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  1. £6750 ono This is not your usual poverty spec BMW 520d Touring (F11), this car comes with some pretty rare and very useful options. I looked around for ages before buying this car a year ago for a new job (that was going to involve a lot of miles on the road). I am only selling this now as I am changing jobs and my commute has reduced massively. The car has only covered about 6000 miles since it was last serviced a year ago thanks to the lockdowns, and it comes with a fresh 12-month MOT with no advisories. The car can be viewed in North Devon, but I would be more than happy to meet somewhere reasonable for my travel costs to deliver. I could meet to view in the West London area over the next few days. There have only been two previous owners, and up until the last service (which was carried out by the garage I bought it off) the car has a full BMW service history with some big jobs carried out in the recent past. The most important one for the N47 engine is that the timing chain was replaced by BMW in January 2020. It would have (obviously) had an oil change at that point, then again in July 2020, and I have only done 6000 miles since. The new owner can keep up more frequent oil changes to stave off any future issues with the new timing chain. A lot of other BMW invoices come with the car for various jobs (as you can see in the photos). The original owners pack, and the approved used owners pack come with the car. It has a complete history with it. The car has a few small stone chips on the front, and there is a small amount of corrosion on the alloys, but overall, the paintwork is in really good condition. The paint has clearly been well looked after (no swirl marks or major blemishes), and the alloys have no heavy curbing. Given the mileage it is in great condition. Inside it is very good too, with minimal wear throughout. The tyres all have at least 4mm tread, the fronts are Goodyears, the rears Pirelli. It is in mechanically excellent condition. I fitted and coded a new rear shock (the shocks on this car have Electronically Controlled Dampers – EDC fitted) to replace one that was leaking badly, plus two new lower wishbone arms as the ball joints had gone. These were the only issues on the latest MOT. The Dynamic Damper Control (or EDC) system is amazing, you get the best of all worlds, the comfort and ride of an SE, plus when you want to far firmer suspension put it in Sport and off you go (body control in all modes is exceptional). It is amazing how capable the car can be given it is a big 5 series. It is a great option to have on the car, and really a very rare option on a 520d. The 8-speed auto gearbox has had a recent oil change and shifting is smooth. A genuine ZF sump pan was fitted with genuine ZF Lifeline 8 oil. So you have peace of mind knowing this has been carried out. It has the optional paddle shifters fitted, so when the mood takes you, you can have full manual control over the gearbox from the paddles. The car ride is tight and no knocks or creaks, mechanically it is spot on and drives like new. The car is fitted with the surround view camera system (another pretty rare option on a 520d), with reversing camera, park assist (using the Top View cameras) and front corner mounted Side View cameras (ideal for pulling out of tight junctions as the nose is pretty long on this car). There is a common failure of the nearside front Side View camera cable which gets water ingress, and the camera fails. My car had this fault when I bought it, but I got a new genuine replacement cable from BMW and repaired this (which was a pain of a job) but the system now fully works (see photos). Another excellent and really rare option on the car is the Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go. This is a radar cruise system which will brake the car to a standstill (great for slow moving traffic) and maintain a distance to the car in front. If you plan to commute any distance this makes driving effortless. Finally, there is the visibility pack, with adaptive xenon headlights (that “steer” round corners) and main beam assist (which is awesome). I will miss the headlights on this car, they are really very good. Other than these the car comes with some other options and all the usual refinements: powered tailgate, ambient interior lighting, auto wipers, front heated seats (black leather seats), dipping nearside wing mirror to help reversing (not that you need it with all the cameras!), auto dimming rear view mirror and wing mirrors, auto wipers, electric adjustable seats with memory function, power folding wing mirrors (will fold in with a long press of the lock button), climate control (blows nice and cold). The car is not fitted with the professional navigation system (in fact it does not have navigation at all), but it does have Bluetooth enabled and USB/line in connection. I fitted a Brodit mount for my phone to the dashboard (which I will leave attached to the car – you just need to buy the cradle specific to your phone). Fitting the cradle did not require any drilling/cutting to fit so it can be removed without leaving a mark. I then retrofitted the OEM 12V socket hidden under the glovebox which made it a pretty neat install (see photos). I then just used my mobile for navigation and for streaming music over Bluetooth (a phone is way better than the pretty rubbish pro nav system). The car can be paired to two mobile phones. I’m sure I have missed some stuff, but as I mentioned this is not your usual run-of-the-mill 520d, and I hope it goes to a good home! Any questions get in touch.
