BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

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Words: Shawn Molnar | Photos: Shawn Molnar In the evolutionary doctrine, all animal species change and adapt to ensure their own survival. Cumbersome qualities are …

Words: Shawn Molnar | Photos: Shawn Molnar

In the evolutionary doctrine, all animal species change and adapt to ensure their own survival. Cumbersome qualities are traded for more agile traits; physical handicaps are traded for athletic strengths.

What if an animal inherited evolutionary changes that compromised its strengths? In other words: what if monkeys had even bigger ears, smaller brains and an ever more insatiable appetite for bananas?

Now in its 5th iteration, BMW’s 5 series sedan has undergone many evolutionary changes along the way. Starting its life in 1972 as a midsize sport sedan for the times, it has continually grown in size, strength, intelligence and power.

Of course, there are many creatures in this automotive jungle. How does BMW’s new 5 series compare? Has its latest evolutionary jump kept it ahead of its jungle rivals? Has it grown fat with age gorging on bananas, or has it been quietly honing its shape, adding agility and lightness?

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Read on to discover the intricacies of BMW’s latest 5.

Impressions as a Daily Driver:

The morning commute is a breeze in such comfort, luxury and convenience. Comfort is derived from stellar multi-adjustable seats that will caudle anyone’s bottom just right. Ample room in all dimensions goes a long way; from the rear seat, 6’ plus passengers will feel comfortable and can stretch-out if so inclined. Once inside BMW’s new 5 series, it would be easy to mistake it for a 7 – so spacious and roomy is its interior.

Besides the high quality leathers, metals and plastics that surround you, luxury is found in the artistic sculpture of the dash. Concave and convex shapes link up and fly across the cabin with flare and pizzazz. Gone is the cold, isolating interior of the E60, you will find great “warmth” and comfort in BMW’s latest F10 design. A driver-oriented dashboard follows BMW’s standard approach to ergonomics and makes you feel in command.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

All of BMW’s latest technologies are available on the 5 series option list. From infrared night vision, to blind lane exit side-view cameras, to lane departure warning cameras – this car will augment your vision. Feeling clumsy, tired and ham-fisted? It will even parallel park itself.

Of course, a brilliant audio system will play your song-list in high fidelity sound, and BMW’s latest take on i-drive will have you questioning why people ever complained about it in the first place (it has come a long way in improvements). Answering an incoming phone call while you parallel park is so easy, even a well-trained monkey could do it.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Ingress and egress from the vehicle is excellent with large door openings and ample headroom through the frame. The trunk is large enough to hold 3 large suitcases, and a few things more.

Keyless access and ignition is an invention that rivals sliced bread. It is hard to picture it any other way, and once you’ve gotten used to it, returning to a less equipped car is absolute punishment.

While navigating city streets, bumps are clandestine and absorbed by the suspension; a highly rigid steel frame isolates wiggles and judders from entering the cabin. The backbone of BMW’s latest 5 series is now shared with its larger sibling, the 7 series. Rock-of-Gibraltar solidity leaves you with a feeling of security and precision.

“…it would be easy to mistake it for a 7 – so spacious and roomy is its interior.”

When it comes time to dice up traffic, the new 5 is up to the task. Light on its feet as you travel city streets, the 5 series feels smaller and more compact the faster you go. Ultimately, 50:50 weight distribution and rear-wheel drive are responsible for its sporty handling. We had no problem slicing through thick traffic and navigating tight parking lots – though the car does begin to feel quite “longish” when maneuvering through tight spaces.

Throttle response is immediate with no perceptible turbo lag, and if you stay on the power, 407 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque will be released through BMW’s new 8-speed automatic transmission.

