Advertisement

Column: New 5 or Old 5? 5 Things You Should Consider (Besides Looks)

5-series | October 23rd, 2010 by 29
F10 Handling the Track

Looks aren’t everything. Lost in all the chatter regarding the looks of this new 2011 5 Series are some significant differences from the previous generation …

Looks aren’t everything.

Lost in all the chatter regarding the looks of this new 2011 5 Series are some significant differences from the previous generation of 5 that you probably haven’t heard or read much about. Some affect your safety, some affect your driving feel, and others affect your driving efficiency.

But you need to know about all of them, because they could be a deciding factor in whether or not you choose to upgrade from the 2009 5 Series to this current 2011 version.

So, here are 5 things that you should compare before making your choice.  (Note: The models compared are the 2011 535i and the 2009 535i. The 2011 model is referred to as the new 5, the 2009 is referred to as the old 5.)

F10 Front

The 2011 535i

Your Safety Changes Things

The brakes on the new 5 do their job better than do those on its’ older brother from 2009. The ventilated anti-locks on the 2011 need two less feet to completely stop from 70mph than its’ predecessor did. And if you don’t think two feet is anything to talk about, take out your measuring tape and imagine the difference it could make when driving your city’s favorite overly-crowded highway…at rush hour.

The extra protection at work.

The F10's extra protection at work.

Along with improved brakes, BMW has made other changes that make the new 5 Series safer than the previous generation. The most notable of which are the additional airbags that are now standard to better protect driver and passengers alike, especially in side-impact collisions. Recall that the previous generation of 5 Series was flawed in this area.

Is the additional airbag protection a “Pro” for this new 5 Series over the old? Of course it is, as is the improved performance of the brakes. So, check one in the Pro column for safety changes in the F10 over the E60.

The brake performance on the new 5 is more surprising given that the F10 weighs about 200 pounds more than the previous generation of 5 does. As with any weight gain that isn’t accompanied by a proportional increase in power, you’d be right to assume that the new 5 has less impressive performance numbers than the old 5.

Here’s the thing, though: it doesn’t feel that way.

Performance: Numbers Don’t Lie

The new 5, featuring the same 300 horsepower and DOHC setup as the old 5, propels you to 60mph in the mid 5 second rage. The previous 5 did that in the low 5 second range. And the quarter mile numbers aren’t any prettier for the F10: 14 seconds vs. 13.8 in the E60.

Though your everyday driver isn’t likely to notice those few tenths of a second, enthusiast drivers will, especially if those tenths start deciding a bet or two at the racetrack. But, as you’re about to read later on, these performance stats may be a case where numbers do lie.

Still, it’s hard to say that the extra beef on the new 5 is a “Con” compared to the old 5. That’s mainly for two reasons: interior room and driving feel.

Remember, this new 5 is longer and bigger, giving your passengers more room inside. Your passengers will notice the extra room regardless of where they sit because the new cabin position moves the front seats further back, while at the same time adding almost two full inches of rear leg room.  Recall that the old 5 wasn’t exactly super spacious, especially for 6-footers. And as Americans keep getting bigger, more room is always a plus. So for interior space, chalk up another Pro in the 2011’s column.

When it comes to driving feel, the 2011 5 simply feels faster than the old 5, even with the weight gain. Which makes me ask myself this…

Can More Weight Actually Make You Feel…Faster?

This is a case of 0-60 and quarter mile times be damned. The F10 moves. This is probably caused by the quick shifts of the new 8-speed transmission, improved aerodynamics, and the new lightweight composite material that replaced much of the heavy steel in the doors. None of which the 2009 5 Series had. Whatever the cause may be, you notice it, because the 2011 seems unequivocally faster than the 2009.

Because there is indeed a weight gain, the obvious decision is to say that it is a Con for the new 5. But when you consider that the extra weight was spent on more interior space, and that this new 5 actually feels faster than the old 5, the extra weight doesn’t feel like a Con at all.

