Rented a BMW 528i on vacation, interesting comparison

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djejnyc

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#1
I recently went on vacation to Shenandoah national park in Virginia with my family. We took the train to DC, then rented a car via Turo (highly recommended). I opted for a 2015 BMW 528i, the best bang for the buck at the time. First of all, going from a Model3 LR to any combustion engine is eye opening. ICE cars are SO incredibly inefficient! So much drama and noise and delay to accelerate any where near what my Tesla can do. But more specifically, the BMW 528i really can't hold a candle to the Model 3. The interior space is not good, too cramped and small compared to the M3. And although I liked the interior design, with nice wood trim and accents, my wife did not. She thought it looked cheap and preferred the M3. The infotainment was terrible as well, although it was a 2015 so I cut it a bit of slack. The tech overall was disappointing, decent screen graphics but it didn't do any of the things we take for granted in a Tesla.
The drive to the lodge was along the Skyline Drive, a renown and amazing curvy mountain road along the ridge of the mountains. Really amazing drive with many stunning overlooks, if you are near you should definitely check it out. The speed limit is 35mph and that's about right, it is very twisty with many blind hairpin turns. Super fun in the right car. This BMW felt really big and heavy, much more than the M3 even though they are the same size (about) and the M3 is heavier. The engine struggled in the mountains (I realize it's the base engine but this is not a cheap car!) and the transmission, even in sport, was too slow to maintain proper speed. Always seemed to be hunting for the right revs.
We were considering an off-lease BMW 535 before we bought the M3 and I can say without a shred of doubt that there is no comparison. The M3 is way, way better to drive and of course the tech is beyond anything has at the same price point.
PS Man is it terrible to not have TACC at least!
 

JWardell

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#2
Extra funny to read considering the Model 3 is supposed to target the 3 series, not the 5 series! BMW has really shot itself in the foot in recent years, boiling away all the traits that made their cars fun to drive.
 

djejnyc

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#3
Extra funny to read considering the Model 3 is supposed to target the 3 series, not the 5 series! BMW has really shot itself in the foot in recent years, boiling away all the traits that made their cars fun to drive.
You're probably right, maybe the 3 series is more fun/responsive? But this one was way too blah.
 

Needsdecaf

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#4
The F10 5 series (which is the one you rented) is just an awful BMW. I couldn't wait to get rid of mine. It looks great, inside and out. But it just not a good driver's car. Way too many dynamic flaws.