I am very impressed with this car's drive, but I have had the same experience as another reviewer, with economy getting worse. Surely there is an issue here? I regularly smashed the combined figure on my 25-mile run to work in my Audi A4 TDI, but I only get into the mid 30s with this car.
I purchased it in part to improve economy over my Audi TT, and reckon it is actually worse in some circumstances. The dealer fobbed me off when I questioned it, but I will try again.
The handling, however, seems to make this forgivable. Build quality is OK, but not a lot more impressive than the new Passat. When Audi shift the engine back and sharpen the handling on its models, I will return to them.
I am not sure how I feel about its looks, too. Also, the stereo lacks top-end performance and the iDrive sometimes makes hard work of simple requests, especially the centre vent control. A knob on the fascia would be a lot better. The top option is the Bluetooth phone kit.
In summary, it is relaxed, surprisingly brisk and a pleasure to place through the corners - I just need to get the econonmy sorted. How it wangled an 18% tax band as a pre-0106 car, I will never know!
I am very pleased with this car, although it isn't without fault or criticism.
During the running-in period, it regularly returned over 40mpg, and on one very careful drive over 20 miles, I even managed to top 47mpg. However, now that period is over, the fuel economy has dropped to 36mpg, and I dont drive that hard so it's a little dissapointing.
The iDrive is unfortunately a necessary evil, because there are so many functions available, the whole dash would be a sea of buttons if the more traditional approach was used. The Pro-nav audio unit does not play MP3s, but I'm booked in to get a software upgrade to resolve this. The navigation is rather slow and has reset itself mid-journey a few times - again, hopefully the software update will sort this.
The ride is OK, but not as good as the old 5 Series, which is due to the use of run-flat tyres - but that's not to detract from what is a very, very good car. Handling and grip are excellent, if a little twitchy for the inexperienced, but that's what makes it a driver's car and not an executive barge. The quality is very good with no nasty cabin noises (yet).
Finally, the performance is the biggest suprise. I was worried that I would be disappointed. I'm pleased to say it performs very well; it's quick enough with plenty of mid-range shove, although it can be a little rough if you engage too high a gear when driving through town at low speeds. As a result, I don't go above third gear in town (it has a six-speed 'box).
The only problem with this car is the ride on run flat tyres, it really is very firm. The M5 does not have them and rides almost like a limousine, despite its more sporting demeanour. Why do BMW insist in fitting these tyres? The savings can't be that great.
I have noticed that compliants have been made re fuel consumption on the 535d. May I suggest that the relevent owners check the settings on the cpu. My car exhibited what seemed to be poor consumption and after a little delving I found that the cpu was set for US gallons.
I have owned my 530i Tourer Lreg from 19,000miles, untill 13,200mls it has performed almost flawlessly,apart from tyres,new radiator owing to a hose break.
Long distance ,house in Southern France has been a real pleasure.Hauling children to boarding school no problems.
Just at 13200 ,gear box failure reconed ok,plus drive shaft new bush.But I really have no complaints.Trying to convince myself to give up the friend I know and buy a slightly used newer version.Not easy still drives a treat.Reports on later models a bit disturbing.Will keep those interested informed. A.WOOLGAR HERTS
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