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Moving from an Audi A4 to BMW 520D - one guy's experience

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Wasn't sure whether this was better placed in General Cars or here (I have no problem is you want to move it Mods!)

I figured it might be interesting to some to read of my experience in changing cars and brand.

I had my Audi A4 1.9TDi from new and I loved it.

The change was driven by 2 factors:

1) After 9 years I was bored witless and fancied a change (and a newer car)

2) the children were getting a little cramped in the back now

 

Looked round the various options and was nudged towards the E60 520D SE.

Now when I bought my Audi I did also test a 320D and whilst the engine/drive was arguable better (I was coming from an old Civic so both were superb) the interior was too bland for my tastes.

On balance I would still possibly say the A6 looks a little more "bespoke" than the 520d but I wanted a proper change and to be fair it DOES look nice in Business Edition trim with the Colour iDrive and satnav.

I was a little suprised how difficult it was getting one with the spec I wanted though!

 

Bought via Autotrader from Mercedes-Hamilton (Scotland); it was a p/x car they had.

I have to say I was impressed with my telephone/email dealings with them which were prompt, friendly and (to the best of my knowledge!) honest.

To facilitate a sale before month-end they brought the car down to Manchester for me to view.

It was in lovely condition and to be honest by the time I had left the Dealer Carpark on my test drive I was sold.

The Audi was sold to a trader mate of mine for a couple hundred over the p/x price we agreed (over phone) with Mercedes which I was reasonably happy with.

 

Right then:

It is definitely bigger than the A4 both in height (as I spotted in the pre/post sale pix with my son stood next to both cars) and rear legroom. The boot is massive.

We can comfortably get 3 adults (or 2 adults and a car seat - ahem) into the back seats.

In fact from my perspective it effectively feels like moving more the Civic to the Audi all over again.

I haven't got used to the new size yet fully.

It is a very refined driving experience generally - much more torque, much quieter and more responsive than the A4 (again very similar to moving from my civic to the Audi).

I like the new toys: heated leather seats which heat back as well as seat; the bluetooth phone prep which "just works" including ability to read out and reply to texts.

Mind you I think it is rude car as it puts "&%^ off" every time I say "4"!!)

There are nice touches with the Climate Control such as independently adjusting the temp to the driver body indept of the temp to the cabin.

The front and rear sensors certainly help while getting used to it as parking in car parks is a little bit of a chore right now until I get used to it.

 

Few niggles so far:

- I don't like that indept split climate control is not standard on a 59 Business Edition 5 series whereas it was on a 04 A4 and I did prefer the Climate Control management of the Audi as it was more flexible.

-Don't like the lack of manual intermittent wipers (with variable speed). I do like the idea of the automatic rain sensitive wipers but haven't yet got the hang of them as they seem rather random

-I don't like the rumbling when you stop at lights and revs drop below 1k rpm (if you are in drive with the footbrake on); it does die away quickly and doesn't happen if you put in neutral but it is a minor irritation. Googled it and see others reporting similar complaint without ever getting to the bottom of it; once above 5mph is it whisper quiet and refine but noisy when slow.

-I am sure much of the following are due to not finding the requisite option in iDrive yet but:

   - don't like that when you put the radio on it defaults to FM and you have to fiddle with idrive to change it; would have preffered a 1 click option to do this.

   -would be nice for the satnav to just demonstrate map view whenever you swtich car on (it does when it was the last screen you turned car off at, I agree) rather than having to press navigation, then scrolling down to the botton of the screen to select map orientation: too much of a pfaff.

 

So: I feel I got a good car (40k on clock; excellent condition bodywork; 59plate; 4 dealer services) at a competitive price.

It is definitely a upgrade from the A4 and looks more imposing in the driveway.

It drives better especially on the motorway.

I probably need to RTFM!

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Re the radio/iDrive thing, does yours have the row of 8 buttons near the bottom of the centre console?  My E60 (2007MY) let you use those to hop straight to a specific channel or a specific audio input.

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Yes it does. I assumed I could programme those to specific channels within a band (ie 1 would be BB4 in FM or 5Live in AM) but useful to know it can be for more! +++

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Yes, in mine you could allocate a satnav destination to them, or a telephone number, or an audio source.  

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I refer myself to my last comment in the OP above then! :coffee:+++

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I think I need to RTFM too!! Will my GT read out my texts?? I like that idea.

 

Nice to hear you're pleased with your purchase - good news.

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How are you finding the switch to rear drive? I found it a bit weird being 'pushed' through the corners, and I also thought the feedback felt like it was making me 'that' near to being thrown into a hedge. Different driving characteristics.

 

Now, I just treat it exactly the same as the RS4 really, traction isn't often a problem. 

 

Although Clarkson's comment does haunt:

 

"If you hold down THIS button, you too can have a crash."

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It is a little strange and I am still getting used to it.

It is more torquey and feels more "powerful" to drive - as you say being pushed.

I haven't really had the chance to go for a good old blat in it yet though

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As Patently says, you can assign a number of functions to the line of 'radio' buttons.

 

AudiPartner, you should find yours will read out texts too, and also emails if you've set up BMW Online and ConnectedDrive. 

 

I'm not sure what is meant by not being able to manually control intermittent wash wipe.  I can, and that was/is the same on the X6, X5, 645, M3's, 320d and even the awful Z4.  Get the book out and turn the pages from right to left, reading the text on them, and you'll probably find the problem disappears. :grin:

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Nope I have the following wiper options:

Off

On

On - faster.