Purists can breathe a sigh of relief: BMW’s latest 5 series will be offered with a 6-speed manual transmission – regardless of engine choice. Munich’s latest 6-speed manual offers dry-sump lubrication for reduced frictional losses and greater efficiency. We’ve yet to confirm whether the F10 M5 will offer a proper manual transmission, but our fingers are crossed in global unison.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Much like the N63’s throttle response, brake feel is precise and it is easy to modulate the brakes smoothly ala chauffer duty. Steering feel is a different story. For the first time in its evolutionary path, the 5 series has adopted electromechanical steering as standard equipment across all models. While it is excellent for a complex electronic setup, it just lacks that crystal clear road feel you’re used to receiving through the wheel of a BMW.

While there is still direct mechanical linkage between the steering wheel and the drive wheels, an electric motor is used to assist steering on demand. As the electric motor kicks in, it seems to distort feedback through the wheel. Since the electric motor is only used when steering input is added, there is less energy consumed verses a conventional hydraulic steering assist setup, but this energy savings comes at a high price.

“Concave and convex shapes link up and fly across the cabin with flare and pizzazz.”

On center feel is numb and leaves you guessing most of the time. Once the wheel is turned beyond 5 degrees, more information is progressively fed through the wheel, but still not in the raw, mechanical fashion we so adore. Road undulations are felt through the wheel, but there is definitely a middleman in this equation. While efficient electronic systems do have their place, it seems that this steering technology has evolved too far. Lets go back one evolutionary step and restore the pure, honest, steering feel of 5 series past.

In bumper-to-bumper traffic, an “auto-hold” function of the electronic emergency brake will hold the brakes for you once you bring the vehicle to a complete stop. To move ahead another few feet, just tap the accelerator pedal, and then brake to a complete stop again, letting the e-brake hold the car for you. This is a simple technology that goes a long way to reduce the monotony and frustration of stop and go traffic.

The electronic e-brake thus gains a redeeming factor, but don’t expect Jason Statham to buy a new 5 series without the ability to manually hand brake around the baddies at will.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

When you finally find that coveted parking spot along the curb, it’s time to parallel park – often with traffic pressing on from behind. Ever wish for a car that could park itself? For those who take pride in their ability to parallel park, this technology is clearly not for you. However, those who feel less confident in the maneuver will eagerly check this option box. When testing it out for the first time, I must admit to my amazement – accompanied by a giddy laugh, “look at it spinning the wheel!” Pigs are about the fly, or so it seems. If nothing else, this technology is highly entertaining and a great conversation piece.

Sound deadening is excellent, isolating you from exterior noise. Congested city streets are silenced as you relax inside the 5 series plush interior. All buttons and switches have a satisfying feel; tolerances in fit and finish are excellent. It seems every possible convenience and luxury has been thought of. 5 generations of evolution has certainly covered all the bases; BMW’s 5 series is an extremely well thought-out car.

“Feeling clumsy, tired and ham-fisted? It will even parallel park itself.”

All in all, BMW’s latest 5 series will carry you in relaxed comfort through the daily grind. I found it to be a sanctuary from the loud intensity of down town Philadelphia and Toronto, a worthy companion for my daily travels.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the FittestBMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

More Than the Sum of its Parts?

There is one measurement of a car’s personality that I will coin the “Round the Block Factor.” You may also call it the “Long Way Home Factor.” At the end of a drive, do you find yourself unwilling to park and abandon your ride? Are you apprehensive to turn off the ignition and go inside? Does your car egg you on to keep driving just a little bit further; perhaps take the longer, twisty route home? This is a direct measurement of a car’s energy and passion – its soul.

During my time with BMW’s F10 5 series, I often found myself enjoying the tail end of a song way too much to turn into the driveway and end the fun. “I could take O’Connor to Vic Park and swing back down.” Oh, that’s another really great song. “Okay, how about Woodbine down to the beach?” The 5 needed no convincing – it’s always confident in its ripped, defined lines, ready for attention on the sand.

