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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 Testdrove 535 msport xdrive and audi a6 3.0t
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      05-07-2014, 08:40 PM   #1
valsorim
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Testdrove 535 msport xdrive and audi a6 3.0t

I just test-drove the 2014 535 msport xdrive and was tremendously disappointed. My first BMW was a 2006 330i e90 6speed sedan with sport package. I also drove my brotherís 2007 335i e90 6speed sport package coupe he acquired a year after I acquired mine. Another point of reference is an e60 535i (non x drive) with sport package I drove few years back and liked a lot.

Now, I am again in the car market and need a larger sports sedan. Moreover, I thought that I was set on the 535 F10 because 1. BMWs were fun to drive 2. They always had for my taste the best balance between sportiness, comfort, driver feedback etc. 3. F10 msport looks great 4. BMW has great leasing offers 5. I would like to do ED with my next car

That said, I was very disappointed with the 2014 535 msport xdrive because it felt heavy, underpowered and had unresponsive steering. I tried changing different settings to sport and sport + but the power delivery never impressed me and I was never able to hear a decent engine sound. Compared to an e60 535i rwd automatic that had a similar engine, the f10 really never delivered on the fun to drive factor. It still looks great in msport package and BMW has still very attractive leasing offers.

Nevertheless, after leaving the BMW dealership I stopped by AUDI and test drove the 3.0t Audi a6 in prestige package. Compared to the 535 xdrive msport, the Audi felt much faster in real world driving. It felt much lighter, the supercharged engine felt much more responsive and even the steering felt better, even though it is still Audi light and far from being good in my mind. In my mind 3.0t Audi A6 beats the 535 xdrive msport on the fun to drive factor hands down. Nevertheless, their leasing offers are terrible. I can pretty much lease a 550i F10 for the Audi A6 rate I testdrove. The S6 is a much nicer car but out of my budget in the same way an m5 is out.

Now, I am looking at the following options:

1. 2014 550i rwd msport with the passive sport suspension (704). I live in the NYC area and I was not able to locate an 550i for a testdrive and really hope that the car drives in the way I expect an BMW to drive. I definitely would have to testdrive one before pulling the trigger even though I read some great reviews here on the forum.
2. 2014 Cadillac (yes, Cadillac ) CTS v sport with 420 HP. I read some reviews and it seems that this car drives the way BMWs have driven in the past. I am littlebit concerned that is a Cadillac but at the same time I like that a little as there are so many BMWs, MBs and Audis where I live. And did I mention that the CUE system seems to me awful. Still, in my mind fun to drive trumps the infotainment system functionality any day.
3. Lexus GS 350 F sport. Seems to be driving well. Costs the least out of these remaining options but also has the least power.
4. Jaguar XF Supercharged. This one is a distant 4th place as it seems to be more expensive than the other above options but again seems to have driving characteristics I am looking for.

Any Thoughts? Comments?

I will update this thread as I test-drive the above cars.
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      05-07-2014, 09:10 PM   #2
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Meh, I looked at all those cars and they all have their faults. The BMW (550 in my case) is the best blend of sport, luxury and good looks. If I could have found a reasonably priced A7 Prestige, I honestly probably would have bought one. The A6 is just too anonymous looking for me, but it's a nice car and the V6 is a great motor. I would agree that the F10s aren't particularly fun to drive stock, but non-runflat tires make a heck of a difference in the corners. The GS was also pretty boring and felt considerably smaller inside than the others. I'm sure the Cadillac is a decent car, but the interiors feel cheesy to me and it'll be worth 40% of what you bought it for in 3 years. Didn't like the Jaguar at all. The BMW has the nicest interior by a mile, and the TT V8 in the 550 is a monster and worth the extra weight the car carries. I couldn't be happier with mine and have no regrets. The 535s engine makes all the above cars worth a closer look I guess.
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      05-08-2014, 12:55 AM   #3
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The F10 is in many ways like a 7 series. Try an F30. About the same size and weight as an E39 5 series. You might find it more to your liking. And forget about xDrive. If you need a winter car, get an SUV. BMW rear-wheel drive is a real car; Audi needs Quattro in order not to be just another VW.
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      05-08-2014, 07:54 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valsorim View Post
I just test-drove the 2014 535 msport xdrive and was tremendously disappointed. My first BMW was a 2006 330i e90 6speed sedan with sport package. I also drove my brotherís 2007 335i e90 6speed sport package coupe he acquired a year after I acquired mine. Another point of reference is an e60 535i (non x drive) with sport package I drove few years back and liked a lot.

