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bravo

Old member, new whip (F15 M50d)

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After many years away, I'm back in the bimmer fold picking up a 2014 F15 X5 M50d today. 

Some of you will possibly remember me from the many years I was an active member, mod and admin on this forum until career, wife, kids and a lack of a bimmer in the drive meant I stepped away.

For those who don't remember my last BMW was a supercharged 1989 e30 325i tech-II 4-door. I'll rustle up some pics.. 

Since then I've had a handful of company cars and then an R36 Passat (4 sale!) before towing and family needs pushed me into an SUV and ultimately the M50d.

Who else has one of these? How has your ownership been? 

I have some cosmetic mods plus an upgrade to OEM-look Android Auto planned for the M50d but that's all at this stage.

It's good to be back....

 

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I have a F15 30d, love it. Reset the trip computer 3500kms ago, running at 8.9l/100km including the Auckland commute. Great for the family and just a nice thing to drive. It’s fast enough for the family.

Regular servicing, brakes and tyres after 37,000kms and 3 years.

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5 hours ago, *Glenn* said:

Welcome back Graham 👍

Thanks mate. I hear that you sold the business? Retirement or change of scene?

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14 minutes ago, Palazzo said:

I have a F15 30d, love it. Reset the trip computer 3500kms ago, running at 8.9l/100km including the Auckland commute. Great for the family and just a nice thing to drive. It’s fast enough for the family.

Regular servicing, brakes and tyres after 37,000kms and 3 years.

I'll report back how I go with the 50d on mileage. Computer says average of around 10.5l/100km which surely is mostly some short trips and sprirted test drives while it has been at the dealer. I averaged around 15l/100km on my test drive but I was giving it the beans.

I was hoping for about your results so maybe I'm a little optimistic then. I get around 11l/100km in the R36 average use which is mostly my 50km return commute from west Auckland to Takapuna in moderate traffic during peak shoulder as I choose my own hours and can avoid rush hour most of the time. I expect the x5 will still beat it by 20% or more and even with RUC costs I should be way in front despite better performance and a heavier vehicle.

The other car I was looking at was similar age Porsche Cayenne GTS (4.8L v8 petrol). But fuel consumption, cost of repair and only 5 seats plus the wife being pretty brutal about her opinion on both the styling and her perception of the image that comes with a Cayenne winning on the day.

That said, I reckon I made the right decision and the bimmer feels far more modern than the Porsche in the cabin especially. 

 

Edited by bravo

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No I didn’t sell the business. Decided to retire, sell the assets and the building which I owned. Did very well out of the building sale. Was quite fun dismantling the complete workshop back to an empty building.

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Ah right. Well that's the McDonalds model afterall (real estate worth more than the business).

Good on you. I hope retirement suits you. My folks have also retired since last time you and I caught up. They are living the life I tell ya!

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Missed this thread 4 months ago! Whoops.

How are you finding the M50D? I have had one for the past 5 years and still LOVE it. I can't think of another vehicle I would replace it with (bar maybe an X5M).

It has been very reliable. I have only had to do two things in that time of ownership, replace the front rotors and replace the front control arms.

Did you get Android Auto retrofitted? I had that done on mine by Audio City in Auckland. With a 10.4" screen it looks fantastic.

I think another small mod well worth doing, is changing the grilles to black. I think the chrome/grey ones on the M50D look a bit weird. Personal preference though of course :)

 

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Edited by Moupe
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Hey, thanks for posting. 

I'm really enjoying the X5. One of the first things I did was replace the grill. The factory one was just ugly as you say.

 

I retrofitted Android Auto/Carplay myself with an Andream mmi unit. It works really well and uses the iDrive controller rather than a replacement touch screen. Having used Android Auto with a touchscreen in my Passat, I  prefer using iDrive in this car. Partly because of where the screen is mounted being just a tiny bit of a stretch, but also because I find I can keep my eyes on the road more as I don't have to look at the screen so closely to touch the right spot. I just have to glance at it briefly to see when the correct control is highlighted. It's maybe a smidge slower to navigate but feels much safer.

 

The car is great to drive and really is a jack of all trades. We towed our caravan 3,000kms with it last month on a holiday from Auckland down into the south island, down to Arthur's Pass and then back up the west coast. It tows so effortlessly. 

 

I've had it a little bit off road here and there. It's definitely not a great off road SUV but it's ok to get you out of trouble or along the odd back country track here and there. I wouldn't want to take it proper offroading, especially with the factory wheels and road tyres, but that isn't why I bought it anyway.

