BMW 5 Series F10, the official car of Uber X. BMW 5 Series F10, the official car of the businessman who bought the 5 series all the way back to the BMW E39 and kept loyal to the brand since then. The BMW 5 Series F10, that girl that looks good, has a decent personality, and yet abit boring.
And so the BMW 5 Series F10 came in 2010 with a new image, more polished than Henry Cavill’s jawline and it launched itself strongly in the luxury area. The BMW 5 Series F10 is more of a 7 Series Mini rather than a genuine 5 Series. Even if the BMW 5 Series F10 is a successful car, I can’t get past the dull character. Everything is executed correctly, without exaggerating anything, without standing out. It reminds me a lot of the VW Phaeton, another anonymous car on the street but extremely luxurious inside.
BMW F10 – The official luxury airport shuttle
The BMW 5 Series F10 has quickly become a very popular choice among drivers of Uber X and expensive ridesharing services. This also explains why the used car market is invaded by black or gray BMW F10s, standard colors for VIP cars.
Besides, the BMW F10 was a radically different car from the previous model. The BMW E60 was a dramatic car in appearance, dramatic in performance, dramatic in reliability issues. The BMW E60 was a car that showed everyone exactly what car you were seen in and what was your social status (whether you were a clean businessman or you were wanted by Interpol for various activities in England, France, Germany, Italy and so on). Instead, the BMW 5 Series F10 made safer choices in life, safer than when you don’t know what to buy as a gift for a friend, so you buy him a watch. Or when you want to go out but you don’t know where, so you go to the same location as always, even if you’re bored out of your mind of that location and the same menu and maybe it smells a little weird tonight, but hey, maybe elsewhere it was gonna be worse. Or that when you want to invite one of the girls you already know for years out in the city because you know better than to try to meet new girls.
BMW 5 Series F10 Engines
- 520i of 2 million horsepower , codename N20 – The entry-level petrol powerplant on the BMW F10, this furious crate of muscles had personal problems with the timing chain and water pump, problems for which there was a recall in 2015. All models after 2015 have the issue solved, but it is good to check if the recall has been taken out.
- 523i of 201 horsepower, code N53 – All BMWs are extremely sensitive to oil, but the BMW F10 523i is more sensitive than the self-confidence of a college graduate trying to enter the job market. If the oil recommendation schedule is not followed to the millimeter, the BMW F10 523i will start dropping the following parts: high pressure pump, spark plugs, induction coils and injectors. So don’t be a jerk, use proper oil and stick to the change interval.
- 528i of 255 horsepower (Code N53) and 241 horsepower (Code N20) – We are already in the area of 3-liter engines, the natural aspirated N53 being replaced in 2012 by the turbocharged N20. 528i from 2010-2011 has 3 liters, the one from 2012-2016 has 2 liters. BMW engineers are like college teachers: If you’re not confused, they’re not happy.
- 535i of 302 horsepower, code N55 – What’s better than a 3-litre petrol engine? A turbocharged 3 litre petrol engine . Like with the other engines, this engine needs maximum attention towards oil level, quality and change intervals, otherwise you will run out of water pumps, high pressure fuel pumps, VANOS and money in your account.
- 550i of 3 million horsepower, code N63 – The chaps from BMW really can’t into V8 engines. The same legendary 4.4 V8 launched at the same time as Bonney M, this monstrous V8 has gathered all the issues under the sun and gathered them under the bonnet. However, at what maintenance costs does this engine demand, general issues don’t even matter.
- 518d of 141 and 148 horsepower – The same N47 shared with the 520d, detuned to 141 horsepower. Same story with the B47 engines of the facelift, so scroll directly to 520d because if a lot of people complain about the 520d being slow, I don’t even want to think about the 518d.
- 520d of 181 and 192 horsepower – The old N47 that came with the desire to have fun and burn money is finally retired in 2014 by the B47. The N47s are completely to be avoided if you do not want to change the timing chain that is located at the back of the engine so the whole operation requires the complete removal of the engine and a cost similar to 1 week spent in the Ibiza. The 192 horsepower B47 engine is slower and quieter than the old N47, but at least it’s more reliable. In fact, the 192 horsepower BMW 5 Seroes F10 520d is about the best diesel you can buy.