Auto. The toggle controls the sensitivity of the automatic wipers not the speed of the intermittent wipes.

I am getting used to it but it isn't that intuitive yet (IMO) as in some cases will be swishing away with only slow intermittent drizzle and at other times visibility is being pretty obscured by rain and it won't wipe unless I whack the sensitivity right up.

The A4 had no auto but there were about 5 speeds of the intermittent (about the same number of steps for the autosensitivity to be fair - once I get to grips with it).

 

This BMW Online and Connected Drive (I can't read about them in my manual as it says "read other manual" that I don't have!) - are they chargable options as I have them too but haven't set them up yet.

What features fo they offer?

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Yes, they are.  Google "ConnectedDrive", cos' I'm not going to reproduce the vast website content they've published on it! :roflmao:

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Pah! Good job you're not really into Social Media as I reckon you'd be rubbish on Twitter if you can't summarise succinctly.

Anyway you started it... :uhoh:

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Nope I have the following wiper options:

Off

On

On - faster.

Auto. The toggle controls the sensitivity of the automatic wipers not the speed of the intermittent wipes.

I am getting used to it but it isn't that intuitive yet (IMO) as in some cases will be swishing away with only slow intermittent drizzle and at other times visibility is being pretty obscured by rain and it won't wipe unless I whack the sensitivity right up.

The A4 had no auto but there were about 5 speeds of the intermittent (about the same number of steps for the autosensitivity to be fair - once I get to grips with it).

 

This BMW Online and Connected Drive (I can't read about them in my manual as it says "read other manual" that I don't have!) - are they chargable options as I have them too but haven't set them up yet.

What features fo they offer?

Could it be BMW have variable intermittent the way my old TT did :

 

Turn wiper to intermittent - it wipes

Turn it off until you want it to wipe again

Turn it back on - it repeats that pause period

 

That was properly variable intermittent. My A4 adjusts dependant on the rain level and you can move it to more or less sensitive but I think I prefer the former.

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On my van, when the wet stuff falls out of the sky, you turn the windscreen wipers on and hey presto the rain goes away! It's very straight forward.

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My only two gripes with my car are the intermittent wipers and that sodding wheel that controls the temperature that comes out of the central vents.

The intermittent wipers do not work properly in that the most sensitive setting is not sensitive enough and I have no option of a traditional non sensor intermittent setting as I always had on my Audi cars that had sensors.

The climate control is overridden by the manual wheel in the centre of the dash. If I want the cabin to be a certain temperature that I should simply set the climate control. I shouldn't have to adjust the manual wheel to suit as well.

People on the bmwland.co.uk board rave about the wheel and how good it is. Nonsense. It is a throwback to the pre-climate control era.

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THANK YOU. Both are my 2 main gripes (so far) too. I miss the Climate Control of the Audi.

There should be a feature to leave climate control on but have manual override for the front windscreen to defog, Here I have to set manual knob to windscreen, manually adjust the flow and let it blast; then when it is done press auto again.

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The climate control is overridden by the manual wheel in the centre of the dash. If I want the cabin to be a certain temperature that I should simply set the climate control. I shouldn't have to adjust the manual wheel to suit as well.

People on the bmwland.co.uk board rave about the wheel and how good it is. Nonsense. It is a throwback to the pre-climate control era.

 

Umm, no it doesn't get over-ridden by the manual wheel in the dash on the vents! :roflmao:

 

The climate control still controls the overall temperature of the cabin.  If you set it to 20 degrees, it maintains it at 20 degrees.

 

The wheel on the vents is to give you the option of having hot or cold air blown directly at your hands or face.  In other words, it is 'blown air' and nothing more.  It does not impact cabin temperature.

 

The idea came from if you wanted cool air to keep you feeling a little more alert, but warm overall - you could point cool air at your face.  Or, if you liked a cool cabin but felt the coolness in your hands more (common), then you could have warm air directed at them.

 

Some people haven't read the manual, have you... :roflmao:

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I hate not being able to put dual zone climate into single zone mode. Even K's 156 lets you do that!

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Umm, no it doesn't get over-ridden by the manual wheel in the dash on the vents! :roflmao:

 

The climate control still controls the overall temperature of the cabin.  If you set it to 20 degrees, it maintains it at 20 degrees.

 

The wheel on the vents is to give you the option of having hot or cold air blown directly at your hands or face.  In other words, it is 'blown air' and nothing more.  It does not impact cabin temperature.

 

The idea came from if you wanted cool air to keep you feeling a little more alert, but warm overall - you could point cool air at your face.  Or, if you liked a cool cabin but felt the coolness in your hands more (common), then you could have warm air directed at them.

 

Some people haven't read the manual, have you... :roflmao:

I didn't realise that was what he meant; THAT I did read and get and admittedly is a pretty cool feature.Mind you until I had RTFM I thought my aircon was fecked as even turning it all the way down only warmish air was blowing at me from the vents :roflmao:

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I hate not being able to put dual zone climate into single zone mode. Even K's 156 lets you do that!

I wouldn't know anymore as my E60 is single zone (another small feature I miss as SWMBO likes the cabin a lot colder than me)

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Why would you need single zone instead of dual zone if you're in the car alone?

 

You change the side you're on - it sets the temperature.  Does it matter what the side you're not sat in is set to? :roflmao:

 

Or, if you're not alone, tell your passenger to set it to what they'd like it to be!

Edited by NewNiceMrMe

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It's just wrong.

 

As is setting it to odd numbers, unless it's a multiple of 5. And half degrees are definitely not allowed.

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