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Old 26th March 2013, 14:04   #1
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Default The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

How it began

It all started at the beginning of 2012 during my pre-final year of engineering. At that time, my dad was using our four-year old All New Honda City (which I must say is still doing very well). However, since we don't usually keep cars for more than five years, I started wondering what our next buy would be. So one day I called him up and casually asked him what our next car was going to be; he answered in two simple words: "A German". I myself, having always been an aficionado of German cars, was thrilled at that response. I continued pestering him, as expected: went for TDs with my friends, brought back numerous brochures, price lists... and what not! Our conversations during dinner used to revolve around German cars - until mom got fed up of course . Mom was never a fan of cars, unlike Dad and me. Her only criterion was that the car shouldn't make her feel claustrophobic (read: it must have a powerful air conditioner and be sufficiently bright on the inside), based on some horrible experiences with our 2004 Corolla.

Anyway, it was mid-2012 and my Dad was still postponing the decision. Dinner conversations went on for longer, but I finally got him to agree to TD the F30 320d. The car was rock-solid, had excellent handling and all the other positives of a sporty vehicle. I loved the car, however, the only downside to this was the space. My Dad, being a bit on the heavier side, didn't find the seating too comfortable and totally disliked the very low sporty seating (even though I had adjusted the seat height to its maximum possible position). Mom, too, found the car slightly cramped in the back. So, from the comfort point of view, this was out. In addition, I felt that the 3 series was ridiculously overpriced.

Next, was the Merc. I called up the showroom and asked the salesman to bring the C250 to the office for a TD. He said he would get back to me, but he never bothered to call back. After 4 days, I gave them a ring and he had apparently gone for a wedding. At the very least, he could've informed us of this and made alternate arrangements. This, together with many not-so-good reviews of their service from current owners, paved the way for the exit of the tri-star.

Now, only the Audi and Volvo remained. I was against the A4 right from the start due to the extremely underpowered engine. Passat wasn't considered since the car would be driven only by my dad and me, and frankly it failed to give me any "pump" during the TD. It felt more like a chauffeur-driven vehicle (no offence, Passat owners). We went to the Volvo showroom, only to be welcomed by salesmen who seemed to have absolutely no interest in selling their cars.

The next three months were of desperation. Dad started looking at SUVs, but I gave him a concrete no; IMO they aren't half as fun to drive as sedans. So basically we were stuck.

Then came December, the BMW salesman called up my dad and informed him of the discounts offered. He fixed up a convenient time and went to the office. The following conversation ensued:

Salesman: Sir, we have very good deals this month.
Dad: I see, do you have a pricelist?
[The salesman gave him a copy of the pricelist along with the discounted rates. Heavy discounts basically on the 5 series, specifically the 520d.]
Dad: Seems interesting, can I TD the car?
Salesman: Sure Sir, there's one waiting out for you.
(Now that's what I call a salesman, someone who is totally prepared and determined to sell his product.)
[They get into the Alpine White 520d and go for a short spin.]
Dad is in love with the car, and calls me up from the office.
Dad: What do you think of the 520d?
Me: Love it! (I've always been in love with its looks)
Dad: I just TD'd one now. Found it very spacious, comfortable (both front and back) and fun to drive. What say, we book this car?
Me: (Shockked! My jaws almost touched the floor, the JOY (this is where I got her name from, Freude is joy in German) similar to when a sailor lost at sea finally sees some land!) What did you say? Whaaat?
Dad: (Having a hearty laugh) Yes, I'm thinking of booking a White 520d.
Me: Done. Go ahead .


Booking Experience

After finalizing on the 520d, I started my round of questions based on TBHP's checklists. Asked the salesman for the VIN, then with the help of Wildon's thread decoded it and confirmed that the car had reached the showroom in December 2012. As soon as this was done, the booking amount was paid. Colours available were Black, Havana Brown and White. This was a no-brainer since we never buy Black and I didn't like Havana brown. So the booking was made in favour of an Alpine White BMW 520d. The salesman informed us that the car would be ready in a week's time. However since my dad was travelling we decided to take delivery on the 23rd of January 2013. Those two weeks were the longest two weeks of my life!

The delivery was made as promised on the 23rd. Immediately after delivery, the car was taken to the Guruvayur temple for puja. One thing I'd like to specifically mention here is that our salesman had to go somewhere else during delivery and hence wasn't there. But the very next week he came home and explained all the features of the 5, patiently. Overall, a good booking experience!

We opted for BMW Secure but haven't taken BSI yet.


Initial Impressions

I had the following concerns about the car after delivery:
1. How easy would it be to drive inside the city?
2. Ground Clearance (especially after reading Androdev's thread) -http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/test-d...down-520d.html (BMW 520d Initial Ownership Report EDIT: Transmission Breakdown in 520d)

With regard to city drivability: Yes, the car is huge. But if you are used to driving cars like the Corolla, this shouldn't be much of an issue. The parking sensors are very useful in maneuvering the car through small roads.

