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BMW 5-Series (G30) Forum 2017+ BMW 5 Series (G30) General Discussions 2500 Mile Review

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      02-26-2020, 08:23 AM   #1
roblaw
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2500 Mile Review

I now have 2500 miles on my 2020 540.

For perspective I leased a 2016 328i XDrive in 2015, got a low mileage 2016 CPO 535 when lease was over and just got a 2020 540i XDrive in December. For comparison my wife has had 3 ML/GLE 350 MBs, the latest being a 2020 which was delivered in November.

I will say that I have never been happier with any vehicle than I am with my 540. I am not the hard driving MSport driver that some of the members are but still appreciate BMW attributes. I ordered my car simply equipped with 18 inch non-runflats, multi contour seats, HK and premium pack (cannot do without the HUD now that I had it on the 535). I am a car guy despite my comfort leanings. The is not perfect but suits me to a T.

I regret not ordering the parking package. I thought the base car had a better backup system and I will admit I would have liked the parking feature.
I also would have liked high speed emergency braking. These items should be standard at this price point but that has been said over and over. I would also have liked to get the adaptive shocks but $3500.00 seemed a bit much when the other items really would have provided little benefit. At this level they should be standard, or at a minimum, should be available separately like on the 530 for a modest cost. Especially when they can be optioned on an Avalon.

Car is mineral white with canberra beige (no pictures, the car is filthy and I am a horrible photographer). I would have gotten the nappa (had it on the 535 and it really does upscale the interior) but I did not want white or a dark color since the AC is a bit weaker than the 535. Overall though I really like the lighter colored interior. I got the matte wood. Would go with the shiny walnut next time. My wife's car has a beautiful matte walnut that is really nice and I was hoping the BMW matte design would work. Again, a lesson learned to actually see the wood/leather in person before ordering. HK is OK but the basic Burmeister upgrade in the Benz is far better. The wood, stereo and graphics on the MB are the only things i prefer on the Benz. In every other way I far prefer the BMW interface and driving experience. To MB's credit, the 2.0 litre four is surprisingly adequate in motivating a 4700 pound vehicle, but I digress. If it matters, I did not shop hard, using the dealer I had for the other two cars who gave me a fair price on the 535. Time is worth money. Got about 9% off plus incentives and a good lease rate. I had lower offers but time is money and they were all farther. Plus my dealer does pick up and delivery for service and that saves me in work time every time the car needs to go in.

From the classy shape of the 5 to the world beating B58, I am extremely pleased with the driving experience. Despite not being an Msport, it handles more than adequately considering the mission and offers decent ride quality. Having only had rear/AWD cars since 2011 I really prefer the balance they provide, even if it a relatively softly sprung luxury sedan. It is not mushy but cushions bumps well. I had driven an Msport and found the ride quite tolerable but I live in SE PA and the roads suck. So I took my chances and am pleased. The steering, while not feelsome, is better than the 535 and works for the type of car. It is accurate and has enough weight to properly place the vehicle. I love the new steering wheel as well. Thick enough and soft enough to be comfortable. And for $190.00 no civilized person should be without a heated wheel unless they live in the tropics.

The engine and transmission are the best setup of any car I have driven and I wanted to get a new one before they force me into an electric vehicle with no soul. BMW sixes spoil you for any other drivetrain. And the sport mode is not jumpy at all, unlike the 328. For someone who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s (the low point in automotive history) and had a 1980 Toyota Corona that did 0-60 in approximately one afternoon (give or take) the joy of a butter smooth inline 6 that gets there in 4.5 seconds is a revelation. And I thought my 2005 V6 Accord was peppy. And to top it all off this thing got me 31 mpg on 200 mile highway trip on the PA Turnpike averaging 80-85 mph.

If the LCI puts a mild hybrid and the new 330 motor in the series I may consider that to get a few toys I did not get but right now I am very pleased with my car.

I have not delved into the Idrive but I find the Idrive 7 lite to be pretty user friendly, and thus far, not buggy. In pretty much every way this car is noticeably superior to the 535 (which I liked very much). The only area where I feel something may be inferior is noise suppression. This car is quiet but on many road surfaces it sounds louder to me than the 535 and BMW in general have a bit more wind noise than they should, for whatever reason. The road noise may be the Conti tires but I think it may be the higher aluminum content. Or not. But is does appear a bit higher. Really should have laminated front door glass at this level.

