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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 530D Msport - review 1 year on. +pics
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      03-07-2013, 02:57 PM   #1

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Drives: F10 530d Msport
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530D Msport - review 1 year on. +pics

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1 year on Ė review of my 530D MSport automatic
Mileage 5500
Average fuel consumption 40.9 mpg (UK)
Best fuel consumption for a trip 58mpg (UK)
Worst 25mpg (UK)
Official specs , 258BHP , 0-62MPH 6.0 s

Sophisto grey II (B90)

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Equipment fitted:

Sports automatic gearbox
Automatic cruise control
Head up display
Speed limit display
Adaptive Xenon headlights
19Ē Style 351 wheels
Full Electric Msport seats
Climate Comfort Windscreen
Rear Msport spoiler
Alcantara headlining
Rear view camera
Professional HIFI
Professional Satnav
Nokia 6303 snap in adapter
Wood trim

Iíve had my 530D smport now full just about a year so I thought I post a review of it now Iíve owned it for some time.

In general , very pleased with the car. Had a E39 530i Msport previously from new for 10 years.

The F10 I feel is an improvement from E39 in all areas bar two .

Steering, as many people report, itís lacking feel.Compared to the E39, itís lighter and you really donít feel what the front tyres are doing. The E39 was SO much better.

The second item is suspension / tyres. The suspension is slightly softer than the E39 which I assume is to compensate for the RFTs. Itís generally ok until you find a pothole which makes the whole car shudder.

The interior is very high quality and its a very nice place to be.


Having tried the 530d on a test drive before buying, this converted me over from petrol to the dark side and I donít regret it. Whilst it is obvious it is a diesel at idle, once going its very smooth and makes progress effortless. Its low revving and at 70mph, it turns over at just 1500RPM. It very economical if you want it to be, but at the same time if you press the loud pedal, it will pull you effortlessly toward the horizon. Ok itís no M5 but for real world road use, itís fantastic.

I've not driven a 535D so can't comment on that, but I wasn't preapred to pau the extra for getting to 60 in half a second sooner, I preferred to spend that money on extra options.

In Ecopro mode it can drive around on light throttle at 1000RPM

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Running through the options I had fitted.

Gearbox, superb. Very smooth. The exception being when slowing down to a stop when it changes down gears and can be a bit jerky especially if cold.

Flappy paddles are used just for downshifting for engine braking down hills, I rarely use them otherwise. If I want more Ďpowerí I just put the car into D/S or sport mode.

Automatic cruise control

Another feature I use regularly on motorways. Very relaxing in heavy (M25) traffic where the car will keep a set distance from the car ahead. You cnan choose the distance, I usually have it on the default of 3 bars and 4 if its wet. If a car cuts you up or jumps in front of you then the car can brake quite heavily to maintain the distance. You soon get to know how it works and when to intervene. The stop and go function is a bit weird at first as you are n;ít sure if the car will actually stop or not but again you get a feel for when it will do that and when you need to cover the brake or apply some brake pressure.
You can turn off the active part of it if you want and have conventional cruise control if you want , not sure I see the point persoanlyl though.

Head up display

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If you only had the choice of one option to put on a car this would be it. Simply superb and I would not like a car without one now. Make navigation easy byut presenting the info on the end of the bonnet. (focused about 6 feet away from you). It shows current speed, Speed limit (read from the camera)., nav directions, cruise control settings and any check control warnings. If you have lane departure warning it will show you that as well.
Changes to orange at night to match the dashboard. Readable all of the time no matter what the light.
Means you can put another function on your LCD screen rather than directions.

Speed limit display

This is quite useful but not 100% accurate. It occasionally get the speed wrong , Iíve seen it display 60mph or 20mph on a 30mph road on occasions. The camera can also pick up signs on roads that are parallel to the one you are on and hence show the wring speed.
Generally good though, Iíd say around 95% accurate. It can even read the variable speed limit sighs on the M25.

Adaptive Xenon headlights

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Superb, but the adaptive bit really only makes sense on dark twisty roads, other wise yo wonít notice.

This also comes with cornering lights which only really work when its picth dark outside. In towns with lit roads, you wonít notice . (I think BMW should have changed the logic and made then activate only when itís very dark outside)

The Bi-xenons are great and Iíve not had any issues with setting these on to automatic. The camera detects any cars in front and dips the main beam if necessary.

Of course with the xenons, you get the nice DRLís. With DRLs selected in the I-Drive, these come on in headlight position O or autolights. Iíve also with the help of a fellow forum member had the rear taillights coded on. From Feb 2011 the taillights were not on following a EU directive so earlier cards will have then on.

