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Old 9th December 2011, 16:18   #601
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Default re: Buying, Owning, Driving and Maintaining a car in North America

Thanks for the help, Mike. Greatly appreciate it.

Why isn't the 3 liter 5 series AT available in RWD? I mean, why force someone to get an AWD when he doesn't need it!
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Old 9th December 2011, 18:00   #602
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Thanks for the help, Mike. Greatly appreciate it.

Why isn't the 3 liter 5 series AT available in RWD? I mean, why force someone to get an AWD when he doesn't need it!
I am not sure if you are talkin about x5 or 5er
Actually 5er is available.. 535i is RWD and the 535xi is awd.. same goes with 528i and 528xi . they both have option of AT an MT, they both have the same 3 liter engine. The only difference is that 535 is turbo charged. and even with extra power they both have same fuel consumption.
Also a small chip mod in 535 could easily bump up the power by 100 hp. 3 liter twin turbo is one of the best engines bmw has ever made.
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Old 9th December 2011, 18:56   #603
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Guys,

My Jiju (based in California) is stuck between a 5 series and an X5. Please advise on the better car between the two:

1. Which engine option makes the most sense (shouldn't be puny either)?

2. Has to be AT only

3. Any improvements expected in the near future, that he should wait for?

4. Any diesels expected in the near future in either car?

5. While its narrowed down to these two, if there is another exceptional car in the price range, do recommend.

Thanks
Unless he really wants an SUV, I'd say go for the 5 series. Its just launched and looks gorgeous inside n out and other than the degraded steering feel (which is still good but not exceptional anymore), I cannot find much fault in it. Roads in Cali are great so stiff ride quality is not much of an issue. 535i is a great choice of an engine and for power junkies there's a V8 twin turbo option.

In the 5er, RWD is standard and AWD is optional, but they might force you to get AWD on the X5. In Cali, you dont need it unless you are up in the mountains.

Other than these two, the Audi A6 with that supercharged V6 also makes a really great case for itself especially when it comes to interiors. Optional V8 again for power junkies.

X5 has been around for a few years already and does not look so fresh anymore IMO.

Both the X5 and the just launched 3rd gen Merc ML offer diesels. Its really meant for people who are fascinated by the technology, dont expect to break even on the added cost. Diesel is more expensive and not as widely available as gasoline. Merc ML is the most recent launch but is less sporty and more luxe in typical Mercedes fashion.

Last edited by Mpower : 9th December 2011 at 19:03.
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Old 9th December 2011, 20:23   #604
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Thanks a ton guys! Looks like the 535i RWD it will be. I'm also seeing a full-maintenance package for 6 years / 100,000 miles.

Gawd, what I wouldn't give to own a car like that for 25 lakhs in India.
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Old 9th December 2011, 20:51   #605
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Originally Posted by GTO
Looks like the 535i RWD it will be.
Yes, I'd agree with Mike & MPower.

The 535i has a fantastic engine. The twin-scroll N55 has been awarded best engine of the year for 2011 in it's class.
It's predecessor, the fantastic twin-turbo N54 (still being used in the 335is Coupe) won previously.

If he wants to save a few bucks and isn't an out-and-out petrol head then the 528i isn't a slouch either.
If he wants options, then he can select the 528i for a lower base price and spec it up.
He'll probably get a better deal on the 528 too.

The X5 35i drives really well but unless he really needs to lug around luggage (strollers, etc.) it really doesn't make sense.

BMW might introduce the same 3.0l diesel (being used in the 3 & X5) in the 5-Series in the near future but it's not worth waiting for. It's a very good engine though.


For a diesel touring sedan, in the luxury segment, currently the Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec is the only option.

Last edited by aah78 : 9th December 2011 at 20:54.
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Old 9th December 2011, 22:31   #606
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Thanks Aah78! I got off the phone with him a while back, and he's sold on the 535i. Plus, he owns like 20 trucks through his company, so he's always got a rig for when he needs to haul stuff.

Says that BMW is currently offering 6 year / 100k maintenance free. But with some options, it'll be in the range of $60,000. Still, a steal for that kind of car.
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Old 9th December 2011, 23:57   #607
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Thanks Aah78! I got off the phone with him a while back, and he's sold on the 535i. Plus, he owns like 20 trucks through his company, so he's always got a rig for when he needs to haul stuff.

Says that BMW is currently offering 6 year / 100k maintenance free. But with some options, it'll be in the range of $60,000. Still, a steal for that kind of car.
If you are not very particular on the year, 2011 models would still be available at lower prices, last time I checked they were around $6-$7 less compared to the 2012 ones. I had visited the showroom in South LA area.