The F10 feels faster than the old 5 to the point that the weight gain would be an afterthought, making it a de facto Pro in this case – if it wasn’t for the lack of an increase in power.  That’s why in regards to weight (and how weight affects driving feel), I’d call it a Push.

Handle it Yourself

F10 Handling the Track

F10 Handling the Track

Staying on the topic of driving feel, there is another area where we can’t always believe what the calculations tell us about the new 5: handling.

Yes, I know that the magazines say this new 5 is worse than the old 5 in terms of G’s produced. Yes, I know that they also say the new 5 requires more lock-to-lock turns than the old 5. And I know there has been some thought that you don’t get much road response in this new 5. I’ve even seen words like “numb” and “boring” and – worst of all – a comparison to Lexus (blasphemy) directed at the F10’s handling prowess.

Don’t believe it. Because once you actually drive the F10, you’ll wonder what those people were feeling (or thinking).

Now, I’m not saying that the new 5 is an incredibly marvelous handler the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. All I’m saying is that it’s not like the critics would lead you to believe, and that there’s still much to be impressed by – especially in Sport mode.

The handling differences between this new 5 and the old 5 can be attributed to two main areas: a new front multi-link suspension and damping technology.

By its’ very design, a multi-link suspension is designed to give you a softer, more comfortable ride. This is because each link can individually absorb changes in surface conditions without affecting the other links, and subsequently the feel you receive. And even coming from the shock-damping design of the MacPherson strut that was in front of the old 5, more comfort is what you feel in this new one.

In Comfort mode, the feeling may be softer and more absorbent than that of the E60. But it’s certainly not dull, boring, or reminiscent of what you would feel in a Japanese “luxury” car.

Good news: If you don’t like the softer ride that the new 5 delivers, then all you have to do is change the setting to Sport mode. Once you make this change to the suspension damper, the new 5 will remind you of the old 5. Which brings me to this: Sport mode is really the way you need to drive the F10 in order to have the sporty BMW driving feel that we’ve all come to know and love.

In Sport mode, the damping eases and this car handles the way I think most of us had hoped it would without the setting change.

Whether or not the handling of this new 5 is a Pro or Con depends a lot on your personal preference. If you prefer a comfortable ride as opposed to a sporty drive, then the new handling dynamics would be a Pro for the F10. Personally, I like a sporty drive and I don’t like having to change settings on a sports-sedan in order to get it. That’s why I believe that the new handling dynamics are a Con for the F10 in comparison to the E60.

An Exercise in Efficiency

The Engine on the F10

The Engine on the F10

So, now you know that the 2011 5 Series engine doesn’t offer you any power improvements over the 2009 5 Series. This new engine does offer you more fuel savings, however, upping your highway MPG by 3 from 27 to 3 because the new engine features a direct-inject fuel system that optimizes fuel delivery to the Block.

The F10’s increased efficiency can also be attributed to the new 8-speed transmission. This is especially true at the top end, where the shorter, quicker gear movements help ensure the fuel is being efficiently spent.

In an age of M3s and B7s, this 300hp engine isn’t exactly sexy, but it sure is efficient. And most importantly since we’re comparing, it’s more efficient than the engine found in the previous generation of 5 – which is why efficiency is another check in the Pro column for the F10.

It’s All About What’s Important to You

When you think about what’s important in a car, I think most of us would agree that safety, driving feel, roominess, and efficiency top the list, or at least come close to it. However, as of late I feel that the conversation surrounding the styling – and to an extent, technology – of this new 5 has overshadowed some other important changes when compared to the previous generation of 5.

That’s not to say that looks aren’t important or shouldn’t be a consideration. It’s just to say that there are other important aspects of the car that should be part of your consideration as well.

At the end of the day, only you can decide if the changes in the F10 from E60 are important enough for you to drive the 2011 car home. I hope I pointed some of them out to you, and that this article will help you do that.

Questions? Comments? Put them in the comment box below and I’ll respond.