Ground clearance was my biggest concern since there were a couple of HUGE speed breakers outside our place. But surprisingly, even with four people in the car, she never scraped a single speed breaker. I have a feeling BMW has increased their ground clearance for 2012 models. I say this because a friend, who drove the 2011 525d scraped both the speed breakers with just three people on board. And yes, he did go extremely slowly and is perhaps an even more careful driver than me.

Suspension Settings:

It goes without saying that this car is fun to drive. However, what I like the most about it are the suspension controls, which is a new addition to the 2012 models. The car certainly feels very comfortable when in comfort mode. It glides over undulations and slopes very smoothly similar to how a large passenger ship takes on the rough sea.

Change the mode to sport and the suspension becomes rock solid. Now you can feel every tiny pebble the car goes over. This mode is best suited for spirited highway driving and is in fact a nuisance inside the city.

Last comes the eco pro mode. Switch the F10 to Eco Pro and it feels like an automatic Altis. RPM doesn’t usually go beyond 2000. The car refuses to go fast unless you literally floor the throttle. There are some additional efficient dynamics settings in this mode, which I still have to figure out how to use. Apart from these, there is an indication below the speedometer which shows you how many extra kilometers you can travel by driving in this mode.

The steering is not at all heavy compared to the E90’s steering and is very comfortable both in the city and highway.

Engine:

The engine feels extremely refined, and there is more than enough power till 3,500 rpm. Beyond that the engine becomes lethargic and it makes more sense to upshift if you require more power. This problem, I have heard can be solved by installing a tuning chip in the car. The 8 speed gearbox is certainly a gem in BMW’s range of cars. The gear shifts are very quick and feel effortless.

Brakes:

Brakes feel just right for this car. I wonder if BMW uses the same brakes in the F30 also. (Experts, could you clarify the same?)

Interiors:

One major drawback when it comes to the interiors is the small screen which has been used in this car. It certainly deserves a much bigger screen to do justice to the luxurious interiors. This screen also doesn’t support navigation and looking at the interiors of the new X1 I wonder why BMW couldn’t provide the bigger screen in the F10 as well. I suppose they will make this change in the near future though.

Apart from that, the interiors feel very business class like. Nothing to complain about.

Exteriors:

I personally am a big fan of the F10s exteriors since the day it was launched. The front looks calm and elegant and the “Day Time Driving Lights” make the car look very sporty.

The rear however does not match up to the front in terms of looks. Well, come to think of it, I’m not a big fan of the tail lights on any BMW. The Audis look much better in this regard, IMO.


Additional Features:

Below the engine start stop button is the auto-switch off button. This switches off the engine while waiting at signals and switches it back on when you take your leg off the brakes. I personally find this very annoying to use and drive the car with this feature switched off.

The F10 comes with cruise control, speed limiter and telephone connectivity as standard. All these features are extremely useful. The speed limiter is very helpful in certain stretches in Kerala highways, which has a speed limit of 70 Kmph.


Apart from that, I think everything else that has to be said about a Bimmer has already been done in other threads so I'm not going to write about it. Will update the thread once I complete a long drive.

Kilometres done at the time of writing this review : 2200 (mostly driven by my dad)

Likes:
  • Looks, both interior and exterior (Love it!)
  • Different driving modes (sport, comfort and ecopro)
  • Extremely comfortable seats and seating position
  • Idrive (Simple-to-use interface and the massive amount of information it provides)
  • Automatic A/C mode (in all my other cars I have to switch off recirculation mode once in a while to allow fresh air enter the car)
  • Seat belt pre-tensioners (This is a brilliant feeling since it happens only when you cross 20 kmph, gives you a feeling of reassurance)
  • Auto closing of ORVMs on continuous holding of the lock button
  • Excellent telephone connectivity (People sitting in the rear seats need not scream to be heard properly)
Dislikes:
  • Absence of side bottle holders
  • Absence of TV (This was provided in the E90 320d highline, wonder why its not provided in the 520d)
  • No rear A/C controls
Comments with regard to the performance of the car in general : Since the engine of this car has been directly taken off the 320d, yes it does feel slightly underpowered especially if you've driven the 320d before this one. But since our driving styles (mine and dad's) do not happen to demand too much power, I feel it is more than sufficient for us. So, for the moment haven't thought of installing any tuning chip, but yes I think I will surely consider doing this in future just to keep things exciting.

Talking about upgrades, one cosmetic upgrade I'd certainly be doing very shortly is installing a rear lip spoiler. Apart from that I have many in my wishlist, including changing the stock alloys and installing an M-kit. Any information regarding how I must go about this would be very helpful since I'm a novice when it comes to modifications in any car.

