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Bahn Burnah
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally had an opportunity to drive one of the new 5 series a few days ago. The look was really beginning to appeal to me, and was intitially truely thinking about the possibility of owning one. So anyways, it was a 530i (non-sport) automatic. As I said I liked the exterior, and upon entry into the interior, I began to like it as well (strictly looks). Most things seemed to be well placed, and the quality seemed present. The center console however no longer favors the driver :thumbdwn: . The i-drive seemed easy to use. I spent about 5-10 minutes going through it before driving, and it seemed logical enough, I didn't even have to look in the manual :thumbup: . The multimedia screen however, I don't really like, it detracts from the interior in terms of appearance :thumbdwn: . I was able to take the car out by myself, so I headed towards some local twisties to wring it out. First the good news, the power felt nice, and handling was accurate, and body roll was minimal. I can only assume it would be better w/the sports package. But the bad news is it seemed like the car could have done it with out me, like it was driving itself. There was such a detached feeling, it was almost unnerving. Rearward visibility was rather poor as well, whether looking over my shoulder to the backseat windows, or out the back mirror. I drive was easy to use while driving, actually I liked it alot, my hand fell quickly to it, and it did not detract from the road to much. Over all, it is a very good car, excellent perhaps, if you want a solid fast, comfortable car to get from a-b. For driving pleasure, you'll be greatly dissapointed. Perhaps the sport versions are better, but I wouldn't guess by much. By contrast I remember when I drove my 1st e39, which also happened to be the first bmw I ever drove, it was so involving, so immediate and direct. It was directly responsible for me purchasing my 323. The new five could be directly responsible for making buy something else besides a bmw, or perhaps I'll just buy an e39. I give on a enthusiasts scale 2 out 5 stars.
 

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thats what pisses me off with all the new "software" that they put into the car....

sure its fine when its got to do with interior funcitons and fuel economy but when it takes away from the driving experience....it just pisses me the **** off....
 

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You should have driven a sport package vehicle. I got to drive a sport package 530i SMG down at the Performance Center in Spartanburg, and let me tell you, that thing is amazing. I didn't like the active steering until I got to play with it down there, because it required getting used to it at low speed operation (like in parking lots). But now that I've had the chance to push one at the track, I'm a believer.

Let me preface this by saying the course we drove was a 2nd gear course, and all the vehicles were SMG. That course layout helped some cars and hurt others. With that said, active steering was absolutely built for performance driving. I've never been in a car that felt like that 530 did. Maybe to some people this will be a detriment because the car "helps" you drive fast, but I don't care, because the results were incredible. I caught the guy in front of me in an M3. No $hit. And before everyone flames me or calls me a liar, the M3 is definitely a faster car, and out of the corners the power difference was huge, but the setup of the course didn't allow for the power difference to really come into play, so it was all about the handling. Were we allowed to turn off DSC maybe it would have been different. But we weren't allowed, and the DSC intruded constantly, and as such the M3 understeered a lot and forced the driver to focus on fighting with it, while the 530 was butter. And all day, every run, the M3 was getting caught by the 530 behind it (and the Z4 3.0 at the front of the pack was running away from everyone else so badly it was catching the 645Ci at the back, practically lapping everyone). But back to the 530, honestly the way that thing handled was just perfect. It danced through the cones with the tiniest flick of the wheel, went exactly where I wanted it to, and stayed perfectly flat through the corners. Technically the 5 series has higher skidpad numbers than the M3, but I didn't think much of that until I experienced it firsthand. What an incredible suspension. I know I'll never drive it the way I drove that car that day, but I'm getting one as my next car. It was that impressive. If you haven't had a chance to drive one, go do it.
 

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Bahn Burnah
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
^^^ I'm not knocking the handling, it handled great. The problem was (to me atleast) that it doesn't challenge the driver at all. What fun is car that doesn't really involve me? I felt isolated, almost like a "gasp" Lexus. Now from what I understand the M5 doesn't have this issue, so that's good, but still...not saying it's a bad car, but it clearly shows BMW's values as a company are changing. They want to broaden their appeal to a larger market, and as a consequence the focus that used to be dialed into their cars is all but gone.
 

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Likes Supermodels
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JRobUSC said:
You should have driven a sport package vehicle. I got to drive a sport package 530i SMG down at the Performance Center in Spartanburg, and let me tell you, that thing is amazing. I didn't like the active steering until I got to play with it down there, because it required getting used to it at low speed operation (like in parking lots). But now that I've had the chance to push one at the track, I'm a believer.

Let me preface this by saying the course we drove was a 2nd gear course, and all the vehicles were SMG. That course layout helped some cars and hurt others. With that said, active steering was absolutely built for performance driving. I've never been in a car that felt like that 530 did. Maybe to some people this will be a detriment because the car "helps" you drive fast, but I don't care, because the results were incredible. I caught the guy in front of me in an M3. No $hit. And before everyone flames me or calls me a liar, the M3 is definitely a faster car, and out of the corners the power difference was huge, but the setup of the course didn't allow for the power difference to really come into play, so it was all about the handling. Were we allowed to turn off DSC maybe it would have been different. But we weren't allowed, and the DSC intruded constantly, and as such the M3 understeered a lot and forced the driver to focus on fighting with it, while the 530 was butter. And all day, every run, the M3 was getting caught by the 530 behind it (and the Z4 3.0 at the front of the pack was running away from everyone else so badly it was catching the 645Ci at the back, practically lapping everyone). But back to the 530, honestly the way that thing handled was just perfect. It danced through the cones with the tiniest flick of the wheel, went exactly where I wanted it to, and stayed perfectly flat through the corners. Technically the 5 series has higher skidpad numbers than the M3, but I didn't think much of that until I experienced it firsthand. What an incredible suspension. I know I'll never drive it the way I drove that car that day, but I'm getting one as my next car. It was that impressive. If you haven't had a chance to drive one, go do it.
thanks man, i am excited; however, i do need to take a test drive of the 5er with the sport suspension. if i return with your enthusiasm, then it may become my next bimmer in a year or so. :thumbup:
 

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I test drove a 545i 6-speed a few weeks ago. Honestly, I was disappointed. It defintely felt slower than my friends 98 540i auto.

I did like the way it handled though, but that motor just lacked something for me.

Patrick
 

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I drive a 545i quite often and the car is nothing like you described it.....then again...it's a 545i...
 
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