535xi has fallen behind the times
By dteich on
2008 BMW 5 Series 535xi 4dr Sedan AWD (3.0L 6cyl Turbo 6M)
I took delivery 2 weeks ago, but the disappointment still stings. My previous car was a 2005 RL, my second car is a 2008 G53x. The 535xi is less fun to drive than the G35x, and its electronics, for the most part, are less advanced than the 3-year old RLs. I also find the seating positon too low, and the driver's seat does not go high enough (I am 5'11"). And then there is the much maligned iDrive. In my opinion, the critics are understating the inelegance and lack of thought put into the iDrive.
Steering, engine, 6-speed automatic transmission are all superb. The iPhone integration is the best, the speed control (passive) display is inspired, the rain-sensitive wipers are fun and work just right. The trunk is spacious and with the fold-down seats I can get the recylables to the center.
Use the Menu button of the iDrive as an "escape" button when pushed momentarily, to simplify moving out of a nested screen. Replace the silly iDrive first screen with a summary screen showing the temp, the HVAC settings, the current radio channel and RDS data, outside temp etc.