Jump to content
rd45

yet another question about options - 540i Touring SE

Recommended Posts

Hello there. It's my first post here, so please go easy. In fact this will be also be my first ever BMW - I've owned VW & Audi before, and I'm looking forward to the upgrade.

 

So I'm looking at a new 540i Touring, in SE trim. I think I'm about 75% there with my choice of options, but the price is creeping up to near 60k when I select them all, and I want to know which of them I can lose without regretting it later.

 

Here are my specific questions...

 

1. CarPlay is important for me, because I want Spotify & Google maps. But after doing some reading, I think that I don't need to spec any options to achieve that, because CarPlay support is easy (& significantly cheaper) to retrofit after delivery. Is that correct?

 

2. I get that the stock speakers are crap. Do I need to go to H/K, or will I be happy with BMW Advanced speakers? The descriptions for each seem pretty similar in terms of speaker placement etc. Aside from the badges on the grills, what else am I getting from H/K? Most of my music will likely be streaming over bluetooth from Spotify if my CarPlay plan works, it isn't very bass-heavy (think Nick Drake, Laura Marling, Belle & Sebastian) and I won't be listening at window-rattling volume. (I'm also hoping that the windows won't rattle :D)

 

3. I'm hearing that the stock lights are crap too, but those Icon Adaptive lights look very pricy. Really, are the stock lights so bad that I'll regret not upgrading? Is there a mid-price upgrade option for lights that I'm not seeing?

 

4. I like the look of ACC, I drove a Passat for a while that had the same thing & I liked it a lot. But, would you take ACC stand-alone, or as part of the Driving Assistant Plus pack? If you've got the Driver Assistant Plus pack, what do you love about it? Has it saved your life?

 

5. Same question as no.4, but in relation to VDC as stand-alone or as part of Adaptive Drive. In practice, what are the advantages of Adaptive Drive on top of VDC?

 

I know that's a lot of different questions, and I know that there are a bunch of threads out there already on option choices, and I'm sorry to duplicate. I've asked my dealer a couple of these already, and his answers are kinda vague, so I'm hoping to benefit from other people's real-life experience. Appreciate any help with decision making - thanks!

--R.

Edited by rd45
typos

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Upgrade the lights, the adaptive system is superb. I have drive assistant plus and find the self driving a real boon in traffic. I'm not fussed about the sound system and find the standard kit is good for me, but this is very subjective and down to personal opinion of course

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi rd - welcome to the forum.

 

As you've identified, posts like this get very subjective very quickly. There will be people (possibly me included) that will suggest options that aren't on your current list, but rather than open up the problem (instead of focussing it down), I would set the task of your local dealer to find a number of cars that have all of the things that you are interested in spread across them. Then try everything. You might decide that suddenly X is more/less important, or that seats A are better than seats B etc.

 

Focussing in one of your requirements: I have Carplay but hardly ever use it. The BMW Spotify integration is fine IMHO (and is considerably more robust than it used to be) and the maps are of a good standard. The routing is good (if not a little optimistic on timings), but never enough for me to think I'd ditch it. YMMV.

 

Good luck.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaker-wise, the HK seem better than the stock ones that were in the loaner I had on trial.

 

ICO headlights are awesome but I cannot comment on how they compare with the stock ones.

 

I've got ACC standalone; again it is a good piece of kit, especially the start/go function. I'm wondering whether or not I should have spec'd DA+ but on balance think I can live without it (and the extra cost).

 

I've also got VDC and it seems fine; not sure what, if any, advantage Adaptive would give in most driving situations.

 

Finally, as you are creeping up to £60k, why not go for M Sport? It would make some of the options, particularly upgrading seats to Comfort, a lot less expensive. I would recommend trying out the different seats on longer test drives as some on here have reported dislike for the stock style seats.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There have been a number of threads on the H&K, and a couple of us have noted that the difference is not always apparent for some reason, but one set up, broken in, etc does sound markedly better.

 

The question about PCP is a good one - I found that going for an msport meant better residuals so the monthly was about the same as an SE.  Given the big engine, I wonder if people would expect an msport more...?