As eyes glared through tinted sunglasses across the beach, BMW’s 5 was in no way bashful. While not arrogant or flashy, this 5 has a quiet confidence about it, ready for attention from anyone looking.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

When it comes to passion and soul, certainly these reside in the 5 series’ engine. Even after wringing it out on a proper racetrack, sport-mode and a heavy dose of throttle often beckoned. While demonstrating the N63’s twin-turbo V-8 power to friends and family, colorful words filled the cabin. It’s that fast. A throaty exhaust note accompanies the power; the heart of this car beats strongly.

In the “Round-the-Block Factor,” I would assign the F10 5 series with a score of 6/10 (0/10 being average); high praise for a large, practical four-door car with great emphasis on luxury, technology and comfort.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

A Lap of New Jersey Motorsports Park:

Pressing on lap after lap, BMW’s 550i proved unflappable. True to its heritage, perfect balance and rear-wheel drive keep this large sedan on its toes, careening through corners at speeds more typical of two-seat sports cars.

Of course, like all BMWs – at its heart the 550i is a sports car. Never mind its four doors and spacious trunk, let’s focus in on its balanced handling, powerful engine and strong brakes for a lap of New Jersey Motorsports Park.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Down the back straight speed is gathered as the speedometer swings from left to right across the dash. Gear after gear, the tachometer is a blur with 407hp behind the needle.

Braking for the first corner, large 14.7” discs burn off speed at an impressive rate, the pedal remaining firm and precise lap after lap.

“Rock-of-Gibraltar solidity leaves you with a feeling of security and precision.”

With forward weight transfer, the front tires grip and turn the nose toward the apex. Pushed to its limits, the 550i exhibits mild understeer but below this threshold the car remains neutral, ready for another turn of the wheel.

At apex the car feels balanced, all four tires doing an equal share of the work. Powering out to the exit, a gentle right foot is needed so as not to overcome available traction. Once straightened out all 407 hp can be released, hurling the 550i back up to landscape-blurring speeds.

BMW’s N63 engine features dual twin-scroll turbochargers, spooling up at low rpm to produce a very flat powerband. Between 1,750 and 4,500 rpm, 442 lb-ft of torque is on queue; the engine goes on to make 407 hp between 5,500 – 6,400 rpm. Reverse airflow management with headers, catalytic converter and turbos housed within the “V” bank of the engine allow for the smallest possible distance between the exhaust valves and turbine blades – hence greatly reducing turbo lag (for a more in-depth consideration of BMW turbo technology, consider our turbo editorial found here). Variable valve timing and direct fuel injection also play their part in the high-tech wizardry of this 4.4 Liter V8.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the FittestBMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

While steering feel could be more communicative on public roads – counter intuitively – enough information makes it through the steering to drive at the limit of adhesion while pushing hard on track. In fact, the 550i can be coaxed into a controlled drift where it could happily remain all day (though in the interests of tire preservation, we wouldn’t recommend it). Owe this to the brilliant suspension setup, bolted to what feels to be a solid beam of iron.

“Gear after gear, the tachometer is a blur with 407hp behind the needle.”

What’s most impressive about this car while pushing hard at the racetrack is its solidity and security through it all. Again, 55% stiffer than its predecessor, its rigid steel chassis comes into the equation, providing a solid backbone to transfer power from its muscles. This type of refined speed will have you awkwardly smiling at the police officer asking you for your documents. We suggest that you leave the HUD speedometer on while driving on public roads. A programmable speed chime is also handy, politely reminding you that you are about to lose your license if you so much as curl your toes. This is a quiet road rocket that could get you in trouble if you rely on “feel” to judge your pace away from the racetrack. Don’t underestimate the animal beneath this BMW’s neatly pressed hood.

Top speed is electronically limited to 155 mph, if you should ever see it.

A Two Hour Tour:

Actually, make that a 9-hour tour direct from Philadelphia to Toronto, Canada. Heading North along several twisty Interstate roads, we pressed on as day turned to night, and heavy rain began to fall. How does BMW’s latest 550i serve as a long distance touring machine?