BMWBLOG would like to welcome Justin Cerone.  Justin is a BMW writer, driver, and enthusiast. Read more of his BMW writing at www.bramanbmw.com/blog.

Looks aren’t everything.

Lost in all the chatter regarding the looks of this new 2011 5 Series are some significant differences from the previous generation of 5 that you probably haven’t heard or read much about. Some affect your safety, some affect your driving feel, and others affect your driving efficiency.

But you need to know about all of them, because they could be a deciding factor in whether or not you choose to upgrade from the 2009 5 Series to this current 2011 version.

So, here are 5 things that you should compare before making your choice. (Note: The models compared are the 2011 535i and the 2009 535i. The 2011 model is referred to as the new 5, the 2009 is referred to as the old 5.)

Your Safety Changes Things

The brakes on the new 5 do their job better than do those on its’ older 2009 brother. The ventilated anti-locks on the 2011 need two less feet to completely stop from 70mph than its’ predecessor did. And if you don’t think two feet is anything to talk about, take out your measuring tape and imagine the difference it could make when driving your city’s favorite overly-crowded highway…at rush hour.

Along with improved brakes, BMW has made other changes that make the new 5 Series safer than the previous generation. The most notable of which are the additional airbags that are now standard to better protect driver and passengers alike, especially in side-impact collisions. Recall that the previous generation of 5 Series was flawed in this area.

Is the additional airbag protection a “Pro” for this new 5 Series over the old? Of course it is, as is the improved performance of the brakes. So, check one in the Pro column for safety changes in the F10 over the E60.

The brake performance on the new 5 is more surprising given that the F10 weighs about 200 pounds more than the previous generation of 5 does. As with any weight gain that isn’t accompanied by a proportional increase in power, you’d be right to assume that the new 5 has less impressive performance numbers than the old 5.

Here’s the thing, though: it doesn’t feel that way.

Performance: Numbers Don’t Lie

The new 5, featuring the same 300 horsepower and DOHC setup as the old 5, propels you to 60mph in the mid 5 second rage. The previous 5 did that in the low 5 second range. And the quarter mile numbers aren’t any prettier for the F10: 14 seconds vs. 13.8 in the E60.

Though your everyday driver isn’t likely to notice those few tenths of a second, enthusiast drivers will, especially if those tenths start deciding a bet or two at the racetrack. But as you’re about to read later on, these performance stats may be a case where numbers do lie.

Still, it’s hard to say that the extra beef on the new 5 is a “Con” compared to the old 5. That’s mainly for two reasons: interior room and driving feel.

Remember, this new 5 is longer and bigger, giving your passengers more room inside. Your passengers will notice the extra room regardless of where they sit because the new cabin position moves the front seats further back, while at the same time adding almost two full inches of rear leg room. Recall that the old 5 wasn’t exactly super spacious, especially for 6-footers. And as Americans keep getting bigger, more room is always a plus. So for interior space, chalk up another Pro in the 2011’s column.

When it comes to driving feel, the 2011 5 simply feels faster than the old 5, even with the weight gain. Which makes me ask myself this…

Can More Weight Actually Make You Feel…Faster?

This is a case of 0-60 and quarter mile times be damned. The F10 moves. This is probably caused by the quick shifts of the new 8-speed transmission, improved aerodynamics, and the new lightweight composite material that replaced much of the heavy steel in the doors. None of which the 2009 5 Series had. Whatever the cause may be, you notice it, because the 2011 seems unequivocally faster than the 2009.

Because there is indeed a weight gain, the obvious decision is to say that it is a Con for the new 5. But when you consider that the extra weight was spent on more interior space, and that this new 5 actually feels faster than the old 5, the extra weight doesn’t feel like a Con at all.

The F10 feels faster than the old 5 to the point that the weight gain would be an afterthought, making it a de facto Pro in this case – if it wasn’t for the lack of an increase in power. That’s why in regards to weight (and how weight affects driving feel), I’d call it a Push. Next time BMW adds more weight, I hope they add more power to go along with it.