Differences between the 320d (Sportline) and the 520d :
This is meant for all those folks who are confused about which one to go for - the 320d or the 520d, given the not so large price difference between the two (I was in a similar situation a few months back).

1. The 520d has a button (bottom most one) in the key, which if pressed, automatically switches on the parking lights for about 20 seconds. This is very helpful, especially after late night outings, in case your car has been parked in a confusingly huge parking lot.
2. The 520d comes with 4 way adjustable lumbar support. This provides excellent back support during long drives.
3. There is no cruise control in the 320d.
4. Handbrake in the 520d is electronic while that in the 3 series is the conventional one (great for drifting!).
5. The storage glove behind the front seats are made from plastic in the 320d, which doesn't give a very luxurious look.
6. Steering wheel adjustment is manual in the 320d and electronic in the 520d.
7. Opening and closing of the sunroof is fully automatic in the 520d. It is only partially automatic in the 320d.
8. There are parking sensors on both the 520d and the 320d. However, the 520 has a "P" button behind the gearbox, which if pressed activates parking sensors even if the car is not reversing. This is useful while driving through narrow roads. (correct me if I'm wrong here, F30 owners, but I couldn't find this button in the 320d).
9. 520d comes with a 6-DVD changer unlike the 320d. (not sure of this one too, can someone confirm this?)
10. A/C controls feel more upmarket in the 520d (personal opinion).

I'm not going to talk about engine performance here, since very obviously the 320d is way better in that aspect, but I would like to mention that engine noise is very less inside the 520d.

This list is not exhaustive and contains just a few observations that I made between the two. Please correct me if I'm wrong anywhere because I didn't get to spend too much time with the 3 series quite frankly.



For now, let the Pictures do the talking..

1-2. Taken just before delivery

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-1-2000-x-1500.jpg

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-2-2000-x-1500.jpg


3. RTO inspection during registration (registration was completed before delivery since my dad didn't want to drive on temporary plates)

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-3-2500-x-1875.jpg

4. Freude at home

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-4.jpg

5. Suspension controls, which are present adjacent to the gearbox (this is a new addition in 2012 models). There are 3 different settings - Comfort, Sport and Eco-Pro.

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-5-2000-x-2667.jpg

6. A/C controls and ICE

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-6-2000-x-1500.jpg

7. Notice how the key sits behind the gearbox

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-7-2000-x-2667.jpg

8. Windows/ORVM/Seat Memory controls

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-8-2200-x-1650.jpg

9. Speedometer lit up in orange

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-9-2200-x-1650.jpg

10. At a friends apartment

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-10-2200-x-1257.jpg

11. Love this pic! (clicked using a friend's SLR)

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-11-2500-x-1289.jpg

12-14. Freude, during our recent day trip to Athirapally. Notice the fuel consumption, didn't push her much though.

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-12-2000-x-1500.jpg

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-13-2000-x-1500.jpg

The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d-14-2000-x-1500.jpg

P.S: This is the first time I'm writing something that has more than 200 words since my 12th standard board exams. Hope you guys didn't get bored reading it !
Thank you KA(s) for helping me out with the review and BHPians, Rameshdude and Androdev for assisting me at various stages, before and after the purchase.

Last edited by 275BHP : 19th April 2013 at 20:40.
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Old 20th April 2013, 15:48   #2
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Initial Ownership Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th April 2013, 18:07   #3
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Let me be the first to congratulate you on your beautiful Weis beauty! Freude is a wonderful name for the Beamer!
The pic from your Friend's apartment is very beautiful, desktop wallpaper quality.
Hope you have many wonderful miles with Freude!
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Old 20th April 2013, 22:41   #4
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Let me be the second to CONGRATULATE you for your new acquisition.

The car looks BIG in white and interiors are on a contrast with the white. Normal diesel is what is filled or High Speed Diesel?

So what mode of suspension setting or engine do you keep always? Sport Right?

Cheers,
Anurag.
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Old 21st April 2013, 10:36   #5
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Congrats 275BHP. Great car and a very nice write up too. There are quite a few BMW s in Team Bhp, maybe you could form a group. My friends X1, purchased in 2011 had a cable fault, and the car got stalled . They rectified the issue. I believe in India, about 3000 cars have had this issue, mainly 5 series. Do check with the service guys.
Thanks
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Old 23rd April 2013, 19:09   #6
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Let me be the second to CONGRATULATE you for your new acquisition.
Normal diesel is what is filled or High Speed Diesel?
So what mode of suspension setting or engine do you keep always? Sport Right?
Thank you very much! Well, I generally keep the gearbox in sport mode while driving. However, I don't gearshift manually (till now at least ) since the 8 speed gearbox does the job really well. And normal diesel is what is used, even the BMW service guys recommend that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rameshdude View Post
Congrats 275BHP. Great car and a very nice write up too. My friends X1, purchased in 2011 had a cable fault, and the car got stalled . They rectified the issue. I believe in India, about 3000 cars have had this issue, mainly 5 series. Do check with the service guys.
Thanks
Thank you sir! I believe this problem is mainly with the E60 5 series. Anyway, will check with the service guys just to be sure of this.