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Many of the comforts and luxuries that keep you happy over shorter distances prove to be invaluable on a long trip. Supportive seats and ample head, leg and shoulder room are sure to please, reducing the number of rest-stop breaks and ‘are we there yet?’ questions from rear seat occupants. A rear seat entertainment setup will also appease those in the second row.

“While not arrogant or flashy, this 5 has a quiet confidence about it…”

While at first glance a few available driver assistants may seem over-the-top and a touch redundant, as the miles wear on, their value becomes clear. Take for instance, BMW’s lane departure warning system. Fresh behind the wheel, I can’t think of an instance where an attentive driver would benefit – but add on 900 km and its relevance is obvious. A severely fatigued driver would do well to have this technology watching his back, there to vibrate the steering wheel if he drifts over the paint.

Being the scrupulous car-tester at your service, I took it upon myself to test the reliability of this technology. When nearing the paint on either side of the lane, steering wheel vibrations were felt, regardless of how faded the road paint was. The darkness of night did not foil the system either, but there was one Achilles heal to this device. While driving through a heavy down pour, the sensors were unable to read the paint strips, and allowed the car to drift beyond the paint without warning. Of course, such weather conditions call for increased attentiveness, and if fatigued, poor weather calls for rest from behind the wheel.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Lane change assist technology is activated when you turn on your turn signal. Sensors on the exterior body watch your blind spots and if occupied, illuminate a small red triangle on the inside painted portion of the left or right side-view mirror. This system was fool proof, and did not fail when probed.

Active cruise control will maintain a safe distance from the car ahead and even apply the brakes if necessary to keep that distance. An infrared camera facilitates night vision and allows you to see the heat signatures of cars, pedestrians, and animals far down the road.

Collectively, the above technologies make for a relaxed, confident drive on long journeys, and by the time we reached Toronto: we appreciated every one of them.

8th gear kept the engine spinning slowly, reducing fuel consumption as well as noise and vibration within the cabin. Conversations can be held just above a whisper at highway speeds and even with the moon-roof open, wind noise remains low.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Brilliant high intensity discharge (HID) headlights illuminate the road ahead and allow you to keep your eyes way up towards the horizon. This car’s high beams are so powerful they could probably signal aliens from several neighboring galaxies. Be sure to turn them off when approaching other cars, and incase you forget… yet another technology will catch your indiscretion: auto high-beam assist.

“This type of refined speed will have you awkwardly smiling at the police officer asking you for your documents.”

Our mega road-trip was a grueling test of this BMW’s highway worthiness. After 900 non-stop kilometers, I can confidently say that BMW’s 5 series is an ideal highway car, leaving you refreshed, relaxed and ready for many kilometers more.

Where’s The Beef? Qualms and Quibbles:

We enjoyed every minute we spent behind the wheel of BMW’s latest 5 series; mile after mile we grew more attached to the car. It was difficult to let go of the keys.

Of course, as an independent automotive journal, we are obliged to report all technical glitches that we experience while testing a car. The following is a consideration of areas we see for improvement.

Firstly, we are disappointed with the 5 series’ standard “Drive by Wire” steering setup. As highlighted earlier in the article, we found the steering relatively uncommunicative with numb on-center feel. We long for the honest, unadulterated feel of direct mechanical steering. While we appreciate the role electronic steering plays in the interests of efficiency, this trade off compromises driver enjoyment too severely. Why not make this technology an option for those who would trade (negligible) energy savings for steering feel. Telepathic steering feel is synonymous with “BMW,” and for those among us who own BMWs to drive them – we wouldn’t trade steering feel for the world.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

About half way along our journey from Philadelphia to Toronto, we had a hankering for a hearty dinner. Otherwise flawless in its operation, the navigation system led us to a false address. Pulling up to a residential home we thought, “that doesn’t look much like a steak house.” Turns out it wasn’t.

While probing BMW’s lane departure warning system to its limits, we found that it can be foiled by heavy rain. This is ultimately a moot point as the system operated without fail until subjected to severe weather, and its optical limitations are understandable.