 

It goes really well and is quite economical on fuel. It can feel a bit heavy and big on tight twisty roads when trying to press on but once I got the hang of the very different handling from all my previous cars, it is possible to make alarmingly quick progress!

 

I also recommend getting a coding app and doing a little bit of coding to change some of the more annoying "features". Like remembering the Auto start/stop setting on start-up so I don't have to turn it off every time I start the car, remembering the AC settings when the car is switched iff so I don't have to turn off AC everytime I start the car if I don't want it on, adding in towball zoom on the reversing camera as I have a non-factory towball etc. I also got the Msport logo for the idrive start-up splash screen turned on and messed about with the active driving sound settings a little. I know it gets mocked a bit, and rightly so, but now at least it doesn't sound so fake when I put the car into sport plus.

 

Anyway, it's been a fun few months with the car so far and I've put 10,000kms on it ready. Here's to many more enjoyable kms...

 

Check out the cheeky Kea on the roof racks in the first pic. I managed to avoid them tearing the car apart fortunately. 

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Edited by bravo
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Oh and for anyone interested I average about 10.3-10.5l/100km combined cycle that includes my commute which is 50km return about half at highway speeds and half in traffic.

 

Towing the caravan averaged 16.5l/100km. Caravan is 2.5 tonnes fully loaded.

Edited by bravo

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Good work! It should have come with the black grille from factory in my opinion.

Yeah, the iDrive Jog Dial works great with Android Auto. Question on your one, did you lose the feature where the top down camera automatically comes on in a tight space? Mine will only flick out to the camera if I put it in reverse. So I have to back out to the standard iDrive system if I want to use the top down camera when going forward. Bit of a pain but not the end of the world.

That looked like it would have been an epic trip. With the M50D you wouldn't even know you were towing.

Haha, lucky on the Kia front! They sure love ripping a nice car to shreds!

Yep, she is a heavy beast but as you say, once you get to know the handling characteristics, it's surprisingly how well it goes around a corner...at speed. Helps with Sport+ on too.

Re the coding. First thing I always do too (I have the Carly app/module). Can't stand auto start/stop. Or the window stopping from going up when you open the door. I had an F80 M3 where I disabled the active sound. Seemed wrong to have it on a car like that. But I don't mind it in a diesel X5. It helps to hear what's going on too if you are driving it in the twisties using the paddles. But it needs to be subtle.

Anyway, great to hear that you are enjoying it! They are so practical and yet sooo powerful. Love stomping the pedal getting into the motorway or overtaking. Still puts a stupid grin on my face.

P.S. I wouldn't have a clue what my gas mileage is. But I know it's not good based on how I drive it 😂

Edited by Moupe

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Seeing this post makes me realise how much I miss mine, best family car I have ever owned by a long shot, even the wife, who hates big SUV's loved the thing, they hide there size so well.  She went from not wanting to drive it when we first got it, to having to pry the keys out of her hands anytime I wanted to drive it.   

I think the next family car upgrade I will go back to another X5, maybe a B58 engine as the last hurrah for petrol engines.

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20 hours ago, Moupe said:

Yeah, the iDrive Jog Dial works great with Android Auto. Question on your one, did you lose the feature where the top down camera automatically comes on in a tight space? Mine will only flick out to the camera if I put it in reverse. So I have to back out to the standard iDrive system if I want to use the top down camera when going forward. Bit of a pain but not the end of the world.

That looked like it would have been an epic trip. With the M50D you wouldn't even know you were towing.

My camera still works as normal when the sensors detect I am close. Maybe check if there is something you can tweak with coding?

 

I was able to directly compare towing with this vs my father's V8 diesel 70 series landcruiser (2017) which has been chipped.

 

In nearly every way I prefer the BMW. The torque converter makes up for what it lacks in low range gearing. It handles better, brakes better and performs better. Both have the same redarc braking system installed.

 

The landcruiser is 1000 times better off road and will outlast the BMW by a long way no doubt but it's such an agricultural and unrefined beast I couldn't have done 3,000kms in it like we did on holiday.

Edited by bravo
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Stoked there are three Graham's with correct spelling around here, I feel we are some times out numbered by all the Graeme's and people relay don't know the struggle of having every other email received starting with "Hi Graeme" even if our actual email address has Graham@ in it. I know there is a lot going on in the world at the moment so I can see why these real issues are overlooked. 

Well done on the X5 I think, I would love to hate on it but it seems you are actually using it as "sports utility vehicle" so kudos to ya, keep being you boo. 

 

 

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Thanks Graham.

