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Author: Subject: BMW 530i or 540i?
Hodor

posted on 16/10/17 at 09:47 PM Reply With Quote
BMW 530i or 540i?

OK, so need some sense talked.

Time I changed my regular car and I really like the E60 BMW. After multiple searches and sidetracks off down forum threads on BMW forums I've decided to ditch the idea of the powerful diesel 535d because, well, it's diesel, and it only comes as an automatic. MPG argument is not too big a deal as I've just a 6 mile commute so a diesel would be a bad choice anyhoo.

So that leaves me with petrol options; I could go with a 525i but I'm after more oomph so that leaves me 2 choices, notwithstanding the M5 and 550i which I'm not counting as I'm not a drug dealer.

The first is the more sensible 530i, 276bhp and available in manual but not many of them. In M-sport it looks nice, especially with the "correct" spider alloys.

However, I need to be slapped as a reality check - I'm also looking at the 540i, a sweet V8 that sounds really nice (on youtube). I think starting up a v8 every day would just make me smile. But they only come in auto! are "only" 306bhp and are 520 road tax. I don't know if I can look past the auto box though and think I would always miss the whole stick shift interaction as part of making progress down the road. Even in tiptronic mode I just don't think it'd be the same.

Anyway, anyone had / driven either of these cars and have wisdom to share?

Does a mid-life crises 4L v8 money-pit sound like a cliche too far?

Anyone bought a tip-type car of any sort and felt it's just not as involving as a manual? Or the opposite, and would never go back?

Both cars can be had for similar prices 6.5 to 8.5k for 2006 to 2009-ish cars. WWYD?

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rf900rush

posted on 16/10/17 at 10:02 PM Reply With Quote
These tick most of the boxes above apart for them BMW bit.

Link

I had a outback version with the 3.0 flat six.

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Hodor

posted on 16/10/17 at 10:26 PM Reply With Quote
I do like a Subaru - they sound great too. Maybe a bit too much of a Q car though, I need something that says "I'm a twat" a bit more, without going full Audi of course.
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stevebubs

posted on 17/10/17 at 12:48 AM Reply With Quote
A friend has an E60 550i as his family car (he's not a drug dealer); it sounds awesome and goes like stink.

He loves it.. his 2 prior cars were a manual Z4 and auto Alpina B10...

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nick205

posted on 17/10/17 at 08:05 AM Reply With Quote
My brother in law has an older (E30?) 325i convertible and loves it - that said it lives in his garage and is a fair weather only car.

His daily driver is a 2 year old 320d Touring, but then his daily commute is 50 miles each way.

His (and my own) view is that modern diesels give the right balance for modern road driving...

- Better MPG
- Enough grunt if/when required
- Reasonable costs (people hack on about higher servicing costs, but I service my own so not applicable)
- Interior/exterior trim levels comparable with petrol versions

All that said your facing a much shorter commute. Given your situation I think I'd opt for the 530i myself, with perhaps a slightly better trim level than the 540i. Probably cheaper to buy, cheaper to run and dare I say it easier to sell on when you're done.

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FuryRebuild

posted on 17/10/17 at 08:59 AM Reply With Quote
I wouldn't discount the auto-box. my daily driver (XF-S) is an auto, and I've driven autos for years. I wouldn't opt for a manual on the road. Things like being in traffic jams and general pooltling around town mean I'd never arse myself with a manual. When stuck in traffic, I reduce the pressure on my big toe, and the car creeps forward. Slightly more pressure, and it stops. No "clutch down, into gear, creep forward, clutch down, out of gear, stop' for me.

Most modern boxes are management controlled anyway, and shift well enough and accurate enough. For nearly all driving conditions the power you have with the V8 will do it - you'll still get the buzz. Mine certainly has plenty and it doesn't disappoint when I shove my foot down.

If I am making proper progress, I generally have all the stig-buttons pushed, and I'm selecting gears before corners regardless - I'd be in manual mode then - not for the fun of changing, but to be sure that I can balance the throttle without a gear-change.

I had a mitsubishi ralliart with a DSG box, and that thing was amazing. seamless changes, and when you were making reasonable progress, it always chose the right gear, did throttle blips on the way down, and in sport mode, sat at the lights at an idle of 3500 to keep the massive turbo spun up. Amazing car on the twisty bits, tiring as a motorway cruiser.

So, I'd say, power first, and don't shy away from an auto. I assume 90% of your driving isn't at 9/10th





When all you have is a hammer, everything around you is a nail.

www.furyrebuild.co.uk

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FuryRebuild

posted on 17/10/17 at 09:00 AM Reply With Quote
saying all that, for a 6 mile commute, I'd buy a twizzy.