Speaking of heavy rain, it appears that the windshield wipers could use an additional, higher speed setting. There is no “freak-out mode” for heavy downpours while driving on the highway. Otherwise having ample traction and sufficient visibility, our speed was limited strictly by the windshield wipers! Dropping down from 100 km/h to 80, we wonder how the 5 series will handle the autobahn at higher speeds in soggy weather.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Lastly, we arrive at the 5 series parallel park assist. We thoroughly tested this system to see if it would falter and surprisingly, it did. Out of a dozen attempts, the system failed three times, hitting the curb were it not for our intervention. All variables remaining the same, we cannot put this down to user error (we tried). The fact is, the system failed while testing in a very “generic” setting, using a standard height concrete curb with sufficient space between cars as judged by the computer gizmo. While it was successful 75% of the time, we would prefer to be batting 100 when expensive alloy wheels are on the line.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Conclusion:

After 38 years of evolution, BMW’s 5 series continues to impress. As necessity dictates, this 5 series has adapted to consumer demands, becoming more powerful, efficient, comfortable, spacious, luxurious and intelligent. We cannot recall a more beautiful, classic shape among modern BMWs, its sculpture and lines will have you throwing looks over your shoulder every time you walk away.

In our exhaustive testing from the open road, to extra-urban traffic, to the racetrack: BMW’s latest addition of the 5 proved versatile, practical, and dynamic through it all.

With 5.5 million copies sold, BMW’s 5 series represents the benchmark in its class. This beast’s evolution has bred beauty. It’s still the king of the mid-size jungle.

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

The Numbers:

Base Price (MSRP in American Dollars): $59,700

Weight: Curb weight 1830 kg (4,026 lbs), Weight distribution 51% Front / 49% Rear

Engine Specification: 4.4 Liter Reverse-Flow Twin-Turbo V-8 (N63) 407 hp @ 5,500 rpm / 442 ft-lbs @ 1,750-4,500 rpm 92.5 hp/L

Body / Suspension / Drivetrain Layout: Length Width Height (4899 / 1860 / 1464 mm), Front: Double track control arm axle with separate lower track arm level, aluminium, smallsteering roll radius, anti-dive / Rear Integral-V multi-arm axle, aluminium, with steering function, anti-squat and anti-dive, double acoustic separation, Front Engine / RWD

Performance: 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) 5.0 sec, Top Speed 250 km/h (155 mph) electronically limited, Power to Weight Ratio 9.9 lb/hp

Fuel Consumption: City / Highway mileage of 15.4 / 10.7 L/100 km (15.3 / 22 mpg), Drag co-efficient 0.30 (Cd)

BMWBLOG Drive Review: 2011 BMW 550i – Survival of the Fittest

Photo Gallery:


  • v1p3r

    Beautiful pictures, the F10 is so elegant…

    • Daniel

      Agree, amazing photos

      • FreudeKing

        some angles make the car look sleepy from the front, lacking sharpness.

        • kcsnyud

          Rubbish car.

          • FreudeKing

            I thought you always support BMW

  • M5POWER

    Nicely written review Shawn!

    Overall, after lots of reviews I think majority the thing that spill some bad milk in is the electronic steering. Otherwise, this car is just fantastic. If I was given a chance to choose between this and the E-Class, I’d pick this car honestly, and I don’t think some of you agrees with me. I understand people’s opinion and respect them.

    After seeing, and feeling the car myself, no wonder this car will sell just like its predecessor. Becasue this thing has just getting better and better every single generation. Thank you BMW for this car, it will once again sets the benchmark…

    • FreudeKing

      Yes, I agree. The interior is amazing. Thanks for putting in the effort and using quality materials, unlike the disguisting E60 interior.