Handle it Yourself

Staying on the topic of driving feel, there is another area where we can’t always believe what the calculations tell us about the new 5: handling.

Yes, I know that the magazines say this new 5 is worse than the old 5 in terms of Gs produced. Yes, I know that they also say the new 5 requires more lock-to-lock turns than the old 5. And I know there has been some thought that you don’t get much road response in this new 5. I’ve even seen words like “numb” and “boring” and – worst of all – a comparison to Lexus (blasphemy) directed at the F10’s handling prowess.

Don’t believe it. Because once you actually drive the F10, you’ll wonder what those people were feeling (or thinking).

Now, I’m not saying that the new 5 is an incredibly marvelous handler the likes of which you’ve never experienced before. All I’m saying is that it’s not like the critics would lead you to believe, and that there’s still much to be impressed by – especially in Sport mode.

The handling differences between this new 5 and the old 5 can be attributed to two main areas: a new front multi-link suspension and damping technology.

By its’ very design, a multi-link suspension is designed to give you a softer, more comfortable ride. This is because each link can individually absorb changes in surface conditions without affecting the other links, and subsequently the feel you receive. So coming from the double-wishbone that was in front of the old 5, more comfort is exactly what you feel in this new one.

In Comfort mode, the feeling may be softer and more absorbent than that of the E60. But it’s certainly not dull, boring, or reminiscent of what you would feel in a Japanese “luxury” car.

Good news: If you don’t like the softer ride that the new 5 delivers, then all you have to do is change the setting to Sport mode. Once you make this change to the suspension damper, the new 5 will remind you of the old 5. Which brings me to this: Sport mode is really the way you need to drive the F10 in order to have the sporty BMW driving feel that we’ve all come to know and love.

In Sport mode, the damping eases and this car handles the way I think most of us had hoped it would without the setting change.

Whether or not the handling of this new 5 is a Pro or Con depends a lot on your personal preference. If you prefer a comfortable ride as opposed to a sporty drive, then the new handling dynamics would be a Pro for the F10. Personally, I like a sporty drive and I don’t like having to change settings on a sports-sedan in order to get it. That’s why I believe that the new handling dynamics are a Con for the F10 in comparison to the E60.

An Exercise in Efficiency

So, now you know that the 2011 5 Series engine doesn’t offer you any power improvements over the 2009 5 Series (sorry). This new engine does offer you more fuel savings, however, upping your highway MPG by 3 from 27 to 30.

This is because the new engine features a direct-inject fuel system that optimizes fuel delivery to the Block. The engine on the 2009 535i employed a multi-port fuel system, which is not conducive to fuel optimization or efficiency because it is an indirect delivery method.

The F10’s increased efficiency can also be attributed to the new 8-speed transmission. This is especially true at the top end, where the shorter, quicker gear movements help ensure the fuel is being efficiently spent.

In an age of M3s and B7s, this 300hp engine isn’t exactly sexy, but it sure is efficient. And most importantly since we’re comparing, it’s more efficient than the engine found in the previous generation of 5 – which is why efficiency is another check in the Pro column for the F10.

It’s all about what’s Important to You

When you think about what’s important in a car, I think most of us would agree that safety, driving feel, roominess, and efficiency top the list, or at least come close to it. However, as of late I feel that the conversation surrounding the styling – and to an extent, technology – of this new 5 has overshadowed some other important changes when compared to the previous generation.

That’s not to say that looks aren’t important or shouldn’t be a consideration. It’s just to say that there are other important aspects of the car that should be part of your consideration as well.

At the end of the day, you have to decide if the changes in the F10 from E60 are important enough for you to drive the 2011 car home. I hope I pointed some of them out to you, and that this article will help you do that.

Questions? Comments? Put them in the comment box below and I’ll respond.