Now, I am again in the car market and need a larger sports sedan. Moreover, I thought that I was set on the 535 F10 because 1. BMWs were fun to drive 2. They always had for my taste the best balance between sportiness, comfort, driver feedback etc. 3. F10 msport looks great 4. BMW has great leasing offers 5. I would like to do ED with my next car

That said, I was very disappointed with the 2014 535 msport xdrive because it felt heavy, underpowered and had unresponsive steering. I tried changing different settings to sport and sport + but the power delivery never impressed me and I was never able to hear a decent engine sound. Compared to an e60 535i rwd automatic that had a similar engine, the f10 really never delivered on the fun to drive factor. It still looks great in msport package and BMW has still very attractive leasing offers.

Nevertheless, after leaving the BMW dealership I stopped by AUDI and test drove the 3.0t Audi a6 in prestige package. Compared to the 535 xdrive msport, the Audi felt much faster in real world driving. It felt much lighter, the supercharged engine felt much more responsive and even the steering felt better, even though it is still Audi light and far from being good in my mind. In my mind 3.0t Audi A6 beats the 535 xdrive msport on the fun to drive factor hands down. Nevertheless, their leasing offers are terrible. I can pretty much lease a 550i F10 for the Audi A6 rate I testdrove. The S6 is a much nicer car but out of my budget in the same way an m5 is out.

Now, I am looking at the following options:

1. 2014 550i rwd msport with the passive sport suspension (704). I live in the NYC area and I was not able to locate an 550i for a testdrive and really hope that the car drives in the way I expect an BMW to drive. I definitely would have to testdrive one before pulling the trigger even though I read some great reviews here on the forum.
2. 2014 Cadillac (yes, Cadillac ) CTS v sport with 420 HP. I read some reviews and it seems that this car drives the way BMWs have driven in the past. I am littlebit concerned that is a Cadillac but at the same time I like that a little as there are so many BMWs, MBs and Audis where I live. And did I mention that the CUE system seems to me awful. Still, in my mind fun to drive trumps the infotainment system functionality any day.
3. Lexus GS 350 F sport. Seems to be driving well. Costs the least out of these remaining options but also has the least power.
4. Jaguar XF Supercharged. This one is a distant 4th place as it seems to be more expensive than the other above options but again seems to have driving characteristics I am looking for.

Any Thoughts? Comments?

I will update this thread as I test-drive the above cars.
I'd rule out the 550. It doesn't drive any better than the 535 you didn't like - all of the same shortcomings (to you) in your post. The only thing it has over the 535 is power, which isn't much help on our roads. You should get one of the other choices.
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      05-08-2014, 12:41 PM   #5
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None of these cars will feel like your e90 or e60. But Rwd with the 704 suspension makes a big difference. I have one in that configuration in NYC and am very happy with it. Rides well over nasty potholes too. As for fun to drive I'd weigh what % of your driving is fun vs how much you like being in the car the rest of the time (interior, controls, etc). Cue for example would ruin the car for me even if the CTS was more fun in certain circumstances. When I'm sitting on traffic the f10 with multicontour seats is an extraordinarily nice place to be.

Unfortunately it will be very difficult to find any of these cars in rwd form to test drive in our area.

The 535 is a bit quiet I terms of hearing the engine so you'd have to get an exhaust if that's important. I'd rather hear a quiet inline 6 then any v6 though.
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      05-08-2014, 05:55 PM   #6
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valsorim,

The F10 is the old 7 series and the F30 is the old 5 series. If you want a BMW that performs like the E60, go look at a 335i MSport or a M3, its about the same size as your old E60. Forget the 550i if you are looking for handling, the 550i is even heavier than the 535i and in all the wrong places.
I had a 2012 Audi A6 3.0T, I agree the A6 has a better powertrain and handling but disagree about the A6 having better steering.
Cadillac CTS? Really? If you don't care about the quality of your car, you might want to consider the CTS or maybe a Chrysler 300 Hemi.
I am considering the Jaguar XF Supercharged for my next car as well. It price out to be a bit cheaper than the 535i. The engine is very nice but steering is a bit too light.
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      05-09-2014, 06:03 PM   #7
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Will agree to all these findings. F10 is a gorgeous car to look at but perhaps not as fun to drive, especially when you hop right out of an E90 or similar. Sways, springs can be added, run flats removed, and new louder exhaust installed though which might address a lot of your issues.

EDIT: if you hated the steering in the still hyrdraulic 535xi form you are definitely going to freak out if you test drive a non-xi with Electric steering.