      BMW needs to seriously work on this electric steering because it is causing the car not to drive like a BMW, which is one of the competitive advantages. Please don’t bring your electric steering to the coming 3 Series and 1 Series as they are really good handling cars! I cannot think of a car that is as fun and handles as well as the 1 Series. Your electric steering will just take all that away!

      • FreudeKing

        I mean a standard car without M and all the jazz.

  • X7

    great car!! awesome works!!

  • paul

    Again and again…steering feel.
    this guy said it all…like i have many many times…the energy savings are negligable why not make it an option and gives a proper hidraulic steering setup BMW???

  • paul

    u lost me as bmw customer cause of it…was considering a new X3 but when i found out about that electric steer just got me a RR instead

    • FreudeKing

      you got a Rolls Royce instead of an X3 because you didn’t like the steering feel of the X3? You don’t make sense.

      • kcsnyud

        He means Range Rover

    • M5POWER

      My goodness you have just waste you time lad. Just because you don’t like the steering of the X3 and instead you’re getting an RR which the price is like 3-4 times the X3 is a complete BS. You’re making an obvious troll…

      • Auday

        so you assumed that RR == Rolls Royce by default?
        could RR mean Range Rover? :)

        • M5POWER

          Owh sorry my mistake… Yeah could be Range Rover. What was on my mind is the Rolls Royce… What he meant could be Range Rover but thanks for correcting me mate :)

          Anyway, what RR can compare with the X3? A Freelander?

          • FreudeKing

            RR is well known for Rolls Royce. As for the Range Rover??? I really do not think that thing any of the randge or land rover cars have better steering feel than the X3.

            A Land Rover Freelander is not even a premium product. Does the Freelander not compare to the Honda CRV? If you bought one of those bigger range rovers, then you should be comparing it to the X5 and not the X3.

  • Kenee

    Just think, if the normal 5 acheives this then what would the 5 GT acheive? The GT is a much more solid car so no doubt it would do even better on such a test. Besides, it also looks more classy than the normal 5 series which looks rather boring. Well done BMW anyway for keeping the perfection perfect!

    • Shawn

      Kenee,

      You may be interested in having a look at our 5GT review, found in the “Test Drives” section of our home page.

  • plaxico

    Sponsored reviews like this is should stay in a recycling bin. Who needs this kinda journalism is beyond me. Pathetic.

    • M5POWER

      Aaaaawh.. What a pathetic guy we have here.

    • Daniel

      Clearly you do cause you keep coming back….if that’s a sponsored review where the guy criticizes the car, then you’re clearly an idiot.

    • Robert1

      At least he recycles.. (Plaxico)

  • viper

    who needs two 7 serires under two names? , bmw go learn design asap

    • M5POWER

      Go learn your English ASAP…

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1497041056 Daniel Hoang

      Mercedes aready did this before, remember the last generation of the C, CL, CLK, CLS, E, SLK, ect. All car manufacturers have done this before so you cant really say much about 2 or more cars sharing elements from each other.

    • art

      You make a good point Viper about the design. I think that is why BMW and Bangle got into such a big argument and he ended up “leaving” (taking a different role with the company).

      Bangle wanted to make each BMW series look different so you could easily tell them apart, but it looks like BMW wants to make their cars look very similar inside and out, which I don’t think is a good idea.

  • Auday

    Great article Shawn, and great pics too, this car looks great in this color and you captured it nicely!

    When you mention that the new steering wheel is Drive-By-Wire do you mean the assistance is electrical and active, or is it a full Drive-By-Wire system as in the steering wheel sends electrical signal to a motor that turns the wheels left/right with zero mechanical connection?

    • Shawn

      Thanks Auday, I appreciate your comments.

      BMW’s electric power steering (EPS) remains mechanical in its linkage from steering wheel to drive wheels. You were right with the first guess, it uses an electric motor to assist steering, but only when the steering wheel is turned (so as to save energy).

      Somehow, steering feel has been lost in this equation, my guess is that the electric motors assistance alters the otherwise mechanic feedback so that if feels somewhat numb at times, and less “pure” in feel.