I think the car suits our lifestyle and my taste in vehicles so you are probably right. There are other cars that do the things this car does better but there is a very short list that can do all of them to a decent standard 

What are you driving these days. I'm trying to remember what you had when I was last frequently here. I definitely remember the Megane. What did you have after that?

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17 minutes ago, bravo said:

Thanks Graham.

I think the car suits our lifestyle and my taste in vehicles so you are probably right. There are other cars that do the things this car does better but there is a very short list that can do all of them to a decent standard 

What are you driving these days. I'm trying to remember what you had when I was last frequently here. I definitely remember the Megane. What did you have after that?

Honestly, its great to see you out using it, love the van also, I was always against them and preferred tenting  but now we have a baby I can see the appeal! 

Like you, the family (wife) has an SUV as we have a big dog and a small human, Kayaks, awnings and like camping and adventuring. We had a Land Cruiser but it was too big for urban stuff and TBH it was uneconomical to run, so we down sized to a Jeep Trail Hawk, but in three years we have only off road a few times, one safari and a bit of overland and beach stuff. The Land Cruiser was awesome at the offroad stuff though and I miss its dependability vs the Jeep, would love the upcoming new Prado but have been told they will be over 100k. 

I have a few interesting cars for specials occasions, Sunday drives, track days, Targa, but these days I mostly walk, well 28 days of the month. I am a motoring enthusiast in the same way people own a horse for recreation. 

 

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Toyota's are overpriced in my opinion. Yes they are very good, but the price is now out of step with the product. Dad checked second hand prices for his 2017 70 series the other day and it's more than he paid for it as a low miles demo from the dealer at 1 year old.

 

The other thing with the x5 is I went for the 7-seater version. We only have 2 kids but when they have friends over or my parents are in town, we can all go in 1 car. Have used them 2 or 3 times so far but expect more over the summer hols.

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So I got to use the third row alot over the Christmas new year break. It was basically up the entire time. Observations:

- The third row is pretty easy to put up or down.

- It isn't really for adults. Except for smaller, fit ones for a short trip. That's ok as I wasn't expecting much better. But perhaps a tiny little better than it actually is.

 

- No ISOfix or dedicated top tether anchor for kids carseats relying on the cargo tie down points. Considering you will mainly stow kids there, this seems an oversight. Fortunately we own really good belt-secured seats so it wasn't a major. Although the seat cushion should be a fraction larger to make a better car seat base. Also the cargo tie down points are substantial as top tethers, but just could be in a better location. Totally fine safety wise, just not very convenient. 

 

- Getting in and out is a pain. Either the seat in front tilts forward making a low, but narrow gap, or the back folds forward creating a high, slightly sloping wide opening. Kids preferred the latter. I would have preferred using the former.

 

- For day to day running around it is actually good having them up as the boot space is much smaller and things don't roll around as much if not ties down. 

 

- I need a roof box if ever plan to go away for more than overnight with 6 people.

 

Graham @Apex I missed your comment about the caravan last time. As someone who grew up on boats and going out on a launch for family holidays I never thought I would be a caravanner, assuming I would be a boatie. But the maintenance is less on a van, the weather less of an issue, it's less work to launch and retrieve, you can go much, much further, it's cheaper and it's a far better option with young kids who get bored on a boat eventually.  Three weeks in a boat with kids would be torture, in a caravan it's almost enjoyable 🤣. So with a busy life and little ones, right now a caravan is awesome.

And we like to go to music festivals with the kids. Once you do a 3 day festival in a caravan, you will never, ever go in a tent ever again. Snobbery I know, but the honest truth.

 

@Moupe with your top down camera issue. If when you want it you push the reverse camera / system button in the centre console, then press down on the idrive controller it changes from rear view to top view mode. Easier than going thru idrive menus.

 

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Also have an M50d F15, picked it up a few months for a song. 

Have got it remapped by Pramod Parag. Night and day would apply if it wasnt for having all of the go to start with. have done the start stop mod, and remapped the trans at the same.

i also have brought an aftermarket transmission pan that is alloy, accomodates an aux temp sensor, and an extra 1.5L of oil. Although the cooler is thermostat controlled, it will decrease the amount they rise if doing a pull up hill with 3 tonnes of trailer on the back, which is what they are made for!

also replaced the front grills and mirror caps for black ones, the silver looks naff, like youve got mirrors from another car or something

Only thing i dont like about it is the interior colour is tan, which is hard to keep clean with my lifestyle. I prefer black, but ill just have to get used to cleaning the inside more regularly!

happy motoring 

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