto the main road is creep the long nose out - the cameras would make a huge difference.

4. Looks. Was nice to have people walk past and give the car the once (and several times twice) over. Its still a feelgood experience having one!
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      09-07-2011, 01:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rochdale Pioneers View Post
...I don't need reversing cameras or top view or any of that nonsense, but it is a big car!

What I did think would be useful are the wing cameras for the front. Several roads I went down a lot ended at a t-junction with very limited visibility. The only way to see out onto the main road is creep the long nose out - the cameras would make a huge difference.
That's what I thought about top view until I recently drove an F12 with this option - it's extremely useful when reversing into tight spaces as it shows you exactly where you are in relation to any obstacles. It also had the side view cameras, but I found the left/right on-screen view combined with a conventional look over the bonnet to be a bit of an information overload and switched it off. Perhaps you'd get used to it in time, but I shall forgo this option in favour of rear and top view when I order my 640d convertible.
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