But yes, there are some nice features included in 2012 that are not available in the 2011 models, one being Increased Top Speed Limiter .

6yr/100k is a steal deal, Does it include regular maintenance like oil changes?
My friend picked a 3 on lease a month ago, not sure what kinda maintenance he chose, but it covered all aspects of maintenance for 5yrs. You might want to check the availability of this option also.
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Old 10th December 2011, 05:29   #608
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Says that BMW is currently offering 6 year / 100k maintenance free. But with some options, it'll be in the range of $60,000. Still, a steal for that kind of car.
Yep, really nice car - they have the new 8 speed auto box in there.

Also, the new M5 is really impressing the jurnos thesedays. I'm lusting for a 550i with a 6-speed manual.

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6yr/100k is a steal deal, Does it include regular maintenance like oil changes?
I think it's still limited to 4 yr / 50k miles.

You can extend it up-to 6 yr/100k miles or 8 yr/120k miles but the additional years / miles don't cover regular maintenance.
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Old 10th December 2011, 14:30   #609
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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Guys,

My Jiju (based in California) is stuck between a 5 series and an X5. Please advise on the better car between the two:

1. Which engine option makes the most sense (shouldn't be puny either)?

2. Has to be AT only

3. Any improvements expected in the near future, that he should wait for?

4. Any diesels expected in the near future in either car?

5. While its narrowed down to these two, if there is another exceptional car in the price range, do recommend. Thanks
Hi GTO,

I'm honored that you asked me to render an opinion. I usually prefer not offer opinion when suggesting cars since, it's such a personal choice but, I'm going to put my mouth in my foot anyway.

My thoughts:

First of all, I'm assuming that we're talking of buying a new car and hence, the rest of my post is based on this assumption.

1. When it comes to buying a new car, one has to be brutally honest since it's such a money pit. Even for an automobile enthusiast it must be absolutely clear in his mind why he wants a certain car, whether he's got the money or not. Especially, since both the selected cars start around $55K before taxes for the Base option for the 335xi version, not the 5.0 L V8 which is way out there. That's a lot of moolah to be taken lightly.

2. Why a BMW to begin with:

Status Symbol: No questions asked. The prestige and feel good factor simply cannot be discounted.

Driving Enthusiast: Difficult to beat the Beemer here although, I may have an opinion or two.

Build Quality: German, nothing more need to be said. Again, I might have an opinion or two about it, though.

Money no objective: Hey, lucky you. Knock yourself out, buddy.

Reliability: They are never really at the top.

These are the base questions that typically needs to be answered. I'm sure your Jiju has already done it while narrowing down his selections.

My thoughts on the two vehicles:

1. He has selected an SUV and a Car. The driving dynamics are completely different. An SUV is simply not going to be planted as a car during performance driving, no matter BMW, Mercedes or Porsche. So I'm curious about his preference of driving characteristics? He needs to be clear in his mind about this, if performance and road holding is a priority.

2. X5 will offer much more comfortable surroundings for the family with pretty good performance. If that's more important to him then the choice is clear.

3. I just priced the 2012 BMW 535 xDrive Sedan with just the Sport Drive Package and Navigation to apprx $63K.

If he is peformance guy, why wouldn't he look at the Cadillac CTS-V with the base price of $65K with 556 hp with a V8. The build quality is world class and no lack of prestige and status. And to top it all, almost everything comes as standard. It's a car that is in a different league and ten times the car that the BMW 535 will ever be. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it spanked the M5.

This is just my take as someone who owned a BMW 740iL for 11 years and a CTS-V for 2 years. Loved them both but loved the V more. The only reason I sold the V was to get my Solstice GXP convertible.

4. As for the X5, I looked at it when I was looking for an SUV for my wife earlier this year. Ended up buying the Mazda CX-9 Grand Tourer AWD for $35K OTR fully loaded with every option except, the roof rack and rear seat entertainment. Excellent vehicle with superb road manners. Build quality is fantastic. Except for the additional 30hp and an 8 speed transmission, I didn't find anything to justify the additional $30K it would have cost for the X5. He can do a comparison of the specs online. It will not have the BMW name if that's important to him. But he won't miss a thing except, the additional 400 lbs of kerb weight for the Beemer. In fact, even at that price he won't be getting a lot of equipment that comes standard on the CX. It's been a top rated vehicle every year since 2008.

5. I agree with Mike89 on the diesel option. Simply not worth it in the US. More expensive for no real added benefit and lots of downside when you want to sell it. Stay away from it here unless, he is what we call a 'diesel junkie'.

Hope this helps.