  2. Bought my '12 F11 530D SE (on 17" style 236) in October, and ditched the Turanza's for Blizzaks straight away, with the thought that I would get 18" wheels and summer runflats in the spring. Car has VDC. Now I am starting to think about ordering, initially I was going to go for style 328, but according to this website http://felgenkatalog.auto-treff.com/ , there is quite a difference in weight: 328 18"x8" 12.77kg (£1194 for set of 4) 365 18"x8" 12.13kg (£1194 for set of 4) 350M 18"x8" 11.40kg (£1424 for set of 4) I am thinking now to go for 365's, or even 350M's - but realistically what difference is that weight going to make? On the tyre front I will definately stick to RFTs, I am looking at Goodyear Excellence, Bridgestone RE050A II or Conti Sport Contact 3 SSR. I am thinking that the Conti's are quite an old tyre where as the other 2 should be 3rd gen RFT. Anyone got thoughts/experiences of any of the above?
  3. Searching around the internet, opinion seems to be quite divided on VDC, so I thought I would add my thoughts based on my recent experience of 3 cars: 2012 520d SE Auto Touring, 17" wheels 225/55 runflats, sports steering wheel, no VDC. Company car ran for 3 years/60K 2005 530i M-Sport Auto Saloon 19" wheels 245/40 & 275/35 non runflats, no VDC. Ran for 9 months/15K 2012 530d SE Auto Touring, 17" wheels 225/55 runflats, sports steering wheel, sports seats, VDC. Current vehicle, covered approx 2K 520d was generally a very comfortable car, handles OK (for a big estate) on smooth roads, but upset by rough surfaces and doesn't handle potholes and speed bumps well - they thud through into cabin more than they should do in this kind of car. I ummed and arrred over VDC when I ordered it, in the end decided against it, mainly on the recommendation of the supplying dealer, and the 2 demonstrators I had tried didn't have it. When I left the company, I bought an approved used E60 530i. From the moment I drove this car I was immediately impressed by the ride quality, despite the low profile tyres. Yes, firm, but actually I thought, better than the 520d. The body control and handling, especially the steering, better than the 520d. This combined with the more powerful engine, meant this car was what I expected of BMW - taut and responsive, yet refined and comfortable. When time came to change, I wanted to take a bit of each car - economy and space from the 520d, and a bit of the pace, poise and comfort of the 530i, so I ended up with the 530d with VDC. To me, VDC is a big improvement: the car does feel more poised, flows more 'naturally' down a twisty road, is easier to place (cliche alert: "seems to shrink around you") and doesn't feel like a massive barge. It is much less disturbed by rough surfaces or mind-bend bumps. I tend to leave the car in Comfort, but occasionally use Sport when in the mood, and use Comfort+ around town on pot-holed roads or speed bumps. Even with VDC, the initial response to speed bumps or potholes is still on the wrong side of harsh (it's no Jaguar), but you can definately feel the rear damping has adapted by the time the rear tyre gets there - especially at low speed in Comfort+. Out of town, Comfort+ is too wallowy for my taste. Bottom line is, if I were to order new, I would be prepared to make a few compromises (530d rather than 535d, SE rather than M-Sport) in order to have VDC or Adaptive Drive, and I wouldn't consider a used one without one or the other. I think the numerous independent reviews that clearly state VDC or Adaptive Drive as 'essential' options are probably right. After all these people are in and out of numerous cars week after week, and may be they do know their stuff?