 

And it's worth shopping around as well - with broadspeed, carwow, etc, you should/could get c.19% off relatively easily. THere was a thread earlier where we compared what we saved.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Having come from a car with several of the options you’re looking at, here’s my two-penneth....

 

CarPlay - wouldn’t bother. As @Gr3gg has mentioned, the Spotify app works great, and the BMW Professional Nav is the best on the market as a factory fitted system. 

 

Sound - standard speakers are atrocious for a premium car. The BMW advanced system also gets poor reviews from audiophiles in the USA, where it’s standard factory fit. If you like your music then get HK - setup correctly the sound quality is excellent. 

 

Lights - cannot stress more that you spec ICON lights. The standard LED system is very poor, and the high beams are woeful. As someone who does lots of miles it’s one of the things I deeply regret not going for. My last car had an adaptive xenon setup and was far far better than the crap they fit as standard on the 5 series. 

 

ACC / DAP - my previous car had both ACC and Lane Assist, and to keep cost down (company car and same reason as not upgrading to ICON) I left it off to keep cost / P11d value down thinking I wouldn’t miss it.....I do - every day! I would spend the extra and get DAP pack. It really takes the stress out of long journeys.

 

VDC - I have never driven a car with it, but all I’d say is, on SE suspension and 17” wheels with non run-flat tyres the ride is excellent. If you’re thinking on big wheels then I’d consider it, but again I think you’ll be fine with just VDC and not adaptive drive. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK these are all great replies, thank you very much - exactly the kind of input I was hoping for.

 

Yes, it will be PCP. Yes, I've gone through carwow & have been offered some decent discounts there - up to 24%. Next step for me was to find a local dealer & beat him up until he agreed in principle to match what I'd seen via carwow. Was a bit of a fight but I got him there in the end. So now I have two live options which I can trade off against each other as I get nearer to signing.

 

Next step will be test drive at the local dealer, and if poss I'll be trying exactly these things out in the flesh (actually, that's the next-but-one step - the real next step for me is to get the job that I'm applying for, the car allowance of which makes this whole thing possible - been through 2nd interview & it's looking positive so far, but there's another stage that I need to pass before I can pull the trigger)

 

So going back to my original list...

1. carplay - I'll delete it from the options list, try out the standard nav & spotify integration, and if I still feel strongly I'll retrofit the iphone integration via ebay

 

2. hopefully I can hear some H/K speakers in the flesh on test drive, and I'll make a decision based on that

 

3. lights are deffo looking like Icon Adaptive based on the consensus here

 

4. yes to ACC, and a maybe to DA+

 

5. here's where it maybe gets interesting... good shout about better residuals etc on M Sport from @Mr H and @G Whizz, I'll price it up in that version too - one of the reasons I was thinking SE originally was that I'd heard the ride could feel a bit harsh on bigger wheels with M Sport suspension, but maybe if I've got VDC or even the full Adaptive Drive then it should smooth that out? Might have to swap out the seats for something comfier though...

 

too many possibilities - but these are all nice problems to have luckily

 

thanks again for all input

--R.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

All I would say then is given you are going to PCP the car, some of these smaller options will not make a great deal of difference to your PCP monthly figure. I decided not to go with a couple that I wished I had given the small increase in PCP figure.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just to add, I had the business speaker system in my F11 and HK in my current G32. 

 

I liked the 12 speaker 300 odd watt system in the F11 and love the 600 watt 16 speaker system in my G32. 

 

If i were spec’ing the car from new and there were other options that would need to be dropped as a result, I’d be happy with the business or advanced speakers. Which are both a great deal better than the standard 6 speaker system. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@rd45 don’t forget, if you did decide to go for the M-sport, you can delete the sport suspension for free if you were worried about ride and didn’t want to spend £ on the adaptive setup. 

 

If you do get the opportunity to test the HK, don’t use the radio / DAB to test it as it’s highly compressed audio and will sound cack no matter what your speaker setup is. For best results take a CD with you, as it’s lossless. 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If ride quality is your priority yuo can always go for MSport but opt for SE suspension set up.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

First of all good luck with the job interview.

