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Old 01-23-2008, 01:24 AM
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Question 2008 535xi Wagon

A family member is seriously considering ordering up a 2008 535xi wagon. Any comments good or bad are welcome regarding this model. Thank you.

Options considered are: Nav, Sat, Bluetooth, ipod, PP, PDC, 18's

Color combo: Monaco Blue Metallic/Natural Brown Dakota Leather

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Old 01-23-2008, 01:45 AM
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I like. If were to choose between the 535xit and the X5 today I'd probably go with the 5er. The availability of a manual tranny plays a big part of that.
Wake up every day that would be a start.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:25 AM
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I like it. I didn't want to go with an E70 to replace the E53, it was larger than I needed and I wanted a more direct connection as a driver. I thought about the 535xi, but decided that the 535i was better for me. We have had snow here for a month, on and off, and with four M3 Wintersports it has gone everywhere no problem.

I thought I would miss the wagon, but I don't. I do like the look of the wagon. If it came in a non-X version I would have considered it more.
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Old 01-23-2008, 08:05 AM
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First, I've never been a fan of the 5's styling, especially the front and rear ends of the sedan. The touring however has a more conservative rear but the ugly headlight treatment remains, even after the mild facelift. However this is subjective. Looks aside, the 08 535xiT is one heck of a wagon with plenty of interior and cargo space and of course that sweet twin turbocharged 300hp engine. Your family member won't be disappointed with this wagon.

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Old 01-23-2008, 09:17 AM
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I'm waiting for the 535d to come across the pond (if it ever comes).
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Old 01-23-2008, 12:27 PM
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FYI: Dark Blue Dakota leather is now available as a Priority One option.
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Old 01-23-2008, 02:38 PM
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Originally Posted by rickp
I'm waiting for the 535d to come across the pond (if it ever comes).
Your wishes will come true in not so distant future.
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Old 01-23-2008, 11:51 PM
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there are a few safety concerns, I don't know if the poor side impact rating on the wagon has been addressed yet, it may warrant further research
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:28 AM
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As a former X5 owner and a present 2006 530xiT owner, I'm somewhat qualified to speak here.

The official blurb from BMW states:

"BMW is pleased with the Good rating from IIHS in their frontal offset test of the new 2008 BMW 5 Series. Regarding the Acceptable rating in the Institute’s rear impact testing of that model, we note that consumers can get better results by adjusting the head restraint in our vehicles much closer to their head than the generic positioning used by IIHS. As described in our Owner’s Manuals, the head restraint should be close to the head at the height of the ears. The IIHS test does not make this adjustment for the test dummy.

“With regard to the Marginal side impact rating and the overall ranking by IIHS, it should be noted that our passenger vehicles are designed to meet a wide range of global crash test requirements. This includes NCAP and EuroNCAP, as well as other European, Japanese and Australian test protocols and requirements. We are confident that, on the road in the real world, BMW vehicles are among the safest. This conclusion is supported by real-world crash data not only in the US, but worldwide.”

BMW spokesman Tom Plucinsky told the Associated Press that IIHS tests showed the 5 Series has a strong body structure, but the dummy was injured when it was hit by the arm rest. BMW runs up to 12 crash tests plus computer simulations while IIHS does just one. "The issue is that depending on the location of seat, the location of dummy, the location of the sled, the results could change," he said. "This was one test on one day on one car."

The explanation certainly works for me, but perhaps it doesn't for others.

The culprit in the side collision test was the driver side door trim - specifically the arm rest which came into contact with the test dummy's torso.

Solution: Drive with a gangster lean. Keep away from the door.

As for the actual vehicle, I've been very happy with my 530xiT purchase although the subsequent introduction of the 535xiT has me wishing for more power and a 6MT.

In moving from an '02 X5 4.4i to the 530xiT, there has been very little dropoff from a performance standpoint especially at highway speeds. I can get around traffic just as easily in the wagon as I did in the SAV. Fuel economy is greatly improved, typically getting up to 22 (at 100MPH) to 25 MPG (at 75 MPH) on the open road. I would rate the handing of the E60 wagon as much better than both the E53 and E70 X5's. CG is lower, body roll is less, and there's much less head toss. From a utility standpoint, the wagon is about the same as an X5 with slightly narrower but longer cargo area. Stuffing golf clubs and overnight bags for a 4 person weekend trip in the back of the wagon is not a issue.

Plus the wagon comes with a real honest to goodness spare tire, which is wonderful on those backwoods camping trips where replacement tires can't be found and Road Assist is a half day wait.

It is also awfully nice to be able to load my bikes on top of my wagon without getting out the step stool. I couldn't do that with an X5.

That being said, a 6MT 535xiT with or without a Vishnu or AA kit would be a sweet ticket. I've contemplated trading in the 530xiT for said vehicle but I would be getting the same car with a different engine and a tranny. I'll keep the wagon and fulfill the thrill factor with at a later time with a sportier vehicle.

Downside - a set of aftermarket wheels is hard to find - at least ones that look attractive. the E60 wagon requires an ET43 offset which is byproduct of the xDrive system. The big offset usually means a smaller dish size. I've tried several different 19" rims including M5 and M6 replicas on the wagon; they just didn't look right so the search is still continuing.

The flipside is that the BMW M Tech kit is readily available in the aftermarket. It's a 1 day project to convert a wagon into a M5 wagon wannabee and the cash outlay is not all that big at somewhere around $2K.

Another downside or upside depending on how you view it - I can go weeks at a time without seeing another seeing another E60 wagon on the road. Unfortunately, there are people who still think wagons are decidedly uncool like my 20 year old daughter who thinks its the equivalent of a minivan.

The rest of the free world also thinks the same, as most BMW dealers have a very difficult time moving 535i wagons. It is not uncommon to see 300-400 535xiT wagons sold nationwide per month as compared to 4000-5000 535i sedans if I remember the numbers correctly. The potential to get a good deal on a wagon is probably more so than on a 535i sedan.

Bottomline - I love my wagon.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:43 AM
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Good write-up. I share your thoughts on the crash results. One test, one day, one dummy. Didn't change my mind at all, too many other good results.

One comment on rest of the 'free world' that doesn't like wagons. I think it is the US that doesn't like wagons, and to a lesser extent, Canada. Touring versions are much more popular in Europe than in North America, with some models selling more touring versions than sedans. The US represents 23% of BMW sales (2006 sales revenue figures). The rest of the world likely considers themselves free as well.
2007 X3 3.0si, 6 MT, Premium, White

2008 535i, 6 MT, M Sport, Premium, Space Grey
2003 X5 3.0 Steptronic, Premium, Titanium Silver

2002 325xi 5 MT, Steel Grey
2004 Z4 3.0 Premium, Sport, SMG, Maldives Blue
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