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Old 11-04-2019, 09:18 PM   #1
Nick M3
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2019 540i Quick Review

First things first, this fucker is ENORMOUS. Although given the size, I kind of expected it to be a little bigger inside.

Driving experience. Numb. The actual capability of the chassis is pretty high, but the overall level of feedback and driving pleasure is more akin to my grandfatherís ES350 than any other car Iíve driven.

Engine. The B58 is *ok*, but it occupies a weird space between plenty and weak. A car like this should have effortless torque, but it just doesnít. But when it finds the right gear, itís plenty. Also, in this car, it sounds horrible. The noises arenít just muted. They are bad.

Transmission. The usual BMW bizarre too sluggish or too aggressive mis-match. I donít get it. Audi can make the same transmission feel way more responsive without being annoying. Why canít BMW?

Interior. OK, but disco party at night.

Trunk. Uh, guess thatís where all the interior space went?

Electronics. The whole no CarPlay without a subscription thing is so fucking customer hostile and self defeating. The all around camera is weird and surprisingly artifacted. Also, I canít understand what causes it to turn off randomly while iím still parking.
Lane departure warnings got turned off immediately.

Ride quality. Good, but honestly, not really good enough. Also surprisingly similar to my impression of the ES350.

In summary, meh.
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:44 AM   #2
Alan
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Yuck .. sounds terrible thanks for the review
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Old 11-05-2019, 08:10 AM   #3
wdc330i
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Love the B58 in my car.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:01 AM   #4
Josh (PA)
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I thought the 530 loaner I had was quite pleasant for a 5 series. Everything is big now, but IMHO it drove a lot better than the last generation did. The tech was well integrated, and the driver aids were non-intrusive (and easy to disable).
In comparison to where cars have evolved to, basically e-pliances for the detached/connected generation, it was still more driver centric than I expected it to be. Granted I haven't driven an MB or Audi comparable lately, but I have tried the newest Acura TL and a few others that were way worse.

All the blue lights and disco themed crap is configurable as well. You can set it up to be much less bling than the pic shows.

Totally grant you the BMW transmission programming is ABYSMAL. I can't stand it in the X5. It seemed to be better in in the 530 and x3 I recently had, but still no on par with where it should be.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:36 AM   #5
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The transmission thing is disappointing. I have no idea why BMWs are so bad in that regard. And with that many gears, it should *always* be in the right gear.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:52 AM   #6
Josh (PA)
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Quote:
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The transmission thing is disappointing. I have no idea why BMWs are so bad in that regard. And with that many gears, it should *always* be in the right gear.
For me at least, the problem only exists at start up / off the line. It is a really poor combination of starting in 2nd gear with a very soggy throttle profile that doesn't make the car move at all until you tip in juuusstt a little too far at which point it kicks down to first, and jerks off the line. If you leave the transmission in DS, it will start in 1st with an abrupt kick when it locks up. I've had the thing for about 3 years and can't think of a single smooth take off from a stop or slow roll.

Once it is moving it is generally *fine* for an auto.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:56 AM   #7
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I typically start off in D and drive until the engine warms up, then shift into DS for the rest of the trip. That said, my transmission is much smoother and easier to modulate than the X5 50i. I struggle mightily with that transmission.
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdc330i View Post
I typically start off in D and drive until the engine warms up, then shift into DS for the rest of the trip. That said, my transmission is much smoother and easier to modulate than the X5 50i. I struggle mightily with that transmission.
We have the same procedure for our X5 50i - has to be in D and Comfort mode or it's nearly impossible to drive before it warms up a bit. I agree with Nick - everyone except BMW seemingly has figured out how to make the 8spd auto work perfectly.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:24 AM   #9
Nick M3
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I will say that BMW has *finally* accepted reality and put a normal, decent feeling turn signal stalk in.

But honestly, I think the Audi Q5 is more engaging to drive.
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Old 11-05-2019, 10:27 AM   #10
Nick M3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wdc330i View Post
Love the B58 in my car.
If the transmission wasn’t so stupid, it would be more than plenty. Although I can still feel some turbo lag on throttle tip in.
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