19" wheels.

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Good to look at but small profile tyres I guess does impact the ride to some extent .

Full Electric Msport seats

Comfortable and better than the E39 sport seats I had previously.

When I tested a early car (2010) I found the seating position too low even on the highest setting. My guess is that BMW changed this on later cards as later ones I test had the seat up higher (which I prefer) and my 2012 model is the same. Full Electrci also means you get an electric adjustment of the steering wheel and memory settings.

In retrospect, for just a bit more money, Iíd have probably been better off getting comfort seats. These are heated and they warm up VERY quickly.

Climate comfort Windscreen

I ordered this as I thought I would get a green strip at the top of the windscreen, ths is nít the case. The windscreen with a grey strip is not compatible with the HUD.

This is one option I could have not had and not missed. You can feel the difference in summer compared to the side windows but not a big deal, expecially in the Uk with our 2 week summer!

Rear spoiler.

Well just looks better, should really be standard on a msport. nuff said.

Alcantara headlining.

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Much better than the standard headlining. I really would suggest ordering this if you can afford to do so. Has a real quality feel about it.

Rear view camera

An option thatís nice to have, I would say essential despite the size of the car but certainly useful.

Professional HIFI.

I rate this as good but the frequency response is far from flat. I have had to adjust it quite a bit to get something sounding reasonable. Bass frequencies can be a bit Ďboomyí but overall, itís not too bad.

Professional Satnav

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I find this very good and quick. It might just be me but I find adding destinations a little odd as it seems to want to attch them to contacts in your phone. Iím probably doing something wrong and I donít find it perhaps a simple as the sat nav in the E39.

The car has RealTime Traffic Info (RTTI) so it gets up to date traffic info every few minutes and shows this by colouring the roads depending upon how fast the traffic moves. It really good and it has already save me time by avoiding bottlenecks. There have been occasions though when RTTI has not been available and itís dropped back to TMC which in comparison seems a poor relation. Of late, RTTI has worked every time but as soon as I write this I bet the next time it wonít!

Nokia 6303 snap in adapter.

Ok itís an old phone! But it does mean it charges up and connects to the outside aerial so you never lose reception.

Wood trim

I didnít like the aluminium trim. Personal preference.

Standard features

Drive control

I use Eco pro when in town. It dulls the throttle and changes down gears very quickly and on light throttle you can find yourself with just 1000rpm at times.
Other wise its in comfort mode with the occasional burst with sport mode. Sport mode makes the steering a bit heavier but nowhere as good as an E39 as previously mentioned.

Speed limiter

Very useful around town where there are load of speed cameras. Set 30mph and you donít exceed it. Feels a bit odd at first you I find ,myself gradually increasing the pressure on the pedal over time.

Automatic handbrake

This engages when the car has stopped. To disengage, just apply gas. I use this occasionally in heavy traffic.


To date, only the rear taillights are coded on with DRLs, other functions Iíd look get coded are setting ASS to remember last setting (ie off!) and turn signals in the HUD.


Very good and had to use this aggressively on one occasion when the car in front stopped suddenly on the motorway. As I had given myself a decent gap between myself and the car in front, an accident was avoided. (the car behind me got hit from behind though).

With Forward collision alert enabled, I got a big red car symbol appear in the car and if I had not done anything, the car would have started braking. No doubt the car behind me saw the flashing brake lights as part of the dynamic brake light feature.(In the US I believe its extra lights instead of flashing brake lights)

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Whilst I can see the logic of this, I donít like the way the car vibrates every time it restarts, I therefore most of the time switch it off. In very heavy traffic I might enable it if I know Iím going to be stopped for a while. In stop start traffic I disable it.

Full extended black panel

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Great feature, although at night you can see the LCD panel due to the light leaking from the backlight Ė a feature of all LCDs. The HUD is also prone to this to some extent and you only notice this at night.


They are quite sensitive but work fine for me.

Problems to date

To date there have been 3 problems

Car pulls to the left. Despite the car having a KDC check and one of the rear wheels toe in being changed, the car still does tend to drift left and Iíve put this down to the car being sensitive to camber. I know other in US have cars that drift to the right.

Creaking noise from where the seatbelt comes out of the B-Pillar. This has been resolved by a replacement part.

Creaking noises from doors. This was resolved by applying GummiPfledge to the rubber seals, the issues has not come back. General advice seem to be donít polish the paintwork where the rubber on the doors meets it. Donít put silicon on there either.

