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What were they thinking???

Discussion in 'F15 X5 (2014-2018)' started by nopcbs, Nov 25, 2017.

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    My BMW history is a sold 2003 330i ZHP sedan (In "Hey officer look at me" Imola red), a current 2006 E46 M3 in silver, and a black 2014 X5 35d that I bought, used with 13,000 miles) a month ago. Yes, I said 13,000 miles.

    The X5 replaces a 2006 MB E320 cdi that I liked a lot, but it had been only semi-reliable up to the 47,000 miles it had when I sold it to a gentleman who flew in (to MI) from Atlanta to buy it for his 18 year old daughter. He was experienced with the generally troublesome reliability of MB's so I felt OK with selling it to him.

    Now, having had the 2014 F15 X5 as a daily driver for a month, I find several very likable things and a few that make me wonder where the adult supervision was when these decisions were made.

    Big pluses are excellent mileage (averaging 28 mpg in late fall) and a very nice and roomy interior. LCD display is very nice. Thank you BMW for letting the owner permanently turn off the stop-go-engine "feature". The diesel engine and transmission are excellent. The split rear tail-gate is kinda' nice. Good rear seat leg room.

    Negatives are:

    The running boards are worse than useless. They are of no value at all as a step and they soil the back of your leg EVERY time you get in. They are merely a style kludge. BMW make them useful or don't offer them!

    The location of the front/rear defroster controls is a crime. I defy anyone to locate them without their eyes leaving the road for an unsafe length of time. Tiny and VERY poorly located. The bun warmer switches are better located.

    What happened to the steering effort and road feel that BMW is noted for. My wife's 2006 Lexus RX400H has more of both. Did somebody at BMW fall out of love with driving?

    The interior door handles are hard plastic and poorly shaped and just feel cheap every time you use them.

    The run flat tires ruin the ride and are hideously expensive to replace. A friend has a 4 year old 3-series with run flats. He has had three flats and had to replace the tire each time at $300 a pop. (He has also had other problems that have, in total, made him swear off BMW's. His son bought him this 3-series as a gift and after seeing how much trouble his dad has had, at only 70,000 miles, he bought himself a new Lexus IS250.)

    Related to the run flats, BMW will sell you a space-saver spare for about $170 as a new car option with an X5. In Europe you can buy the spare tire kit from a BMW dealer as an add-on for about $250. It fits in a well that is in X5 F15s that are 2-row seating type...like mine. In the US BMW will not sell you the spare kit from their parts department. You have to buy from EU and pay big $ for shipping (I did that). Withe the space-saver kit you can ditch the run-flats when they wear out and have a huge variety of repairable tires, at lower cost, to choose from.

    I want to put a hitch on this X5. There are both oem and after-market options. The BMW oem hitch is hideously expensive (and a goofy design) while the after-market options (Draw-Tite, Curt, Reese, etc.) are all good and about $200...reasonable. The nightmare (or at least really bad dream) part is the installation. You get to take the entire back on the car apart! Who dreamed that up? On an SUV??? On my wife's RX330 and later RX400H the oem part was about $200, was installable without taking any part of the car apart (did it twice, about one hour each time), included the trailer brake harness attached to the hitch, and the car was pre-wired from the factory to easily connect to the hitch harness. Is Toyota more clever than BMW?

    Finally, I have found that BMW Certified (like my car is) only means you get another year of warranty beyond the new car warranty. The BMW dealer does not have to do any reconditioning or even a delivery prep. My dealer was a downtown Chicago BMW dealer. The car had paint scratched to the primer on the rear hatch and I had to negotiate with them to get that fixed (repainted rear hatch). They charged me $180 to detail the car (mandatory with them) and for a set of BMW floor mats I did not want. I also shopped MB M-class diesel and was told by a MB dealer that MB has a 200+ item check list that has to be gone through and repairs/maintenance done by the MB dealer before the car is Certified and after the dealer is done the car is basically "like new", but with a bunch of miles on it. My E320 CDI was Certified and that is what it was like.

    Finally BMW recently "improved" their Certified warranty. It used to add 2 years out to 6 years total (50,000 miles) and is now 1 year out to 5 years total, with unlimited mileage. There is a $50 deductible per incident on the extension. I drive about 6,000 miles a year and I wish they offered the old 2 years out to 50,000 miles as an option.

    OK, that's it.

    Let the comments begin.

    - Geo
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    About all I can say is the ol' gray mare ain't what it used to be! Cheaper electric steering has been here for awhile - I guess we have to hope someday it passes through some roadfeel in an approximation of the earlier hydraulic systems. Don't know the specifics, but perhaps the running boards could be removed, I guess assuming they're not integral to the bodywork. Warranty and virtually everything else is regressing - in the 80's, it was a 1-yr. 12k warranty. If there's a long-enough economic uptick that generates an uptick in demand for long-enough, perhaps manufacturer competition eventually generates more consumer-friendly warranties, etc. Congrats on the new ride!
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    Things have changed for BMW from the e46 zap days (one of the best 3 series in my opinion) to what we have now. The electric steering racks don't do well on the road feel like conventional steering does in the past. BMW went to this system all in the name of fuel economy. The EPA is demanding better fuel economy and this is one way of getting those numbers. Running boards can be removed for a non version. Yes BMW doesn't currently offer a us version to the spare wheel kit. If a customer request one we just build it by ordering each individual part. I agree on the run flats they cause more problems then they are worth but again the whole fuel thing is the reason for them. As for the CPO BMW does make them go through the car with a 200 something point check list and be driver 5 miles in order to be considered CPO. I am still learning on the new CPO warranty but there should be a option of 1 or 2 year with unlimited mileage and there would no longer be a 50 dollar deductible any more. I agree some of the interior options on the F15 make no sense at all and I think were designed on Octoberfest.
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    We have a F15 X5 and were able to find a spare tire kit in the US from Modern Spare for a reasonable price. It included the spare wheel/tire, a wheel spacer, and all the tools necessary to change a flat. It all fits neatly in the storage are below the cargo floor.

    I 100% agree with your comments on the defroster locations and the running boards.

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