As you can see from my reply, I'm past the BMW/Mercedes stage in my life. My current wish is to own a great american muscle car like the Ford Gran Torino or a Chevelle SS or a GTO from the late 60s and early 70s and keep it forever.

Good luck to your Jiju in his selection. He's going to be happy any way with his selection.

Last edited by VLOCT : 10th December 2011 at 14:35.
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Old 29th December 2011, 15:55   #610
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Could someone please let me know if BMW X5 (Years 2002-2005) sold in USA can seat 7 people?. One of my friends is looking for a used 7 seater in USA and he is looking for options.
I have been searching internet and some where its mentioned that it did come as an option, but not sure for which year it belonged to. I have seen the interior pics of X5s, but couldn’t see a single X5 with 3 rd row seat . Is it possible that the third row seat is folded and the trunk-mat placed above it? – I have seen similar set-up (Third row seat folded and mat placed above it) for some of the ML 350s.
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Old 3rd January 2012, 21:18   #611
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Could someone please let me know if BMW X5 (Years 2002-2005) sold in USA can seat 7 people?. One of my friends is looking for a used 7 seater in USA and he is looking for options.
I have been searching internet and some where its mentioned that it did come as an option, but not sure for which year it belonged to. I have seen the interior pics of X5s, but couldn’t see a single X5 with 3 rd row seat . Is it possible that the third row seat is folded and the trunk-mat placed above it? – I have seen similar set-up (Third row seat folded and mat placed above it) for some of the ML 350s.
As per my friend BMW added the seats later. He went for a MDX for this reason. I am not 100% sure if its true though.

edit: optional seats came in from 2006 onwards.

Quote:
The BMW E70 is the second generation X5 Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). It replaced the BMW X5 (E53) in November 2006. The second generation X5 features many new technological advancements including BMW's iDrive system as standard equipment and, for the first time in a BMW, an optional third row seat. This generation incorporates safety innovations for the crossover segment, such as a unique rear framing section to protect 3rd row occupants from injury due to an impact

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Old 4th January 2012, 10:26   #612
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As per my friend BMW added the seats later. He went for a MDX for this reason. I am not 100% sure if its true though.

edit: optional seats came in from 2006 onwards.
@Mohit, thanks for the info mate, it was helpful.

MDX is the next in his list of he is not able to get an X5 with 7 seats. The 2007 and above MDX looks really good and sporty. Honda Pilot is another can he is thinking about, which can actually seat 8.
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Old 4th January 2012, 18:55   #613
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@Mohit, thanks for the info mate, it was helpful.

MDX is the next in his list of he is not able to get an X5 with 7 seats. The 2007 and above MDX looks really good and sporty. Honda Pilot is another can he is thinking about, which can actually seat 8.
Adding another based on what VELOCT mentioned above - Mazda CX-9.

Although not as luxurious as an MDX, it is more spacious and decidedly more sporty.
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Old 10th January 2012, 15:25   #614
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Can I throw Audi in the mix? You can get some really nice Q5 / A7 SUVs for that coin (~60k) . And if its a sedan, a really nice option would be a RS4 or a S6 . The looks on some random stop-light racer's face when you stomp it is just priceless!

{Can you guess that I am an Audi fan? haha!)
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Old 16th January 2012, 08:27   #615
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@Mohit, thanks for the info mate, it was helpful.

MDX is the next in his list of he is not able to get an X5 with 7 seats. The 2007 and above MDX looks really good and sporty. Honda Pilot is another can he is thinking about, which can actually seat 8.
MDX and Pilot are very good ones too. He will get a worry free, trouble free rides with those two which is kinda hard to find in X5. You can't go wrong with any of the above.

Make sure extended warranty is there on X5. Will give your friend piece of mind.

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Adding another based on what VELOCT mentioned above - Mazda CX-9.

Although not as luxurious as an MDX, it is more spacious and decidedly more sporty.
I agree, CX-9 is awesome to drive. But third row is not as spacious as a MDX or Pilot. Also, the ride i felt is very firm over CA freeways. But what perfect ride and handling for a SUV. Loved it. It is also a bit smaller than MDX. Another problem is its not considered premium. A x5 or MDX will be considered luxurious and premium where CX-9 falls short. If you know what i mean.

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Can I throw Audi in the mix? You can get some really nice Q5 / A7 SUVs for that coin (~60k) . And if its a sedan, a really nice option would be a RS4 or a S6 . The looks on some random stop-light racer's face when you stomp it is just priceless!

{Can you guess that I am an Audi fan? haha!)
Well, his requirements is a 7-seater (judging from requirement of third row). Of the ones you mentioned, only Q7 would fit the bill.
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