  • Billy

    This entire article is implying that you don’t like how the f10 looks. If your gonna say it, say it. You don’t have to keep subtly hinting at it throughout the entire article.

    I personally would buy the f10 for its looks. Lots of improvement over the e60. Design, just like every other aspect considered when buying a car, requires understanding.

    • http://www.elitebusinesswriting.com Justin

      Billy,

      Thanks for reading. Can you tell me where specifically you found those implications or “hints” that you wrote about? If you tell me where they are, I’ll clarify them because I don’t feel that way at all. I think the F10 looks much better than the E60.

      Just because I didn’t address looks as part of the changes on the F10 doesn’t mean I don’t like them or that I think people don’t consider them when buying, it just means that I don’t want to rehash a conversation we’ve all had hundreds of times since pictures of the F10 came out. As I said in the article, I feel that the conversation about this new 5 has been so overshadowed by looks – and especially in comparison to the looks of the E60 – that some other changes haven’t gotten their due.

      Justin

      • Billy

        Sorry, I might have misinterpreted then. “Looks aren’t everything” is usually used in the context where you are defending something that looks ugly by advertising it’s other good qualities. Especially when it’s the first sentence, it’s gonna confuse some people.

  • ghane

    The E60 does not have double wishbone front suspension, it has McPherson strut, while the F10 has double A-arms.

    • Justin Cerone

      Ghane,

      Thanks for correcting me. In my research for the old 5, I kept finding “front suspension: double wishbone”. I’ve corrected the error.

      Justin

  • Kramp

    I am an E60 driver and also having driven the F10 without the fancy suspension i can say this the new car feels much more sterile more like an appliance that is designed to get you from A to B as quick as possible, than like an exciting car. When I stepped out of the new 530d (i also drive a 530d with xdrive), the first thing I did was that I asked the salesman if it’s really a 530 or a 525. also the fuel economy on the test car was worse than on my car which is a 2006 without all the efficient dynamics measures, that maybe due to the fact that it was a test car… Sure an adjustable suspension is awesome, but what about the feeling of speed. Even in the E60 you can comfortably sleep in the back while the car is going 150mph, now do you really need a quieter interior than that? plus more sound isolation = more weight, more weight = worse fuel economy and handling, sure safety is important and that is a good reason to put on some weight but now it’s time to start taking some weight off and does anyone really need a car that is larger than the current car, if you do it exists its called the 7 series, so please think more about “Freude am fahren” and less about “refinement”. A lot of people buy Bmw for the style and status, but the core value of the brand has always been handling and that’s what’s made BMW the brand that it is today.

    • paul

      coudnt agree more…as a longterm bmw customer and having driven both models, specially the E60 i would take the E60 over the new one any day. Yes it has a better interior and the exterior is good too, but looks to close to the current 3 ser and not that special. I cant help but think this article was almost “paid” for by bmw. Saying that the electric steering on the new car isnt has bad as critics have been saying??? its worse…believe every word they are saying….and the runflats havent improved either. The E60 u could take that car into a track and not feel embaressed by it….this new one when i test drove both the 535i and the 520d i felt i was driving a mercedes rather than a bmw!!

      • Justin Cerone

        Paul,

        I wish you were right and that BMW was indeed paying for my articles. I’d certainly have a lot more business coming my way if they were. But they’re not.

        My problem with the critics – and I mention this – was that I think they went too far, especially with the Lexus comparison. I don’t know if you’ve been in a late model ES or LS, but those cars feel like riding on a conveyor belt instead of driving a car. You could go head-on into a pothole in one and it will only feel like you’ve run over a rat or bird instead. So while I agree that that some of the feel has been taken out of this new 5, it’s no Lexus.

      • http://www.bmwblog.com Horatiu B.

        Paul, I guarantee you that none of our articles are paid by BMW. In fact, if you read the review from Shawn Molnar, he said that the steering feel wasn’t great. We offer different views from different writers.