I did not try the E series. I know the MBUX from my wife's car. She had a 2018 e300 as a loaner once. Nice enough car but BMW interior materials are nicer quality and I like the conservative look and find the infotainment tacked on the dash to be easier because you do not need to look down to see it. And while the new MBUX is a bit better than the previous vehicle, the BMW user interface is so much more intuitive and safe. You are required to take your eyes off the road less and the amount of thinking and delving into menus to perform tasks is so much more distracting. So for those who are complaining about the Idrive complexity, take a drive in a new MB and thank your stars you have a BMW. I did not drive the A6 because even with discounts they lease horribly and I have read a lot of negative about the low speed performance of the dual clutch transmission and the drivetrain is very important to me.

So even if you were thinking about the LCI I would not discourage you from a 2020 540. Great car.
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      02-26-2020, 01:37 PM   #2
LogicalApex
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Nice comprehensive writeup.

I agree the HK system in the 5 series leaves a lot to be desired compared to the HK system my MB had. But you can't win them all.
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      02-27-2020, 01:19 PM   #3
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Thanks for the review, it feels nice to be reminded what an excellent car the G30 is. I recently hit 20k and appreciate it more and more each day it seems. It will be a tough choice what to do in a year or so when it's time to get something new.
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      02-27-2020, 02:39 PM   #4
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I've got around 3000 miles on my 540i, and I agree with most of what the OP said. I did not test drive the car as much as I should have before I bought it, but it has turned out to be one of the most pleasurable BMWs that I have ever owned, and I've had a bunch of them.
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      02-27-2020, 02:42 PM   #5
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Great write-up!

I'm moving into a 2017 540i xDrive tomorrow w/ 24k miles-- Imperial Blue on Cognac. Moving from a 2008 Accord..

It has the HK system (sounds like it's not worth it), premium and driver's assistance package, as well as soft close doors (really don't want those, honestly), and power rear shade.

Wondering about the 2017 "Drivers Assistance Package" (not the plus version). Does it come with active braking or even braking alert? Same for lane departure... active, passive, or neither?

Thanks in advance!
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      02-27-2020, 06:56 PM   #6
LogicalApex
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starbot1 View Post
Great write-up!

I'm moving into a 2017 540i xDrive tomorrow w/ 24k miles-- Imperial Blue on Cognac. Moving from a 2008 Accord..

It has the HK system (sounds like it's not worth it), premium and driver's assistance package, as well as soft close doors (really don't want those, honestly), and power rear shade.

Wondering about the 2017 "Drivers Assistance Package" (not the plus version). Does it come with active braking or even braking alert? Same for lane departure... active, passive, or neither?

Thanks in advance!
I find the HK system underwhelming compared to my Ď14 C300 that I moved from. The 5 series seems a bit underpowered. But, that doesnít mean it isnít worth it either. It was a ~$900 option when I ordered and if it is only OK I imagine base system would be extremely underwhelming. The Burmeister probably sounds great, but I wasnít interested in dropping ~$5K on it. I donít listen to music that much in my car to justify that outsized price.

The HK doesnít sound horrible either. I just would like a bit more bass from the sub honestly.
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      02-28-2020, 07:38 AM   #7
richard in NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LogicalApex View Post
I find the HK system underwhelming compared to my Ď14 C300 that I moved from. The 5 series seems a bit underpowered. But, that doesnít mean it isnít worth it either. It was a ~$900 option when I ordered and if it is only OK I imagine base system would be extremely underwhelming. The Burmeister probably sounds great, but I wasnít interested in dropping ~$5K on it. I donít listen to music that much in my car to justify that outsized price.

The HK doesnít sound horrible either. I just would like a bit more bass from the sub honestly.
I find the HK system OK, best to play around with the EQ to get the most out of it. It's probably limited in performance to entice you to pay $3700 for the B&W system.
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      02-28-2020, 11:52 AM   #8
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I have 2019 sports line 540 (non M-sport) only thing I wish I ordered was multi contour seat (more for the wife I'm personally fine with the standard sport seat) ...
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      02-28-2020, 11:30 PM   #9
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I absolutely love my Bowers & Wilkins. It was my highest priority option.

Don't think you get rear door speakers without at least optioning an HK. With the HK you can do the Bavsound speaker upgrade and use the stock amp. The upgraded Bavsound drivers should do your ears a little better.
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