 

Secondly, try a test drive in a car with comfort seats and nappa. It's a personal preference thing but I found the standard sports seats quite uncomfortable and having real leather makes a big difference. Standard LEDs are fine. ACC is brilliant, HK is okay but other than being louder I'm not sure I'd bother with it again and the adaptive suspension is unnecessary.

 

If your dealers are just matching carwow, I reckon you might be able to push the discount a little further, I got about 4% better than carwow when bought mine in late 2017.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know that VDC automatically deletes M Sport suspension in the F10/11 cars and the M Sport cars with VDC are visibly higher than a std M Sport. Might be worth asking it is does the same in the G30/31.

 

Sounds like it's going to be a great specced car - good luck

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, E39mad said:

I know that VDC automatically deletes M Sport suspension in the F10/11 cars and the M Sport cars with VDC are visibly higher than a std M Sport. Might be worth asking it is does the same in the G30/31.

 

Sounds like it's going to be a great specced car - good luck

 

It's the same for G31's, noticeably higher with VDC.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Think everyone has covered everything you need off. M Sport will be the same ok a monthly if not cheaper due to residual values, especially on a 540i.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep I think it’s looking good. With the full-fat version of all my options, the M Sport version is coming in at 64.5k list, and on a quick first pass carwow gets that down to 50. Don’t know the monthly cost yet but I’m hoping that with a combination of haggling & broadspeed & perhaps a five year PCP instead of four & maybe trimming a couple of options - I’ll get it to where it needs to be. 

 

Really appreciate all all the input. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't get what car wow is about. I understand how it works, but then how many successful purchases are made as a result of the cheapest quote. I would imagine most people take it to their local dealer and get them to match it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@nashdm2, even if all it’s doing is making it quicker to get quotes from multiple dealers, that’s already more than enough imo

 

then you can do this

 

how many carwow enquires end up as sales made by the lowest bidding dealer who responds on that platform? probably a tiny fraction of 1%, but that’s their issue not mine

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wouldn't just pick carwow, but do the lot - broadspeed, coast2coast, autoebid and uknewcars. (Have I missed any..? Drive the deal don't seem to do bmw any more).

 

Last time round, coast2coast were cheapest, and carwow most expensive. With the X5 I'm pricing up, Broadspeed is highest (but still 7.7% off list price), while auroebid are over £1,500 cheaper than the next nearest.

 

Finally, good luck with the job!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Monkeyfinger said:

Haven't seen any comments for HUD - certainly a game changer for me, and I would recommend very highly.

 

I totally agree. Wouldn’t buy a car without it in the future. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Mr H said:

Agreed about the HUD; just forgot to add it to my list above :wacko:

 

After I bought my car (fair few options but no HUD) I wondered for a while if I should have kept looking to try to find one with HUD. Now 18 months on I’m not so sure. Aside from the speedometer is there really anything much of value in the display as a rule? FWIW I find that routine noting the Speedo reading is second nature anyway, requires no conscious effort, much like glancing across the panel when flying. Is HUD really more than just another nice-to-have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Boba said:

 

After I bought my car (fair few options but no HUD) I wondered for a while if I should have kept looking to try to find one with HUD. Now 18 months on I’m not so sure. Aside from the speedometer is there really anything much of value in the display as a rule? FWIW I find that routine noting the Speedo reading is second nature anyway, requires no conscious effort, much like glancing across the panel when flying. Is HUD really more than just another nice-to-have?

 

My wife's F45 was the first car in our family with a HUD and she loves it and has the same view I now hold about not buying a car without in the future. Speed, Satnav, Entertainment selection, Phone address etc. Yes, sure, for the past many, many years of driving I've looked down, away from the road ahead, to look at my speed but now hardly ever look at the instrument cluster. Sure it's a nice-to-have and not cheap but my view has been cemented on this being an option I will have in the future if I have the opportunity.

 

Unless you've lived with a car with HUD, it may be difficult to understand the perceived benefits.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×