I really hope they work out the steering at least for 2015, that is the big prob I have with my 2013 535, well that and the fact I was a dummy that didn't want to pay for NAV and now can't find a buyer.
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      05-14-2014, 08:48 AM   #8
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I currently have a GS 350 F sport and am looking to change to a different car. Compared to a 535 msport, I think
1. 5 msport looks better outside, but GS has better interrior
2. GS has better suspension
3. 535 msport accelerates much faster in real life because of turbos and lowend torque
4. overall I want to change because GS just feels slow... you need to rev it way up to feel any power... I think in real life it feel similar to a 528 in terms of acceleration...
5. of course it's cheapest to lease (I bought one so that doesn't matter to me, but may matter a lot to you)

I tested a 550i msport a couple months ago and decided not to change for the same reasons you didn't like your 535 msport... If you feel 535 is heavy, then 550 is HEAVY since it's like about 4300 lbs making the handling even worse... Of course it's got power, but that's the ONLY thing I felt it did better than my GS. Thus I couldn't justify moving to a car that I also wouldn't really like.

I heard the Cadillac Vsport is great but I am not sure how their lease deals are... I wouldn't really want to lease a Cadillac for the same as a BMW...

Audi has different business model and heavily favors you buying instead of leasing so their lease deals are terrible... So if you want one you basically need to buy one... Maybe buy a 2013 A6 CPO?

I plan to test a S6 soon... Maybe that ll be my car soon.
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      05-15-2014, 08:53 PM   #9
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The 550 will give you the additional power and responsiveness you're looking for - and then some. I came from an e90 335, and the 550 just blows the doors off of the 335 in terms of responsiveness and power.

I also live in the general NYC metro area, and I opted for the DHP for the 550. I had the passive sport suspension on my 335, and the potholes and rough roads just got old. The DHP provides for a really nice option to switch between soft and stiff suspension when you want. I've found it to be truly invaluable. I also travel to places like Boston often for work, and the roads there are just terrible, as well - Comfort+ on a rutted or cobble roads makes all the difference... back to Sport on the smooth twisties to satisfy both personalities.

We have an Audi in the household, too (maybe soon to be two), and as nice as they are, the interiors just aren't the same quality if you ask me. The materials feel cheaper, the navigation system is far from BMW-quality, and I think they look a bit old-fashioned compared to BMW. Nonetheless, you really couldn't go wrong with an A6, either. It's a great car... just not as great as an F10 in my opinion.

The F10 isn't going to steer or feel like the older hydraulic BMWs. Some people are really put off by it, but I don't mind. If you get passed the "feel," you'll actually notice that the steering is extremely accurate - which is the main point, isn't it? Some people are more hung up on the feel than the utility. The steering is spot-on and accurate, but you'll need to get used to a slightly different feeling/feedback. After the first month or so driving mine, I was fully acclimated.

Finally, the F10 is obviously a bigger car. If you can do with a small cabin, the F30 would certainly provide a more nimble experience if that's high on your priority list. But if you're willing to forego a bit of that agility, the F10 really delivers luxury and pampering that, in my opinion, far outweighs the little you give up in agility.
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      05-16-2014, 01:32 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezmaass View Post
The 550 will give you the additional power and responsiveness you're looking for - and then some. I came from an e90 335, and the 550 just blows the doors off of the 335 in terms of responsiveness and power.

I also live in the general NYC metro area, and I opted for the DHP for the 550. I had the passive sport suspension on my 335, and the potholes and rough roads just got old. The DHP provides for a really nice option to switch between soft and stiff suspension when you want. I've found it to be truly invaluable. I also travel to places like Boston often for work, and the roads there are just terrible, as well - Comfort+ on a rutted or cobble roads makes all the difference... back to Sport on the smooth twisties to satisfy both personalities.

We have an Audi in the household, too (maybe soon to be two), and as nice as they are, the interiors just aren't the same quality if you ask me. The materials feel cheaper, the navigation system is far from BMW-quality, and I think they look a bit old-fashioned compared to BMW. Nonetheless, you really couldn't go wrong with an A6, either. It's a great car... just not as great as an F10 in my opinion.

The F10 isn't going to steer or feel like the older hydraulic BMWs. Some people are really put off by it, but I don't mind. If you get passed the "feel," you'll actually notice that the steering is extremely accurate - which is the main point, isn't it? Some people are more hung up on the feel than the utility. The steering is spot-on and accurate, but you'll need to get used to a slightly different feeling/feedback. After the first month or so driving mine, I was fully acclimated.

Finally, the F10 is obviously a bigger car. If you can do with a small cabin, the F30 would certainly provide a more nimble experience if that's high on your priority list. But if you're willing to forego a bit of that agility, the F10 really delivers luxury and pampering that, in my opinion, far outweighs the little you give up in agility.
I have an E70 X5 and my father has the F15 X5. The steering difference is night and day. I have to really pull on mine to make the thing move, but on the F15 I can turn the steering wheel when the vehicle is stationary with a single finger.
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