      • FreudeKing

        and that is a bad thing. This EPS will cause BMW’s EPS (Earnings per share) to be below potential! What a pity this otherwise perfect car does not drive like a BMW.

  • tiM3

    Nice write up on a great car. I did notice one error. Manual transmission is NOT availabe in the 528i, or the upcoming xi version.

    • Shawn

      tiM3,

      Thanks for pointing this out.

      As stated in the article, manual transmissions are available with any engine choice, and I believe the European spec 528i is available with a 6 spd manual. I will look into this to confirm.

      Thanks for your comments.

      • plaxico

        any dictator like Nicolae Ceausescu etc would be happy to have a journalist like u.

        • wazon8

          Plaxico, could you precisely point out which parts of this review are biased in your opinion and tell us why you consider them as biased? If you answer is that all of them, then list all of them and explain us why you consider them as such. Maybe that would finally make a “discassion” with you more infromative. Up to the time you ineptly try to use some emiotionally loaded words with no information behind them. Do us a favour and try to say exactly what’s your point.

          • wazon8

            Yes, I meant “discussion”, “informative”, “emotionally”. If you know all these things right now, I’m waiting on your answer. I hope that you know how counterfactuals work and what kind of commitments you imposed on yourself by asserting following as-if-english sentence: “Id answer u but i dont know what discassion, infromative, emiotionally means”.

            BTW, usually people don’t even see type mistakes, unless they read really, really slow, letter by letter.

  • Tom

    awesome article. awesome car. cant wait for the facelifted version haha, i bet all these LITTLE negaitives will be revised, as always, and all the haters will have nothing to hate anymore. :)

    • kcsnyud

      Yeah, right, and then bmw will discontinue the m series, and start making trucks and buses

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=8101259 Danny Shore

    What makes the e60 interior cold?

    • FreudeKing

      Hard black plastic, sharp edges, poor colour combinations, terrible curves on door pannels (ones that curve down to the floor. E60 inteior is disguisting and classless.

  • kcsnyud

    This car will be the first bmw in generations that will sell successfully. Successively Horrible, that is.

  • Mike

    With a ‘drive by wire’ steering system, what the heck happens if the steering module goes out? Is there redundancy?

    • Robert1

      See explanation above, basically it’s a regular steering set-up with electric assist to the steering effort. So no risk of Toyota style failures

      • Mike

        Thanks! Toyota is exactly what I was thinking about.

  • efoza

    Try the 5 GT at the same time as the ordinary 5 and you will immediately notice that the 5 GT is 100 times better to drive and to be driven in. The GT is a master of all and the oridinary 5 is just a good car.

    • wazon8

      Never ending story with you. Really, you need to change laws of physics in order to make 5GT better handling car and hence better to drive car. You’re badly wrong in your predcitions of outcome of this comparision.

    • wazon8

      BTW, hasn’t Shawn driven 5GT eighter?

      Shawn, could you shortly compare both of these cars in some future review? Thanks.

      • Shawn

        wazon8,

        That would make for an interesting article, thanks for the great suggestion. We’ll add this to our list of upcoming articles.

        • hoe ratio

          flash in the pan…. asshole

  • E30

    “To move ahead another few feet, just tap the accelerator pedal, and then brake to a complete stop again.”

    Novel concept! My E30 works precisely the same way.

    • Robert1

      “To move ahead another few feet, just tap the accelerator pedal, and then brake to a complete stop again, letting the e-brake hold the car for you.”

      That’s the actual quote – and no, your E30 can’t do that – not even close.

  • kcsnyud

    @Fredeking Not always, there is always problems with their lineup, but in the end of the day, bmw wins. For some reason.