  • Pingback: Column: New 5 or Old 5? 5 Things You Should Consider (Besides Looks) – BMW BLOG (blog) | Malaysia Gadget Resources and Review()

  • whitby

    Much as I suspect that the new F10 is an improvement in certain areas over the E60 series, I felt that it had lost the “sports sedan” moniker and become an executive conveyance. I owned the 530i (255 bhp version of the engine) which was a little underpowered but handled well. I drove the 535i E60 when considering a new car which was just before the new F10 5 series came out. It corrected the power deficiency and felt like a driver’s car that could convey passengers.

    Although I was not a particular fan of the appearance of the E60, it had a certain muscular presence which I found attractive and was unmistakable in appearance. The new F10 looks like either a slightly larger 3 series or a smaller 7 series and lacks, to me, any particularly, strengths being rather anonymous and “boring” at least to me. Looks are very subjective, but I think BMW have lost the distinctive appearance battle. I have a Z4 3.0Si Coupe which is, to me, one of the best looking and distinctive BMWs. I ended up trading my 530i for a Jaguar XF which is, again to me, one of the best looking cars on the road in this category. It also a 385 bhp engined well handling car.

    However appearance is not everything. Handling, power, comfort etc. come into the equation and I am sorry but the F10 535i I drove (the dealership leant me one for the afternoon) was soft and numb when compared to both the E60 and XF, even in sport mode.

    There is no doubt that the F10 is very competent, but is not the driver’s car the 5 series once was and, forgive me for repeating myself and also repeating a phrase that was levelled at Audis, they seem like cold executive appliances now.

    • Doug

      well said!

  • wazon8

    Justin, did you have an opportunity to compare f10 with and without M-suspension? Just wonder what’s the difference in handling.

    • Justin Cerone

      Wazon8,

      Do you mean the sport package suspension? If so, yes, the car in the comparison had a sport package. Unfortunately, I haven’t driven a non-sport package F10 to tell you the difference.

      Justin

  • Marco B

    Awesome comparison. I think what basically is important for everyone to know is that the E60 is dead…. so unless we like the F10, it’s some other car to buy (brand new, that is).

    BTW, I’m an E60 owner.

    • http://www.facebook.com/thorgal Cyril Bouteille

      I agree. Design is important to many of us E60 owners and we’re not gonna shell out $60k+ on a car that looks and feels plain, but nobody can deny the technological superiority of the new 5er, so it’s not so much E60 vs. F10, but rather F10 vs. W212 which is taking the lead in avant-garde styling imho.

  • Xerxes

    as a owner of a 528i F10 I and a previous driver of the E60 528xi I can say I love both cars. To me the E60 feels more like a bigger 3 series, even the interior quality is somewhat similar, while the F10 feels like a small 7 series. Although I’m 23, I still prefer the F10 even though some say it is not as sporty as it should be, for me the acceleration is great and just simply more comfortable to drive and more stable as well.

    • paul

      u r spot on….its got apeed, looks and confort…but thats what people want and expect in a mercedes…not a bmw. I had a E36 318…the car was slow, not that comfortable and not the prettiest of cars out there…but it drove like a bmw. If i wanted a car like the F10 i would have bought a merc instead. I have never bought a bmw with my head…always with my heart. I know there are cars that make more sense for the average Joe…prettier, bigger interior space, with more spec and cheaper to run but none of them drove like a bmw does and thats why for the past 20+ years only bmw´s graced my garage – apart from a opel Frontera until bmw started making the X3, again a car that despite beeing a bit crappy for a bmw still drove like one.

  • Bimmer1

    The N54 was also a direct injection motor in the 2009 E60 535. This was mistated in the article. The N52 in the 528 was still port injection, but not the turbo N54.

    • Justin Cerone

      Bimmer1,

      Thanks for correcting me, I’ve fixed the error.

      Justin

  • xerxes

    thanks Paul.

  • Doug

    An interesting article, Justin.