Care of the car Ė paintwork

Since new Iíve only washed it with Autoglym shampoo and used Autoglym extra gloss protection. Iíve used a lambs wool mitten to wipe the car clean and as far as I can teel, Iíve not got any swirlmarks so far. The paint seems to be good quality and the sophisto grey is a very colour particularly with the sun on it where it glistens more. In dull weather it can seem a bit flat.

I think the picture here shows that it still looks good a year on (which it should do).

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So there you go, my take on the 530D after a year. hope that interesting and useful to those of you who might be considering one.
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      03-07-2013, 03:05 PM   #2

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Great review, and it only makes me wanting a f10 even more.

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      03-07-2013, 05:14 PM   #3
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Nice review. had mine since 11/2010. You have some newer features but I feel the same about my car as you do yours "I love it and I especially love driving it (just those tires )". LOL
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      03-07-2013, 08:12 PM   #4
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Very detailed review. Thanks.
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      03-08-2013, 08:35 AM   #5

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Very nice, glad to hear you're still enjoying it!

Gone: 2006 BMW E60 520d SE 6MT
Gone: 2009 BMW E90-LCI 330d SE 6MT
Current: 2012 F30 328i Luxury 8AT
My 328i initial thoughts + media!http://www.f30post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=712673
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      03-08-2013, 10:16 AM   #6
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Very nice review. Really enjoyed it.


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      03-08-2013, 11:30 AM   #7
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Excellent review, pleased you are enjoying the car.

Shame it is pulling to the left, still needs sorting, IMO. All the F10/11 cars I've driven went straight, as does my F11. Pleased to say no more camber sensitive than any other BMW I've driven through the years.

These cars are definitely superb machines. If we have a few of the extra options makes them even better. My 535i has a few extras, I'd not have specified simply on cost, or the "is it worth it?" reasoning. Comfort Access, HUD are certainly good to have. Adaptive Drive comes in as my number one option, then the panoramic roof, sports gearbox, then all the creature comforts.

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      03-11-2013, 12:57 PM   #8
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Very good detailed review!
Thanks for sharing!
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      03-12-2013, 10:06 AM   #9
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Awesome review. I'm waiting for the f10 diesel to come to the US so I can get one. Currently driving a 550i and love it but want an f10 with better mpg. Maybe this time ill get the HUD.
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      03-13-2013, 07:39 AM   #10
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Wish we had this as an option in the US
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      03-13-2013, 07:40 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Tiberivs
Awesome review. I'm waiting for the f10 diesel to come to the US so I can get one. Currently driving a 550i and love it but want an f10 with better mpg. Maybe this time ill get the HUD.
Get the HUD... Like OP said, it changes the driving experience entirely.
Your eyes remain on the road, and it gives you a sense of security with all the information you'd need at hand.
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      03-13-2013, 08:08 AM   #12

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i can only dream of driving this in my country. our diesel quality is too poor.
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      03-13-2013, 08:11 AM   #13

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Yes get the HUD, it is very useful and is more than a gadget.
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      03-13-2013, 08:16 AM   #14
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Great review and a very well kept car. Looks much better than the LCI design!
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      03-13-2013, 10:35 AM   #15
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Excellent review! I enjoyed reading it!
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      03-13-2013, 10:53 AM   #16

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nice review and nice photos

very cool car
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      03-13-2013, 12:01 PM   #17

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great write-up. thanks for sharing.
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      03-13-2013, 01:26 PM   #18

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nice write up. thanks!
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      03-13-2013, 02:02 PM   #19
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Wonderful review.

Although I love my current car, I would be awfully tempted by a 2014 (LCI) F10, diesel model, assuming they've improved the steering. The F10 is still a great looking car, inside and out.
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      03-13-2013, 06:07 PM   #20
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Nice! Man I LOVE that alcantara headliner, though I also almost equally love my anthracite headliner.

HUD is indeed great. I am truly a believer. It is not intrusive as I had though before I got it. You either see it, or if you're not paying attention, you won't notice it at all. Only thing I wish from it is that it could give you an option to read RPM's on it. I've been manually shifting my ZF-8 SAT-equipped M Sport to have some fun and feel more of a "connection" with the car (and more importantly, be able to utilize the more aggressive throttle response and weighted steering in the "Sports" settings around town without having to have the computer wind it up to over 3K RPM's for every shift, thus wasting gas), and find that having to stare down at even the big beautiful classically BMW RPM tach right there, is still distracting therefore slightly more dangerous.
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      03-14-2013, 04:56 AM   #21

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Nice review...bit jealous we don't have this model in the US
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      03-14-2013, 06:50 AM   #22

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very good review, to bad the only diesel we get is 520D
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