    Here are all of its models’ problems:

    1er- Frumpy Styling.
    3er- Boring Looks, Bland Interior, No reason why should it sell well at all (probably cos of driving dynamics)
    5er- Bland Exterior/ Interior, dynamics not that good according to everyone else.
    6er- Outdated, Bad Interior, M6 never was powerful enough.
    7er- WTF was with the tiny air vents and the tacky wood-plastic interior trim for?
    The S Class just has this inteior magic that the 7er used to have back in the e65 days but not anymore.
    X1- Tacky Interior, pointless market.
    X3- Jeep like exterior, tons of black plastic.
    X5- Tacky Materials, Cramped interior space, Styling bit too much like matchbox
    X6- Perfect except based on X5
    5GT- Styling not for everyone, copied 7er’s everything almost.
    Z4- Not powerful enough, dynamics outshined by Boxter.

    There. U have it. But all of them together plus driving dynamics, i guess that wat makes the bmw we know.

    • wazon8

      ad. M6 – This coupe was made in 2005 and was close to Lamborghini Gallardo from 2003. It’d be great, if you listed four-persons coupes that was better than M6 in terms of performance in that time. I would be easier to understand what you mean by saying that M6 had never been powerful enough.

      ad. 7-er – Do you refer to F01 when you talk about 7-er? Doesn’t this car have a porcelain vents and trims?

      ad. X1 – Pointless market? Why then are there so many orders on this car? Maybe something is wrong with your assessment of what market’s niches need to be filled. Another point of concern is why are other car mekers going to produce their own X1′s rivals.

      ad. X5/X6 – How can X6 be perfect and X5 has vice in terms of tacky interior, since both cars have indentical interiors?

      ad. Z4 – Outshined by which Boxster? By the one in the same price range – boxster 2.8 litre? I don’t think so. You need to go to Boxsters for 70k or 76k euro. If the price difference doesn’t matter, then you’re right – Porsche outshined Z4. But if it does, then Z4 outshines basic model of Boxter!

      • kcsnyud

        Just my taste,wish the f01′s air vents were bigger

        • kcsnyud

          And wish the x6 was a totally different car, wouldve been perfect if werent based on x5

          • kcsnyud

            And bmws dont look as unique as apple is in their own industry. Come to think of it, i havent seen a car yet that look trendsetting in my eyes.

  • http://usedauto-usa.com/ Auto fan

    Excellent machine. But I prefer the 3 series

  • Kenee

    Just seen a GT and a 5er being driven side by side on the road. My goodness. It is a sight worth looking out for. The GT has perfect presence whereas the 5er looks even like a small 3 series.

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  • paul

    I’ll diffently get a 550i x drive in 2012 or 13 , European delivery – most diffently , I ‘ll have to get extra insurance so I can take it over to St Petersburg , Russians love Bimmers so I would hate for it to come up missing .

  • paul

    I’ll diffently get a 550i xdrive in 2012 or 13 , European delivery diffently . I wonder if I’ll need more insurance to drive it over to St Petersburg ?

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  • ali reza movassaghi

    “hi i buy new BMW 528 i 2013 one week ago.when i prees the” accelerator .the monitor display this warning :drivetrain continue the journey at a moderate speed, full performance not available. have the problem checked by service. but i am living in iran and we dont have BMW service . please help me.

  • wazon8

    I guess you’ll never stop offending people here. Slovenian languages native speakers understand the word “odjeb”. You’re as pathetic as all those children who are taken abroad by their parents and offend people in their native language usually unknown to citizens of this country. You do the same at this blog. Perhaps, you’re indeed 12 years old child.

  • kcsnyud

    plaxico?

  • wazon8

    This post had been addressed to plaxico and appeared as an answer to his link, which then (as it seems) was delated.

  • wazon8

    Yes, this post was originally an answer to plaxico’s link. But since it disappeared, its addressee is not clear.

  • kcsnyud

    Now he is kicked out, who over here isn’t pro bmw?

  • plaxico
  • kcsnyud

    WTF was that?

  • plaxico

    love tune for Hoe-ratio

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1497041056 Daniel Hoang

    What is that suppose to mean?

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