Last edited by 275BHP : 23rd April 2013 at 19:11.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 19:22   #7
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Quote:
Originally Posted by 275BHP View Post
P.S: This is the first time I'm writing something that has more than 200 words since my 12th standard board exams. Hope you guys didn't get bored reading it !
And, very well written covering all the finer details.

Congrats on the beemer and wishing you many happy miles in it.

She does look so serene and elegant in white. A well thought out decision, I must say.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 19:27   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 275BHP View Post
Thank you very much!
Since you are from KL, we expect a lot of scenic pictures of your car and with the scenery.

How do you find the ride of the car on rough patches that are mostly seen on the roads of KL and are narrow too.

Anurag.
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Old 23rd April 2013, 22:50   #9
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The DVD Changer is present but there arent any screens? Am i right? The idrive screen isnt a lcd as far as i know.
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Old 24th April 2013, 02:41   #10
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Congratulations ! The car looks great in white and a very nicely written OP. The quality of the interiors from the pictures look phenomenal. Do you get an option of selecting all the features that are available in the higher spec'ced models like the 530d etc ? Drive Safe.
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Old 24th April 2013, 19:49   #11
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Whoa nice review. Congratulations on your purchase.
Please someone clarify one thing to me. The 320d and the 520d have keyless entry with push button start. But I drove my cousin's X1 where I had to insert the key in the slot and press the start/stop button. Is it compulsory to put it in the slot or can I just keep it in my pocket and just press the start/stop button like in the Hyundai Verna SX(O). Also can I have the key in my pocket and lock/unlock the door using the request sensor ?
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Old 24th April 2013, 20:43   #12
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Quote:
Originally Posted by deepjaju View Post
Whoa nice review. Congratulations on your purchase.
Please someone clarify one thing to me. The 320d and the 520d have keyless entry with push button start. But I drove my cousin's X1 where I had to insert the key in the slot and press the start/stop button. Is it compulsory to put it in the slot or can I just keep it in my pocket and just press the start/stop button like in the Hyundai Verna SX(O). Also can I have the key in my pocket and lock/unlock the door using the request sensor ?
In the X1 and the old 3 series the key has to be inserted in the slot and only then does the start button function. In the newer cars if you notice there is no key slot at all. Also the 3 and 5 do not have proper keyless entry i.e they do not have the request sensor, etc so you have to press the button on the remote to lock and unlock the cars. They only have keyless start.
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Old 24th April 2013, 21:17   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by a4anurag View Post
Since you are from KL, we expect a lot of scenic pictures of your car and with the scenery.

How do you find the ride of the car on rough patches that are mostly seen on the roads of KL and are narrow too.
Yes, in fact I'm planning to do a photoshoot of my car along with a friends 5 series this Sunday. So hopefully by next week more photos will be added.

Well, frankly I find that the roads in Kerala are pretty good now. There aren't many rough patches next to where I reside. But, I must say that the car does take the rough patches pretty well in comfort mode. And, as I had mentioned in the review ground clearance is also decent.

Quote:
Originally Posted by nik_kapur View Post
The DVD Changer is present but there arent any screens? Am i right? The idrive screen isnt a lcd as far as i know.
Yes, you are absolutely right. The screen doesn't support video. The DVD player can play only audio DVDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigron View Post
The quality of the interiors from the pictures look phenomenal. Do you get an option of selecting all the features that are available in the higher spec'ced models like the 530d etc ? Drive Safe.
Thank you. The interiors in the 530d happen to be almost the same as the 520d except for the much bigger idrive screen and the rear entertainment package. There isn't any option for selecting the features that are available in higher spec'ed models, as far as I know only the rear seat entertainment package can be added.
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Old 24th April 2013, 21:49   #14
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Congrats 275BHP for your 520d

Seems you bought your 520d from Platino classic (Cochin) same place where i purchased my BM from though im from Mumbai.

Especially the 1st pic where it reminded me of my delivery experience

Enjoy !

Last edited by karan561 : 24th April 2013 at 21:53.
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Old 26th April 2013, 20:05   #15
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Default Re: The Story of Freude - My Alpineweiss BMW 520d

Well written review 275BHP. Congratulations on your new ride.Wishing you thousands of happy miles on this car.

I had a small question regarding the interior shade. Is it beige or saddle brown. Somehow I could not make out from any of the pictures. The door panel was beige as shown in one of the pictures.

Also what is the approximate difference in the projected tank range between the Eco Pro/Comfort and Sport Modes.

Cheers
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