    I’d like to know more about the suspension changes. How has the front multilink setup been changed, and to achieve what objectives? What about the damping?

    And why have they made this feedback trade-off with the electric steering?

    I suspect that they’re making handling-adverse decisions on physical engineering side and trying to make up the difference with software and mappings on various active gizmos (steering, dampers, diff, etc). The response time of such things may be slow enough to filter nuances and then muddy them up with late, nonlinear overcomensations.

    • Justin Cerone

      Doug,

      Although I can’t say for sure, I think BMW’s objective was a more comfortable ride, so they changed to the multi-link because a multi-link suspension is more absorbent than a MacPherson strut and certainly more than a double-wishbone

      With the electric steering, I think BMW has made this trade off because they believe that that’s the feel that the masses – though not BMW enthusiasts – want. They know there’s a lot of people out there who both want a soft, comfortable feel and a roundel on the hood, so they’ve decided to use the electric steering and damping to this effect.

      And I agree with your argument that they’re trying to compensate for their use of an absorbent suspension, as opposed to a more responsive suspension like a double wishbone, with electronic handling assists. Because if they wanted the car to feel sporty, they could just install a double-wishbone and do away with the gadgets. But I think they’d rather have the default ride be more absorbent, and then allow drivers to be able to make it more sporty than have the default ride sporty and able to be made more absorbent.

      Justin

      • Doug

        Are you sure they can just swap out a multilink suspension? Seems like they’d have totally different mount points and generated stresses, requiring…. I guess a different subframe.

        I’m really frustrated by this philosophy. BMW’s reputation was built on the superb handling. For them to assume that that reputation for this will live on despite these sacrifices, it presumes that perception is just as valid as substance to the customer, and one customer is as good as another — quite a cynical marketing perspective, IMO.

        Honestly, the luxury and status aspects of BMW are it’s major downsides. It drives me nuts the mentality of some owners and the stereotypes that are generated.

        • http://www.elitebusinesswriting.com Justin

          Doug,

          Re-reading my above response I see how it can be confusing where I said “they could just install a double-wishbone”. I didn’t mean that in the sense of a “swap-out” with the current suspension, but instead as an original design and install decision that they could have made if they wanted this car to have a sportier feel than a comfortable one.

          I agree with the rest of your comments regarding BMW’s reputation and current philosophy and I share a lot of your frustration. Their reputation and current handling philosophy – especially in this new 5 – are not very compatible.

          BMW has gotten to where they’ve gotten in terms of enthusiasm, sales, and reputation because of their handling prowess. I can’t speak for all BMW drivers, but I know that handling is what brought me to the BMW table and has made/kept me enthusiastic about the brand. So when I think BMW, I think handling first, then everything else second.

          Unfortunately, it seems like BMW either doesn’t care or doesn’t realize that the people who really love BMW because of their handling are going to be the first to notice lackluster performance in this area – especially compared to previous models – and it’s those enthusiasts that become put off by the brand because it no longer delivers the things that made enthusiasts become enthusiasts in the first place.

          BMW’s handling used to be unrivaled. The F10 handling is rivaled, and not in a good way. I haven’t had a chance to read much on the suspension design of the F10 M5, but I certainly hope that they don’t take it down the same road as they have with this car.

  • Babken

    I can’t believe that BMW made a new version which is weaker in performance than the old one. So I think that the F10 is better than the E60 with any respect.

  • adc

    I’m sorry, I just about stopped reading amidst the very clintonesque argument about how increased weight can make the car feel better or faster. Please stop this.

    And has anybody accounted for tire differences between the old and new 5-ers in respect to braking distance? Sport package on the old car came with different tires (summer high performance vs. all seasons) and so the braking distances could vary greatly.

    This may be a great time to pick up a used E60 for family duty…

    • Doug

      clinton-esque?

      • adc

        Indeed, I was in a hurry. Reminded me of an incredible line (depends on what your definition of “is” is, or something like that).

BMWBLOG

NEWSLETTER