When all you have is a hammer, everything around you is a nail.

www.furyrebuild.co.uk

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Charlie_Zetec

posted on 17/10/17 at 09:58 AM Reply With Quote
First automatic car I bought was an E39 530i M-Sport. I went from a manual Calibra Turbo (showing my age), and instinctively wanted another manual, but was swayed by the BM. Obviously being older, it didn't have flappy-paddles, or anything swish when it came to gear changes, but had the steptronic "knock-up/knock down" manual sports mode which was fun when you turned off the TC. Seamless and smooth gear changes, and totally changed my perspective on automatic vehicles. Same with the E38 740i I temporarily owned, but then reverted to a manual E46 320Ci.

Have since driven (but not owned) an E90 325i convertible, and F32 430d M-Sport, I found them to be a totally different experience. With advances in the auto universe, gone are the days of 4 and 5 speed boxes - now there are 6/7/8 speed units, which I found "odd" as they repeatedly shift up/down (guessing for economy reasons). Having said that, flip them into sports mode both had great grin factor.

Overall outcome - I wouldn't be too put off by it. I've currently got (well, the wife's car / daily hack) a W209 Merc CLK 320 petrol in auto, and again, lovely smooth changes. In comparison, I drive a LR Defender 90, which is a clunky manual beast - horses for causes. If you've got your heart set on a manual then you'll never change that - but the best thing you can do is go test drive both variants, and see what you think.

Personally in your situation I'd choose the 530i in manual or auto, because I begrudge paying the Govt. 500+ for road tax, but that's just me.





Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity!

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pewe

posted on 17/10/17 at 11:23 AM Reply With Quote
If only to have owned a V8 the 540i has to be first choice.
It's certainly top of my current bucket list.
Trouble is the SAAB keeps plodding along, fills most tin-top requirements and costs peanuts to run (famous last words) so I cant justify it in own mind.
I sympathise with your indecision but a test drive or two should sort it.
Keep us posted.
Cheers, Pewe10

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twybrow

posted on 17/10/17 at 07:38 PM Reply With Quote
I had an E61 535D, and bloody loved it. Went like the clappers but I also was very worried about expensive engine troubles. Mine had self levelling suspension that failed, and that cost 800 just in parts!

They are great cars - we really miss ours. The only reason it went was to make way for a boring company car.

The autobox suited that engine well, as the torque is immense. In my experience the 30i engine is a little lacking if you want a big car full of toys to travel quickly. I would also go for the V8, becuase, why the hell not?!

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Simon

posted on 17/10/17 at 08:46 PM Reply With Quote
Not a BMW but V8 400bhp (auto!)

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/classified/advert/201703022859757

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Hodor

posted on 17/10/17 at 09:51 PM Reply With Quote
Phew, not sure I'm manly enough to take on the Jaaaag.

Some good insight there folks, thanks. Mostly echos my own thoughts on things and if it was me advising anyone else I'd tell them go for the v8 too. What will probably happen shall be I keep an eye on the classifieds and see what turns up locally and try them out. I don't have any rush so can take my time.

I too have a Saab 93 Aero 2L petrol manual and can't fault it - it's really comfy, nippy enough and I've enjoyed the last 5 years with it. But now it's 14 years old and time for something new(er). Going for these 10 year old beemers shall likely be the only way I'll get my hands on 50-60k motors (when new). Until the alfa giulia quadrifoglio falls within my financial grasp that is...

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nick205

posted on 18/10/17 at 04:12 PM Reply With Quote
That Jag has a hint of Pringle sweater and golf club about it for me!
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FuryRebuild

posted on 18/10/17 at 04:18 PM Reply With Quote
Pringle Sweater ... How very dare you sir.

270 BHP, 440 lbs/ft of torque - twin turbo diesel. It shifts.

I wear out read pads the most, because that's what does the traction control





When all you have is a hammer, everything around you is a nail.

www.furyrebuild.co.uk

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scudderfish

posted on 18/10/17 at 04:48 PM Reply With Quote
quote:
Originally posted by FuryRebuild
Pringle Sweater ... How very dare you sir.

270 BHP, 440 lbs/ft of torque - twin turbo diesel. It shifts.

I wear out read pads the most, because that's what does the traction control


I have the NA 5L V8 XF (couldn't quite squeeze a supercharger into my budget). I aim to get the traction control warning light to flash on most journeys

It's a great car as it will waft if you want to be lazy, but a complete hooligan is only a prod of the loud pedal away.

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