- 525d of 201 and 215 horsepower – Unfortunately the BMW F10 525d uses the N47 and N57 engines which are as good as when you find out you have 3 months to live. It’s just that these engines don’t have only 3 months to live. In fact, no one knows how long they have to live with these buckets of issues. The timing chain tensioner still doesn’t do its job and can send the engine chain as spectacular as Van Damme doing the split in a cheap attempt to mimmic the Chuck Norris commercial. Moreover, to change the tensioner, you have to remove the whole engine, because the timing set is behind the motor. Thanks to BMW for an idea as brilliant as non-alcoholic beer.
- 530d, 535d and M550d of 241, 255, 302, 308 and 375 horsepower – The same 3-liter N57 engine with various tuning stages. The same old issues, so prepare yourself financially for a real BMW 5 Series F10: because an expensive BMW must be expensive to maintain. It’s not like you are wearing Tommy Hilfiger and eating used kebabs made at a fast food restaurant in a forgotten and dark alley of an train station.
ActiveHybrid 5 of 335 horsepower – Of course, BMW also had to catch the hybrid train, so the BMW F10 gets the 3-liter N55 engine and an electric motor for a total of 335 horsepower. As gourmet as the regular petrol version, with the same issues, but much easier on taxes. That would be the only argument in favor of buying the BMW F10 hybrid, the fact that you don’t give away so much money to the local city hall.
BMW 5 Series F10 General Issues
- I’ll start with the big one: the BMW F10 is extremely sensitive to oil, regardless of the engine. If you want to avoid all the above issues, make sure to change the oil every 8-10,000km and use only LL04 oil, officially approved by BMW. If you do that, the BMW 5 Series F10 is really reliable.
- The windshield is an issue that many people have complained about, that it reflects too much sunlight, that it cracks quickly and so on. But that’s the issue when you buy a BMW F10, you have expectations. It’s not like you really need a windshield, but no, you want one. Heated if possible.
- Special mention for the hearses…I mean the station wagon version that has a standard air suspension on the rear axle. More comfortable and more versatile sure, but if it breaks down you will have to prepare yourself spiritually, materially and physically.
- Many issues with the condensers, but who knows, you may be spared. Or maybe you are a real slav: You have a BMW F10 5 Series but go with the windows down because if you turn on the condenser it consumes a lot of fuel and you had only 10 pounds for the refill.
- Honorable mentions for the 525d and 535d, codenamed N57 which are known to have issues with EGR and especially the EGR cooler, so be spiritually prepared for replacing them.
- BMW 5 Series F10 is another BMW that travels about with run flat tires, very sensitive to potholes and very un-comfortable run flat tires. In addition to being less comfortable and sporty, run flat tires have a thicker edge and are sensitive to potholes and bad roads. Well, at least here in the UK the issue of bad roads doesn’t apply, unlike Germany.
- The automatic gearbox needs an oil change every 60,000km. Yes, BMW insists more like a business man in the market that there is no need for any oil change in the gearbox, but history has shown the opposite.
- Lots of electronics: reversing camera, gearbox, heated seat and so on. The gearbox receives bonus points because it is electronic and if something electrical has broken, the physical gearbox must be changed. Because nooooo, in the BMW F10 you no longer need to have any sort of physical contact with the automatic transmission.
- Moisture and water can build up in the trunk, especially for the station wagon version. Bad luck, because that’s where the battery is. Battery and moisture make a more explosive combination than a Twisted Sister video, and your car has every chance of not starting.
BMW 5 Series F10 Verdict
Meh. It’s a bigger 3 Series and at the same time it’s a smaller 7 Series. There is nothing spectacular or dramatic about it like the BMW E60. But maybe that was the goal of BMW: to go with something safe, without risking anything. Maybe the previous episodes and the collective anger of the buyers determined them not to experience anything new.
What engines do I recommend? For taxi drivers, obviously BMW F10 520d code named B47. For enthusiasts, the 255 horsepower BMW F10 528i 3 litre aspirated, codenamed N53 should be just right.